The esteemed critic and lecturer Don Anderson once told me that Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past was a book you shouldn’t read until you were over forty. Still in my twenties at the time, hungry for erudition, I was annoyed and set out to read the book, only to put it down even more irritated some time later, thinking, If that boy calls out to his mother one more time, I’ll scream. Reading John Hughes’s début novel, The Remnants, I was reminded of Dr Anderson’s sage remark. There are books that can only be fully appreciated once the first real terror of one’s own mortality has been felt. This is one, and there is much to be savoured in this sharp-minded regeneration of literary tradition and its enquiries into memory, dying, translation, and translocation that I suspect would have sailed straight over my younger head.
Ed Wright reviews 'The Remnants' by John Hughes
by John Hughes
UWA Publishing, $29.95 pb, 288 pp, 9781742583327
If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.
Ed Wright is a writer and cultural critic. He has also written six books of popular history, of which the most recent is Rebel Leaders (2012).
By this contributor
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.