Monday, October 23, 2017

<b>Jonathan Franzen’s <i>The Kraus Project</i></b>

Jonathan Franzen’s The Kraus Project

April 19, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Marion Gabl

Now largely forgotten, Karl Kraus was one of the most incisive and provocative cultural commentators of early twentieth-century Vienna. He's also a literary hero of Jonathan Franzen, one of the most successful American novelists active today. In his ambitious latest book, Franzen sets out to recover the forgotten Kraus for contemporary readers. But his interest isn't simply historical: he also hopes to show that Kraus has a cure for the problems of our postmodern condition. Does he succeed? Marion Gabl reviews the effort.

Bad Math and Poor Eyesight: Reconfiguring Dante’s Hellscape

Bad Math and Poor Eyesight: Reconfiguring Dante’s Hellscape

March 31, 2014 by · 3 Comments 

Arnaud Zimmern
Dante's imagery in the Inferno is haunting. But, for all the care he took in crafting his canti, recent scholarship has revealed errors of scale and proportion in his descriptions of the infernal environs. Was he just a lousy arithmetician? Was he deliberately undermining his narrative with a bit of ironic miscalculation? Or are Dante's apparent mistakes in fact occasions for him to explore a fundamental question about man's redemption?