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Zeno’s (established 1983) is an online used and out-of-print bookstore specializing in the categories of: literature in translation, modern first editions, and hard-to-find books. We started as a mail order business. In 1992 we moved into a storefront, and then to a bigger location a couple of years later. Eventually we closed the physical store to go online as zenosbooks.com. We have been selling our own hand-picked eclectic selection of used, hard-to-find, and even rare books via the internet ever since.
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What I have been reading...
The Dark Side of Enlightenment: Wizards, Alchemists, and Spiritual Seekers in the Age of Reason by John V. Fleming. New York. 2013. Norton. hardcover. 414 pages. Jacket design by Keith Hayes. Jacket painting: ‘The Alchemists,’ c.1757 (oil on canvas), Pietro Longhi (c.1701-85). keywords: History Enlightenment Spiritualism. 9780393079463.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
Why spiritual and supernatural yearnings, even investigations into the occult, flourished in the era of rationalist philosophy. In The Dark Side of the Enlightenment, John V. Fleming shows how the impulses of the European Enlightenment—generally associated with great strides in the liberation of human thought from superstition and traditional religion—were challenged by tenacious religious ideas or channeled into the ‘darker’ pursuits of the esoteric and the occult. His engaging topics include the stubborn survival of the miraculous, the Enlightenment roles of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, and the widespread pursuit of magic and alchemy. Though we tend not to associate what was once called alchemy with what we now call chemistry, Fleming shows that the difference is merely one of linguistic modernization. Alchemy was once the chemistry, of Arabic derivation, and its practitioners were among the principal scientists and physicians of their ages. No point is more important for understanding the strange and fascinating figures in this book than the prestige of alchemy among the learned men of the age. Fleming follows some of these complexities and contradictions of the ‘Age of Lights’ into the biographies of two of its extraordinary offspring. The first is the controversial wizard known as Count Cagliostro, the ‘Egyptian’ freemason, unconventional healer, and alchemist known most infamously for his ambiguous association with the Affair of the Diamond Necklace, which history has viewed as among the possible harbingers of the French Revolution and a major contributing factor in the growing unpopularity of Marie Antoinette. Fleming also reviews the career of Julie de Krüdener, the sentimental novelist, Pietist preacher, and political mystic who would later become notorious as a prophet. Impressively researched and wonderfully erudite, this rich narrative history sheds light on some lesser-known mental extravagances and beliefs of the Enlightenment era and brings to life some of the most extraordinary characters ever encountered either in history or fiction.
John V. Fleming, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, taught humanistic studies at Princeton University for forty years. He is the author of The Anti-Communist Manifestos: Four Books That Shaped the Cold War. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes - 2 Volumes by Arthur Conan Doyle . New York. 2004. Norton. hardcover. 1700 pages. November 2004. Edited with a preface and notes by Leslie S. Klinger. Introduction by John le Carre. keywords: Mystery England Sherlock Holmes. 0393059162.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
This monumental edition promises to be the most important new contribution to Sherlock Holmes literature since William Baring-Gould’s 1967 classic work. In this boxed set, Leslie Klinger, a leading world authority, reassembles Arthur Conan Doyle’s 56 classic short stories in the order in which they appeared in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century book editions. Inside, readers will find a cornucopia of insights: beginners will benefit from Klinger’s insightful biographies of Holmes, Watson, and Conan Doyle; history lovers will revel in the wealth of Victorian literary and cultural details; Sherlockian fanatics will puzzle over tantalizing new theories; art lovers will thrill to the 800-plus illustrations, which make this the most lavishly illustrated edition of the Holmes tales ever produced. The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes illuminates the timeless genius of Arthur Conan Doyle for an entirely new generation of readers. 700+ illustrations.
The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: Volume III by Arthur Conan Doyle. New York. 2006. Norton. hardcover. 907 pages. Jacket deisgn by Chin-Yee Lai. Jacket illustration by Frederic Dorr Steele, Collier’s 1903 (’The Empty House’). Edited With Notes by Leslie S. Klinger. keywords: Mystery England Sherlock Holmes. 9780393065947.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
The four classic novels of Sherlock Holmes, heavily illustrated and annotated with extensive scholarly commentary. The publication of Leslie S. Klinger's brilliant new annotations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's four classic Holmes novels in 2005 created a Holmes sensation. Available again in an attractively-priced edition identical to the first, except this edition has no outer slipcase. Klinger reassembles Doyle's four seminal novels in their original order, with over 1,000 notes, 350 illustrations and period photographs, and tantalizing new Sherlockian theories. Inside, readers will find: A STUDY IN SCARLET (1887), a tale of murder and revenge that tells of Holmes and Dr. Watson's first meeting; THE SIGN OF FOUR (1889), a chilling tale of lost treasure...and of how Watson met his wife; THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (1901), hailed as the greatest mystery novel of all time; and THE VALLEY OF FEAR (1914), a fresh murder scene that leads Holmes to solve a long-forgotten mystery. Whether as a stand-alone volume or as a companion to the short stories, this classic work illuminates the timeless genius of Conan Doyle for an entirely new generation.
