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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...
Memoirs by Kingsley Amis. New York. 1991. Summit Books. 346 pages. Jacket design by Carin Goldberg. Front jacket photograph by Jerry Bauer. Back jacket photograph courtesy of the Amis Collection. 0671749099.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
The publication of Kingsley Amis’s MEMOIRS is, of course, a major literary event. But reading them is also like a fascinating evening’s talk in the pub, in the most engaging and entertaining company. As Sir Kingsley writes in his preface, these memoirs ‘depend largely on a good memory for anecdotes and anecdotal detail. . . . If some of the total result reads like my fiction, that does not point to its untruth any more than plausible passages in my fiction are necessarily taken from life.’ The book describes Amis’s family in South London, his schooldays, Oxford, his joining the Army midway through the war, Swansea, Cambridge, and his decision to leave the academic world to become a full-time writer. Sir Kingsley’s MEMOIRS also discuss his passion for jazz, his relation to drink, and in an arresting final chapter called ‘A Peep Around the Twist,’ a brush with mortality. Interspersed are portraits of friends and foes, including Philip Larkin, Anthony Burgess. Roald Dahl, Anthony Powell, Robert Graves, Francis Bacon, and Margaret Thatcher - a whole Amis gallery, written in one of the few unmistakable literary voices of our time. In looking back on decades of friendships, as well as on the quick clashes and lively skirmishes that punctuate his personal and literary life, Sir Kingsley inevitably provides a vivid and revealing self-portrait. ‘Kingsley Amis represents the gold standard in English Literature, as Evelyn Waugh did before him.’ - James Wolcott, Vanity Fair.
The King's English: A Guide To Modern Usage by Kingsley Amis. New York. 1999. St Martin's Press. 270 pages. Jacket photograph of Kingsley Amis by H. Kilmarnock. 0312186010.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Throughout his notable career as a novelist, poet, and literary critic, Kingsley Amis was often concerned - the less understanding might say obsessed - with the use and abuse of English. Do we know what the words we employ really mean? Do we have the right to use them if we don’t? Should an ‘exciting’ new program be allowed to ‘hit’ your television screen? Is ‘disinterest’ a word, or is it ignorance? And just when is one allowed to begin a sentence with ‘and’? The enemies of fine prose may dismiss such issues as tiresome and pedantic, but Kingsley Amis, like all great novelists, depended upon these very questions to separate the truth from the lie, both in literature and in life. A Parthian shot from one of the most important figures in postwar British fiction, THE KING’S ENGLISH is the late Kingsley Amis’s last word on the state of the language. More frolicsome than Fowler’s MODERN USAGE, lighter than the OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY, and replete with the strong opinions and acerbic wit that have made Amis so popular – and so controversial - this book is essential for anyone who cares about the way English is spoken and written.
The Anti-Egotist: Kingsley Amis, Man Of Letters by Paul Fussell. New York and Oxford. 1994. Oxford Univesrity Press. 206 pages. Jacket design by John William Costa. Jacket photograph: Archive Photos. 0195087364.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
‘Fussell is a wonderful writer,' according to The Washington Post Book World, 'at once elegant and earthy.' With such books as Wartime and The Great War and Modern Memory, he established a reputation as an incisive critic with a razor-tipped pen. Now Paul Fussell turns his attention to one of his own literary heroes, a man of similar acidic wit, Kingsley Amis. In The Anti-Egotist, Fussell captures the essence of Amis as a man of letters-'a serious critic,' as John Gross writes, 'operating outside the academic fold.' Part biography, part critical appraisal, The Anti-Egotist traces the influences that have shaped Amis's writing, ranging from his schooldays through military service to university teaching, as he emerged as a novelist, poet, and essayist. By drawing our attention to the details first of Amis's life, then of his writing, Fussell reveals the profound moral sense that expresses itself so wonderfully in Amis's fiction and criticism. He mixes affection with insight as he paints a highly personal portrait of Amis as writer who despises self-promotion in all its forms, savaging the world's show-offs and blowhards with a particularly sharp-toothed bite. Amis's criticism, too, shook the British literary world with his 'no-nonsense, can-the-bullshit tone,' restoring skepticism and honesty to postwar English writing. Fussell guides us through Amis's immense output-portraying him as a book reviewer, custodian of language, gastronomic critic, anthologist, and poet-showing how his overriding concern is always for the public, deriding pretensions that come at a cost to the audience. And the power of Amis's writing, from his humor to his deft characterization, rings through in page after page of Fussell's accurate and evocative assessments. In recent years, Kingsley Amis has drawn considerable fire, thanks to his outspoken conservative opinions; many critics see him as little more than a crusty old curmudgeon. In The Anti-Egotist, Paul Fussell does the reading public a double favor in restoring the reputation of this important writer: he effortlessly captures the literary virtuosity that lifted Amis to fame, and he reveals the moral convictions that make this seeming curmudgeon more relevant than ever.
