Even Worse Than We Thought

Julian Barnes looks at a new book about the Holocaust: ‘Thomas Mann believed that all good stories are slow stories. He was doubtless thinking of Wagner, his greatest literary influence—but also of Thomas Mann. And in the best hands, slowness can feel the exact speed necessary for truthfulness. In less sure hands, it can produce a kind of maximalist minimalism: see Karl Ove Knausgaard. But Mann’s dictum also applies to other narrative forms, like the documentary film.’

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