Etikettarkiv: Cynthia Ozick

litterära termer 19: kafkaartad

With its echo of “grotesque,” the ubiquitous term ‘Kafkaesque’ has long been frozen into permanence, both in the dictionary and in the most commonplace vernacular. Comparative and allusive, it has by now escaped the body of work it is meant to evoke. To say that such-and-such a circumstance is ‘Kafkaesque’ is to admit to the denigration of an imagination that has burned a hole in what we take to be modernism—even in what we take to be the ordinary fabric and intent of language. Nothing is like ‘The Hunger Artist.’ Nothing is like ‘The Metamorphosis.’”

Citerat ur ”How Kafka Actually Lived” av Cynthia Ozick i New Republic, 11 april 2014

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En novell varje kväll 68: ”In the Reign of Harad IV” av Steven Millhauser

Det här är en väldigt typisk inledning på en novell av Steven Millhauser, en av de riktigt stora amerikanska novellisterna: ”In the reign of Harad IV there lived at court a maker of miniatures, who was celebrated for the uncanny perfection of his work. Not only were the objects of his strenuous art pleasing to look at but the pleasure and astonishment increased as the observer, bending closer, saw that a passionate care had been lavished on the smallest and least visible details. It was said that no matter how closely you examined one of the Master’s little pieces you always discovered some further wonder.”

Millhausers noveller är fulla av miniatyrister och hantverksskickliga personer som driver sin konst till dess perfektionistiska ytterlighet. Naturligtvis kan man tolka novellen som att den också handlar om skrivandet, eller alla konstnärliga verksamheter. Läs ”In the reign of Harad IV” i New Yorker. Lyssna på ”In the reign of Harad IV” i New Yorker och uppläsaren Cynthia Ozicks och Deborah Treismans avslutande diskussion kring novellen.

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