Paul Fussell (22 March 1924 – 23 May 2012) was an American cultural and literary historian, author and university professor. His writings cover a variety of topics, from scholarly works on eighteenth-century English literature to commentary on America's class system. He is best known for his writings about World War I and II, which explore what he felt was the gap between the romantic myth and reality of war; he made a ‘career out of refusing to disguise it or elevate it’.
New Maps Of Hell: A Survey Of Science Fiction by Kingsley Amis. New York. 1960. Harcourt Brace & Company. 161 pages.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
In this hilarious, inspiring and provocative series of essays, Kingsley Amis introduces every reader to the wonders and value of science fiction writing. He surveys the magnificent panorama of this world of fact and fantasy, of Jules Verne and H G Wells, of madly ingenious inventions and cosmic disaster, of bug-eyed monsters and credible human experiments, of revolutionary inventions and awesome transformations, of exploration of the outer reaches of space, and of strange worlds within the universe. New Maps of Hell is a warm and witty exploration of a world many readers may be yet to discover.
What Became Of Jane Austen? And Other Questions by Kingsley Amis. New York. 1971. Harcourt Brace & Jovanovich. 223 pages. 0151958602.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Although Kingsley Amis’s reputation rests mainly on his novels, he has since 1955 established himself as one of England’s wittiest and most trenchant essayists and critics. The remarkable variety of his ideas and interests makes the present volume as stimulating and recurrently surprising as it is enjoyable. There is literary criticism of writers as diverse as Hans Christian Andersen, Jules Verne, and Miss Austen herself (Janeites will take umbrage), and of novels from SORRELL AND SON to PORTNOY’S COMPLAINT and LOLITA (‘one of the troubles with LOLITA is that, so far from being too pornographic, it is not pornographic enough’). There are articles on such widely assorted topics as horror movies, fictional detectives, and the National Eistedfodd of Wales, and accounts of the author’s experiences as judge at a beauty contest, with a poet named Dylan Thomas, and with one named Yevgeny Yevtushenko. And there are assorted fragments of autobiography (a reminiscence of the first school he attended, a memoir of his father) and confession (why he wrote a James Bond novel, why he left the Left). This is, in short, a miscellany, and a bracing one; its arrangement is not random, and it should be read straight through rather than browsed in. Kingsley Amis’s characteristically witty, challenging, sometimes enraging voice proves also to be that of a rationalist, a moralist, a man of good sense – and a writer of some of the best prose of our day.
Kingsley Amis was born in South London in 1922 and was educated at the City of London School and at St John’s College, Oxford, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. Between 1949 and 1963 he taught at the University College of Swansea, Princeton University and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He started his career as a poet and has continued to write in that medium ever since. His novels include LUCKY JIM (1954). TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU (1960), THE ANTI-DEATH LEAGUE (1966), ENDING UP (1974), THE ALTERATION (1976), JAKE’S THING (1978) and STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984). His novel, THE OLD DEVILS, won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1986. Among his other publications are NEW MAPS OF HELL, a survey of science fiction (1960), RUDYARD KIPLING AND HIS WORLD (1975) and THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION (1981). He published his COLLECTED POEMS in 1979, and has also edited THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF LIGHT VERSE and THE FABER POPULAR RECITER. Kingsley Amis was awarded the CBE in 1981.
American Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street by Paula Rabinowitz. Princeton. 2014. Princeton University Press. 390 pages. Jacket painting: Guy Pene Du Bois, ‘Portia in a Pink Blouse,’ 1942. Jacket design by Pamela Lewis Schnitter. 9780691150604.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
‘There is real hope for a culture that makes it as easy to buy a book as it does a pack of cigarettes.'--a civic leader quoted in a New American Library ad (1951) American Pulp tells the story of the midcentury golden age of pulp paperbacks and how they brought modernism to Main Street, democratized literature and ideas, spurred social mobility, and helped readers fashion new identities. Drawing on extensive original research, Paula Rabinowitz unearths the far-reaching political, social, and aesthetic impact of the pulps between the late 1930s and early 1960s. Published in vast numbers of titles, available everywhere, and sometimes selling in the millions, pulps were throwaway objects accessible to anyone with a quarter. Conventionally associated with romance, crime, and science fiction, the pulps in fact came in every genre and subject. American Pulp tells how these books ingeniously repackaged highbrow fiction and nonfiction for a mass audience, drawing in readers of every kind with promises of entertainment, enlightenment, and titillation. Focusing on important episodes in pulp history, Rabinowitz looks at the wide-ranging effects of free paperbacks distributed to World War II servicemen and women; how pulps prompted important censorship and First Amendment cases; how some gay women read pulp lesbian novels as how-to-dress manuals; the unlikely appearance in pulp science fiction of early representations of the Holocaust; how writers and artists appropriated pulp as a literary and visual style; and much more. Examining their often-lurid packaging as well as their content, American Pulp is richly illustrated with reproductions of dozens of pulp paperback covers, many in color. A fascinating cultural history, American Pulp will change the way we look at these ephemeral yet enduringly intriguing books.
Paula Rabinowitz is professor of English at the University of Minnesota. Her books include Black & White & Noir: America’s Pulp Modernism, and she is the coeditor of Habits of Being, a four-volume series on clothing and identity.
