Sorry about the gap on this blog which was due to internet problems. (How weird is that, not to be blogging?)
A couple of myths being shattered in the pages of The Guardian - firstly, the idea that the fact that we buy so many books means that we're all committed and omnivorous readers. Of the nine authors interviewed, though, only two, Lionel Shriver and Alain de Botton, confess as I do that it is writing their own work which sometimes makes it hard for them to read the work of others.
And I feel totally vindicated today by a 'Week in Books' piece by Kafka scholar James Hawes exposing the author as not 'the middle-European Nostradamus, almost unknown in his lifetime, trapped in a dead-end job, whose mysterious, endlessly interpretable works somehow foresaw the Holocaust (and so on)' but 'a millionaire's son ... a writer backed by an influential clique ... who had no more inkling of the Holocaust than anyone else' and thus whose writing was not 'the gloomy stuff we Anglo-Saxons received via post Auschwitz French existentialists, but wonderful black comedies written by a man soaked in the writings of his predecessors and of his own day'. Vindicated because the last time I read Metamorphosis I laughed out loud: Gregor the dung beetle stuck up in his room was the spitting image of a teenager not too many miles from under my own nose.
(Sorry, but the search on the Guardian site gives up on me when I look for the link.)