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The Fog of History

Fredric Jameson: On Olga Tokarczuk, 24 March 2022

The Books of Jacob 
by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Jennifer Croft.
Fitzcarraldo, 892 pp., £20, November 2021, 978 1 910695 59 3
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... from right to left: could you get a feel for it by numbering the pages of a book backwards, as in Olga Tokarczuk’s The Books of Jacob? At least, you might think, you would know how many pages you had left to read without having to subtract; but there you would be wrong, as doing this has the effect of eliminating the very idea of a last page, which has ...


Adam Mars-Jones: Olga Tokarczuk, 5 October 2017

by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Jennifer Croft.
Fitzcarraldo, 400 pp., £12.99, May 2017, 978 1 910695 43 2
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... Olga Tokarczuk’s​ novel Flights could almost be an inventory of the ways narrative can serve a writer short of, and beyond, telling a story. The book’s prose is a lucid medium in which narrative crystals grow to an ideal size, independent structures not disturbing the balance of the whole. Thirty pages seems to be the maximum dimension for her purposes – only one story element goes beyond that length, and is split in two, with one instalment in each half of the book ...

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