The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm. Princeton. 2014. Princeton University Press. 519 pages. Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö. 9780691160597.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
When Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their Children's and Household Tales in 1812, followed by a second volume in 1815, they had no idea that such stories as 'Rapunzel,' 'Hansel and Gretel,' and 'Cinderella' would become the most celebrated in the world. Yet few people today are familiar with the majority of tales from the two early volumes, since in the next four decades the Grimms would publish six other editions, each extensively revised in content and style. For the very first time, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm makes available in English all 156 stories from the 1812 and 1815 editions. These narrative gems, newly translated and brought together in one beautiful book, are accompanied by sumptuous new illustrations from award-winning artist Andrea Dezsö. From 'The Frog King' to 'The Golden Key,' wondrous worlds unfold--heroes and heroines are rewarded, weaker animals triumph over the strong, and simple bumpkins prove themselves not so simple after all. Esteemed fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes offers accessible translations that retain the spare description and engaging storytelling style of the originals. Indeed, this is what makes the tales from the 1812 and 1815 editions unique--they reflect diverse voices, rooted in oral traditions, that are absent from the Grimms' later, more embellished collections of tales. Zipes's introduction gives important historical context, and the book includes the Grimms' prefaces and notes. A delight to read, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm presents these peerless stories to a whole new generation of readers.
Jack Zipes is the translator of 'The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm' (Bantam), the editor of 'The Great Fairy Tale Tradition' (Norton), and the author of 'Grimm Legacies' (Princeton), among many other books. He is professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota. Andrea Dezsö is a visual artist who works across a broad range of media. Her permanent public art is installed in two NYC subway stations, at CUNY Fiterman Hall, and at the US Embassy in Bucharest. Dezsö exhibits in museums and galleries worldwide and is associate professor of art at Hampshire College
2666 by Roberto Bolaño. New York. 2008. Farrar Straus Giroux. 898 pages. hardcover. 9780374100148. Jacket art - Gustave Moreau, 'Jupiter and Semele', oil on canvas. Jacket design by Charlotte Strick. Translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Composed in the last years of Roberto Bolaño’s life, 2666 was greeted across Europe and Latin America as his highest achievement, surpassing even his previous work in its strangeness, beauty, and scope. Its throng of unforgettable characters includes academics and convicts, an American sportswriter, an elusive German novelist, and a teenage student and her widowed, mentally unstable father. Their lives intersect in the urban sprawl of Santa Teresa - a fictional Juárez - on the U.S.-Mexico border, where hundreds of young factory workers, in the novel as in life, have disappeared.
Author of 2666 and many other acclaimed works, Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003) was born in Santiago, Chile, and later lived in Mexico, Paris, and Spain. He has been acclaimed ‘by far the most exciting writer to come from south of the Rio Grande in a long time’ (Ilan Stavans, The Los Angeles Times),’ and as ‘the real thing and the rarest’ (Susan Sontag). Among his many prizes are the extremely prestigious Herralde de Novela Award and the Premio Rómulo Gallegos. He was widely considered to be the greatest Latin American writer of his generation. He wrote nine novels, two story collections, and five books of poetry, before dying in July 2003 at the age of 50.
The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses by Kevin Birmingham. New York. 2014. The Penguin Press. hardcover. 419 pages. Jacket Design By Ben Wiseman. 9781594203367.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
‘A great story - how modernism brought down the regime of censorship - told as a great story. Kevin Birmingham’s imaginative scholarship brings Joyce and his world to life. There is a fresh detail on nearly every page.’ - Louis Menand, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Metaphysical Club. For more than a decade, the book that literary critics now consider the most important novel in the English language was illegal to own, sell, advertise or purchase in most of the English-speaking world. James Joyce’s big blue book, Ulysses, ushered in the modernist era and changed the novel for all time. But the genius of Ulysses was also its danger: it omitted absolutely nothing. All of the minutiae of Leopold Bloom’s day, including its unspeakable details, unfold with careful precision in its pages. The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice immediately banned the novel as ‘obscene, lewd, and lascivious.’ Joyce, along with some of the most important publishers and writers of his era, had to fight for years to win the freedom to publish it. The Most Dangerous Book tells the remarkable story surrounding Ulysses, from the first stirrings of Joyce’s inspiration in 1904 to its landmark federal obscenity trial in 1933. Literary historian Kevin Birmingham follows Joyce’s years as a young writer, his feverish work on his literary masterpiece, and his ardent love affair with Nora Barnacle, the model for Molly Bloom. Joyce and Nora socialized with literary greats like Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, T. S. Eliot and Sylvia Beach. Their support helped Joyce fight an array of anti-vice crusaders while his book was disguised and smuggled, pirated and burned in the United States and Britain. The long struggle for publication added to the growing pressures of Joyce’s deteriorating eyesight, finances and home life. Salvation finally came from the partnership of Bennett Cerf, the cofounder of Random House, and Morris Ernst, a dogged civil liberties lawyer. With their stewardship, the case ultimately rested on the literary merit of Joyce’s master work. The sixty-year-old judicial practices governing obscenity in the United States were overturned because a federal judge could get inside Molly Bloom’s head. Birmingham’s archival work brings to light new information about both Joyce and the story surrounding Ulysses. Written for ardent Joyceans as well as novices who want to get to the heart of the greatest novel of the twentieth century, The Most Dangerous Book is a gripping examination of how the world came to say yes to Ulysses.
