Stephen Mitchelmore’s definitive review of What Ever Happened to Modernism?
Always he has championed fiction which breaks through layers of self-protection – the self of the work and the self of the reader – to reveal loss without indulgence and potential without self-deceit. Proust’s In Search of Lost Time is Josipovici’s keenest example and so it is appropriate that the first essay of his first essay collection The World and the Book is an essay on Proust’s novel: “the most subtle, tenacious and profound exploration … ever undertaken” of the relation between the writer and what is written. Still, I feel this is aspect of fiction requires more attention than What Ever Happened to Modernism? is prepared or able to give it, to become the overt subject of a book rather than left to the margins. But perhaps this is why Josipovici writes fiction and why we should turn to his novels and short stories for more. The new collection Heart’s Wings and Other Stories is an ideal place to start.