Ottessa Moshfegh

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it’s a good thread but i categorically object to american writers being called lanchesteresque. also otessa has a great ear imo

flopson, Thursday, 24 January 2019 18:37 (one year ago) link

Who the fuck is John Lanchester?

calstars, Thursday, 24 January 2019 20:10 (one year ago) link

If you haven’t read the John Lanchester thread you should leave ILB and not come back until you are ready to learn

gray say nah to me (wins), Thursday, 24 January 2019 20:13 (one year ago) link

Who the fuck is John Lanchester?

flappy bird, Thursday, 24 January 2019 21:02 (one year ago) link

And what does he have to do with OM?

calstars, Thursday, 24 January 2019 21:24 (one year ago) link

the sort of sub-lanchesterian satire-adjacent archness of it

gray say nah to me (wins), Thursday, 24 January 2019 21:32 (one year ago) link

Take it to the JL thread

calstars, Thursday, 24 January 2019 23:02 (one year ago) link

Read “A Dark and Winding Road” from the short stories and hated it, but "sub-Lanchester" is a bit of a low blow.

Maybe I picked the wrong story? It felt very I WILL SHOCK YOU, like the annoying over-talkative person at a party

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 25 January 2019 00:29 (one year ago) link

I don’t mean to sound down on her, she’s brought me a good deal of pleasure. Still reading the short stories but will definitely go on to Eileen and Year. It’s just the endings...dark and winding is a good example of how she tries to up-end / shock the reader. Or “the beach boy” which isn’t very interesting to start with and just kind of putters to a stall. I know short stories are hard to end well - it takes a good measure of poetry. Maybe I’m being too hard on her.

calstars, Friday, 25 January 2019 00:38 (one year ago) link

Stories okay but at least we had Nirvana

FernandoHierro, Friday, 25 January 2019 00:39 (one year ago) link

(if the end of the short story is shit then it is a fail, I liked her collection a lot but also feel many great writers finish stories well)

FernandoHierro, Friday, 25 January 2019 00:42 (one year ago) link

What's considered a good ending though, especially when it's not particularly plot oriented?

Philip Nunez, Friday, 25 January 2019 01:03 (one year ago) link

I'm rereading Flannery O'Connoor, and, boy, she could end'em, sometimes at the risk of being reductive.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 25 January 2019 01:04 (one year ago) link

she sold her hair to buy him a watch chain - but he sold his watch to buy her a set of combs

the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Friday, 25 January 2019 01:11 (one year ago) link

I'm only answering this because I just read it, but Robert Aickman's short story "The Inner Room" has a *great* ending

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 25 January 2019 01:19 (one year ago) link

the extent of the american annoyance at comparing a bad book of yours to one of ours is half amusing and half dispiriting

the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Friday, 25 January 2019 02:33 (one year ago) link

and i haven’t read the others. mcglue sounds .. more amenable? .. and certainly it is possible for writers of talent to produce bad books so i might give her another go. but this one just seems a spectacular series of own goals and self-owns

the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Friday, 25 January 2019 02:39 (one year ago) link

McGlue is her worst one imo, Homesick & Eileen are the gems

flappy bird, Friday, 25 January 2019 04:22 (one year ago) link

Eileen is at best OK, but why read it when you have the complete works of Patricia Highsmith doing it all so, so much better

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Friday, 25 January 2019 04:24 (one year ago) link

I think the really great short stories are so much about character that maybe they've gone deep enough along the way to earn a fairly simple ending. tbf I don't remember thinking the Mosfegh stories ended badly, though I'd have to reread. I did think one or two, particularly the final story in the collection, were really poor. But I think that's common with short story collections, it is rare for every story in a collection to be brilliant and they do tend to frontload them. I've read collections where the last two or three were so bad it almost ruined a brilliant beginning.

I think it's Flannery O'Connor's Good Country People about which she said something to the effect of not knowing the end until the second she wrote it, and then realising it couldn't end any other way. Even that feels a bit too focussed on the importance of plot to me but I still like the quote, and all her writing about writing.

