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Selected Poems of Gabriela Mistral by Gabriela Mistral. Albuquerque. 2003. University of New Mexico Press. 407 pages. hardcover. 0826328180.

 

0826328180FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   The first Nobel Prize in literature to be awarded to a Latin American writer went to the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral. Famous and beloved during her lifetime all over Latin America and in Europe, Mistral has never been known in North America as she deserves to be. The reputation of her more flamboyant and accessible friend and countryman Pablo Neruda has overshadowed hers, and she has been officially sentimentalized into a ‘poetess’ of children and motherhood. Translations, and even selections of her work in Spanish, have tended to underplay the darkness, the strangeness, and the raging intensity of her poems of grief and pain, the yearning power of her evocations of the Chilean landscape, the stark music of her Round Dances, the visionary splendor of her Hymns of America. During her lifetime Mistral published four books: Desolation, TENDERNESS, CLEARCUT, and WINEPRESS. These are included in the ‘Complete’ Nobel edition published in Madrid; the Poem of Chile, her last book, was printed years after her death. Le Guin includes poems from all five books in this volume, with particular emphasis on the later work. The intelligence and passion of Le Guin's selection and translation will finally allow people in the North to hear the originality, power, purity, and intransigence of this great American voice. CONTENTS: Foreword; Introduction - About Mistral; The Strong Woman; The Baby Left Alone; Torture; Love Unspoken; Inmost; God Wills It; Shame; Ballad: The Other Woman; Interrogation; Waiting in Vain; Verses: In my mouth. .; Poem of the Son; Verses: By the blue flame. .; The Bones of the Dead; Sea-song of Those who Seek to Forget; Patagonian Landscapes; To the Clouds; Autumn; Summit; Starsong; Rocking; Discovery; Dew; Quechua Song; The Sleep-Wave; Patagonian Lullabye; Song of Death; Mexican Child; Little Bud; Little Star; Weaving the Round; Give me your Hand; Child's Land; Color Round; Rainbow Round; The Ones Not Dancing; Round Dance of the Metals; All-Round; Fire Round; Let Him Not Grow Up; Fear; Given Back; The Empty Nutshell; The Bit of Straw; The Girl with the Crippled Hand; The Rat; The Parrot; The Peacock; The World-Teller; Wind; Light; Water; Rainbow; Strawberry; Mountain; Larks; Pine Woods; Sky Car; Fire; The House; The Earth; Little Feet; Hymn to the Tree; Flight; Riches; The Cup; The Midnight; Two Angels; Paradise; Grace; The Rose; The Death-Girl; Airflower; The Shadow; The Ghost; Bread; Salt; Agua; The Wind; Two Hymns: Tropic Sun, The Cordillera; The Corn; Absence Country; The Foreigner; To Drink; Four Queens; Things; Wall; Old Lion; Song of the Dead Girls; Undone; Confession; Old Woman; Pigeons; The Other Woman; Deserted; The Worrier; The Dancer; Set Free; The Sleepless Woman; The Lucky One; The Fervent One; The Farmwife; The Walker; A Woman; Prisoner's Wife; A Compassionate Woman; California Poppy; The Discovery of the Palm Grove; The Stone of Parahibuna; Death of the Sea; Ocotillo; Cuban Palms; Sharing Out; Message to Blanca; The Fall of Europe; The Footprint; Lady Poison; Eight Puppies; Anniversary; Mourning; A Word; I Sing What You Loved; Farm Tools; The Return; Doors; Jewish Refugee Woman; Dawn; Morning; Evening; Night; Last Tree; Discovery; In Thirst-White Lands; Nightfall; Elqui Valley; My Mountains; Mount Aconcagua; Clover Patch; The Valley of Chile; Palms of Ocoa; Herons; Bird Migration; Cormorants; Houses; Poplar Roads;Mistral Gabriela Falls of the Laja; Bio-Bio; Araucanians; Austral Forest; Moss; Ferns; Lake Llanquihue; Fog; Four Seasons of the Huemul; Faraway Patagonia; Return; The Teller of Tales; Thanksgiving; Ballad of my Name; Electra in the Fog; A Brief Chronology of Mistral's Life.

