Tags » Tim Parks

No such thing as a free ride?

The organisers of this week’s Oxford Literary Festival had declared Tuesday to be Italy day so how could I resist? The English have a tendency to view Italy through rose-tinted glasses, seeing it as a romantic, carefree place where the sun always shines, the food is always good, and the trains run on time. 719 more words


Tim Parks, “Literature Without Style,” The New York Review of Books 7 November 2013

… What I’m getting at is that style is predicated on a strict relation to a specific readership and the more that readership is diluted or extended, particularly if it includes foreign-language readers, the more difficult it is for a text of any stylistic density to be successful. 272 more words

Phantom Books

Woorden zaaien, stilte oogst -24 oktober 2012


Wanneer was ú nog eens op een plaats waar het stil was – echt, helemaal stil? Lang geleden? Kristien Bonneure en gelijkgestemden ijveren voor de zeldzame kwaliteit die stilte geworden is. 699 more words

Tekstjes En Prentjes Van Kristien

Hagiography as Biography: Turning Writers into Saints

Tim Parks wonders why biographies of writers flirt with hagiograpy, why they are so blind to their subjects’ faults:

With only the rarest of exceptions…each author is presented as simply the most gifted and well-meaning of writers, while their behavior, however problematic and possibly outrageous…is invariably described in a flattering light…special pleading is everywhere evident, as if biographers were afraid that the work might be diminished by a life that was less than noble or not essentially directed toward a lofty cause. 435 more words