© Ernie Enkelaar

Tim Parks

Tim Parks is an English novelist, literary critic and translator of Italian literature. He is one of the most important critics of Western literature and in his works discusses the position of the novel and translating fiction. His book Translating Style belongs tot the canon of translation studies. Parks’ online blogs on writing, reading and translating for the New York Review of Books are collected in Where I’m Reading From. The Changing World of the Book. In addition to his translations and literary critique Parks wrote successful books about Italy, where he’s been living and working for the past thirty years.

During the ILFU Tim Parks will discuss literary translations and will give a lecture on his new book The Novel, a Survival Skill which has been translated into Dutch by Corine Kisling and appears with de Arbeiderspers.

About The Novel, a Survival Skill
In The Novel, a Survival Skill Parks shows his radical, innovative understanding of literature, which undermines the established literary criteria. He unveils the devotion with which the novel is traditionally discussed. He poses the question whether the Western obsession with long prose narrations is at least a bit perverted and unhealthy.

Parks is convinced that the content, style, the type of story and the way in which it is told together form the survival skill that the author develops as a reaction on the tensions in his or her personal life. The Novel, a Survival Skill is a biography of writing. It’s an ambitious work in which Parks also pleads that a book is dependent of the life of the reader. The reader reacts during the reading of a novel in a similar way as during a personal meeting – he tries to comprehend the author.

About Tim Parks
Tim Parks (1954) studied at Cambridge and Harvard. He’s been living in Italy for thirty years, at the moment in Milan. He worked out his often estranging experiences as an Englishman in Italy into several successful novels and autobiographical stories like Italian Neighbours (1992) and An Italian Education (1996). With the novel Europe he was nominated for the Booker Prize, Destiny and Judge Savage both reached the long list. In the successful book Teach Us to Sit Still the academic Parks took a spiritual path. In June 2013 the travel book Italian Ways was published, his first book on Italy in ten years. Recently his novel Painting Death and Where I’m Reading From, in which Parks analyses why we read what we read. His most recent novel is titled Thomas & Mary and is published in the Netherlands with de Arbeiderspers.

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