 

 

Gabriela Mistral (7 April 1889 – 10 January 1957) was the pseudonym of Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, a Chilean poet-diplomat, educator and feminist. She was the first Latin American (and, so far, the only Latin American woman) to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, which she did in 1945 'for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world'. Some central themes in her poems are nature, betrayal, love, a mother's love, sorrow and recovery, travel, and Latin American identity as formed from a mixture of Native American and European influences. Her portrait also appears on the 5,000 Chilean peso bank note. 

 Leguin Ursula K

Ursula Le Guin has published five volumes of her own poetry, an English version of Lao Tzu's TAO TE CHING, and a volume of mutual translation with the Argentine poet Diana Bellessi, THE TWINS, THE DREAM/LAS GEMALAS, EL SUEÑO. Strongly drawn to Mistral's work as soon as she discovered it, Le Guin has been working on this translation for five years.

 

 

  

 Price V B

V. B. Price, a UNM alumnus, is a journalist and the author of several books that are available from UNM Press. He is a distinguished poet and critic, and the recipient of the Erna Fergusson Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Alumni Association of the University of New Mexico. He lives in Albuquerque.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

The Icelandic Sagas by W. A. Craigie. Cambridge. 1913. Cambridge University Press. 120 pages. hardcover. 

 

icelandic sagas craigieFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   The general title of Icelandic Sagas is used to denote a very extensive body of prose literature written in Iceland, and in the language of that country, at various dates between the middle of the twelfth century and the beginning of the fifteenth; the end of the period, however, is less clearly marked than the beginning. The common feature of the works classed under this name, which vary greatly in length, value, and interest, is that they have the outward form of historical or biographical narratives; but the matter is often purely fictitious, and in many cases fact and fiction are inseparably blended. Both in the form and in the matter there is much that is conventional, and many features of style and content are quite peculiar to the special Icelandic mode of storytelling. The word saga (of which the plural is sögur) literally means ‘something said,’ and was in use long before there was any written literature in Iceland. From an early period it hadCraigie W A been a custom, which in course of time became an accomplishment and an art, to put together in a connected form the exploits of some notable man or the record of some memorable event, and to relate the story thus composed as a means of entertainment and instruction. It was out of these oral narratives, augmented and elaborated during the course of several centuries, that the written saga finally arose.

  

 

 Sir William Alexander Craigie (August 13, 1867, Dundee, United Kingdom -  September 2, 1957, Watlington, United Kingdom) was a philologist and a lexicographer. A graduate of the University of St Andrews, he was the third editor of the Oxford English Dictionary and co-editor of the 1933 supplement.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Racism Explained To My Daughter by Tahar Ben Jelloun. New York. 1999. New Press. 207 pages. hardcover. 156584534x. Jacket design by BAD. Introduction by Bill Cosby And Responses by William Ayers. Lisa D. Delpit. David Mura. & Patricia Williams. 

 

156584534xFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   RACISM EXPLAINED TO MY DAUGHTER is a unique and compelling dialogue in which award-winning author Tahar Ben Jelloun explains difficult concepts from ghettos and genocide to slavery and anti-Semitism in language we can all understand. When Ben Jelloun took his ten-year-old daughter to a street protest against anti-immigration laws in Paris, she asked question after question: ‘What is racism? What is an immigrant? What is discrimination?’ Out of their frank discussion comes this book, an international best-seller translated into twenty languages.

