Wednesday, January 30, 2008
GREY AREA by Will Self
Will Self's short story "Scale" in his collection Grey Area (that's 'grey' with an 'e' as in Eeeeeeeeeeeengland) is one of his works of sheer genius. Built, bizarrely, out of a series of imaginative riffs on the dictionary definitions of the title word, the story includes a devastatingly funny Monty Pythonesque tax assessment satire and a Kafkaesque series of 'falls' into alternate scale model universes, all wrapped inside a Ballardian freeway satire spiced with Burroughsian addiction. It sounds like a mess, but somehow Self makes it cohere beautifully. This is Self at his best, twisting his influences into something entirely his own, Self himself.