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle DL (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish physician and writer who is most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction. He is also known for writing the fictional adventures of a second character he invented, Professor Challenger, and for popularising the mystery of the Mary Celeste. He was a prolific writer whose other works include fantasy and science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction, and historical novels.
Leslie S. Klinger is considered one of the foremost Holmes authorities in the world. The author of numerous books, including The Sherlock Holmes Reference Library, he lives in Los Angeles, California.
Wittgenstein's Vienna by Allan Janik and Stephen Toulmin. New York. 1973. Simon & Schuster. hardcover. 314 pages. July 1973. Jacket design by Arthur Williams. keywords: History Austria Vienna Philosophy Wittgenstein. 0671213601.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
‘It is not easy today, especially for a younger American, to recognize just how small and tightly knit were the cultural circles of the Habsburg monarchy . . . . Thus it comes as a slight shock to discover that Anton Bruckner gave piano lessons to Ludwig Boltzmann; that Gustav Mahler would bring his psychological problems to Dr. Freud; that Breuer was Brentano’s physician; that young Freud fought a duel with the young Viktor Adler, who had attended the same high school as both the last of the Habsburgs, Charles I, and Arthur Seyss-Inquart, later to be the Nazi Commissioner of Holland; and that Adler himself, like Schnitzler and Freud, had been an assistant in Meynert’s clinic.’ This is a remarkable book about a man (Ludwig Wittgenstein, author of TRACTATUS LOGICO-PHILOSOPHICUS and perhaps the most important and original philosopher of our age), a society (the corrupt, declining Austro-Hungarian Empire on the eve of its dissolution), and a city (Vienna, with its fin-dc-siècle gaiety and its corrosive melancholy). It is from this city and society that there emerged such protean figures as Sigmund Freud, Viktor Adler, Arnold Schonberg, Adolf Loos, Oskar Kokoschka, Ernst Mach and Wittgenstein himself, revolutionary thinkers whose ideas, forged in a classical revolt against the stuffy, doomed and moralistic lives of their fathers - and against the Habsburg dynasty, with its own supreme father-figure, the aged Franz Josef - changed their own world and profoundly affected us in every sphere of life, thought and art. The central figure in this portrait of a crumbling society giving birth to the modern world without realizing it was Wittgenstein, the brilliant and gifted young thinker whose great book remains the key to modern thought (as Freud’s researches remain the key to modern psychology) and who went on to influence a whole generation of English thinkers, artists and scientists. As a portrait of a man, this book is superbly realized. It is even better as a portrait of the age and milieu in which our modern ideas were born - not only in philosophy, but in art, music, literature, architecture, design and style. For Vienna, because of these contradictions between the conflicting realities of its tottering power structure and its intellectual avant-garde, was already ‘a proving ground for world destruction,’ just as for the author of MEIN KAMPF it was ‘the hardest, but the most thorough school.’ It is in this demonic quality of despair and in the lack of communication that the authors draw a dazzling and unusual parallel between the decaying Habsburg Empire, with its destructive and blind refusal to examine or even discuss reality, and our own confused society. WITTGENSTEIN’S VIENNA transcends its subject to become a startling and original work of insight in itself. Wittgenstein’s Vienna was a city of endless contradictions - official stupidity (‘A coating of waltzes and whipped cream was the surface covering to a despair-ridden society in which anti-Semites denounced Felix Salten for the ‘Jewish babble’ of the rabbits in Bambi . . . ‘) contrasting with revolutionary thought and art (‘Was it an absolute coincidence that the beginnings of twelve-tone music, ‘modern’ architecture, legal and logical positivism, non- representational painting and psychoanalysis . . . were all taking place simultaneously and were so largely concentrated in Vienna?’) — a paradox of stagnation and ferment within the context of a scandal-ridden, crumbling autocracy, run, as someone said, as a tyranny leavened by frivolity, and a society conscious of the gathering storm and of its own corrosive impotence.
