Cover Photo: Titian, The Three Age of Man/wikimedia commons
Titian, The Three Age of Man/wikimedia commons

Beyond the Realm of Prosody: The year I spent writing sonnets

How I wrote a failed sonnet that turned into my fourth novel.

Oddly enough, I spent much of 2012 writing sonnets. At the time, the thought of writing a fourth novel left me cold. It seemed pointless. All these novels, I thought, this cacophony of inconsequential stories, what exactly was the point of them? If the form didn’t exist, would anyone now bother inventing it? The default medium for narrative was obviously audio-visual. If you wanted to tell a story to entertain and enlighten people, you talked to HBO; to try to do it with hundreds of pages of prose seemed antiquarian.




David Szalay was born in Canada in 1974, but moved to London as a small child. He has published four novels: London and the South-East (which won the Betty Trask Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize), The Innocent, Spring, and most recently, All That Man Is, which has been short-listed for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. In 2013 he was selected by Granta as one of the best twenty British novelists under forty. He currently lives in Budapest.