Rory McCluckie

Rory-McCluckieRory McCluckie is a freelance writer and editor from Manchester, England. A graduate of the University of Leeds, he currently resides in Montreal.

TALK by Linda Rosenkrantz reviewed by Rory McCluckie

TALK by Linda Rosenkrantz NYRB, 215 pages reviewed by Rory McCluckie Whatever else it might be, Talk is the bearer of a remarkably terse and comprehensive title. Has there ever been a work that so accurately summarizes its contents in so short a space? In four letters, Linda Rosenkrantz encapsulated the interior of her 1968 literary experiment immaculately; this is a book of talk. All 215 pages are repositories of speech, unadorned by scenic description or third-person agency. What's more, they're pages of genuine talk, not a word of it imagined or fabricated. Over the summer of 1965, Rosenkrantz decided to capture the conversation of friends on tape, a process that eventually lead to her picking out three personalities, and presenting their interactions in the form of a “novel in dialogue.” Stephen Koch's introduction fleshes out the context: “I had the tape recorder running all summer,” Rosenkrantz recalls, even dragging the bulky monster to the beach. At first there were about twenty-five different characters and fifteen hundred pages of single-spaced transcript, which I took close to two years honing down to the three characters and two hundred fifty pages. Quite the project, in other words. A little later in this ...
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