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The Quality Of Hurt: The Autobiography Of Chester Himes, Volume 1 by Chester Himes. London. 1973. Michael Joseph. 351 pages. Jacket design by Claire Lachance. 0718111567.

 

0718111567FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   'This volume of my autobiography recounts all that memory retains of the forty-five years of my hurt. America hurt me terribly, whether rightly or wrongly is not the point. When I fought back through writing it decided to kill me, whether because I was a degenerate ex-convict who refused to wear sackcloth and ashes, a Negro who refused to accept the Negro problem as my own, a 'nigger' who would not conform to the existence prescribed for niggers, or a black man who pitied white women, I will never know. I do know that when America kills a nigger it expects him to remain dead. But I didn't know I was supposed to die. I still had hope. I still believed in the devil. But at the age of forty-five, while trying to make a white woman feel safe, I suddenly realised I had never been safe. Fear erased my hurt. I became afraid to live. Fortunately the desperate struggle for life informed me that the only place where I was safe was in my skin.' - Chester Himes.

 

 

 

Himes ChesterChester Bomar Himes (July 29, 1909 - November 12, 1984) was an American writer. His works include If He Hollers Let Him Go and a series of Harlem Detective novels. In 1958 he won France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. Chester Himes was born in Jefferson City, Missouri, on July 29, 1909. He grew up in a middle-class home in Missouri. When Himes was about 12 years old, his father took a teaching job at Branch Normal College (now University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff), and soon a tragedy took place that would profoundly shape Himes's view of race relations. He had misbehaved and his mother made him sit out a gunpowder demonstration that he and his brother, Joseph Jr., were supposed to conduct during a school assembly. Working alone, Joseph mixed the chemicals; they exploded in his face. Rushed to the nearest hospital, the blinded boy was refused treatment. ‘That one moment in my life hurt me as much as all the others put together,’ Himes wrote in The Quality of Hurt. ‘I loved my brother. I had never been separated from him and that moment was shocking, shattering, and terrifying....We pulled into the emergency entrance of a white people's hospital. White clad doctors and attendants appeared. I remember sitting in the back seat with Joe watching the pantomime being enacted in the car's bright lights. A white man was refusing; my father was pleading. Dejectedly my father turned away; he was crying like a baby. My mother was fumbling in her handbag for a handkerchief; I hoped it was for a pistol.’ Chester's parents were Joseph Sandy Himes and Estelle Bomar Himes; his father was a peripatetic black college professor of industrial trades and his mother was a teacher at Scotia Seminary prior to marriage; the family eventually settled in Cleveland, Ohio. His parents' marriage was unhappy and eventually ended in divorce. Himes attended East High School in Cleveland, Ohio. While he was a freshman at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, he was expelled for playing a prank. In late 1928 he was arrested and sentenced to jail and hard labor for 20 to 25 years for armed robbery and sent to Ohio Penitentiary. In prison, he wrote short stories and had them published in national magazines. Himes stated that writing in prison and being published was a way to earn respect from guards and fellow inmates, as well as to avoid violence. His first stories appeared in 1931 in The Bronzeman and, starting in 1934, in Esquire. His story ‘To What Red Hell’ (published in Esquire in 1934) as well as to his novel Cast the First Stone - only much later republished unabridged as Yesterday Will Make You Cry (1998) - dealt with the catastrophic 1930 prison fire Himes witnessed at Ohio Penitentiary in 1930. In 1934 Himes was transferred to London Prison Farm and in April 1936 he was released on parole into his mother's custody. Following his release he worked at part-time jobs and at the same time continued to write. During this period he came in touch with Langston Hughes, who facilitated Himes's contacts with the world of literature and publishing. In 1936 Himes married Jean Johnson. In the 1940s Himes spent time in Los Angeles, working as a screenwriter but also producing two novels, If He Hollers Let Him Go and The Lonely Crusade that charted the experiences of the wave of black in-migrants, drawn by the city's defense industries, and their dealings with the established black community, fellow workers, unions and management. He also provided an analysis of the Zoot Suit Riots for The Crisis, the magazine of the NAACP. By the 1950s Himes had decided to settle in France permanently, a country he liked in part due to his popularity in literary circles. In Paris, Himes' was the contemporary of the political cartoonist Oliver Harrington and fellow expatriate writers Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and William Gardner Smith. It was in Paris in the late 1950s that Chester met his second wife Lesley Himes, née Packard, when she went to interview him. She was a journalist at the Herald Tribune, where she wrote her own fashion column, ‘Monica’. He described her as ‘Irish-English with blue-gray eyes and very good looking’, he also saw her courage and resilience, Chester said to Lesley, ‘You’re the only true color-blind person I’ve ever met in my life.’ After he suffered a stroke, in 1959, Lesley quit her job and nursed him back to health. She cared for him for the rest of his life, and worked with him as his informal editor, proofreader, confidante and, as the director, Van Peebles dubbed her, ‘his watchdog’. After a long engagement, they were married in 1978. Lesley and Chester faced adversities as a mixed race couple but they prevailed. Theirs was a life lived with an unparallelled passion and great humor. Their circle of political colleagues and creative friends included not only such towering figures as Langston Hughes and Richard Wright; it also included figures such as Malcolm X, Carl Van Vechten, Picasso, Jean Miotte, Ollie Harrington, Nikki Giovanni and Ishmael Reed. Bohemian life in Paris would in turn lead them to the South of France and finally on to Spain, where they lived until Chester’s death in 1984. In 1969 Himes moved to Moraira, Spain, where he died in 1984 from Parkinson's Disease. He is buried at Benissa cemetery.

