Literary roundup: Death by data, and plain old death (carried out by Polish criminals)

Author of Kafka: the Decisive Years, Reiner Stach, has a great though not exactly heartwarming article in the New Statesman on how The Trial seems to relate to many of today’s wonderful extrajudicial tendencies that are coming from the freedom-loving world and that are keeping us so wonderfully safe and secure: “Death by data: how Kafka’s The Trial prefigured the nightmare of the modern surveillance state”. It also does a nice job of cutting through all the usual “Kafkaesque” misconceptions (prophet of the coming Holocaust blah blah blah)… Read it.

Polish crime night

And while the powers that be put billions into filming and fingerprinting crime and terrorism out of existence (except the white-collar variety, of course) how are people to go about having any fun? Has crime really been vanquished from the earth? Luckily, no – there are books, and I’m not talking about American ones with hardened alcoholic detectives named Harry, nor Scandinavian ones with sullen alcoholic detectives, also oddly named Harry, but Polish crime novels with detectives named Maciej, Rudolf and so on, many of whom I’ll bet drink too much if they aren’t out and out alcoholics.

Now to celebrate these great Polish crime novels, many of which are finally getting translated into English, you can attend an evening in London devoted to Polish (literary) crime on January 30 at Belgravia Books featuring crime novelists William Brodrick, Mariusz Czubaj, Anya Lipska, and Joanna Jodełka in a session chaired by journalist Rosie Goldsmith.

Check out all the event information here

Read an excerpt from Mariusz Czubaj’s 21:37 in B O D Y here

Photo – From the cover of Polychrome by Joanna Jodełka/Stork Press

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Categories: Literary Events, News


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