The Trouble with Banality. "Hardly Beach Weather", by Bernard Cohen. [review]
Of all the talked-about new voices in Australian fiction of the early 1990s, Bernard Cohen’s is one of relatively few that has been regularly heard since. A decade after "Tourism", he’s back with his fourth book and the improbable but apt position of writer-in-residence at Sir John Soane’s Museum in Bloomsbury. Despite the London residence, it’s such American postmodernists as Donald Barthelme or Robert Coover who seem to have influenced Cohen’s writing, which nevertheless is in a distinctly Australian vernacular mode. There is the same interest in the fragment, the narrative shard, and, conversely, a lack of concern about wholeness and traditional completion and, frequently, a preoccupation with fables and archetypal story forms.