In the decade but not of the decade

While I was away Mr. Moldbug wrote:
I refer, of course, to the 1980s. In my opinion, this decade produced exactly one artistic achievement that will stand the test of time: Skinny Puppy. And in letters? Though we may never know why, in the '80s it was easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a camel than for anyone to write a decent book.
Actually three of the finest novels of the 20th century were published in the 1980s: Old Masters by Thomas Bernhard, Loitering with Intent by Muriel Spark, and Time’s Children by Chester Northmour. So even if we don't include Skinny Poopy the 80s are superior to the 90s.

Comments

  1. Bonfire of the Vanities?

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  2. THE MODERN EPOCH, by Edward Williams, was written in the '80's.

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  3. Google claims no knowledge of any "Time's Children" by any "Chester Northmour."

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  4. Anon: Really? It was put out in a limited printing by a small press. I discovered it quite by accident, years ago browsing in a used bookstore, only because the cover, a portrait of Tycho Brahe's dwarf jester Jepp, caught my eye. My copy should be on my bookshelf, but I can't seem to locate it at the moment...once I do I will provide the name of the publisher.

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  5. Butt plugs were invented in the 80s. So even if we don't include any of the above the 80s are superior to the 90s.

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  6. You are so right about Loitering With Intent. It is a book that makes one feel good to be alive.

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  7. Alas, my literary pretensions are exposed. It's especially shameful that I've never even read any Thomas Bernhard.

    But I stand by the context: I don't believe either Bernhard or Spark, like Luigi Barzini, is best categorized as a writer of the '80s!

    As for the mysterious Mr. Northmour, a complete critographical analysis strikes me as an ideal task for the detective skills of ADC. The writers of the '80s, the real writers of the '80s, must exist - every generation has 'em. But where is this dog that did not bark in the night? When even Google fails - ADC must step in.

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  8. KMG: I agree. "Exhilarating" is a book blurbers cliche, but Loitering With Intent really is.

    MM: Maybe the real writers of the 80's (and the 90's, and the 00's) don't exist.

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  9. CVC, your simple, depressing realities are the very stuff and substance of reaction.

    But I still feel we need to hear from Chester Northmour. At least, show us the dwarf jester Jepp! You have a scanner, surely.

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  10. I'm still looking for Time's Children. After the last time I moved some of my books were never unpacked. It might be sitting in box somewhere...

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  11. Berhard on the 80s:

    "The two young writers had virtually nothing to say for themseleves . . . . but what, after all, can young writers have to say? I thought. They imagine they know everything, yet can only find everything ridiculous, without being able to say why it's ridiculous. This is something they don't discover until much later, I thought. . . . This is the stupid, hollow, mindless laughter that's typical of today's youth, the youth of our own age, the perverse, mindless, dangerous eighties, I thought. They burst into peals of laughter and find everything ridiculous and haven't published a single book, I thought--just like you thiery years ago."

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