Stephen E. Toulmin has taught philosophy at both the University of South Florida and at Crown College, University of California in Santa Cruz. He received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Cambridge, served as university lecturer at Oxford and as university professor at Leeds, was director for five years of the Nuffield Foundation Unit for the History of Ideas and has been a professor of philosophy at Brandeis and Michigan State. He is the author of five philosophy books and co-author (with June Goodfield) of three history of science books. He has also been a frequent contributor to Encounter and The New York Review of Books. Allan S. Janik received his A.B. from St. Anselm’s College, an M.A. from Villanova and his Ph.D. from Brandeis. He has taught philosophy at La Salle College in Philadelphia for four years.
Coup D’Etat: The Technique of Revolution by Curzio Malaparte. New York. 1932. Dutton. hardcover. 251 pages. Translated from the Italian by Sylvia Saunders. keywords: History Revolution Coup D’Etat
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Here is the handbook for the modern revolutionist, from the pen of a man who has seen many of Europe’s post-war insurrections at first hand. The nineteenth-century Napoleonic model of the coup d’etat, which dramatically seized the emblems of government, is dead. It has been superseded by a cold, efficient Marxian technique, first and most brilliantly used by Trotsky in 1917. The October Revolution of the Bolsheviks has rendered useless all the traditional methods of safeguarding the modern state from overthrow: it has changed insurrection from a picturesque drama to a machine. Such is the thesis of Signor Malaparte’s book, which is at the same time a brilliant account of modern dictators - Lenin, Trotsky, Mussolini, Pilsudski, Primo de Rivera - and the means by which they came to power. The book closes with a caustic analysis of Adolph Hitler, present aspirant to dictatorship in Germany, and restates the problems of internal security for a modern government. It is a volume which inevitably recalls Machiavelli’s PRINCE, as a realistic and ruthless account of modern statecraft.
Curzio Malaparte (9 June 1898 – 19 July 1957), born Kurt Erich Suckert, was an Italian journalist, dramatist, short-story writer, novelist and diplomat. His chosen surname, which he used from 1925, means ‘evil/wrong side’ and is a play on Napoleon's family name ‘Bonaparte‘ which means, in Italian, ‘good side’. Born in Prato, Tuscany, to a Lombard mother and a German father, he was educated at Collegio Cicognini and at the La Sapienza University of Rome. In 1918 he started his career as a journalist. Malaparte fought in World War I, earning a captaincy in the Fifth Alpine Regiment and several decorations for valor, and in 1922 took part in Benito Mussolini's March on Rome. In 1924, he founded the Roman periodical La Conquista dello Stato (‘The Conquest of the State’, a title that would inspire Ramiro Ledesma Ramos' La Conquista del Estado). As a member of the Partito Nazionale Fascista, he founded several periodicals and contributed essays and articles to others, as well as writing numerous books, starting from the early 1920s, and directing two metropolitan newspapers. In 1926 he founded with Massimo Bontempelli (1878–1960) the literary quarterly ‘900’. Later he became a co-editor of Fiera Letteraria (1928–31), and an editor of La Stampa in Turin. His polemical war novel-essay, Viva Caporetto! (1921), criticized corrupt Rome and the Italian upper classes as the real enemy (the book was forbidden because it offended the Regio Esercito). In Tecnica del Colpo di Stato (1931) Malaparte attacked both Adolf Hitler and Mussolini. This led to Malaparte being stripped of his National Fascist Party membership and sent to internal exile from 1933 to 1938 on the island of Lipari. He was freed on the personal intervention of Mussolini's son-in-law and heir apparent Galeazzo Ciano. Mussolini's regime arrested Malaparte again in 1938, 1939, 1941, and 1943 and imprisoned him in Rome's infamous jail Regina Coeli. During that time (1938–41) he built a house, known as the Casa Malaparte, on Capo Massullo, on the Isle of Capri. Shortly after his time in jail he published books of magical realist autobiographical short stories, which culminated in the stylistic prose of Donna Come Me (WOMAN LIKE ME) (1940). His remarkable knowledge of Europe and its leaders is based upon his experience as a correspondent and in the Italian diplomatic service. In 1941 he was sent to cover the Eastern Front as a correspondent for Corriere della Sera. The articles he sent back from the Ukrainian Fronts, many of which were suppressed, were collected in 1943 and brought out under the title Il Volga nasce in Europa (‘The Volga Rises in Europe’). Also, this experience provided the basis for his two most famous books, KAPUTT (1944) and THE SKIN (1949). KAPUTT, his novelistic account of the war, surreptitiously written, presents the conflict from the point of view of those doomed to lose it. From November 1943 to March 1946 he was attached to the American High Command in Italy as an Italian Liaison Officer. Articles by Curzio Malaparte have appeared in many literary periodicals of note in France, the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States. After the war, Malaparte's political sympathies veered to the left, and he became member of the Italian Communist Party. In 1947 Malaparte settled in Paris and wrote dramas without much success. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Malaparte became interested in the Maoist version of Communism, but his journey to China was cut short by illness, and he was flown back to Rome. Io in Russia e in Cina, his journal of the events, was published posthumously in 1958. Malaparte's final book, Maledetti Toscani, his attack on bourgeois culture, appeared in 1956. Shortly after the publication of this book, he became a Catholic. He died from lung cancer on 19 July 1957.
