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Does the Novel Have a Future? Yes, and it has a past too

A response to Tao Lin’s article in the New York Observer. Every so often the “Novel” is brought out on the stage of a newspaper, magazine or manifesto like a patient aboutto go under the knife in an operating theater. “Does the Novel Have a Future?” reads the headline of Taiwanese-American writer Tao Lin’s latest […]

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The Kafka Bubble

The 20th century is often justifiably referred to as a bloodbath. The 21st century is bloody too, but might more accurately be described as a bubble bath. It was ushered in following the bursting of the dot-com bubble, and since then has experienced a housing bubble, a commodities bubble and almost every kind of financial, […]

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The Uses of Kafka

Franz Kafka never had the fortune, whether good or bad, of being just a writer. During his lifetime he hardly published anything and had a firm principle against making his living with his pen. After his death it became even worse. He went from being a one-man Jewish oracle to a 20th Century prophet of […]

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On the non-existence of Central European literature

Central European literary life A recurring obstacle to writing about Central European literature is the fact that it apparently doesn’t exist. As recently as this year, when Penguin UK brought out its series of Central European Classics, British novelist Adam Thirlwell began his overview of the collection by writing “I can put it like this. […]

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