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Life and WorkWriters, Readers, and the Conversations between Them$
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Tim Parks

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300215366

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300215366.001.0001

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Peter Stamm

Peter Stamm

(p.206) Peter Stamm
Life and Work

Tim Parks

Yale University Press

This chapter examines Peter Stamm's writing style by focusing on his two novels, On a Day Like This and Seven Years. Stamm's daunting project is to entertain us with an ordinary emptiness, lives without coherence or direction, stories that never take off, a style that shuns the emphatic or any local intensity of evocation, emotion, or climax. As we turn the opening pages of Stamm's stories, we have the impression of a novelist whose main resource is to describe, with quiet patience, a reality we can't help but recognize. Only as we venture further do we become aware how subversive Stamm is of the way we see novels and indeed life, and only as we approach the end of the tale do we understand that he is making fun of the way we insist on thinking about life in terms of the novels we have read. Stamm is one of a growing group of authors who, whether consciously or otherwise, have evolved styles to suit the requirements of a global literary market.

Keywords:   style, Peter Stamm, novels, On a Day Like This, Seven Years, life, authors, literary market

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