The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘National Book Critic Circle Award’

Congratulations to Jonathan Franzen

January 13, 2014 | by

Oskar Kokoschka's 1925 portrait of Karl Kraus. Oil on canvas, 65 x 100 cm, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna.

Oskar Kokoschka’s 1925 portrait of Karl Kraus. Oil on canvas, 65 x 100 cm, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna.

The Kraus Project, Jonathan Franzen’s translation of three essays by the late Austrian writer Karl Kraus, has been nominated for a National Book Critics Circle award in criticism. An excerpt from the book, “Against Heine,” appeared in our Fall 2013 issue, and several excerpts of that excerpt—meta-excerpts, if you will—made their way here to the Daily. Winners will be announced on March 13; until then, to prevent the suspense from killing, maiming, or even laying a finger on you, breathe deeply and read Franzen’s expansive notes on “the anal-retentive preciousness” of John Updike’s prose; the externalities of Salinger’s appeal to young readers; the difficulties of translating German travel humor; and the proper way to inflect harsh. And keep your fingers crossed!



The Anti-Café, and Other News

January 13, 2014 | by


Are its days numbered? Photo: Airair, via Wikimedia Commons.



Reading ‘House of Holes’ in Public

September 28, 2011 | by

I spent a recent morning at a brightly painted, high-ceilinged coffee shop that serves a modest variety of salads and panini, nursing a pot of white tea and reading a book by the founder of the American Newspaper Repository which featured, in its opening chapters, a severed arm stimulating a college student’s vagina to the point of orgasm, a large Filipino masseuse squeezing fruit juice into an art critic’s anus, an amiable topless woman aggressively sniffing a golfer’s scrotum, and the Russian composers Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Borodin ejaculating onto the feet of a soup-kitchen volunteer. At the table to my left, a man and a woman were holding a conversation in broken French about deep-sea fishing. Most of the people in the coffee shop had MacBooks. “He wanted them all to be on their knees on couches and chairs with their asses up and ready,” I read, “and their slippy sloppy fuckfountains on display. He’d walk in front of them holding his generous kindly forgiving dick, saying, ‘Do you want this ham steak of a Dr. Dick that’s so stuffed with spunk that I’m ready to blow this swollen sackload all over you?’ And they’d all say, ‘Yes Mr. Fuckwizard, we want that fully spunkloaded meatloaf of a ham steak of a dick.’” I was hoping to meet a girl. Read More »