Two from Karl Kraus...
No Compromise: Selected Writings of Karl Kraus by Karl Kraus. New York. 1977. Ungar. hardcover. 260 pages. edited & With An Introduction by Frederick Ungar. keywords: Literature Austria Translated. 0804424853.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
A collection of essays and letters written during or soon after World War I from Viennese writer Karl Kraus. FROM THE INTRODUCTION – Karl Kraus is no longer entirely unknown to American readers, as he was only a few years ago. His importance has been increasingly recognized, and there have been several worthwhile publications in English on his life and work. Other widely reviewed books treating of the Vienna of Kraus’s time have also helped to create new interest in this greatest satirist of the twentieth century. But Kraus was more than an outstanding satirist. He was one of the finest writers of all time in the German language – aphorist, essayist, poet, culture critic, dramatist. Above all, he was a fighter without peer against corruption of any kind, in particular the corruption of language and the trivialization of life. His work and personality exerted a profound influence on such diverse figures as Ludwig Wittgenstein and Arnold Schonberg and other great minds of his time.
The Last Days of Mankind by Karl Kraus. New York. 1974. Frederick Ungar Publishing Company. paperback. 263 pages. Cover design by Tim Gaydos. Translated from the German by Alexander Gode and Sue Ellen Wright. Abridged and edited by Frederick Ungar. Introduction by the editor. Critical analysis by Franz H. Mautner. keywords: Drama Literature Austria Translated. 0804424845.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
THE LAST DAYS OF MANKIND is Kraus’s masterpiece, with half of Europe as its stage. It is presented here in English for the first time, in an abridged version that preserves the essence of the 800-page original. Its influence on Brecht, Ionesco, and other playwrights is acknowledged. Mingling actual quotations, news reports, and government orders with Kraus’s own satiric dialogue, this immense drama (never meaning to be performed) offers a vast fresco of events at the front and at home during, as it prophesied, the last days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Indeed, Kraus anticipated the development of atomic warfare and its threat to all mankind. Some of Kraus is untranslatable, but, as Stanley Kauffmann wrote in his New Republic review, ‘Ungar has done us a benefit at least by bringing us a bit closer to this sharp-eyed, angry, prickly, lover-hater of mankind.’
KARL KRAUS (1874-1936) was a major influence on the intellectual life of Vienna, whose seminal thinkers and artists have profoundly changed twentieth-century thought. On some of them Kraus’s influence was fundamental. Indeed, as the critic George Steiner recently noted, ‘without Kraus, Wittgenstein’s philosophy might well have been nonexistent.’ Kraus is difficult to classify in any category; he stands unique in world literature. Many critics believe him to be the greatest satirist since Swift; he was also one of the most brilliant aphorists. As a critic of society, in violent opposition to the all-pervading corruption of the spirit in public life, he was without equal. Participants in this edition: Franz H. Mautner is professor emeritus of German, Swarthmore College. Alexander Gode was a noted teacher as well as translator. Sue Ellen Wright, has a Ph.D. in German and was a Fulbright scholar in Frankfurt. Frederick Ungar, who attended most of Kraus’s public readings in Vienna, was founder of the Phaidon Verlag there and has been a publisher in New York since 1940.
Black Skies: An Inspector Erlendur Novel by Arnaldur Indridason. New York. 2014. Minotaur Books/St Martin's. hardcover. 330 pages. September 2013. Jacket design by Ervin Serrano. Jacket photograph by Tim Robinson./Arcangel Images. Translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb. keywords: Mystery Iceland Literature Translated. 9781250000392.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
Arnaldur Indridason, whom The Sunday Times calls 'one of the most brilliant crime writers of his generation,' has thrilled readers around the world with his series set in Reykjavik. In Black Skies, Indridason further cements his position as one of today's top international crime writers. A man is making a crude leather mask with an iron spike fixed in the middle of the forehead. It is a 'death mask,' once used by Icelandic farmers to slaughter calves, and he has revenge in mind. Meanwhile, a school reunion has left Inspector Erlendur's colleague Sigurdur Óli unhappy with life in the police force. While Iceland is enjoying an economic boom, Óli's relationship is on the rocks and soon even his position in the department is compromised. When a favor to a friend goes wrong and a woman dies before his eyes, Oli has a murder investigation on his hands. From the villas of Reykjavík's banking elite to a sordid basement flat, Black Skies is a superb story of greed, pride, and murder from one of Europe's most successful crime writers.
