a review of Lars Iyer’s Dogma
Literature is hard to have done with, and Iyer isn’t the first to exaggerate a report of its death. But if Dogma doesn’t fully succeed in failing to be literature, what, in its failed failure, might it begin to become? Iyer has elsewhere espoused the idea that writers should cultivate their ‘legitimate strangeness.’ Well, what Dogma does is deepen the strangeness of Spurious. Instead of resolving the earlier work’s contradictions, it only makes them more involved, more intractable. We’ve seen how it sets itself up to fail, then fails to do that. In so doing, it doesn’t so much plumb the depths as discover a deeper depthlessness.