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

 

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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.  

 

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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.  

 

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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.

 

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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.  

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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   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.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Testimony by Charles Reznikoff. Boston. 2015. David Godine/black sparrow. Introduction by Eliot Weinberger. 6 × 9. 480 pages. December 2014. paperback. 9781567925319.

 

 

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   A major work by an essential American poet, published in full for the first time. Available again for the first time since 1978—and complete in one volume for the first time ever— Charles Reznikoff ’s Testimony is a lost masterpiece, a legendary book that stands alongside Louis Zukofsky’s ‘A’ and William Carlos Williams’s Paterson as a milestone of modern American poetry. Taking as its raw material the voices of witnesses, victims, and perpetrators discovered by the author in criminal court transcripts, Reznikoff ’s book sets forth a stark panorama of late19th- and early 20th-century America—the underside of the Gilded Age, beset by racism and casual violence, poverty and disease—in a radically stripped-down language of almost unbearable intensity. This edition also includes Reznikoff ’s prose studies for the poem, unavailable to readers since the 1930s, and a new introduction by essayist Eliot Weinberger. ‘[Testimony] is perhaps Reznikoff’s most important achievement as a poet. A quietly astonishing work. .. at once a kaleidoscope vision of American life and the ultimate test of Reznikoff ’s poetic principles.. .’ – Paul Auster. ‘Reznikoff ’s astonishingly engaging and quietly powerful work has been steadily gaining a passionate following.. .. Testimony is a chronicle of industrial accidents, domestic violence, racism. It tells the story of America’s forgotten, those who suffer without redress, without name, without hope; yet the soul of these States is found in books like this; the acknowledgment of these peripheral stories turns a waste land into holy ground.’ – Charles Bernstein.

 

Reznikoff CharlesCharles Reznikoff was born in Brooklyn in 1894. He graduated from law school and was admitted to the bar, but never practiced, instead pursuing his writing. Between 1918 and 1961 he published twenty-three books of poetry and prose, gaining a wider readership in 1962, when New Directions published By the Waters of Manhattan: Selected Verse; a second selection, By the Well of Living and Seeing, was published by Black Sparrow in 1974, followed by the Complete Poems and Holocaust. Reznikoff died in 1975, at the age of eighty-one. Eliot Weinberger is an acclaimed essayist, translator, and editor. His essays are collected in Karmic Traces, An Elemental Thing, Oranges & Peanuts for Sale, Outside Stories, Works On Paper, and What Happened Here: Bush Chronicles (all available from New Directions). His writing appears frequently in The New York Review of Books and The London Review of Books.


 

 

 

Harvey, David . Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason. New York. 2017. Oxford University Press. 9780190691486. 240 pages. hardcover. 

 

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Karl Marx's Capital is one of the most important texts written in the modern era. Since 1867, when the first of its three volumes was published, it has had a profound effect on politics and economics in theory and practice throughout the world. But Marx wrote in the context of capitalism in the second half of the nineteenth century: his assumptions and analysis need to be updated in order to address to the technological, economic, and industrial change that has followed Capital's initial publication. In Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason, David Harvey not only provides a concise distillation of his famous course on Capital, but also makes the text relevant to the twenty-first century's continued processes of globalization. Harvey shows the work's continuing analytical power, doing so in the clearest and simplest terms but never compromising its depth and complexity. Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason provides an accessible window into Harvey's unique approach to Marxism and takes readers on a riveting roller coaster ride through recent global history. It demonstrates how and why Capital remains a living, breathing document with an outsized influence on contemporary social thought.

 

 

Harvey DavidDavid Harvey is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the City University of New York Graduate School, where he has taught since 2001. His course on Marx's Capital, developed with students over 40 years, has been downloaded by over two million people since appearing online in 2008. He is also the author of The Enigma of Capital, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, and The Ways of the World.

 

 

 


 

 

 

Walrond, Eric. In Search of Asylum: The Later Writings of Eric Walrond. Gainseville. 2011. University Press of Florida. 9780813035604. Edited by Louis J. Parascandola and Carl A. Wade. 6 x 9, illustrations. 224 pages. hardcover. Front cover: Eric Walrond, by Winold Reiss, pastel on board, ca, 1925. 

