Convergent Publications

Nearly every year it seems that there are subjects, unlikely in books of fiction, which are represented by two or more major publications.  The one I think of off-hand (and about which one of the participants, David Lodge, has written a book) is the publication of two or three major novels concerning the career of Henry James a couple years back (most notably Colm Toibin's The Master and David Lodge's Author, Author--I don't know the timing of Cynthia Ozick's Dictation).  This year it seems that it is the Greek Mythological Cycle that is getting the major attention.  I'm presently reading Zachary Mason's The Lost Books of the Odyssey with David Malouf's Ransom and John Banville's The Infinities on deck.  Mason reflects on incidents in both the Iliad and the Odyssey while Malouf meditates on the ransoming of Hector's body from vengeful Achilles.

I wonder how this thing happens.  Perhaps it is inevitable with so many books published, but it does seem like an interesting and odd undercurrent in publication.


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