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'A magic curtain, woven of legends, hung before the world,' writes Milan Kundera in The Curtain, his fascinating new book on the art of the novel. 'Cervantes sent Don Quixote journeying and tore the curtain. The world opened before the knight errant in all the comical nakedness of its prose.' For Kundera, that curtain represents the ready-made perception of the world that each of us has - a pre-interpreted world. The job of the novelist, he argues is to rip through the curtain and reveal what it hides.
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