 


 

 

 

If He Hollers Let Him Go by Chester B. Himes. Garden City. 1945. Doubleday Doran & Company. 249 pages.

 

The American publishing world of the 1950s and early 1960s didn’t quite know what to do with Chester Himes. His early novels pulled few punches regarding subjects like race, sex, injustice, and violence. It is interesting to note that the dustjacket covers of the American editions of his books are about as flat as they could be and don't at all reflect his extraordinary talent. His crime novels on the other hand, which were published in this country as paperback originals, featured cover art as lurid and suggestive as any of the other paperback crime novels then being published… Don’t miss his first novel, IF HE HOLLERS LET HIM GO.

 

if he hollers let him go doubleday doran 1945FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   In this, his first novel, Chester B. Himes takes his place in the vanguard of those realistic writers best exemplified by James M. Cain. A young Negro from Cleveland, he has been a frequent contributor to the magazines, where he has built up a reputation for hard-hitting prose that carries terrific impact. Before attempting this novel he worked in the war industry described so vividly in this book, so what he writes comes from firsthand information rather than from a fertile imagination. Writing with relentless fury, he unfolds the story of the racial tensions inherent in a West Coast shipyard and their effect on Bob Jones, a young Negro from the Middle West who came to the Coast when jobs in war industry first opened up. With two years of college behind him, he has worked himself up to the position of leaderman, a job of authority yet lacking the authority necessary to back it up, a situation fraught with inner conflict. The result is that his contacts with his fellow workers, with the blowzy white blonde from Texas who constantly throws her color in his face, and with the girl he loves, the daughter of wealthy, upper-class Negro parents, bring him only bitterness and frustration. His efforts to fight back, which take the only form he feels is effective - a chip-on-the-shoulder militancy - are doomed from the start and can only bring about a climax ending in the loss of his job, the girl he loves, and his chance to lead a normal life. There is deep honesty in this novel, perhaps too much so, for it touches on areas which are controversial. There is bitterness, too, but it is the bitterness of a man driven so far into frustration that he has lost the way out and can only strike back blindly. In this respect it is not meant to portray a typical race reaction, but rather an individual one. Yet the frustrations described are typical of those suffered by all Negroes, and in this there is perhaps a word of warning for the future.