 

Jelloun Tahar BenTahar ben Jelloun (born in Fes, French Morocco, 1 December 1944) is a Moroccan writer. The entirety of his work is written in French, although his first language is Arabic. After attending a bilingual (Arabic-French) elementary school, Ben Jelloun studied French in Tangier, Morocco, until he was 18 years old. He continued his studies in philosophy at Mohammed V University in Rabat, where he composed his first poems (collected in Hommes sous linceul de silence (1971). After that point, Ben Jelloun worked as a professor in Morocco, teaching philosophy first in Tétouan and then in Casablanca. However, he left Morocco in 1971, after the Arabization of the philosophy department, unable or unwilling to teach in Arabic. He moved to Paris to continue his studies in psychology, and began to write more extensively. Starting in 1972, Ben Jelloun began to write articles and reviews for the French newspaper Le Monde, and in 1975 he received his doctorate in social psychiatry. Using his experience with psychotherapy as both a reference and an inspiration, he wrote the book La Réclusion solitaire in 1976. In 1985, Ben Jelloun published the novel L'Enfant de sable, which was widely celebrated. He won the Prix Goncourt in 1987 for his novel La Nuit Sacrée. In 1997, he saw his novel Le Racisme expliqué à ma fille published, wherein he ‘explains racism to his daughter’, using his family as inspiration for his novels. He is regularly asked to give speeches and lectures at universities worldwide - both in Morocco, and all over Europe. In 2004, Ben Jelloun was awarded the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for This Blinding Absence of Light (translated from the French by Linda Coverdale). He was rewarded the Prix Ulysse in 2005 for the entirety of his work. In September 2006, Ben Jelloun was awarded a special prize for ‘peace and friendship between people’ at Lazio between Europe and the Mediterranean Festival. On 1 February 2008, Nicolas Sarkozy awarded him the Cross of Grand Officer of the Légion d'honneur. Ben Jelloun is married and father of four children. He lives in Paris. In his novel Leaving Tangier, Ben Jelloun writes about a Moroccan brother and sister who leave their impoverished home in search of better lives in Spain. This novel sheds a cold light on a side of North African life that is often overlooked and at times unimaginable; he is unflinching in his commitment to expose the sacrifice and pain inherent in the struggle to rise above poverty and move within the Western world. Leaving Tangier centres on the paths of Azel and his sister, Kenza, as they seek to reinvent their lives, in Barcelona, and how their paths diverge once they get there. Each sibling’s ambition rests in the hands of Miguel, a mysterious wealthy older Spaniard, and a man generous and loving one moment, demanding and cruel the next. Miguel’s power lies in what he can offer the siblings—and in what he can take away. His novels L'Enfant de sable and La Nuit sacrée are translated into 43 languages. Le racisme expliqué à ma fille has been translated into 33 languages. He has participated in translating many of his works.

 


 

 

 

 

That Awful Mess On Via Merulana by Carlo Emilio Gadda. New York. 1965. George Braziller. 388 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Arnold Skolnick. Translated from the Italian by William Weaver. 

 

that awful mess on via merulanaFROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

   Carlo Emilio Gadda is universally regarded as the most interesting and original writer in contemporary Italian literature, and this novel, his major work, is recognized throughout Europe as a masterpiece of baroque magnificence and savage, black humor. Most of the Pasticciaccio – as the novel is called familiarly after its Italian title - takes place on the via Merulana, ‘an unlikely setting for a great novel,’ as William Weaver says in his Introduction, and ‘the least romantic street in Rome: a long, straight thoroughfare with square, solid, ugly buildings, constructed for the square, solid bourgeoisie of half a century ago.’ In a large apartment house on this stolid street, an apartment house occupied mostly by the upper-middle-class, some rich, and some not so rich, two crimes are committed within three days of each other. After an armed hold-up in which a consideab1e sum in jewels and money is stolen, a young woman is found savagely murdered in a different apartment on the same landing, and the police investigation begins. The novel thus is, at least on the surface, a wryly amusing, exciting, exceedingly involved and, in the end, unsolved murder mystery. But the author is concerned with much more than its unraveling. Indeed, the murder mystery seems merely a rich device to expose the Rome of 1927, a society of rich ‘profiteers’ and pompous minor bureaucrats that hid behind Mussolini’s bragging rhetoric. Gadda’s great novel may therefore be seen as a profound and vast allegory of Italy’s descent into corruption and violence during the dark years of Fascist rule. In English, one could only compare Gadda to Joyce. His novel, it seems likely, will eventually have the same prominence and renown in the English-speaking world that it already has in Italy, France and Germany, in fact all over Europe. Gadda is above all close to Joyce in the power of his intellect, in the overflowing richness of cultural learning he brings to his writing, and in the great range in mood and tone of his style. As one Roman critic said on the novel’s first appearance in Italy, ‘Seasoned like a classic, the Pasticciaccio is not only the highest peak of Gadda’s art, but it is also one of the great works of XXth century Italian literature.’

