All of this is surprisingly interesting, even addictive, as has often been pointed out in reviews. But no one can pinpoint precisely why. A striking element in the praise of Knausgaard—and he has garnered almost uniform praise in the English-speaking press—is the recourse to vocabulary not normally considered complimentary. “Boring” comes up an enormous amount.
Whereas the proto–science fiction of a century past (H. G. Wells, Octavia E. Butler, Edgar Rice Burroughs) looked to a bright if complex future, we can now scarcely imagine one that’s not irredeemably awful.
Freedom Forgotten and Remembered. By Helmut Kuhn. University of North Carolina Press. $2.50. The Freedom to Be Free. By James Marshall. The John. Day Company. $2.50. The Machiavellians. By James Burnham. The John Day Company. $2.50.
"IT IS ludic [...]
How New Will the Better World Be? By Carl L. Becker. Alfred A. Knopf. $2.50. Unfinished Business. By Stephen Bonsai. Doubleday, Doran ami Company. $3.00. Victory zvilhout Peace. By Roger Burlingame and Alden Stevens. Harcourt, Brace and Company. $2 [...]
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, by Michael Chabon. HarperCollins, May 2007. $26.95“You haven’t read any Michael Chabon?” said some guy in some bar in New York, in the twilighty summerland before 9/11. I’d landed in the city five min [...]