 

 

 

Himes ChesterChester Bomar Himes (July 29, 1909 - November 12, 1984) was an American writer. His works include If He Hollers Let Him Go and a series of Harlem Detective novels. In 1958 he won France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. Chester Himes was born in Jefferson City, Missouri, on July 29, 1909. He grew up in a middle-class home in Missouri. When Himes was about 12 years old, his father took a teaching job at Branch Normal College (now University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff), and soon a tragedy took place that would profoundly shape Himes's view of race relations. He had misbehaved and his mother made him sit out a gunpowder demonstration that he and his brother, Joseph Jr., were supposed to conduct during a school assembly. Working alone, Joseph mixed the chemicals; they exploded in his face. Rushed to the nearest hospital, the blinded boy was refused treatment. ‘That one moment in my life hurt me as much as all the others put together,’ Himes wrote in The Quality of Hurt. ‘I loved my brother. I had never been separated from him and that moment was shocking, shattering, and terrifying....We pulled into the emergency entrance of a white people's hospital. White clad doctors and attendants appeared. I remember sitting in the back seat with Joe watching the pantomime being enacted in the car's bright lights. A white man was refusing; my father was pleading. Dejectedly my father turned away; he was crying like a baby. My mother was fumbling in her handbag for a handkerchief; I hoped it was for a pistol.’ Chester's parents were Joseph Sandy Himes and Estelle Bomar Himes; his father was a peripatetic black college professor of industrial trades and his mother was a teacher at Scotia Seminary prior to marriage; the family eventually settled in Cleveland, Ohio. His parents' marriage was unhappy and eventually ended in divorce. Himes attended East High School in Cleveland, Ohio. While he was a freshman at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, he was expelled for playing a prank. In late 1928 he was arrested and sentenced to jail and hard labor for 20 to 25 years for armed robbery and sent to Ohio Penitentiary. In prison, he wrote short stories and had them published in national magazines. Himes stated that writing in prison and being published was a way to earn respect from guards and fellow inmates, as well as to avoid violence. His first stories appeared in 1931 in The Bronzeman and, starting in 1934, in Esquire. His story ‘To What Red Hell’ (published in Esquire in 1934) as well as to his novel Cast the First Stone - only much later republished unabridged as Yesterday Will Make You Cry (1998) - dealt with the catastrophic 1930 prison fire Himes witnessed at Ohio Penitentiary in 1930. In 1934 Himes was transferred to London Prison Farm and in April 1936 he was released on parole into his mother's custody. Following his release he worked at part-time jobs and at the same time continued to write. During this period he came in touch with Langston Hughes, who facilitated Himes's contacts with the world of literature and publishing. In 1936 Himes married Jean Johnson. In the 1940s Himes spent time in Los Angeles, working as a screenwriter but also producing two novels, If He Hollers Let Him Go and The Lonely Crusade that charted the experiences of the wave of black in-migrants, drawn by the city's defense industries, and their dealings with the established black community, fellow workers, unions and management. He also provided an analysis of the Zoot Suit Riots for The Crisis, the magazine of the NAACP. By the 1950s Himes had decided to settle in France permanently, a country he liked in part due to his popularity in literary circles. In Paris, Himes' was the contemporary of the political cartoonist Oliver Harrington and fellow expatriate writers Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and William Gardner Smith. It was in Paris in the late 1950s that Chester met his second wife Lesley Himes, née Packard, when she went to interview him. She was a journalist at the Herald Tribune, where she wrote her own fashion column, ‘Monica’. He described her as ‘Irish-English with blue-gray eyes and very good looking’, he also saw her courage and resilience, Chester said to Lesley, ‘You’re the only true color-blind person I’ve ever met in my life.’ After he suffered a stroke, in 1959, Lesley quit her job and nursed him back to health. She cared for him for the rest of his life, and worked with him as his informal editor, proofreader, confidante and, as the director, Van Peebles dubbed her, ‘his watchdog’. After a long engagement, they were married in 1978. Lesley and Chester faced adversities as a mixed race couple but they prevailed. Theirs was a life lived with an unparallelled passion and great humor. Their circle of political colleagues and creative friends included not only such towering figures as Langston Hughes and Richard Wright; it also included figures such as Malcolm X, Carl Van Vechten, Picasso, Jean Miotte, Ollie Harrington, Nikki Giovanni and Ishmael Reed. Bohemian life in Paris would in turn lead them to the South of France and finally on to Spain, where they lived until Chester’s death in 1984. In 1969 Himes moved to Moraira, Spain, where he died in 1984 from Parkinson's Disease. He is buried at Benissa cemetery.

 

 


 

 

A House For Mr. Biswas by V. S. Naipaul. New York. 1961. McGraw Hill. 531 pages. Jacket design by Stephen Russ.

 

A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS is my favorite V. S. Naipaul novel.

