Early in Diary of the Fall, the Brazilian writer Michel Laub’s first novel to be translated into English, the first-person narrator expresses a sense of redundancy in adding to the mountain of textual material on Auschwitz – but add he must, he says, because the subject is ‘essential if I am to talk about my grandfather and, therefore, about my father and, therefore, about myself’. The long shadow of the Holocaust falls over three generations of a Brazilian family but not in the way one might imagine. The only straightforward Holocaust element in the story is that the narrator’s grandfather survived Auschwitz and arrived in Porto Alegre in Brazil in 1945. Beyond that, the issue is at once burningly central and tangential, a feat of apparent paradox effected and held together with a poise that can only be called rigorous.
Follow Literary Review on Twitter
'Sabotage became so prevalent that bankers even created their own terms – ‘asymmetric information’, ‘lack of financial literacy’, ‘the principal-agent dilemma’ – to describe how they might turn a dime from customers’ gullibility or ignorance.'
'Unlike much that was extracted from India, these paintings were not plunder, and those who created them were properly remunerated and often received due credit.'
@PParkerWriting on 'Forgotten Masters: Indian Painting for the East India Company'.
‘"I feel", Lowell told Hardwick ... "as if I were pulled apart and thinning into mist, or rather being torn apart and still preferring that state to making a decision."'
Richard Davenport-Hines on the letters of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Hardwick.