ARNALDUR INDRIDASON won the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Silence of the Grave and is the only author to win the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel two years in a row. The film of Jar City was Iceland’s entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, and the film Silence of the Grave is in production with the same director. The film Contraband, starring Mark Wahlberg, was based on an Icelandic film written by Indridason, who lives in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup. Baton Rogue. 1970. Lousiana State Univeristy Press. hardcover. 273 pages. Edited by Sue Eakin and Joseph Logsdon. The Library of Southern Civilization series. The Library of Southern Civilization will include scholarly editions of some of the most valuable accounts of life in the South, both antebellum and postbellum. The series is edited by Lewis P. Simpson, Professor of English, Louisiana State University. keywords: African American Studies Slavery Autobiography America History. 080710633x.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
Solomon Northup was a free man, the son of an emancipated Negro slave. Until the spring of 1841 he lived a simple, uneventful life with his wife and three children in Upstate New York. Then, suddenly, he fell victim to a series of bizarre events that make this one of the most amazing autobiographies ever written. Northup accepted an offer from two strangers in Saratoga, New York, to catch up with their traveling circus and play in its band. But when the chase ended, Northup had been drugged, beaten, and sold to a slave trader in Washington, D.C. Subsequently, he was shipped to New Orleans, where he was purchased by a planter in the Red River region of Louisiana. For the next twelve years Northup lived as a chattel slave under several masters. He might well have died a slave, except for another set of bizarre circumstances which enabled him to get word to his family and finally regain his freedom. These elements alone - the kidnapping, enslavement, and rescue - are sufficient for a sensational story. But Northup provides more. He was a shrewd observer of people and events. His memory was remarkable. He described cultivation of cotton and sugar in the Deep South. He detailed the daily routine and general life of the Negro slave. Indeed, he vividly portrayed the world of slavery - from the underside. Originally published in 1853, Northup’s autobiography is regarded as one of the best accounts of American Negro slavery ever written by a slave. It is reprinted in full here for the first time, as the initial volume in The Library of Southern Civilization. Northup’s account has been carefully checked by the editors and has been found to be remarkably accurate. To his own narrative of a long and tragic adventure, Professors Eakin and Logsdon have added significant new details about Northup and the plantation country where he spent most of his time as a slave. Heretofore unknown information about the capture and trial of Northup’s kidnappers has been included, adding still another fascinating episode to an already astounding story.
SOLOMON NORTHUP (July 1808 – after 1857) was a free-born African American from Saratoga Springs, New York. He is noted for having been kidnapped in 1841 when enticed with a job offer. When he accompanied his supposed employers to Washington, DC, they drugged him and sold him into slavery. From Washington, DC, he was transported to New Orleans where he was sold to a plantation owner from Rapides Parish, Louisiana. After 12 years in bondage, he regained his freedom in January 1853; he was one of very few to do so in the cases of such kidnappings. Held in the Red River region of Louisiana by several different owners, he got news to his family, who contacted friends and enlisted the Governor of New York, Washington Hunt, to his cause. New York state had passed a law in 1840 to provide legal and financial assistance in order to recover any African-American residents who were kidnapped and sold into slavery.
SUE EAKIN is a member of the history faculty of Louisiana State University at Alexandria.
JOSEPH LOGSDON is Associate Professor of History at Lehigh University.
Last of the Conquerors by William Gardner Smith. New York. 1948. Farrar Straus & Company. hardcover. 262 pages. August 1948. keywords: African American Literature World War II.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
‘William Gardner Smith has the two great qualities, simplicity and bitternes. One is a divine gift, and the other, a tragic acquisition.’ - Christopher Morley. Some people will read this novel with indignation, some with shame. Many will be shocked. It is the story of a young man who learned for the first time - in an enemy country - how it feels to be treated as a human being. It is the story of Hayes Dawkins, Negro soldier in the Army of Occupation, who found himself accepted as an equal by the Germans and looked upon as an inferior by his white comrades in arms. In Berlin Hayes discovered a new world in which he could go where he pleased, face any man, love any woman. When a change of station brought him to a post where he was again a Negro, a second-class human being, the shock and hurt were almost too great to bear. It was then he knew why Negroes would rather stay in Germany than go home, why some even deserted to the Russian zone. Caught in a current of injustice and hatred, Hayes was faced with an almost impossible decision - a choice between two worlds. In portraying Hayes Dawkins, William Gardner Smith has drawn a moving picture of a young man caught between two worlds unable to decide which he should make his own. LAST OF THE CONQUERORS is a first novel of promise and distinction.