 

house for mr biswasFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   The rambling odyssey of Mr Biswas in his quest for happiness and freedom, and of course for a house, is a delight to read. Probably Naipaul's most human book, it is a bit as if Charles Dickens was an East Indian early 20th century Trinidadian, but better. Mr Biswas is a gentle man, thoughtful and fastidious, with a taste for privacy - a pleasant thing if one happens to have money, which he does not. He is a Hindu of high caste but very low fortune, living in the West Indies, and A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS is the story of his longing for independence and a house of his own, which becomes for him a symbol of everything that life has denied him. V. S. Naipaul tells how, in the end, Mr Biswas gets his house. Mr Biswas has been brought up on the haphazard charity of relatives. He is lucky to have his talent for sign writing, as the shopkeepers in Trinidad like to make a show and Mr Biswas earns a kind of living. Literally forced by reason of his high caste to marry into the Tulsi family, he becomes almost part of their furniture in a teeming establishment ruled by old Mrs Tulsi. Mr Biswas might as well have been embraced by an octopus, for to be private, thoughtful, or fastidious is to be a traitor among Tulsis. Following him from birth to death, the author writes with the delicate, dry humour that has attracted great critical acclaim wherever his books have appeared. He gives not only a wonderfully detailed and colourful picture of Hindu life in the West Indies, but also a picture of humanity anywhere as it contends with hardship and loneliness, pushing out its frail but stub- born shoots of hope and dignity. It was clear from his earlier novels that V. S. Naipaul was one of the most distinguished writers to emerge from the West Indies. Now with A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS, he has written unquestionably the best regional novel about them that has yet appeared - a book which triumphantly transcends geographical considerations, and a tale so true, so exact, and so deeply compassionate, that it put him among the most highly regarded authors in the world on the day it was published.

Naipaul V SSir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul (born August 17, 1932 in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago), better known as V. S. Naipaul, is a Trinidadian-born British writer of Indo-Trinidadian descent, currently resident in Wiltshire. Naipaul was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001 and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990. He is the son, older brother, uncle, and cousin of published authors Seepersad Naipaul, Shiva Naipaul, Neil Bissoondath, and Vahni Capildeo, respectively. His current wife is Nadira Naipaul, a former journalist. In 1971, Naipaul became the first person of Indian origin to win a Booker Prize for his book In a Free State. In awarding Naipaul the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, the Swedish Academy praised his work ‘for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories.’ The Committee added, ‘Naipaul is a modern philosophe carrying on the tradition that started originally with Lettres persanes and Candide. In a vigilant style, which has been deservedly admired, he transforms rage into precision and allows events to speak with their own inherent irony.’ The Committee also noted Naipaul’s affinity with the Polish author of Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad. His fiction and especially his travel writing have been criticised for their allegedly unsympathetic portrayal of the Third World. Edward Said, for example, has argued that he ‘allowed himself quite consciously to be turned into a witness for the Western prosecution’, promoting ‘colonial mythologies about wogs and darkies’.This perspective is most salient in The Middle Passage, which Naipaul composed after returning to the Caribbean after ten years of self-exile in England, and An Area of Darkness, an arguably stark condemnation on his ancestral homeland of India. His works have become required reading in many schools within the Third World. Among English-speaking countries, Naipaul’s following is notably stronger in the United Kingdom than it is in the United States. Though a regular visitor to India since the 1960s, he has arguably ‘analysed’ India from an arms-length distance, in some cases initially with considerable distaste (as in An Area of Darkness), and later with ‘grudging affection’ (as in A Million Mutinies Now), and of late perhaps even with ‘ungrudging affection’ (most manifestly in his view that the rise of Hindutva embodies the welcome, broader civilisational resurgence of India). He has also made attempts over the decades to identify his ancestral village in India, believed to be near Gorakhpur in Eastern Uttar Pradesh from where his grandfather had migrated to Trinidad as indentured labourer. In several of his books Naipaul has observed Islam, and he has been criticised for dwelling on negative aspects, e.g. nihilism among fundamentalists. Naipaul’s support for Hindutva has also been controversial. He has been quoted describing the destruction of the Babri Mosque as a ‘creative passion’, and the invasion of Babur in the 16th century as a ‘mortal wound.’ He views Vijayanagar, which fell in 1565, as the last bastion of native Hindu civilisation. He remains a somewhat reviled figure in Pakistan, which he bitingly condemned in Among the Believers. In 1998 a controversial memoir by Naipaul’s sometime protégé Paul Theroux was published. The book provides a personal, though occasionally caustic portrait of Naipaul. The memoir, entitled Sir Vidia’s Shadow, was precipitated by a falling-out between the two men a few years earlier. In early 2007, V.S Naipaul made a long-awaited return to his homeland of Trinidad. He urged citizens to shrug off the notions of ‘Indian’ and ‘African’ and to concentrate on being ‘Trinidadian’. He was warmly received by students and intellectuals alike and it seems, finally, that he has come to some form of closure with Trinidad. Naipaul is married to Nadira Naipaul. She was born Nadira Khannum Alvi in Kenya and got married in Pakistan. She worked as a journalist for Pakistani newspaper, The Nation for ten years before meeting Naipaul. They married in 1996, two months after the death of Naipaul’s first wife, Patricia Hale. Nadira had been divorced twice before her marriage to Naipaul. She has two children from a previous marriage, Maliha and Nadir.