FernandoHierro, Friday, 25 January 2019 08:02 (one year ago) link

saying she’s a bad writer is crazy to me

flopson, Friday, 25 January 2019 22:10 (one year ago) link

O'Connor's remarks about endings have been myblodesrsrs foryears

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 25 January 2019 22:17 (one year ago) link

Uh lodestars

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 25 January 2019 22:17 (one year ago) link

this book makes me want to reread tao lin and a.m. homes and bits of lydia davis

the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Saturday, 26 January 2019 04:00 (one year ago) link

although now there’s a random mention of mao II and i am going, oh, yes, of course

the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Saturday, 26 January 2019 08:21 (one year ago) link

Ok I’ve got an example: the story Nothing Ever Happens Here. Last paragraph tries to put a spin on the events to that point but it’s not necessary. Why kill the mystery? The story should have ended with the old lady touching the dude’s face. Maybe OM just needs an editor.

calstars, Saturday, 26 January 2019 14:14 (one year ago) link

eileen was chronic

||||||||, Saturday, 26 January 2019 20:42 (one year ago) link

is patricia highsmith really as raunchy and grotesque as Eileen, james?

flopson, Saturday, 26 January 2019 22:09 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

Not content to EGOT, Whoopi Goldberg is setting her sights on the fashion industry. Novelist Ottessa Moshfegh, her biggest fan, pays her a visit.

just sayin, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 08:41 (one year ago) link

The last quarter of Eileen is so dumb, ridiculous and cliched. I feel like I’ve been cheated out of hours of my life getting this far.

calstars, Saturday, 16 February 2019 03:31 (one year ago) link

every time this thread gets bumped im like well looks like me and flappy are the only 2 ppl on this entire site who don’t hate this writer lol

flopson, Saturday, 16 February 2019 04:57 (one year ago) link

Going to read Eileen so I can say it's bad itt

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Saturday, 16 February 2019 07:30 (one year ago) link

time honoured ilx tradition

||||||||, Saturday, 16 February 2019 07:47 (one year ago) link

Also she has a bad take on Whoopi in TNG

Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 16 February 2019 22:30 (one year ago) link

lol some other people like her I think

calstars maybe you'd like McGlue, can't remember if you already read it. pretty different from the rest of her stuff and my least favorite, I feel like if you don't dig Eileen or the stories you might like McGlue.

flappy bird, Saturday, 16 February 2019 22:32 (one year ago) link

Thanks flappy, I just started Year and will check out mcGlue after that. I like her a lot, just get frustrated with her

calstars, Saturday, 16 February 2019 23:59 (one year ago) link

Whenever she appeared on-screen, I sensed she was laughing at the whole production. Her presence made the show completely absurd. That was true of all her movies, too.

Kind of a strange compliment to give an actor. Apparently Whoopi is chill about it though.

o. nate, Sunday, 17 February 2019 03:04 (one year ago) link

Totally wrong

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Sunday, 17 February 2019 03:06 (one year ago) link

Guinan is a totally earnest performance and whoopi approached the producers about appearing on the show as a fan of the original Star Trek (the part was then written for her)

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Sunday, 17 February 2019 03:11 (one year ago) link

I liked Eileen! The whoopi and Harrison ford stuff in the new one felt like some sub-American psycho shit

gray say nah to me (wins), Sunday, 17 February 2019 08:10 (one year ago) link

Yeah. Not to mention that Trevor seems to be based on P Bateman or maybe since it’s set 15 years after A Psycho, that character might be modeling his personality on the book / movie.

The scenes with him in it with the main character read like rosencrantz and guildenstern style perspective shifts of scenes that could be A Psycho outtakes.

calstars, Sunday, 17 February 2019 23:41 (one year ago) link

ten months pass...

read the first two stories in the collection. (i know -- not enough to form an impression -- but still, form one i did.)

she is an extremely talented humorist. both "bettering myself" and "mr. wu" are kind of like, elaborate and fucked up jokes. "bettering myself" is less depressing because the narrator, who is the butt of the joke, is also in on the joke.

the characters are profoundly alienated and misanthropic. their lives feel like a kind of purgatory. probably more than half of all contemporary literary fiction seems to feature characters like this, which seems notable.

the ending of "mr wu" is brilliant, deranged and masterfully crafted. but i'm not sure what i'm supposed to make of that story or that character. i also wonder if anyone found that story racist.

treeship., Monday, 13 January 2020 04:07 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...


Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation is to be made into a movie by none other than Yorgos Lanthimos. Name a more iconic duo. H U G E !

— Louise Benson (@benson_louise) January 6, 2020

flappy bird, Wednesday, 29 January 2020 23:40 (four weeks ago) link

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