8.3.13

Outside Literature: Lars Iyer on Exodus

Tim Smyth talks to Iyer about his latest novel
Lars Iyer, Exodus
From The Quarterly Conversation:
Since the appearance of his novel, Spurious, in 2011, Lars Iyer has made a challenging and vigorous contribution to our sense of the importance of literature and thought in our vexed cultural moment. The intellectual anguish and inventive bickering of his two UK philosophy professors sees him steer a middle course between Mercier and Camier and Withnail and I. His combination of almost-total bleakness and bracing humour enables him to dip perilously close to despair, only to escape at the last minute.

With the sequel to Spurious, Dogma, Iyer confirmed his importance as part of an “enclave outside literature,” whose work extends the territory outside the contemporary canon to new and challenging distances. This novel extended W.’s and Lars’s itinerary across America, with little more than Plymouth Gin and the word omoi for company. As the humour deepens, so too does the despair, recalling both the Thomas Bernhard of Frost and Mark and Jeremy from Peep Show.

The final instalment of Iyer’s trilogy, Exodus, is the funniest, most hopeful, most despairing, and most gin-soaked episode of the three. Despite the impossibility of true endings, it is a final instalment—and a satisfying one at that. I talked to Lars, via email, over the course of nearly two months, during which we talked about hot tubs, the Bible, endings, and the collapsing borders of literature. [Read the Interview]

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