 


 

 

 

Sebald, W. G.. The Emigrants. New York. 1996. New Directions. 0811213382. Translated from the German by Michael Hulse. 237 pages. hardcover. Cover: Semadar Megged.  

 

0811213382FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

The four long narratives in W.G. Sebald’s The Emigrants at first appear to be the straightforward biographies of four people in exile: a painter, an elderly Russian, the author’s schoolteacher as well as his eccentric great-uncle Ambrose. Following (literally) in their footsteps, the narrator retraces routes which lead from Lithuania to London, from Munich to Manchester, from the South German provinces to Switzerland, France, New York, Constantinople, and Jerusalem. Along with memories of the Holocaust, he collects documents, diaries, pictures. Each story is illustrated with enigmatic photographs, making The Emigrants seem at times almost like a family album - but of families destroyed. Sebald weaves together variant forms (travelog, biography, autobiography, and historical monograph), combining precise documentary with fictional motifs. As he puts the question to ‘realism,’ the four stories merge gradually into one requiem, overwhelming and indelible.

 

Sebald W GW. G. SEBALD was born in Wertach im Allgau, Germany, in 1944. He studied German language and literature in Freiburg, Switzerland, and Manchester. He taught at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, for thirty years, becoming professor of European literature in 1987, and from 1989 to 1994 he was the first director of the British Centre for Literary Translation. His previously translated books - THE RINGS OF SATURN, THE EMIGRANTS, VERTIGO, and AUSTERLITZ - have won a number of international awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the Berlin Literature Prize, and the Literatur Nord Prize. He died in December 2001.

 


 

 

 

Robinson, Cedric J.. Black Movements in America. New York. 1997. Routledge. 0415912237. 192 pages. hardcover.  

 

0415912237 no dwFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

In Black Movements in America, Cedric Robinson traces the emergence of Black political cultures in the United States from slave resistances in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to the civil rights movements of the present. Drawing on historical records, Robinson argues that Blacks have constructed both a culture of resistance and a culture of accommodation based on the radically different experiences of slaves and free Blacks. Robinson concludes that contemporary Black movements are inspired by either a social vision - held by the relatively privileged strata - which holds the American nation to its ideals and public representation, and another - that of the masses - which interprets the Black experience in America as proof of the country's venality and hypocrisy. 

 

 

Robinson Cedric JCedric Robinson (November 5, 1940 – June 5, 2016) was a professor in the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He headed the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Political Science and served as the Director of the Center for Black Studies Research. Robinson's areas of interest included classical and modern political philosophy, radical social theory in the African diaspora, comparative politics, and the relationships between and among media and politics.

 


 

 

 

Robinson, Cedric J.. The Terms of Order: Political Science and the Myth of Leadership. Chapel Hill. 2016. University of North Carolina Press. 9781469628219. Foreword by Erica R. Edwards. 276 pages. paperback.  

