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Will Self’s novel “Phone” is a charming, slapstick techno-thriller

And with it, Self guns for literary immortality

By Ian Sansom   July 2017

Phone by Will Self (Viking, £18.99)

“Modern authorship,” according to William Hazlitt in his Lectures on the Dramatic Literature of the Age of Elizabeth, “is become a species of stenography: we continue even to read by proxy. We skim the cream of prose without any trouble; we get at the quintessence of poetry without loss of time. The staple commodity, the coarse, heavy, dirty, unwieldy bullion of books is driven out of the market of learning, and the intercourse of the literary world is carried on, and the credit of the…

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