Kevin Birmingham received his PhD in English from Harvard, where he is a Lecturer in History & Literature and an instructor in the university's writing program. His research focuses on twentieth-century fiction and culture, literary obscenity and the avant-garde. He was a bartender in a Dublin pub featured in Ulysses for one day before he was unceremoniously fired. This is his first book.
Fantastic Night & Other Stories by Stefan Zweig. London. 2004. Pushkin Press. 164 pages. paperback. 1901285545. Cover art - Donati's Comet over Balliol College by William Turner. Translated from the German by Anthea Bell.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
FIVE OF STEFAN ZWEIG’S most compelling novellas are presented together in this powerful volume. FANTASTIC NIGHT is the story of one transforming evening in the life of a rich and bored young man. He spends a day at the races and an evening in the seedy but thrilling company of the dregs of society. His experiences jolt him out of his languor and give him a newfound relish for life, which is then cut short by the Great War. Fantastic Night is joined by The Invisible Collection and Buchmendel, two of Zweig’s most powerful works, which explore lives led in the single minded pursuit of art and literature against a backdrop of poverty and corruption. And finally, Letter from an Unknown Woman, Zweig’s poignant and heartbreaking tale of the strength and madness of unrequited love and The Fowler Snared, in which it is the man whose passion remains unrequited, complete the collection.
Stefan Zweig (November 28, 1881 – February 22, 1942) was born in 1881 in Vienna, a member of a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. He studied in Berlin and Vienna and was first known as a poet and translator, then as a biographer. Zweig travelled widely, living in Salzburg between the wars, and enjoyed literary fame. His stories and novellas were collected in 1934. In the same year, with the rise of Nazism, he briefly moved to London, taking British citizenship. After a short period in New York, he settled in Brazil where in 1942 he and his wife were found dead in bed in an apparent double suicide.
Two by Christopher Andrew about the KGB:
KGB: The Inside Story by Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky. New York. 1990. Harper Collins. hardcover. Jacket design: Neil Stuart. 776 pages. 0060166053.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
This history of the world's largest and most powerful intelligence service, the KGB, from its origin after the Russian revolution to the present day, analyzes its operations against subjects as diverse as the EEC, Margaret Thatcher, Solidarity and Libya. This study also provides an insight into Gorbachev's relations with the KGB and examines the disintegration of the Soviet bloc. Christopher Andrew has also written ‘Secret Service’. Gordievsky was a KGB colonel who worked for British intelligence as a penetration agent in the KGB from 1974. He escaped to the West in 1985. This is a never-before-told inside story of the KGB, chock full of stunning revelations from an ex-KGB double agent. The international bestseller critically acclaimed as 'undoubtedly the most important book ever written on Soviet espionage.' - San Francisco Chronicle.
The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB by Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin. New York. 1999. Basic Books. hardcover. Jacket design by Michael Accordino. 700 pages. 0465003109.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
The Sword and the Shield is based on one of the most extraordinary intelligence coups of recent times: a secret archive of top-level KGB documents smuggled out of the Soviet Union which the FBI has described, after close examination, as the most complete and extensive intelligence ever received from any source. Its presence in the West represents a catastrophic hemorrhage of the KGB’s secrets and reveals for the first time the full extent of its worldwide network. Vasili Mitrokhin, a secret dissident who worked in the KGB archive, smuggled out copies of its most highly classified files every day for twelve years. In 1992, a U.S. ally succeeded in exfiltrating the KGB officer and his entire archive out of Moscow. The archive covers the entire period from the Bolshevik Revolution to the 1980s and includes revelations concerning almost every country in the world. But the KGB's main target, of course, was the United States. Though there is top-secret material on almost every country in the world, the United States is at the top of the list. As well as containing many fascinating revelations, this is a major contribution to the secret history of the twentieth century. Among the topics and revelations explored are: The KGB’s covert operations in the United States and throughout the West, some of which remain dangerous today. KGB files on Oswald and the JFK assassination that Boris Yeltsin almost certainly has no intention of showing President Clinton. The KGB’s attempts to discredit civil rights leader in the 1960s, including its infiltration of the inner circle of a key leader. The KGB’s use of radio intercept posts in New York and Washington, D.C., in the 1970s to intercept high-level U.S. government communications. The KGB’s attempts to steal technological secrets from major U.S. aerospace and technology corporations. KGB covert operations against former President Ronald Reagan, which began five years before he became president. KGB spies who successfully posed as U.S. citizens under a series of ingenious disguises, including several who attained access to the upper echelons of New York society.
Christopher Andrew is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History and Chair of the Faculty of History at Cambridge University.
