Metcalf on Smith

So Metcalf, no fan of Hornby, doesn't seem to like Zadie Smith much either, or at least her latest. I am still weirdly excited to read it. It just sounds, like White Teeth, sort of big -- lots of characters and ideas and stuff, and those kind of books are always more enjoyable than any other kind, I think.

Metcalf's review also contains maybe the best and most elegant description of the challenge of writing fiction that I've ever seen. Virgina Woolf said that E.M. Forster's problem was:

"How to connect the actual thing with the meaning of the thing and to carry the reader's mind across the chasm which divides the two without spilling a single drop of its belief."

Brilliant huh?