By Mitchell, David; Mitchell, David Stephen; O'Donnell, Patrick
Having emerged as one the best modern British writers, David Mitchell is quickly taking his position among British novelists with the gravitas of an Ishiguro or a McEwan.
Written for a large constituency of readers of latest literature, A transitority destiny: The Fiction of David Mitchell explores Mitchell's major concerns-including these of identification, historical past, language, imperialism, early life, the surroundings, and ethnicity-across the six novels released thus far, in addition to his protean skill to put in writing in a number of and various genres. It locations Mitchell within the culture of Murakami, Sebald, and Rushdie-writers whose works discover narrative in an age of globalization and cosmopolitanism.
Patrick O'Donnell strains the through-lines of Mitchell's paintings from ghostwritten to The Bone Clocks and, with a bankruptcy on all of the six novels, charts the evolution of Mitchell's fictional project.
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Extra info for A temporary future : the fiction of David Mitchell
She is also the member of a small gang of art thieves that include her boyfriend, Rudi, a mobbed-up “entrepreneur,” and a British expatriate and former Cambridge don accused of treason, Jerome, who forges masterpieces that are smuggled into the museum and exchanged for originals by Rudi and his associates disguised as a cleaning crew. Margarita’s role is to facilitate the entry and exit of the crew from the museum and to distract the attention of the head curator, Rogoshev, by offering him sexual services.
Now a mistress to capitalism and corruption instead of Cold War socialism, she sleeps with her boss and, occasionally, various friends of her lover in service to Rudi’s schemes. The trafficked object of male desire, she seems the culmination of a trajectory marked by the painting of Eve and the Serpent that results in the global commodification of desire—the reality that the artwork prefigures and allegorizes—evident in the franchising of St. Petersburg. “History is made of people’s desires” (222), remarks Tatyana, an Interpol agent posing as a visiting art consultant at the Hermitage who befriends Margarita as part of her investigation of Rudi’s gang.
Most of the days of her life have been very much alike. The assured dreariness of the Soviet days, the struggle for survival since independence. Gunga’s mind was a lot harder for me to hide in than Caspar’s, however. It’s like trying to make yourself invisible in a prying village as opposed to a sprawling conurbation. (159–60) The consciousness of the intelligence is an assemblage of overlapping and differentiated cognitive maps, languages, fragmentary memories, and partial histories. “A sprawling conurbation” is an apt expression for the hybrid aggregation of identities and locations the intelligence inhabits as it transmigrates.