peteg's blog

David Ireland: The World Repair Video Game.

/noise/books | Link

$45 of dead tree from Island Mag for copy number 209 of 350. Geordie Williamson lays it all out in his afterword. I found it repetitive but not ritualistic; an optimistic start quickly shaded into onerous ploughing with much difficulty in focussing on the page. The philosophizing is not spectacularly insightful, the political commentary is social Darwinist essentialism, and whether Ireland is endorsing or critiquing any particular attitude is too ambiguous; his use of calculated serial murder is substantially less powerful than Nabokov's breaking of taboos in Lolita. This resulted in more irritation than shock or outrage in my case. Still, as expected the prose is crisp.

Malcolm Knox is wrong to think those killed here are characters in Ireland's earlier books: those guys always worked, and suffered for it in that human-dignity enhancing way that Ireland champions here. (I think Ireland is saying that it is the willingness to work, to try to do it right, to endure the meaningless, and not the content of the work itself that is moral. I don't really know as I don't buy it: most work is exploitation, as he acknowledges here, and I don't see the concomitant suffering as necessary or essentially worthwhile, or even character building as its boosters proclaim.) This leads me to think that whoever reads this will read whatever they want into it. Perhaps it is a satire.

Nicolas Rothwell spends more time putting the publication in context than talking about its contents. He is right that this is a rumination on the "self-created world [...] where love, kindness and a sense of shared experience wither."

I guess that's the last of Ireland's for me.

Star Trek Beyond

/noise/movies | Link

At the Odeon 5 in Orange, 8:15pm 3D session, opening night, $20.50. Apparently I saw Iron Man 3 there a bit more than three years ago. Time flies.

As A. O. Scott observes, this is more of the same, somewhat squashed into action blockbuster format, and that might be OK. The interior scenes are quite quite dark in 3D. The first part is quite slow, and thematically the whole thing is entirely contained in the canon of classic Trek: for instance, Idris Elba's character is essentially Benedict Cumberbatch's from the previous one, who was, of course, standing on the toes of Ricardo Montalbán. The MacGuffin is nowhere as interesting as the Genesis device. There are many simply ludicrous moments. I'll stop right there. I spent most of the movie trying to fit what I was seeing to its source material (Simon Pegg gets a writing credit), and came to realise that this was the Trek that the Wachowskis would have made.

Sam Machkovech.