I am working backwards through my year plus worth of notebooks on The Adelphi Project, and I came to this series of questions which I had written, in the very early days:
Who are the world’s eloquent and living intellectuals of today? What are they writing about? In what languages? Who writes the fiction? Do we have any? Are they revolutionary? Counter revolutionary? What are the architects writing?
One of the complicating factors is that those who fit historically into such spaces, we know their histories, their times, their trajectories, their deaths, and this makes it easier, I think, to evaluate them as intellectuals. But that cannot be the best of ways, we must recognize the intellectuals of our time, what I can see in the past, is those whose thoughts stuck, at least for now.
This project involves some interesting early 20th century novelists, novelists I think we don’t currently have, in the English speaking world. Notably, these are not English speakers, that I am thinking of, but rather notably, those from within the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
I am not looking only for novelists, but I was struck by the weight of this short novels, of their ideas, and this doesn’t feel of the present era, so I had started with that question. I am just seeking those who are notable and on par with the past, not the best of the present.