Tag Archives: fiasco

Fiasco by Imre Kertész

Michael Orthofer keeps raving (for instance) about how great Fiasco by Imre Kertész book is. Adam Kirsch reviews in Tablet:

It is only now, with the publication of Fiasco (Melville House, $18.95), that we have the book that came in between, the second volume in the trilogy. If Fatelessness was written with a bright mock-naivety that led to comparisons with Candide, and Kaddish employed the harsh comic rant of Thomas Bernhard, then the presiding ghosts of Fiasco are clearly Beckett and Kafka, those 20th-century masters of confusion and despair.

In fact, they divide the novel between them quite neatly. The first third of Fiasco presents us with a middle-aged writer who is clearly Kertész, though he is referred to, with a combination of intimacy and disdain, only as “the old boy.” Like Kertész, the old boy is a writer and translator whose life work was an autobiographical novel about the Holocaust, which took him a decade to write and which was initially turned down by publishers. Now he is searching for a subject for another book, not because he really wants to write one, but because he has become a professional writer, more or less by accident . . .

It does sound like my sort of thing. Maybe I’ll find some time for the copy Melville House sent me . . .


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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