Where I'm Reading From
The Changing World of BooksBook - 2015
Why do we need fiction? Why do books need to be printed on paper, copyrighted, read to the finish? Why should a group of aging Swedish men determine what "world" literature is best? Do books change anything? Did they use to? Do we read to challenge our vision of the world or to confirm it? Has novel writing turned into a job like any other? In Where I'm Reading From, the internationally acclaimed novelist and critic Tim Parks ranges over a lifetime of critical reading--from Leopardi, Dickens and Chekhov, to Woolf, Lawrence and Bernhard, and on to contemporary work by Jonathan Franzen, Peter Stamm, and many others--to overturn many of our long-held assumptions about literature and its purpose. Taking the form of thirty-eight interlocking essays, Where I'm Reading From examines the rise of the "global" novel and the disappearance of literary styles that do not travel; the changing vocation of the writer today; the increasingly paradoxical effects of translation; the shifting expectations we bring to fiction; the growing stasis of literary criticism; and the problematic relationship between writers' lives and their work. In the end Parks wonders whether writers--and readers--can escape the twin pressures of the new global system and the novel that has become its emblematic genre.
Publisher: New York : New York Review Books, 
Characteristics: xiii, 239 pages ; 22 cm