The Kraus Project

Jonathan Franzen

A great American writer’s confrontation with a great European critic – a personal and intellectual awakening.

Karl Kraus: satirist. Controversialist. Forgotten voice of the early twentieth century.

Jonathan Franzen: bestseller. Contrarian. One of the greatest novelists working today.

Recalling his student days, the celebrated author of ‘The Corrections’ and ‘Freedom’ recounts his discovery of Kraus and presents his own translations and annotations of the philosopher’s most famous essays.

A pioneer of self-publishing, Kraus brilliantly attacked the mass media and the dehumanizing machinery of technology and capitalism. A notoriously difficult writer, Kraus has met his match in Franzen: a popular novelist unafraid to voice unpopular opinions. In the extensive footnotes Franzen explains why Kraus is relevant today – while also revealing his own intellectual and personal preoccupations.

Painstakingly wrought, strikingly original, ‘The Kraus Project’ is a feast of thought and literature.

Reviews of The Kraus Project

    • From the reviews of The Kraus Project:
    • ‘Franzen is still saying something important. Also Kraus can be a joy … you can understand why Franzen likes him, and he sees a dearth of such elegance today’ Sunday Times
    • ‘The Kraus Project is tremendously readable and is refreshingly sceptical of the cult of digital cool. Franzen’s prose has an appealing briskness and polemical force, quite different in style from the high burnish of his long, deliberative, multi-layered literary novels … as an exercise in controlled rage and as a celebration of and introduction to Karl Kraus it works just so’ Financial Times