Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The End(s) of Words: Raymond Federman, literary luminary, passes

Raymond Federman, a French-born scholar, critic and avant-garde novelist whose work sought to straddle the boundary between fiction and reality — and in so doing to emphasize the inadequacy of language to capture either one completely — died on Oct. 6 in San Diego.

“I do not think that my life and history are the sources of my fiction, but that in fact my fiction is what invents my life and history,” Federman wrote. “In other words, the stories I write are my life.”

But the larger point of Mr. Federman’s difficult, sometimes profuse style seemed to be this: However many words a writer might bring to bear on his subject, there are some subjects that language is ultimately powerless to describe.

Read The New York Times obituary in full - here.

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