 

9781469628219FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

Do we live in basically orderly societies that occasionally erupt into violent conflict, or do we fail to perceive the constancy of violence and disorder in our societies? In this classic book, originally published in 1980, Cedric J. Robinson contends that our perception of political order is an illusion, maintained in part by Western political and social theorists who depend on the idea of leadership as a basis for describing and prescribing social order. Using a variety of critical approaches in his analysis, Robinson synthesizes elements of psychoanalysis, structuralism, Marxism, classical and neoclassical political philosophy, and cultural anthropology in order to argue that Western thought on leadership is mythological rather than rational. He then presents examples of historically developed "stateless" societies with social organizations that suggest conceptual alternatives to the ways political order has been conceived in the West. Examining Western thought from the vantage point of a people only marginally integrated into Western institutions and intellectual traditions, Robinson's perspective radically critiques fundamental ideas of leadership and order.

 

Robinson Cedric JCedric Robinson (November 5, 1940 – June 5, 2016) was a professor in the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He headed the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Political Science and served as the Director of the Center for Black Studies Research. Robinson's areas of interest included classical and modern political philosophy, radical social theory in the African diaspora, comparative politics, and the relationships between and among media and politics.

 


 

 

 

Arendt, Hannah. The Human Condition. Chicago. 1958. University Of Chicago Press. 333 pages. hardcover.

 

human conditionFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

With erudition and wisdom Hannah Arendt casts new light upon such subjects as semantics, philosophy, politics, aesthetics, the family, economics, labor movements, and the growth of psychology and the social sciences. A work of striking originality bursting with unexpected insights, The Human Condition is in many respects more relevant now than when it first appeared in 1958. In her study of the state of modern humanity, Hannah Arendt considers humankind from the perspective of the actions of which it is capable. The problems Arendt identified then—diminishing human agency and political freedom, the paradox that as human powers increase through technological and humanistic inquiry, we are less equipped to control the consequences of our actions—continue to confront us today. A classic in political and social theory, The Human Condition is a work that has proved both timeless and perpetually timely.

 

Arendt HannahJohanna ‘Hannah’ Arendt (October 14, 1906 – December 4, 1975) was a German American political theorist. She often has been described as a philosopher, although she rejected that label on the grounds that philosophy is concerned with ‘man in the singular’ and instead, she described herself as a political theorist because her work centers on the fact that ‘men, not Man, live on the earth and inhabit the world.’ Arendt's work deals with the nature of power, and the subjects of politics, authority, and totalitarianism.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Dick, Philip K.. The Penultimate Truth. New York. 1964. Belmont. 174 pages. paperback. 92-603.  

 

belmont penultimate truth 92 603FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

The time is 1982, the story of a unique blend of genius and madness - of men and machines gone berserk in a world they created. THE WORLD ELITE. Almost all mankind lives underground now, in the antiseptic tanks constructed during World War III. They do not know the war ended ten years ago. Special interests want this situation to exist. They are the Yance-men, the elite of humanity who govern people through the President, Talbot Yancy, who is a product of their fertile imaginations. Joseph Adams is a Yance-man, living on the surface of the earth, dispensing his tissue of lies to men and robots, until the day his boss and best friend is mysteriously murdered, in the most imaginative, bizarre manner possible. Is it too late for him to act now? The machines think so; can anything else matter?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Penguin edition:

 

 

Dick, Philip K.. The Penultimate Truth. Middlesex. 1970. Penguin Books. 0140031057. 221 pages. paperback. Cover design by Franco Grignani.

 

0140031057FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

It's A. D. 2025. The world’s population lives underground in small factories called ‘Tanks’. They are making complex robots to fight World War III. Information about the war effort comes from a few brave politicians chancing their lives on the highly radioactive surface. What the few brave politicians forget to mention is that the war finished ten years ago. And the robots make great servants on their thousand-acre estates. What they do mention is that anyone who comes to the surface will die instantly and horribly from the enemy's bacteria. If you think mankind is too advanced for this kind of medieval oppression, read The Penultimate Truth.

