I think I ve only got two more novels to read and right now I m in the middle of Cement Garden. As a writer Mcewan has been one of my most important mentors. I feel absolutely safe in his hands. I love every tenderly crafted sentence, but recently I ve had a few conversations that have made me pause. One great friend whose views I listen to greedily called him a show-off, declared that despite the perfection of his prose she was left unmoved.
It’s got me thinking. Does perfection distance us from emotion? Have i ever cried whilst reading his novels? I dont know, maybe not, but I have laughed. I read Solar recently and I laughed so much I forced my friends to listen to passages – especially the frozen penis episode. Hilarious.
Is perfection boring? And what does that mean? Surely we all struggle to acheive those occasions when we sit back, exhale and say – yeah, job done. When whatever it is – words, views, relationships, a particular taste seems, well, perfect. I think I do.
In fact I m not sure you can say something is perfect unless it engages our emotions. Hmmm. So maybe it’s all about language. Oh dear, now I’m getting confused.
What do you think?