We talk a lot about the limits of critique. I’m more worried about the absence of critique. I mean institutional critique, including self-critique. That’s how professions get out of blind alleys and advance.
The default world of literary fiction is a very professional class, with occasional sprinkles of They Closed the Mill and Now We’re All on OxyContin. I wanted to be more matter of fact about post-industrial small town life.
I spoke of the exodus and of the repatrination. I quoted Prince Far-I: ‘We’re moving out of Babylon/ One destination, ina Ithiopia …’, I quoted. ‘Ithiopia, the tyrants are falling/ Ithiopia, Britain the great is falling…’