The Kraus Project

By Jonathan Franzen

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

A hundred years ago, the Viennese satirist Karl Kraus was among the most penetrating and prophetic writers in Europe: a relentless critic of the popular media’s manipulation of reality, the dehumanizing machinery of technology and consumerism, and the jingoistic rhetoric of a fading empire. But even though his followers included Franz Kafka and Walter Benjamin, he remained something of a lonely prophet, and few people today are familiar with his work. Thankfully, Jonathan Franzen is one of them.

In ‘The Kraus Project’, Franzen not only presents and annotates his definitive new translations of Kraus, with supplementary notes from the Kraus scholar Paul Reitter and the Austrian writer Daniel Kehlmann. In Franzen Kraus has found his match: a novelist unafraid to voice unpopular opinions strongly, a critic capable of untangling Kraus’s often dense arguments.

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

Format: ebook
Release Date: 01 Oct 2013
Pages: None
ISBN: 978-0-00-751745-9
Jonathan Franzen was born in 1959. He has lived in Boston, Spain, New York, Colorado Springs and Philadelphia. His novels are ‘The Twenty-Seventh City’, ‘Strong Motion’, ‘The Corrections’ and ‘Freedom’. He is also the author of two collections of non-fiction, ‘How To Be Alone’ and ‘Farther Away’ and ‘The Discomfort Zone’, a memoir. His fiction and non-fiction appear frequently in the ‘New Yorker’ and ‘Harper’s’, and he was named one of the best American novelists under forty by ‘Granta’ and the ‘New Yorker’. He lives in New York City.

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