The [Insert Superlative Here] Books of 2011: My Year in Reading

I recently, and much belatedly, got around to reading Northrop Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism. It’s brilliant—not a word I use easily—and really deserves its own post, but there is a point on which Frye and I disagree, in practice if not in theory.  “The demonstrable value-judgement,” he claims in his introduction, “is the donkey’s carrot [...]

Irmgard Keun Comes Back to Life

There is no shortage of literature about World War II, about Nazis, about the Holocaust, but German novels overtly critical of Nazism written in the 1930s are—for obvious reasons—hard to come by.  Until I recently read After Midnight by Irmgard Keun, I’d have been hard-pressed to come up with an example.
After Midnight is a slender [...]

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