The other criticism expressed about Hollinghurst's writing is that it lacks warmth, that his characters are essentially unsympathetic, even unlikable. It's a judgment that serves to reduce the novel to a personality contest. What might be fairer to say is that Hollinghurst does not conceal the less appealing human qualities – vanity, selfishness, jealousy – and nor does he seek to delineate his characters according to their distribution. "I don't make moral judgments," he has said. "I prefer to let things reverberate with their own ironies and implications."
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Thanks to Terry for pointing out this article in the Observer about Alan Hollinghurst, occasioned by the publication of his fifth novel The Stranger's Child. The following paragraph is so pertinent to the three dicussions we've had about him that I quote it in full: