Discoveries: Who are the Campbells? | Granta Magazine

Discoveries: Who are the Campbells?

Our latest discoveries from the literary internet, from the new selfishness epidemic to artistic theft.

‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.’ – Marcel Proust


  • During an interview with the Paris Review, Borges is interrupted repeatedly by a maid announcing that a Señor Campbell is waiting for him. Each time, Borges responds by shouting ‘The Campbells are coming!’ and refuses to budge. Who the Campbells are remains unsolved. Jorge Luis Borges, The Art of Fiction No.39 · Paris Review


  • Tom Wolfe named the seventies ‘The Me Decade’, diagnosing a new epidemic of selfishness. Forty years later, Kristin Dombek believes the virus has reached dramatic new dimensions: ‘We live in a time rampant with narcissisms,’ she writes, ‘full of contagious emptiness.’ · New York Times magazine and n+1


  • Did Saki influence Dahl, or did Dahl plagiarise Saki? Decades before Roald Dahl penned his classic children’s book, a precocious little girl called Matilda appears in Saki’s 1914 story The Boar-Pig’. Katherine Rundell asks, where is the line between influence and theft? · LRB



  • Is plot as important as we think? And what kinds of plots capture our contemporary imagination? ‘Many revolutions have tried to put plot in its grave and replace it with intellectual or aesthetic dazzle, but it always returns zombielike’, writes Christian Lorentzen · Vulture


  • ‘If home was my mother’s novel, then we were its created characters, essential but unfree.’ Rachel Cusk’s life and fiction blend in her ‘Notes on Domesticity’: a portrait of the modern woman’s complex relationship with the domestic sphere · New York Times magazine