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Books

539 STASHED IDEAS

Inspired by the works of Laurence Sterne, with their digressive and colloquial style, de Maistre decided to make the most of his sentence by recording an exploration of the room as a travel journal. Like a modern teenager cataloguing their daily routine in a series of finely-tuned Instagram posts, de Maistre’s book imbues the tour of his chamber with great mythology and grand scale. As he wanders the few steps that it takes to circumnavigate the space, his mind spins off into the ether. 

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The editor of the New York Times Book Review Pamela Paul offers dismayed lamentations on all that is being lost to the internet.

In her latest, Paul analyzes the implications of the internet age, deploying “my grumpy-old-man thoughts and wary skepticism, lashed through with a contrary streak of optimism, accumulated over years of observing the cul­ture and covering its manifestations and effects.” 

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Following a literary itinerary from London to Venice, Tehran and points beyond, and via authors from Woolf and Dante to Nobel Prize-winners Orhan Pamuk, Wole Soyinka, Mo Yan, and Olga Tokarczuk, he explores how these works have shaped our idea of the world, and the ways in which the world bleeds into literature.

To chart the expansive landscape of world literature today, Damrosch explores how writers live in two very different worlds: the world of their personal experience and the world of books that have enabled great writers to give shape and meaning to their lives.

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