"Among all of the adventurous writers whose fiction has sometimes been described — usually contemptuously — as a form of “game-playing,” the work of Harry Mathews perhaps most literally deserves such a characterization. However, in Mathews’s case, to say that his novels and short stories seem like games is not an accusation but a more or less objective assessment of the formal and narrative strategies Mathews employs. More importantly, to fully appreciate the fiction of Harry Mathews, we must take the notion of “game” not in the sense used by many critics to imply frivolity and lack of purpose, but as an activity that poses a challenge, and is also meant to provide the game-player (in this case the reader) with enjoyment and satisfaction while facing the challenge. . . ."
Continue reading my review of Harry Mathews's posthumous The Solitary Twin at Full Stop.