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41 False Starts

Janet Malcolm masterfully records the process of creation

By David Wolf   August 2013

41 False Starts by Janet Malcolm (Granta, £20)

To read Janet Malcolm is to realise how timid most writers are by comparison. The first piece in 41 False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers, is a long profile of the painter David Salle. Describing two years of interviews she conducted with Salle in order to write the essay, Malcolm says casually, “I did not find what he said about his work interesting (I have never found anything any artist has said about his work interesting).” Even so, the essay itself…

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