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Thursday, June 08, 2017

A disaffection (1989) by James Kelman



A disaffection (1989)
by James Kelman


   It's almost like a joke to complain about the over-representation of sexless white males in the precincts of "serious" literature.  This book is one example.  A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, featuring a literal 40 year old virgin as a narrator, is another recent title which fits this description.   I'm not a reader obsessed or repressed with sexual matter, but it seems to me that these sexless, white-male narrators are the fore-runners of the "Beta Male."

   Scottish author James Kelman represents Glasgow on the world literary scene, and Glasgow stands for post-industrial urban decline (see the Glasgow Effect).  He write in Glaswegian brogue, not as hard to understand as the dialect of Irving Welch, but noticeable.  Patrick Doyle narrates A disaffection, he is a school teacher from a working class family, and the guy can not get laid.  CAN NOT get laid.  The book is about that problem, and Doyle's (sad) efforts to end it.

  Sad 40 year old virgin, that is A disaffection by James Kelman.

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