'An essential collection of essays from an eminent critic.
'Simon Leys' cultural and political commentary has spanned four decades, with no corner of the arts escaping his sharp eye and acerbic wit. The Hall of Uselessness forms the most complete collection yet of Leys' fascinating essays, from Quixotism to China, from the sea to literature.
'Leys feuds with Christopher Hitchens, ponders the popularity of Victor Hugo and analyses the posthumous publication of Nabokov's unfinished novel. He offers valuable insights into Mao's Cultural Revolution and the Khmer Rouge, and discusses Orwell, Waugh and Confucius. He considers the intertwined nature of Chinese art, culture and history alongside the joys and difficulties of literary translation. The Hall of Uselessness is an illuminating compendium from a brilliant and highly acclaimed writer - a long-time resident of Australia who is truly a global citizen. (From the publisher's website.)