Born in 1927, William Gardner Smith was only twenty when he finished LAST OF THE CONQUERORS, his first novel. Born and brought up in Philadelphia, he has been a reporter for the Pittsburgh Courier in that city for five years. After spending a year in Germany in the Army of Occupation, he attended Temple University.
Three relatively new translations of Dostoevsky from the foremost translator of Russian religious thought into English
Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Grand Rapids. 2009. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. paperback. 118 pages. Cover photo by PhotoAlto. Cover design by Willem Mineur. Translated from the Russian by Boris Jakim. keywords: Literature Russia Translated 19th Century. 9780802845702.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
A bold new translation of a literary classic. One of the most profound and most unsettling works of modern literature, Notes from Underground (first published in 1864) remains a cultural and literary watershed. In these pages Dostoevsky unflinchingly examines the dark, mysterious depths of the human heart. The Underground Man so chillingly depicted here has become an archetypal figure -- loathsome and prophetic -- in contemporary culture. This vivid new rendering by Boris Jakim is more faithful to Dostoevsky's original Russian than any previous translation; it maintains the coarse, vivid language underscoring the ‘visceral experimentalism’ that made both the book and its protagonist groundbreaking and iconic. ‘Notes from Underground has increasingly been recognized in recent years as a crucially significant work for understanding the whole of Dostoevsky's mature fiction. Boris Jakim's translation — the work of a seasoned translator with a keen scholarly appreciation of the Russian spiritual and theological world — is excellent: bold, fresh and clear, contemporary without sacrificing the distinctiveness of the setting. It will be a perfect introduction to this brief but profoundly charged work.’ - Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury. ‘The indefatigable Boris Jakim, who has put thousands of pages of Russian theology into English, now gives us a hundred pages of Russia's most theological novelist in a bold new translation. Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground is a chilling parable for modern times — the story of a man who talks himself out of his own salvation. The tale has lost none of its relevance since it appeared a century and a half ago. As Robert Bird observes in his fine introduction, Notes challenges us to consider something our materialistic civilization discourages at every turn — the possibility of spiritual causation. As Dostoevsky knew, the real world includes a mystical element. That spark can be denied, derided, even blasphemed, but it cannot be eradicated. With some help from Jakim, Dostoevsky gives us a vigorous contemporary language for talking about such a thing.’ - Paul Valliere, Butler University.
The Insulted and The Injured by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Grand Rapids. 2011. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. paperback. 338 pages. Cover photo: Marinka van Holten. Cover design: Willem Mineur. Translated from the Russian and with an introduction by Boris Jakim. keywords: Literature Russia Translated 19th Century. 9780802825902.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
A new translation of a literary classic. The Insulted and Injured, which came out in 1861, was Fyodor Dostoevsky's first major work of fiction after his Siberian exile and the first of the long novels that made him famous. Set in nineteenth-century Petersburg, this gripping novel features a vividly drawn set of characters -- including Vanya (Dostoevsky's semi-autobiographical hero), Natasha (the woman he loves), and Alyosha (Natasha's aristocratic lover) -- all suffering from the cruelly selfish machinations of Alyosha's father, the dark and powerful Prince Valkovsky. Boris Jakim's fresh English-language rendering of this gem in the Dostoevsky canon is both more colorful and more accurate than any earlier translation. ‘Boris Jakim is one of the best translators from the Russian in our time. He has given us superb English versions of a series of major works from Russian philosophy, and more recently he has turned his hand to Dostoevsky. After Notes from Underground, he now offers us a fresh translation of an important and neglected novel, The Insulted and Injured, originally published in 1861, a fascinating prelude to the later 'novel tragedies' for which Dostoevsky is chiefly known. Jakim's ambition to 'get into the word-fabric' of the original is beautifully realized.’ - Richard Pevear.