 

 

 

 

 

Dick Philip KPhilip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist whose published work is almost entirely in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states. In his later works Dick's thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology. He often drew upon his own life experiences in addressing the nature of drug abuse, paranoia, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in novels such as A Scanner Darkly and VALIS. The novel The Man in the High Castle bridged the genres of alternate history and science fiction, earning Dick a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1963. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, a novel about a celebrity who awakens in a parallel universe where he is unknown, won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel in 1975. ‘I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards,’ Dick wrote of these stories. ‘In my writing I even question the universe; I wonder out loud if it is real, and I wonder out loud if all of us are real.’ In addition to 44 published novels, Dick wrote approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime. Although Dick spent most of his career as a writer in near-poverty, ten popular films based on his works have been produced, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, Paycheck, Next, Screamers, and The Adjustment Bureau. In 2005, Time magazine named Ubik one of the one hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923. In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.

 


 

 

 

Heraclitus by Philip Wheelwright. Princeton. 1959. Princeton University Press. keywords: Philosophy Ancient Greece Presocratics. 181 pages. The jacket design is based on Fragment 115, a play on the Greek ward that means, except for a shift of accent, both bow and life.

 

heraclitus pupFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   This linguistic accident Heraclitus relates to the paradox that 'life and death are but intertwining aspects of the same thin. The current revival of interest in Heraclitus is not surprising-as a philosopher of bitter paradox and hard metaphor, who found in change itself the one unchanging attribute of reality, Heraclitus speaks to our age. The sayings of the Dark One, as he has been called, survive only as fragments, for the most part disconnected sentences presumably from a single treatise. The first compilation of these was made in Germany well over a century ago, but this is the first book written in English to introduce him to the general reader. The more than one hundred fragments are arranged topically in groups to preface eight chapters, which examine the various aspects of Heraclitus’ thought: his speculations on the universe in its composition and functioning, and on man in his relation to his environment, his fellow man, and his own soul. Most arresting among Professor Wheelwright’s many accomplishments in this book is his success in helping the reader strip off his twentieth-century preconceptions and take part in the adventure of a brilliant Greek mind exploring reality with the resources of the late sixth century B. C. It is an extraordinary adventure, for which the best possible preparation is Heraclitus’ own precept: ‘Unless you expect the unexpected, you will never find truth.’

 

The range of PHILIP WHEELWRIGHT’S interests and accomplishments suggests Heraclitus’ Fragment: ‘The things of which there can be sight, hearing, and learning-these are what I especially prize. ’ Well-known to audiences in university communities across the United States for his lectures on language and symbolism, to the readers of the Sewanee Review and the Kenyon Review for his critical writings, to students in philosophy for his texts in general philosophy, ethics, and Aristotle, he combines the talents of philosopher, teacher, and literary critic-talents particularly pertinent to the discovery of Heraclitus. Both his A. B. and Ph. D. degrees he received from Princeton University, where he has also taught. After Princeton he  taught at New York University, Dartmouth College, and the University of California at Riverside, where he was Professor of Philosophy. He was the Neilson Research Professor at Smith College and in the Spring term of 1960 was also Churchill Visiting Professor at the University of Bristol, the first American to be honored with this appointment.

 


 

 

 

Wesley, Patricia Jabbeh. When the Wanderers Come Home. Lincoln. 2016. University of Nebraska Press. 9780803288577. African Poetry Book Series. The African Poetry Series has been made possible through the generosity of philanthropists Laura and Robert F. X. Sillerman, whose contributions have facilitated the establishment and operation of the African Poetry Book Fund. 126 pages. paperback. 

 

9780803288577FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

Described by African scholar and literary critic Chielozona Eze as “one of the most prolific African poets of the twenty-first century,” Patricia Jabbeh Wesley composed When the Wanderers Come Home during a four-month visit to her homeland of Liberia in 2013. She gives powerful voice to the pain and inner turmoil of a homeland still reconciling itself in the aftermath of multiple wars and destruction. Wesley, a native Liberian, calls on deeply rooted African motifs and proverbs, utilizing the poetics of both the West and Africa to convey her grief. Autobiographical in nature, the poems highlight the hardships of a diaspora African and the devastation of a country and continent struggling to recover. When the Wanderers Come Home is a woman’s story about being an exile, a survivor, an outsider in her own country, and is her cry for the Africa that is being lost in wars across the continent, creating more wanderers and world citizens.

 

 

Wesley Patricia JabbehPatricia Jabbeh Wesley is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Pennsylvania State University-Altoona. She has four other books of poetry, including Where the Road Turns and Becoming Ebony, part of the Crab Orchard Award Series in Poetry.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


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