Readings — From the September 2013 issue

A Different Kind of Father

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By Jonathan Franzen, from a footnote to his translation of “Nestroy and Posterity,” a 1912 essay by the Austrian satirist, playwright, poet, aphorist, and critic Karl Kraus (1874–1936). In the essay “Heine and the Consequences,” Kraus attacks his nineteenth-century predecessor Heinrich Heine, accusing him of having “loosened the corsets of the German language”; in “Nestroy and Posterity,” Kraus champions Johann Nestroy (1801–1862), a Viennese singer, actor, and comic playwright. The Kraus Project, a collection of Kraus’s essays, translated from the German and annotated by Franzen, will be published next month by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Franzen is the author, most recently, of Freedom and Farther Away: Essays.

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