Posts Tagged: Tim Parks

Surviving Success

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Joyce relentlessly made things more and more difficult for readers, as if success actually prevented him from producing more of the same, so determined was he to be nobody’s servant. Hence the lucid and fluent Dubliners becomes the more difficult Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, then the far more difficult Ulysses, packed […]

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What’s New?

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For the New York Review of Books, Tim Parks writes about why we should read new books, when there’s so many “classics…available at knockdown prices”: As a reviewer of books she would often pan, Virginia Woolf thought one of the pleasures of reading contemporary novels was that they forced you to exercise your judgment. There […]

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One and The Same

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Nosy readers often delight in sleuthing out the parallels between an author’s work and their life, as if an identifiable autobiographical source might change the meaning behind the words. So what happens when authors eliminate the boundary altogether? By calling these books novels you might say that Coetzee is holding onto a fig leaf. More […]

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Weekly Geekery

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Do video games undermine empathy? Or are they just a comfortable scapegoat for a violent culture? Scientists search for an evolutionary reason for art. Spoiler alert: The answer is men and sex. How does widespread surveillance effect art and free expression? The American Reader discusses these questions and more. Tim Parks thinks the Internet is […]

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“The Woes of the Wannabe”

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The prospect of publication, the urgent need, as they see it, to publish as soon as possible, colors everything [my students] do….It will be hard for those who have never suffered this obsession to appreciate how all-conditioning and all-consuming it can be. Why are unpublished writers mocked and published writers respected, even by people who […]

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Trapped Inside the Novel

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My problem with the grand traditional novel—or rather traditional narrative in general, short stories included—is the vision of character, the constant reinforcement of a fictional selfhood that accumulates meaning through suffering and the overcoming of suffering. At once a palace built of words and a trajectory propelled by syntax, the self connects effortlessly with the […]

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Why We Write About What We Write About

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At the New York Review of Books‘s blog, Tim Parks explores how authors might subconsciously get inspiration for their novels from unresolved personal conflicts. Specifically, he reflects on the lives of Chekhov and Faulkner, making connections between their real-life hardships and the perils confronted by the protagonists in their work. This is congruent to Joan Didion’s thoughts […]

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The Boring, Unplayful, Unoriginal Global Novel

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“What are the consequences for literature? From the moment an author perceives his ultimate audience as international rather than national, the nature of his writing is bound to change. In particular one notes a tendency to remove obstacles to international comprehension. . . “More importantly the language is kept simple. Kazuo Ishiguro has spoken of […]

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