Since the following quote from a NYT review by Lizzie Skurnick is funny and sums up exactly the kitschification of an entire nation and state, I'm going to share it with you, even though it has nothing to do with the Czech and Russian avant-gardes: "McCabe's third novel, The Butcher Boy (1993), established him as the primary chronicler of a type of pre-Angela's Ashes wasteland, an Ireland devoid of treacle and pomp." The rest of the review can be read here. Somewhere in The Guardian Unlimited there's a piece by A.L. Kennedy that pops some holes in the kitschification of another Celtic nation, Scotland. It reminds me of what the Czechs do with the Austro-Hungarian empire in film: they turn it into an idyll.

On a related note, I saw the poster for the Young British Author's issue of Granta and it left me wondering, what is the cut-off date for being a young British author? Or does the cut-off have less to do with age and more to do with success? -Zh.


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