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Thomas Karshan

Thomas Karshan is writing a PhD thesis on Nabokov at St Edmund Hall, Oxford.

John Updike

Thomas Karshan, 31 March 2005

Minds have been made up about John Updike. A typical review will begin by grudgingly acknowledging the brilliance of his ‘style’ – as if Updike’s style were a set of dainty curlicues, and not his manner of thought – before complaining about his misogyny, his conservatism, his theological bad faith, the gratuitousness of his language. To Harold Bloom, Updike is...

Nicholson Baker

Thomas Karshan, 24 July 2003

Howie, the protagonist of Nicholson Baker’s first novel, The Mezzanine (1988), asks whether our ‘disorganised do-it-yourself evening life’ can ‘really be the same as the clean, noble, Pendaflex life we lead in office buildings’. After all the ‘wealth and pomp’ of the office, ‘we return home every evening and stand sweating in front of a chest of...

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