Tag Archives: Franz Kafka

Her Charming Passion: Wendy Lesser’s ‘Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books’

I was a bit suspicious as I approached Wendy Lesser’s Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 212 pages). It’s not that Ms. Lesser—founder and editor of The Threepenny Review, author of nine previous books (including one novel, The Pagoda in the Garden), and a prolific literary critic herself—lacks the credentials to write a long, meditative study of the passion she has made her career. (Quite the contrary; I can imagine few more qualified than her.) Rather, I was worried that, by virtue of her position vis-a-vis books and the Professional Writing Life, such a …Continue reading

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At Odds with the Family: Aurora Theatre Company’s ‘The Metamorphosis’

The most heartbreaking moment in David Farr and Gísli Örn Gardarsson’s theatrical adaptation of The Metamorphosis (at the Aurora Theater, in its first professional American production) is at the beginning, when Gregor’s sister Grete (Megan Trout) discovers that Gregor’s shoes are still on the carpet. It is past seven o’ clock; Gregor should be long gone to work. The family stops short; they had just finished setting three tidy places for breakfast. They stare at the shoes in shared astonishment, bordering on horror. Even before Gregor’s repulsive transformation, his family is accustomed to eating without him. They are happiest when …Continue reading

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