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The Importance of Circumstantial Detail

In his talk with Karl Ove Knaus­gaard at a Guardian Live Book event ear­li­er this year, inter­view­er John Mul­lan elab­o­rates on «the impor­tance of cir­cum­stan­tial detail» in lit­er­a­ture – not just in Knausgaard’s auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal series of nov­els, but ever since the incep­tion of the British nov­el in the 18th cen­tu­ry. To con­jure up and cre­ate pres­ence Knaus­gaard resorts to …

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Embarras de richesse

The more I think and write about Michael Chabon’s won­der­ful nov­el Won­der Boys and the movie by the same title, the more I feel infect­ed and, for that mat­ter, inflict­ed by his protagonist’s embar­ras de richesse – flood­ed with grandiose ideas, tren­chant quotes and high­fa­lutin inten­tions. «The only part of my world that car­ried on, …

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