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Arthur Eloesser in B O D Y

“The Berliner wants to be loved now too, and would gladly trade the familiar admiration of serious folk for the affections of the international idlers’ colony that seeks, in London and especially in Paris, a climate for pleasures high and low. I find this pandering and chasing after people undignified, and anyway it leads to […]

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Marek Krajewski’s Dark Conjuring Act

This week’s Friday Pick in B O D Y: “Open the pages of one of Marek Krajewski’s Eberhard Mock novels and you plunge into a unique and haunting world. It is a world pressed between the oppressive shadows of the two World Wars and seemingly losing its mind because of it; a world of secret […]

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The Laboratory: Reading the Eastern Bloc

When I went to see Jiří Hájíček talk about his novel Rustic Baroque (Selský baroko) at Prague’s American Center in mid-January he made an obvious but still very interesting point about what distinguishes the English-language translation of the book from the other translations that have come out so far. He said that not only for […]

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Erwin Stein, A Webern, A Schönberg, Amsterdam 1914

Deaths of the Artists: Anton Webern in Twelve Tones

An essay on the death, music and aesthetic of the composer Anton Webern at Prague’s B O D Y. “Anton Webern was killed on September 15, 1945 in Mittersill, Austria. For a long time no one knew the exact circumstances of the great composer’s death and the musical world more or less accepted the mystery. […]

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Prague German Writers: Franz Werfel

And Werfel’s friendship with another Prague German writer named Franz From the time his first book of poetry Friend of the World was published to great success and acclaim when he was 21 until his death 34 years later in exile in Los Angeles, Franz Werfel didn’t need to have his name brought to readers’ […]

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Prague German Writers: German Literature Month

An introductory guest post at Beauty is a Sleeping Cat November is German Literature Month and there has already been a lot going on at blogs such as Beauty is a Sleeping Cat. The first part of my own contribution went up as a guest post on that excellent blog as an introduction to the […]

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The _____ generation: on American novelists and theory

“Why don’t you all f-fade away And don’t try to dig what we all s-s-say I’m not trying to cause a big s-s-sensation I’m just talkin’ ’bout my g-g-g-generation” – The Who, “My Generation” n+1 magazine has an assessment of the influence of critical theory on American novelists who came of age in the 80s, […]

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Reading Russia: yesterday and today, true and false

At Russia Beyond the Headlines novelist Zakhar Prilepin has written a broadside against the neglect of contemporary Russian literature, ongoing simplifications of Russia he sees coming from the West, and makes a case for a non-parodic, traditional, conservative form of Russian writing as it existed in the time of Tolstoy and Chekhov. Well, he is […]

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Greetings from Gloomy Pre-Fascist Prague

In the latest issue of The Literary Review Alex Stein has an interview with Egyptian poet Yahia Lababidi that orbits around the figures of Georges Bataille, Baudelaire and Kafka. The first notable thing about this piece is that Stein has opted to rewrite some of Lababidi’s words to, as he states at the outset, “make […]

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The Literary Enthusiasm Debate

The literary blogosphere has been putting on its collective gas mask, or surgical mask, or whatever kind of mask protects us against epidemics. Jacob Silverman’s article “Against Enthusiasm” deriding the “epidemic of niceness in online book culture” at Slate has been getting around, presumably read, probably even debated a bit. It’s example of everyone’s friend, […]

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