Perpetual Euphoria: On the Duty to Be Happy by Pascal Bruckner. Princeton. 2010. Princeton University Press. hardcover. 244 pages. 9780691143736.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
HOW HAPPINESS Became A DUTY—AND WHY WE SHOULD REJECT THE DEMAND TO ‘BE HAPPY.’ Translated by Steven Rendall. Happiness today is not just a possibility or an option but a requirement and a duty. To fail to be happy is to fail utterly. Happiness has become a religion—one whose smiley-faced god looks down in rebuke upon everyone who hasn’t yet attained the blessed state of perpetual euphoria. How has a liberating principle of the Enlightenment—the right to pursue happiness— become the unavoidable and burdensome responsibility to be happy? How did we become unhappy about not being happy—and what might we do to escape this predicament? In Perpetual Euphoria, Pascal Bruckner takes up these questions with all his unconventional wit, force, and brilliance, arguing that we might be happier if we simply abandoned our mad pursuit of happiness. Gripped by the twin illusions that we are responsible for being happy or unhappy and that happiness can be produced by effort, many of us are now martyring ourselves—sacrificing our time, fortunes, health, and peace of mind—in the hope of entering an earthly paradise. Much better, Bruckner argues, would be to accept that happiness is an unbidden and fragile gift that arrives only by grace and luck. A stimulating and entertaining meditation on the unhappiness at the heart of the modern cult of happiness, Perpetual Euphoria is a book for everyone who has ever bristled at the command to ‘be happy.’
Pascal Bruckner is the award-winning author of many books of fiction and nonfiction, including the novel Bitter Moon, which was made into a film by Roman Polanski. Bruckner’s nonfiction books include The Tyranny of Guilt (Princeton), The Temptation of Innocence, and The Tears of the White Man (Free Press). ‘Pascal Bruckner, the anti-Pangloss of our time, engagingly reminds us that it is better to lead a rich life with tears than a happy one lacking meaning.’ - Alan Wolfe, author of The Future of Liberalism.
The 826 Quarterly: Volume 19 - Spring 2014 by Molly Parent (editor). San Francisco. 2014. 826 Valencia. paperback. Poetry, Fiction, & Essays by Authors 6 to 18. 137 pages. 9781934750452.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
This edition of the 826 Quarterly contains fiction, non-fiction, and poetry written by authors ages 6-18. The pieces are selected from all the 826 programs (drop-in tutoring, workshops, in-schools, projects, field trips) and at-large submissions. Pieces are chosen in a traditional literary journal style by an editorial board comprised of students and volunteer tutors. This issue includes a hard-hitting investigation into what one 11 year old writer calls the hipster epidemic, poetry about real ships that are sunken under the streets of San Francisco, introspective personal essays on group identity, and short fiction about zoo animals who learn to embrace democracy. It's a wild ride with something to make readers of all ages smile and think. 1st trade appearance of work by Zora Rosenberg - ‘Siren’s Call’, excerpt of the unpublished short story by the same name.
The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934–1960 by Lawrence P. Jackson. Princeton. 2010. Princeton University Press. hardcover. Jacket illustration - Harlem Quarterly cover 1950. Billops-Hatch Collection, courtesy of the Manuscript Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University. Jacket design by Leslie Flis. 65 halftones. 579 pages. 9780691141350.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
A COMPREHENSIVE HISTORY OF AN IMPORTANT—YET NEGLECTED—ERA IN AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE. ‘This is a landmark work in the history of African American Studies and American intellectual history. Writing with verve, Jackson brings to life a large cast of characters and traces an ongoing conversation among the writers and critics of this period. This book is likely to become a model for a new generation of scholars, both for the breadth of its engagement and the depth of its archival research.’ —Werner Sollors, Harvard University. The Indignant Generation is the first narrative history of the neglected but essential period of African American literature between the Harlem Renaissance and the Civil Rights Era. The years between these two indispensable epochs saw the communal rise of Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, and many other influential black writers. While these individuals have been duly celebrated, little attention has been paid to the political and artistic milieu in which they produced their greatest works. With this commanding study, Lawrence Jackson recalls the lost history of a crucial era. Looking at the tumultuous decades surrounding World War II, Jackson restores the ‘indignant’ quality to a generation of African American writers shaped by Jim Crow segregation, the Great Depression, the growth of American Communism, and an international wave of decolonization. He also reveals how artistic collectives in New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC, fostered a sense of destiny and belonging among diverse and disenchanted peoples. As Jackson shows through contemporary documents, the years that brought us Their Eyes Were Watching God, Native Son, and Invisible Man also saw the rise of African American literary criticism—by both black and white critics. Fully exploring the cadre of key African American writers who triumphed in spite of segregation, The Indignant Generation paints a vivid portrait of American intellectual and artistic life in the mid-twentieth century..
Lawrence P. Jackson teaches English and African American studies at Emory University. He is the author of Ralph Ellison: Emergence of a Genius and a forthcoming biography of Chester Himes.
