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Charles Baxter

Charles Baxter is the author of eleven books of fiction and two books of criticism. He lives in Minneapolis.

Sublime Boredom and the Drowsy Reader

I can’t remember who first observed that Kafka’s novel The Castle was capable of inducing an effect of “sublime boredom,” but many other novels and stories in the 19th and 20th centuries have evoked a curious condition that lies somewhere between consciousness and sleep, a twilight state in which we are only half-awake and dimly conscious of what is happening, or, more often, not happening, on the page.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2020

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