Over at The Elegant Variation, Mark Sarvas has posted the entirety of James Wood's list of Best-Written Books Since World War II. The surprises, at least I think they'll be surprises, for his many web-based detractors include: William Burroughs, The Naked Lunch; Toni Morrison, Sula & Beloved; Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 & V; and Don DeLillo, White Noise. There are also two authors in this list immediately adjacent that struck me as an interesting pair: John Ashbery, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror & Selected Poems; Geoffrey Hill, Collected Poems. Interesting because where Hill is too little read, too little known, to easily dismissed for his subject matter, Ashbery is perhaps exactly the inverse.
This post mentions two of the great powder kegs of the internet literary rabble: James Wood and John Ashbery. I wonder if they'll be any notice. But while we're on the subject of James Wood, Scott at Conversational Reading (who recently interviewed my boss) shares his thoughts on Wood and on an article by Daniel Miller at Prospect that dethrones a king who never was one.
All this fuss about the man when all he wants is for us to talk about the books!