The Death Of Mr. Baltisberger by Bohumil Hrabal. Garden City. 1975. Doubleday. hardcover. Jacket by Nicki Kalish. With an introduction by Daniel S. Miritz. Translated from the Czech by Michael Heim. 193 pages. 0385006926.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
Bohumil Hrabal is best known in America as the author of Closely Watched Trains, the novella on which the highly acclaimed motion picture by Jiri Menzel was based. Among Czechoslovakian artists he is recognized as one of the most outstanding contemporary writers. His style is brilliant, his plots slightly bizarre, and his work has had an enormous influence in particular on Czechoslovakian film - the work of Milos Forman, Menzel, and others. Now a collection of his extraordinary short stories is available in English for the first time. The fourteen stories presented here display the full range of Hrabal’s humor of the grotesque, his often surprising warmth, and his hard-edged, fast-paced style. Included among these fourteen masterful short stories: THE DEATH OF MR. BALTISBERGER - a crippled ex-motorcyclist and three people he meets at the track exchange wildly improbable reminiscences, while a fatal Grand Prix motorcycle race rages around them. A DULL AFTERNOON - a mysterious, self-absorbed stranger disrupts the psychic calm of a neighborhood tavern and becomes the silent catalyst for an unwanted truth. WORLD CAFETERIA - the romance between a young man whose girl friend has just committed suicide and a bride whose husband lands in jail on their wedding night.
Bohumil Hrabal was born on March 28,1914, in Czechoslovakia. He studied law in Prague, and completed his studies, but after 1939, during the German occupation, it was almost impossible for him to practice. Since then he has been employed as a clerk, railway lineman, train dispatcher, postman, laborer in a steel works, and scene-shifter in a theater. He has had a number of books published in Prague prior to 1968. Closely Watched Trains was his only work published in book form in America before this collection. Michael Helm is the translator, with Simon Karlinsky, of The Letters of Anton Chekhov.
The Island Martinique by John Edgar Wideman. Washington DC. 2003. National Geographic Society. hardcover. Jacket design by Laura Shaw Design. Jacket photograph by Didier Goupy/Corbis Sygma. 169 pages. 0792265335.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
In this compelling travel memoir, two-time PEN/Faulkner Award winner John Edgar Wideman explores Martinique's seductive natural beauty and culture, as well as its vexed history of colonial violence and racism. Attempting to decipher the strange, alluring mixture of African and European that is Creole, he and his French traveling companion develop a powerful attraction to one another which they find at once threatened and elevated by a third party--the island itself. A rich intersection of place, history, and the intricacies of human relations, Wideman's story gets deep into the Caribbean and close to the heart of the Creole experience.
John Edgar Wideman (born June 14, 1941, in Washington, D.C.) is an American writer, professor at Brown University, and contributing editorial board of the literary journal Conjunctions. Wideman was born on June 14, 1941. He grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA and much of his writing is set there, especially in the Homewood neighborhood of the East End. He graduated from Pittsburgh's Peabody High School, then attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he became an All-Ivy League forward on the basketball team. He was the second African-American to win a Rhodes Scholarship (New College, Oxford University, England), graduating in 1966. He also graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. A widely-celebrated writer and the winner of many literary awards, he is the first to win the International PEN/Faulkner Award twice: in 1984 for SENT FOR YOU YESTERDAY and in 1990 for PHILADELPHIA FIRE. In 2000, he won the O. Henry Award for his short story ‘Weight’, published in The Callaloo Journal. His nonfiction book BROTHERS AND KEEPERS received a National Book Critics Circle nomination, and his memoir FATHERALONG was a finalist for the National Book Award. He is also the recipient of a MacArthur genius grant. Wideman was chosen as winner of the Rea Award for the Short Story in 1998, for outstanding achievement in that genre. In 1997, his novel THE CATTLE KILLING won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction. He has taught at the University of Wyoming, University of Pennsylvania, where he founded and chaired the African American Studies Department, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst's MFA Program for Poets & Writers.
The Tower Of Babel by Elias Canetti. New York. 1947. Knopf. hardcover. 427 pages. Jacket Drawing By George Salter. Translated from the German by C. V. Wedgewood Under The Personal Supervision Of The Author.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
Difficult to describe and impossible to classify, THE TOWER OF BABEL is a realistic parable, original, deeply searching, timeless, and yet integral with the great underlying perplexities of our age. The story is that of a learned specia1ist in Chinese culture during three successive phases of his life, phases illuminated by the titles of the sections into which the book falls. In ‘A Head Without a World,’ Peter Kien lives in his highly specialized library, ignorantly despising the world outside his door. Finally its cruder realities drive an opening wedge into his life. In ‘Headless World,’ Kien is hounded out of his library and home into the metropolis that he knows so little. Here is his chance to know the life outside books; but now his mind is giving way, and what he experiences is a phantasmagoria. In ‘The World in the Head,’ Kien is visited by his brother, a gifted psychiatrist whose effort to rescue him actually pushes him toward the fatal crises of his madness. The fine rendering, made under the author’s supervision by C. V. Wedgwood, author of William The Silent, brings this great work to readers of English with a freedom from loss rarely found in translations.
