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When she writes, burn the paper

The most famous critic in the English-speaking literature has remained until today as a private person, almost an Unknown. For 34 years, Michiko Kakutani wrote for the New York Times reviews, and your keen judgment made her the epitome of the critic. Each of you reviewed the book was either a masterpiece or it was garbage – in-between there was little. They never succumbed to the temptation of compromise, or the Mild, strict clarity of your trademark.

she promoted the careers of big names such as David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen, Ian McEwan or Zadie Smith. At the same time they spared no one, least of all the sizes of American literature. In a portrait in "Slate" it means: "When one reads your printed name, you can see smoke from the paper to rise."

Loved by the readers for their fearless judgments, hated by the Victims of your dreaded new York times, the 64 rubbed his-Year-old a reputation, which made it far on America. This is especially because the of criticized her, and in her delicate soul of the injured artist to return the criticism, sometimes prominently. A "One-woman Kamikaze", she said the American writer Norman Mailer, Jonathan Franzen held it to be "the stupidest Person in New York City," and in the "mirror" called the "Marcel Reich-Ranicki in the English-speaking literature".

Among the literati made them unpopular enough to time and again as a figure in their books.

in 1955, as the daughter of a Japanese mathematician and a US-Japanese-mother born, grew up as an only child in New Haven, Connecticut. Later, Kakutani, the Yale University to study literature. After her graduation, she first worked for the "Washington Post" and "Time" as a reporter, before moving in 1979 to the "New York Times". There they took over in 1983, the function of the literary critic, in 1998, she won the Pulitzer prize for criticism.

So famous, she was a critic, so faceless, they remained as Person. Kakutani never occurred to the public, neither in talk shows on literature events. However, they made among the literati unpopular enough to time and again as a figure in their books. In Philip Roth's novel "Sabbath's Theater" is immortalized as Kimiko, Kakizaki, and even in television series such as "Girls" or "Sex and the City", in the latter series, the main character Carry Bradshaw fears, your book could be magnetized "Kakutani" – destroyed – be. What you can achieve as a critic more than if the own Name is the Verb?

In 2017, she resigned unexpectedly as chief critic and published last summer, her first book, "death of truth – notes to the falsehood in the age of Donald Trump," which is now published in English. For the first time, you said in longer Interviews. But those who hoped to obtain from it information about the Person Kakutani will be disappointed. Also in her Interviews she remains strictly on-topic, which is close to her heart: that the presidential Trump America is at risk and the country needs to find as a democracy out of its crisis. Since you should also give your critics right.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 02.05.2019, 21:10 Uhr

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