The New York Times

No Longer and Not Yet


“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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