Crowds And Power by Elias Canetti. New York. 1962. Viking Press. hardcover. 295 pages. Jacket design by James and Ruth McCrea.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
A mounting groundswell of opinion from abroad indicates that this bold and startlingly original work will be a publishing event of the greatest importance. The book will doubtless prove to be as obligatory for the reader of today, concerned with the mainsprings of human affairs, as Spengler’s DECLINE OF THE WEST was for an earlier generation. Canetti’s book is, however, both shorter and far easier to read than Spengler’s. The increasing interplay between crowds and power is the most important social phenomenon of our century. Men hitherto unknown are suddenly thrown up by the crowd, and the power they then wield is more absolute than that of any established former ruler. These men have started wars involving the whole of mankind, and the destruction of life they have wrought is incalculable. Event single human being on earth is in some way or another affected by them, and the complete extinction of mankind is threatened by this mysterious interplay between crowds and power. A real understanding of this problem is urgent. CROWDS AND POWER is based on the author’s own firsthand observation of crowds in several countries, on his vast research for twenty-five years on historical crowds in various civilizations, and on the roots and motives of personal power. DR. C. VERONICA WEDGWOOD, the distinguished British writer and lecturer, says in her review of CROWDS AND POWER in The London Daily Telegraph: ‘This is a powerful and haunting book which fires the imagination and the intellect. of comprehensive significance, a kind of ‘Leviathan’ for the twentieth century. Some passages in this book recall in their unvarnished and telling directness the etchings of Goya. The whole provides an astonishing and disturbing new perspective of the human scene.’ IRIS MURDOCH in The Spectator writes: ‘To deal adequately with CROWDS AND POWER one would have to be, like its author, a mixture of historian, sociologist, psychologist, philosopher and poet. One is certainly confronted here with something large and important: an extremely imaginative, original and massively documented theory of the psychology of crowds. It is also a great original work on a vitally important subject, and provides us with an eminence from which we can take a new look at Marx and Freud. We need and we shall always need the visions of great imaginers and solitary men of genius.’
Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty. Cambridge. 2014. Harrvard University Press. hardcover. 685 pages. 9780674430006.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
What are the grand dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital? Questions about the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and the prospects for economic growth lie at the heart of political economy. But satisfactory answers have been hard to find for lack of adequate data and clear guiding theories. In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty analyzes a unique collection of data from twenty countries, ranging as far back as the eighteenth century, to uncover key economic and social patterns. His findings will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality. Piketty shows that modern economic growth and the diffusion of knowledge have allowed us to avoid inequalities on the apocalyptic scale predicted by Karl Marx. But we have not modified the deep structures of capital and inequality as much as we thought in the optimistic decades following World War II. The main driver of inequality--the tendency of returns on capital to exceed the rate of economic growth--today threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and undermine democratic values. But economic trends are not acts of God. Political action has curbed dangerous inequalities in the past, Piketty says, and may do so again. A work of extraordinary ambition, originality, and rigor, Capital in the Twenty-First Century reorients our understanding of economic history and confronts us with sobering lessons for today.
Thomas Piketty is Professor at the Paris School of Economics.
Redheads Die Quickly and Other Stories by Gil Brewer. Gainesville. 2012. University Press of Florida. paperback. 298 pages. Cover illustration by Larry Leshan. Edited by David Rachels. 9780813044064.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
Gil Brewer (1922-1983), a second-generation noir writer, followed in the footsteps of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and James M. Cain. He spent most of his life in the Tampa Bay area, where he also set most of his fiction. Like his characters, he was a victim of his own weaknesses, dying as a result of the alcoholism that plagued his whole adult life. Brewer published prolifically under various pseudonyms and in a variety of niche genres including mystery, romance, and pornography. Over the course of his career, he published more than 100 short stories and 50 novels, including A Taste for Sin, Satan Is a Woman, and The Girl from Hateville. He is known for his everyday characters--often underdogs, frequently downtrodden, and desperate to get ahead in life--who ultimately succumb to their own weaknesses and desires. Brewer revolutionized the availability of reading-as-entertainment for the American people by helping to exploit a new market: the paperback original. Many of his novels, including the bestselling 13 French Street, have recently been reissued for a new audience. However, Redheads Die Quickly and Other Stories is the first collection of his short fiction. Because his work was published in a large number of pulp magazines, and because he regularly didn't publish stories under his own name, Brewer's fans--and fans of hard-boiled noir fiction in general--have often been frustrated in their efforts to find the work of this mid-century American crime writer. David Rachels has sifted through the Brewer papers at the University of Wyoming, thumbed thousands of publications, and tracked down rare pulp magazines on eBay, to create the first-ever authoritative list of Brewer's short stories, with the best featured in a single volume.
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. 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. 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.
Coup D’Etat: The Technique of Revolution by Curzio Malaparte. New York. 1932. Dutton. hardcover. 251 pages. Translated from the Italian by Sylvia Saunders.
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.
Four from Karl Kraus...