 

9780813035604FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

 

‘A substantial step forward for black diaspora and black transnational literary studies.’--Gary Edward Holcomb, author of Claude McKay, Code Name Sasha. ‘Fills a significant void in our understanding of the life and literary career of Eric Walrond. By collecting, for the first time, the writings Walrond produced following his departure from the U.S. in 1928, Parascandola and Wade have done scholars a rich service.’--Heather Hathaway, author of Caribbean Waves. Eric Walrond is one of the great underexamined figures of the Harlem Renaissance and the Caribbean diaspora. Very little of his later work has been subsequently published or made readily available to American scholars. His writings, set in the Caribbean, the United States, and Europe, discuss imperialism, racism, the role of the black writer, black identity, and immigration--all topics of vital concern today. Born in British Guiana (now Guyana), Walrond moved to New York City in 1918 where he worked briefly for Marcus Garvey and became a protégé of Charles S. Johnson. During that time, he wrote short fiction as well as nonfiction and gained a measure of fame for his 1926 collection, Tropic Death. In Search of Asylum compiles Walrond’s European journalism and later fiction, as well as the pieces he wrote during the 1950s at Roundway Hospital in Wiltshire, England, where he was a voluntary patient. Louis Parascandola and Carl Wade have assembled a collection that at last fills in the biographical gaps in Walrond’s life, providing insights into the contours of his later work and the cultural climates in which he functioned between 1928 and his death in 1966.

 

Walrond EricEric Walrond (December 18, 1898 - August 8, 1966) born in Georgetown, British Guiana, in 1898, was the son of a Barbadian mother and a Guyanese father. His first eight years were spent in Guiana. But his parents’ marital difficulties led Walrond into an almost wayfaring existence. In 1906, his father abandoned Walrond and his mother. His mother moved the two of them to a small village in Barbados to live with their relatives. Walrond began his education in Barbados at St. Stephen’s Boys’ School, located in Black Rock. Around 1910, Walrond and his mother traveled in search of his father to the Panama Canal Zone, where thousands of west Indians and Guyanese were employed to dig the canal. Walrond and his mother never found his father and they made a home in Colon. It is in Colon where Walrond completed his public and secondary school education between 1913 and 1916. During his education in Colon, Walrond was exposed to the Spanish culture and became bilingual. Around this time he was trained as a secretary and stenographer, and acquired a job as a clerk in the Health Department of the Canal commission at Cristobal. Through the years 1916 and 1918 he began a journalistic career which he pursued while in the United States. Walrond worked as a general reporter, court reporter, and sportswriter for the Panama Star-Herald, ‘the most important contemporaneous newspaper in the American tropics.’ Walrond was also associated with the Harlem Renaissance. In the early 1920s he published short stories in periodicals such as the Opportunity, Smart Set, and Vanity Fair. In 1923, he wrote ‘On Being a Domestic,’ ‘Miss Kenny’s Marriage,’ ‘The Stone Rebounds,’ and ‘The Stone Rebounds.’ Walrond’s stories focused on a realistic presentation of racial situations in New York City. In 1924 he focused on a more impressionistic presentation of life in the American tropics. He did not return to the realistic form of writing until 1927, when he wrote ‘City Love,’ which is the last story he published before he left the United States. His works include - ‘On Being Black’ (1922); ‘On being a Domestic,’ ‘Miss Kenny’s Marriage,’ ‘The Stone Rebounds,’ ‘Cynthia Goes to the Prom,’ ‘The New Negro Faces America,’ ‘The Negro Exodus from the South’ (1923); ‘Vignettes of the Dusk,’ ‘The Black City’ (1924); ‘A Cholo Romance,’ ‘Imperator Africanus, Marcus Garvey: Menace or Promise?’ (1925); Tropic Death (1926); ‘City Love’ (1927).

 

Louis J. Parascandola, professor of English at Long Island University, is author or editor of six books, including "Look for Me All Around You": Anglophone Caribbean Immigrants in the Harlem Renaissance.

 

Carl A. Wade, senior lecturer in English at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, has published extensively on Caribbean American writers and writing.

 


 

 

 


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