More proof, if proof were needed, that M. John Harrison is a phenomenal writer. Further proof also that the breadth and scope of his imagination completely outstrips my ability to say anything intelligent or even coherent about it.
There is just so much going on here, and in lesser hands it would collapse under the weight of its own contradictions, but these aren’t lesser hands and as the conflicts and contradictions multiply you, like the characters, search for meaning that you suspect may be there but can’t ever be sure will reveal itself. And the words… my lord, the words –
‘Without the operation of irony on trash,’ he maintained, ‘there would be no kitsch.’ To him, the postmodern ironisation was like the Death of History of the coming Singularity. ‘Everything was changed by it. Nothing could be the same again. It had the irreversibly transformational qualities of a Rapture.’ He believed it had those qualities even now.
Ruby’s commitment to body-art and collectable tambourines couldn’t let this go unchallenged...
There is nothing more I can say on this, but rest assured I’ll be thinking about it for a long time yet.