In These Great Times: A Karl Kraus Reader By Karl Kraus. Montreal. 1976. Engendra Press. 263 pages. 0919830021. Edited By Harry Zohn. With translations by Joseph Fabry, Max Knight, Karl F. Ross. and Harry Zohn.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
‘My readers think that I write for the day because my writings are based on the day. So I shall have to wait until my writings are obsolete. Then they may acquire timeliness.’ The voice of Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Vienna’s legendary satirist, polemicist, and pacifist, today speaks with a timeliness and a freshness that the passing of four decades has not diminished. Kraus assailed the sins of early 20th-century Europe in vitriolic fashion, often finding himself virtually alone in the unpopularity of his stance. In 1919 Kraus indicated the compass of his themes as follows: ‘Sex and untruth, stupidity, abuses, cadences and clichés, printer’s ink, technology, death, war and society, usury, politics, the insolence of office . . . art and nature, love and dreams. . . ’ The present Reader includes samples of Kraus’s thoughts and feelings on all these subjects, in prose and in verse, culminating in a readable and performable condensation of modern literature’s most trenchant anti-war drama, THE LAST DAYS OF MANKIND. The English-speaking public thus has available for the first time a representative selection from the writings of one of the modern era’s most influential and original thinkers.
The four contributors to In These Great Times are natives of Vienna. Karl F. Ross is by profession a patent attorney, practicing in New York City, and by avocation a linguist and world traveler. Recently retired as editor of ‘Mensa Bulletin’ (the national publication of the international IQ society), a position he held for nearly seven years, Mr. Ross has translated poems from the German of - among others - Christian Morgenstern and the satirist Kurt Tucholsky, which appeared in books co-published with Max Knight and Harry Zohn respectively. Max Knight and Joseph Fabry attended Karl Kraus’s public readings while students at the University of Vienna Law School. In the 1930s, under the joint pen name of Peter Fabrizius, they wrote short stories and essays for literary journals, later published as collections. In the early 1950s they became editors of scholarly works for the University of California in Berkeley, holding these positions for a quarter-century. Since 1963 they have produced translations of Christian Morgenstern, Johann Nestroy, Bertolt Brecht Heinrich Heine, and of the legal philosophy of Hans Kelsen. Max Knight is also the author of Return to the Alps and Joseph Fabry of The Pursuit of Meaning. Harry Zohn is chairman of the department of Germanic and Slavic languages at Brandeis University, where he has taught since 1951. He is the author or editor of many books, including a study of Karl Kraus (1971), Men of Dialogue: martin Buber and Albrecht Goes, and the Austrian reader Der Farbenvolle Untergang. Professor Zohn is a translator of considerable accomplishment. Among the authors he has rendered into English are Walter Benjamin, Jacob Burckhardt, Sigmund Freud, Theodor Herzl, and Walter Toman. He has also translated Max Weber: A Biography by Marinane Weber, and Half-Truths & One-and-a-Half Truths: Selected Aphorisms by Karl Kraus.
Half-Truths & One-And-A-Half Truths by Karl Kraus. Montreal. 1976. Engendra Press. hardcover. 128 pages. Design by Anthony Crouch. Edited and translated from the German by Harry Zohn. 0919830005.
FROM THE PUBLISHER –
‘This, and only this, is the substance of our civilization: the speed with which stupidity sucks us into its vortex.’ An intrepid guardian of the truth in an age drowning in lies, Karl Kraus (1874-1936), the great Viennese editor, moralist, polemicist and pacifist - and perhaps the foremost aphorist of modern times - unrelentingly assailed those powers whom he regarded as the mainspring of a Europe in an advanced state of putrefaction. Journalists, nationalists, warmongers, ‘psychoanais’ – all who corrupted the quality of life through their defilement of language found themselves on the receiving end of satiric barbs launched by the outraged humanitarian, who (true satirist that he was) measured everything he witnessed against unbending standards. ‘Hate must make a person productive; otherwise one might as well love.’ Karl Kraus was a passionate lover as well as a productive hater; HALF-TRUTHS & ONE-AND-A-HALF TRUTHS strikes a balance between aphoristic sayings born of contempt or indignation and those having their source in more positive – though no less intense – feelings and concerns. The process of artistic creation, the role of the satirist, the significance of language (‘the divining rod which finds sources of thought’) and the mysteries inherent in the relationship between the sexes are some of the themes on which Kraus expressed himself aphoristically; Professor Zohn’s selection and translation have resulted in one of the more quotable books to have appeared in the English language in recent years.
Harry Zohn is a native of Vienna and currently chairman of the department of Germanic and Slavic languages at Brandeis University, where he has taught since 1951. The many books which he has written or edited include a study of Karl Kraus (1971), and the Austrian reader Der farbenvolle Untergang. Among the works which Professor Zohn has translated may be mentioned The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, Sigmund Freud’s Delusion and Dream, Walter Benjamin’s Illuminations, Marianne Weber’s Max Weber: A Biography, and selections from the German satirist Kurt Tucholsky. Professor Zohn holds the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit awarded by the Federal Republic of Germany, and is a member of the Austrian P.E.N. Club.
No Compromise: Selected Writings of Karl Kraus by Karl Kraus. New York. 1977. Ungar. hardcover. 260 pages. edited & With An Introduction by Frederick Ungar. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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.
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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