The New York Times

No Longer and Not Yet

AN IRISHMAN REFLECTS ON THE FRACTURED CONTEMPORARY WORLD AND REMEMBERS THE LIFE HE LEFT BEHIND.

“Solar Bones”

By Mike McCormack

217 pages. $25.

Modernism was about many things, but largely it was about fragmentation. The world had cracked, and artists had noticed. Virginia Woolf showed what a mess our minds are, Gertrude Stein wrote portraits through a Cubist kaleidoscope, and T.S. Eliot shored fragments against his ruins. Perhaps most famous of all was a certain Irishman with the chutzpah to rewrite the “Odyssey,” turning Odysseus into a middle-aged Jewish cuckold roaming all day through the linguistic detritus of Dublin, his mind a patchwork of scraps. He doesn’t even finish his own story, but is cut off by his wife Molly’s torrential interior monologue, surely

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