03 May 2012

Marías on Lampedusa's The Leopard

There is no such thing as the indispensable book or author, and the world would be exactly the same if Kafka, Proust, Faulkner, Mann, Nabokov and Borges had never existed. It might not be quite the same if none of them had existed, but the non-existence of just one of them would certainly not have affected the whole. That is why it is so tempting – an easy temptation if you like – to think that the representative twentieth-century novel must be the one that very nearly didn’t exist, the one that nobody would have missed ...

--For the 23rd issue of Five Dials, an essay by Javier Marías on an almost non-novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.
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