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Julian Loose

12 May 1994
Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow 
by Peter Høeg, translated by F. David.
Harvill, 412 pp., £9.99, September 1993, 0 00 271334 9
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... are routinely deemed ‘chilling’, as though our feelings of fear and cold are in some way interchangeable. Yet outlandishly low temperatures alone cannot account for the tremendous success of PeterHøeg’s Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, even if it does open with a bleak Copenhagen December, and go on to describe a still colder place – Greenland, covered by an icecap up to a mile thick ...

Bottoms Again

Jerry Fodor

19 June 1997
The Woman and the Ape 
by Peter Høeg, translated by Barbara Haveland.
Harvill, 229 pp., £15.99, January 1997, 1 86046 254 5
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Great Apes 
by Will Self.
Bloomsbury, 404 pp., £14.99, May 1997, 0 7475 2987 6
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... primates will supply the required pivot. The Woman and the Ape looks up to them for moral edification; Great Apes looks down on them for comic relief. Each is, in its own way, amply unsuccessful. PeterHøeg’s Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow made a stir a couple of years ago. Its plot was muddled, but it did have an ingratiating heroine and lots of ethnic local colour; and things happened too ...

Proust? Ha!

Michael Hofmann

21 August 1997
A Book of Memories 
by Péter Nádas, translated by Ivan Sanders and Imre Goldstein.
Cape, 706 pp., £16.99, August 1997, 9780224035248
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... cornerstone to a decorative pillar to a perplexing functionless stump. It’s produced and consumed in a bodiless way, as though it came out of some (English-language) test-tube: people don’t read Høeg out of an engagement with Denmark, or Gaarder to see what the writers in Norway are doing these days. There is something resolutely and manufacturedly singular about the books that are translated ...

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