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In Praise of 'Old European' Literature


"[T]hey write as survivors of a lost world, and in their books that world comes to life in all its terrible splendor."


March 12, 2003
— In his editorial in the Wall Street Journal, critic and commentator Terry Teachout finds that contemporary American "major writers tend to be chronically verbose, stylistically ostentatious and agonizingly earnest (though the flippant Irony Lite of Generation X now appears to have replaced earnestness as the style du jour)."


In contrast, when he's cajoled into reading Sándor Márai's Embers, originally published in Hungary in 1942, Teacherout discovers the joys of reading 'old Eurpeans' whose work is "wholly unlike most present-day American literary fiction."


Read Terry Teachout's essay in the Wall Street Journal.



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