Inventions Out of Time | Metareviews


Metareviews are reviews about reviews and they suck. Their primary purpose is to painfully expose that what the reader is reading has been constructed by someone.

Theoretically there is a point behind being meta; someone can try to expose that their own work is constructed in order to make the reader question to what degree the social narratives that define their lives are constructed (Postmodernism: a rating is a construct/5).

However, most meta writers just do it to preen about how incredibly clever they are. “Look at me,” the hypothetical strawman metafiction writer writes, “look how difficult my artistic process was. It was so difficult that I decided to make something just about me making something. Because I’m the best.” All artistic creation is inherently uninteresting. All stories should be about adventure and daring-do and action (preferably with as many white men as can conceivably fit on top of a tank).

I have trouble writing this column. I ask anyone in the vicinity if they have a joke I can include (they almost invariably don’t, woe is me, all artistic creation is dead). I sit and stare at it, desperately wanting to just give up and write a nice easy review of bums (with lots of jokes about putting things up your butt). I try and write a review of birth, but all that comes out is, “Birth is very nasty for everyone involved”. That’s not enough, not even with a snazzy drawing of the pope thrown in.

Who knew that complaining about not being able to write something could become a substitute for actually writing something.

Nothing is real.

This article first appeared in Issue 23, 2017.
Posted 12:58pm Sunday 17th September 2017 by Charlie O’Mannin.