Notes from the House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Grand Rapids. 2013. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. paperback. 316 pages. Cover photo: Angel Souto. Cover design: Willem Mineur. Translated from the Russian and with an introduction by Boris Jakim. keywords: Literature Russia Translated 19th Century. 9780802866479.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
A master translation of a neglected Russian classic into English. Long before Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago came Dostoevsky's Notes from the House of the Dead, a compelling account of the horrific conditions in Siberian labor camps. First published in 1861, this novel, based on Dostoevsky's own experience as a political prisoner, is a forerunner of his famous novels Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov. The characters and situations that Dostoevsky encountered in prison were so violent and extraordinary that they changed his psyche profoundly. Through that experience, he later said, he was resurrected into a new spiritual condition — one in which he would create some of the greatest novels ever written. Including an illuminating introduction by James Scanlan on Dostoevsky's prison years, this totally new translation by Boris Jakim captures Dostoevsky's semi-autobiographical narrative — at times coarse, at times intensely emotional, at times philosophical — in rich American English. ‘As usual, Boris Jakim offers a fluent and accessible translation, giving us a new opportunity to encounter one of Dostoevsky's most seminal works. So much of the vision and insight of the great novels has its roots here in his nightmare experience in the Siberian penal camps, and here we have a first-class new rendering of this unique chronicle.’ - Rowan Williams, author of Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction. ‘This startling book was a sensation in its day and became the source of all of Dostoevsky's mature fictions. Leo Tolstoy wrote that he did not know 'a better book in all modern literature.' One hundred and fifty years later, Notes from the House of the Dead still retains the quality of a literary experiment capable of shocking and moving its readers. Boris Jakim's new translation vividly and sensitively communicates the sense of discovery the work had for its first readers.’ - Robert Bird, author of Fyodor Dostoevsky. ‘Jakim captures Dostoevsky's voice with an immediacy and power that is perhaps a little uncanny. This should by all rights become the standard English edition of this book.’ - David Bentley Hart, author of The Beauty of the Infinite and Atheist Delusions.
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky 11 November 1821 – 9 February 1881), sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist and philosopher. Dostoyevsky's literary works explore human psychology in the context of the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmosphere of 19th-century Russia. He began writing in his 20s, and his first novel, Poor Folk, was published in 1846 when he was 25. His major works include Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1869), and The Brothers Karamazov (1880). His output consists of eleven novels, three novellas, seventeen short novels and numerous other works. Many literary critics rate him as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature.
Boris Jakim is the foremost translator of Russian religious thought into English. His published translations include works by S.L. Frank, Pavel Florensky, Vladimir Solovyov, and Sergius Bulgakov.
Two from Robert Creeley...
The Collected Poems Of Robert Creeley, 1975-2005 by Robert Creeley. Berkeley. 2006. University of California Press. hardcover. 662 pages. keywords: Literature Poetry America. 9780520241596.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
This definitive collection showcases thirty years of work by one of the most significant American poets of the twentieth century, bringing together verse that originally appeared in eight acclaimed books of poetry ranging from Hello: A Journal (1978) to Life & Death (1998) and If I were writing this (2003). Robert Creeley, who was involved with the publication of this volume before his death in 2005, helped define an emerging counter-tradition to the prevailing literary establishment-the new postwar poetry originating with Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Louis Zukofsky and expanding through the lives and works of Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, Denise Levertov, and others. The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1975-2005, essential reading for anyone interested in twentieth-century American poetry, will stand together with The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1975-2000, will be essential reading for anyone interested in twentieth-century American poetry.
The Selected Letters of Robert Creeley by Robert Creeley. Berkeley. 2013. University of California Press. hardcover. 467 pages. keywords: Poetry Literature America Letters. 9780520241602.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
Robert Creeley is one of the most celebrated and influential American poets. A stylist of the highest order, Creeley imbued his correspondence with the literary artistry he brought to his poetry. Through his engagements with mentors such as William Carlos Williams and Ezra Pound, peers such as Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Denise Levertov, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac, and mentees such as Charles Bernstein, Anselm Berrigan, Ed Dorn, Susan Howe, and Tom Raworth, Creeley helped forge a new poetry that re-imagined writing for his and subsequent generations. This first-ever volume of his letters, written between 1945 and 2005, document the life, work, and times of one of our greatest writers, and represent a critical archive of the development of contemporary American poetry, as well as the changing nature of letter-writing and communication in the digital era.
Robert Creeley (1926-2005) published more than sixty books of poetry, prose, essays, and interviews in the United States and abroad. His many honors included the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award, the Frost Medal, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the Bollingen Prize for Poetry. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Distinguished Professor in the Graduate Program in Literary Arts at Brown University.
Rod Smith is the author of several collections of poetry, including Deed (2007), editor of the journal Aerial, publisher of Edge Books, and manager of Bridge Street Books in Washington, D.C.
Peter Baker is Professor of English and Cultural Studies at Towson University in Maryland. He is the author or editor of six previous volumes, including Detecting Detection: International Perspectives on the Uses of a Plot (2012).
Kaplan Harris is Associate Professor of English at St. Bonaventure University. He has published widely on twentieth-century poetry, including recent articles on Susan Howe, Ted Berrigan, Hannah Weiner, and Kevin Killian.
