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  1. Tom McCarthy: C-ing is believing

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    On Monday night I stared at a bald scalp for an hour. The event was a sell out—about 50 people, primarily bespectacled, cardigan-wearing males in their 20s, packed into the London Review Bookshop to hear Tom McCarthy talk about his new novel, C—currently 2-1 favourite to win this year’s Booker...
  2. The fine art of the literary prize

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    As the judges for the 2009 Booker prize are announced, it’s time, once again, to ponder the merits of the swelling class of event to which it belongs—the modern literary award. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing in an essay for our latest edition. I’m fascinated by the whole...
  3. Divine comedy

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    The Greeks understood that comedy (the gods' view of life) is superior to tragedy (the merely human). But since the middle ages, western culture has overvalued the tragic and undervalued the comic. This is why fiction today is so full of anxiety and suffering. It's time writers got back to the serious business of making us laugh


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