On Josipovici's The Inventory
Over at Ready, Steady, Book, there’s an interesting look at Gabriel Josiopivici’s The Inventory (1968) and what it attempts to accomplish.
But for Josipovici, incompleteness is itself precisely one of the things that the realist novel shuns by assuming that it already is the perfect vehicle for anything one might wish to express. The Modernists and their precursors such as Sterne and Rabelais saw that the regular and incurious form of the realist novel reinforced a view of life that, for starters, denied the pivotal roles of doubt, ambiguity and failure in human affairs. In Proust, Kafka and Eliot, Josipovici found writers who not only realized that art is often unable to articulate our experience, but who had also grasped that this understanding had to be worked into the very heart of the writer’s approach.