note_20 On Lynne Tillman’s No Lease on Life, rearchive fever …

No Lease on Life/ Lynne Tillman by Guy Mannes-Abbott The Independent 30 April 1998

No Lease on Life/ Lynne Tillman/ Guy Mannes-Abbott The Independent 30 April 1998

While my fellow fruitiers were scattered between Ecuador and Sweden, I was able to visit archival regions unexplored for years. Principally I was in pursuit of a clean manuscript from a similar period as this which I want to restore to its original 78 subtle, molecular, daring fragments and, well, see. It got overrun by the immediate receptivity and success of my e.things to be straightforward about it, and though those grew out of much earlier actual experiments with all short forms, nevertheless I now see they were also directly enabled by the work on this novel manuscript for its tautness and the danger, to misquote a later e.thing, that it lived…

“Tillman is a writer of rare intelligence who knows that in writing a story, “the form of its telling will be part of its meaning”. She wants to challenge complacency, to “unconventionalise”, in the ultimate hope that we can “think beyond our limits”.

So. A short review like this needs to be read and disseminated otherwise it’s pointless. The Independent, may they bathe in saffron waters, were always a bit patchy with their online upping. I ┬ádidn’t notice for too long, and literally prompted by over generous correspondents for copies, started to pursue now and again. It was tricky for their tech-team to prioritise upping something months or years later, and this attempt failed while one or two others succeeded. Archivists, or writers who write through archives and keep an eye on what the archive is to a writer, keep them too! (I can’t tell you how flattered I’ve been by enquiries about my own archives, for this reason.) I only ever had a photocopy until I found this fondly nibbled single hard copy during the absence of my colleagues.

“Her new book asks the question of how we should articulate the experience of living in one of the world’s major cities at the end of the 20th century.”

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