My Crazy Century: A Memoir by Ivan Klima. New York. 2013. Grove Press. hardcover. 534 pages. November 2013. Jacket design by Gretchen Mergenthaler. Jacket photograph by Taylor Liba, Czech News Agency/. Translated from the Czech by Craig Cravens. keywords: Literature Memoir Czech Translated. 9780802121707.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
‘Klíma has endured as a writer, endured as a human being, writing of the great themes of freedom, honesty and love and politics, and gazing with an unsparing eye on the lies of Communism and the moral miasma of post-Communist freedom.’ —BBC. Ivan Klíma, ‘a writer of enormous power and originality’ (The New York Times Book Review), has penned an intimate autobiography that explores his life under two totalitarian regimes: Nazism and Communism. More than memoir, Klíma explores the ways in which the epoch and its dominating ideologies impacted the lives, character, and morality of his generation. Klíma’s story begins in the 1930s, in the Terezin concentration camp outside of Prague where he was forced to spend almost four years of his childhood. He reveals how the post-war atmosphere supported and encouraged the spread of communist principles over the next few decades and how an informal movement to change the system developed inside the Party. These political events form the backdrop to Klíma’s experiences with the arrest and trial of his father, the early revolt of young writers against socialist realism, his first literary successes, and his travels to the free part of Europe, which strengthened his awareness of living in the midst of a colossal lie. Klíma also captures the brief period of liberation during the Prague Spring of 1968, in which he played an active role, the Soviet invasion that crushed the political reforms, and the rise of the dissident movement up until the collapse of the communist regime in the midst of the Velvet Revolution of November, 1989. Including insightful essays on topics related to social history, political thinking, love and freedom, My Crazy Century provides a profoundly rich and moving personal history of national evolution. Ivan Klíma’s first autobiography and perhaps his most significant work, it encapsulates a remarkable life from the vantage point of one lived under occupation. ‘Klíma engagingly portrays the complex path of his own thinking and his and his family’s fate.’ —Czech Literature.
Ivan Klima was born in Prague in 1931. He is the award-winning author of over 20 novels, including Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light, No Saints or Angels, The Ultimate Intimacy, and Lovers for a Day—all New York Times Notable Books of the Year.
Craig Cravens (translator) has taught Czech language and culture for over 10 years; he is currently a senior lecturer at Indiana State University. He has a PhD in Slavic languages and literature from Princeton University and a BA from Amherst College in Russian Literature.
Two very different versions of Horacio Quiroga’s Cuentos de la Selva:
Jungle Tales by Horacio Quiroga. New York. 2012. Self-Published by Jeff Zorilla and Natalia Cortesi. 88 pages. Paperback. Cover illustration by Bert van Wijk. Translated from the Spanish by Jeff Zorrilla. Illustrations by Bert van Wijk. keywords: Literature Uruguay Latin America South America Translated Folktales. 9780615708072
South American Jungle Tales by Horacio Quiroga. New York. 1922. Duffield & Company. 166 pages. Hardcover. Illustrated by A. L. Ripley. Translated from the Spanish by Arthur Livingston. keywords: Literature Translated Latin America.
JUNGLE TALES (Cuentos de la Selva - published originally in 1918) is a collection of eight short stories in which Quiroga captures the magic of the Misiones rainforest of Argentina, which is the scene of exciting adventures illuminated by nature in all it’s splendor. A place where snakes throw glamorous parties with flamingos, stingrays join forces to fight off man-eating jaguars, and a giant tortoise carries a wounded man on its shell for hundreds of kilometers to bring him to safety. Horacio Quiroga dedicated this book to his children, who accompanied him during that rough period of poverty in a damp basement
Journalist, teacher, carpenter, cotton farmer, justice of the peace, film critic and one of Latin America’s best short story writers, Horacio Quiroga (born on December 31, 1878 in Salto, Uruguay – died on February 19, 1937 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) was an Uruguayan playwright, poet, and short story writer, and is one of the most fascinating characters in Latin American literature. He wrote stories which, in their jungle settings, use the supernatural and the bizarre to show the struggle of man and animal to survive. He also excelled in portraying mental illness and hallucinatory states. Some of his most famous works include Cuentos de la selva (1918; Jungle Tales), Cuentos de amor de locura y de muerte (1917; Stories of love madness and death) and Anaconda (1921). He’s written over 200 pieces of fiction and has often been compared to Rudyard Kipling, Jack London and Edgar Allan Poe. Roberto Bolaño mentions Quiroga as one of the must-read authors in his famous ‘Consejos sobre el arte de escribir cuentos’ (‘Advice on the Art of Writing Short Stories’). His influence can be seen in the Latin American magic realism of Gabriel García Márquez and the postmodern surrealism of Julio Cortázar.
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