 

Gadda Carlo EmilioCarlo Emilio Gadda (November 14, 1893 – May 21, 1973) was an Italian writer and poet. He belongs to the tradition of the language innovators, writers that played with the somewhat stiff standard pre-war Italian language, and added elements of dialects, technical jargon and wordplay. Gadda was a practising engineer from Milan, and he both loved and hated his job. Critics have compared him to other writers with a scientific background, such as Primo Levi, Robert Musil and Thomas Pynchon—a similar spirit of exactitude pervades some of Gadda's books. Among Gadda's styles and genres are baroque, expressionism and grotesque. Carlo Emilio Gadda was born in Milan in 1893, and he was always intensely Milanese, although late in his life Florence and Rome also became an influence. Gadda's nickname is Il gran Lombardo, The Great Lombard: a reference to the famous lines 70-3 of Paradiso XVII, which predict the protection Dante would receive from Bartolomeo II della Scala of Verona during his exile from Florence: ‘Lo primo tuo refugio e 'l primo ostello / sarà la cortesia del gran Lombardo/ che 'n su la scala porta il santo uccello’ (‘Your first refuge and inn shall be the courtesy of the great Lombard, who bears on the ladder the sacred bird’). Gadda's father died in 1909, leaving the family in reduced economic conditions; Gadda's mother, however, never tried to adopt a cheaper style of life. The paternal business ineptitude and the maternal obsession for keeping ‘face’ and appearances turn up strongly in La cognizione del dolore. He studied in Milan, and while studying at the Politecnico di Milano (a university specialized in engineering and architecture), he volunteered for World War I. During the war he was a lieutenant of the Alpini corps, and led a machine-gun team. He was taken prisoner with his squad during the battle of Caporetto in October 1917; his brother was killed in a plane—and this tragic event death features prominently in La cognizione del dolore. Gadda, who was a fervent nationalist at that time, was deeply humiliated by the months he had to spend in a German POW camp. After the war, in 1920, Gadda finally graduated. He practised as an engineer until 1935, spending three of these years in Argentina. The country at that time was experiencing a booming economy, and Gadda used the experience for the fictional South American-cum-Brianza setting of La Cognizione del Dolore. After that, in the 1940s, he dedicated himself to literature. These were the years of fascism, that found him a grumbling and embittered pessimist. With age, his bitterness and misanthropy somewhat intensified. In Eros e Priapo (1945) Gadda analyzes the collective phenomena that favoured the rise of Italian Fascism, the Italian fascination with Benito Mussolini. It explains Fascism as an essentially bourgeois movement. Eros e Priapo was refused in 1945 by a magazine for is allegedly obscene content, and will only be published for the first time in 1967 by Garzanti. The 1967 edition however was expurgated from some of what Gadda considered the post heavy satiric strokes. The unexpurgated original 1945 edition will be published in 2013. In 1946, the magazine Letteratura published, in five episodes, the crime novel Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana, which was translated into English as That Awful Mess on Via Merulana. It experiments heavily with language, borrowing a great deal from several Italian dialects. It is also notable for not telling whodunnit at the end. There is some debate amongst scholars as regards Gadda's sexual orientation. Certainly, his work demonstrates a strongly subversive attitude towards bourgeois values, expressed above all by a discordant use of language interspersed with dialect, academic and technical jargon and dirty talk. This is particularly interesting as the criticism of the bourgeois life comes, as it were, from the inside, with the former engineer cutting a respectable figure in genteel poverty. Gadda kept writing until his death, in 1973. The most important critic of Gadda was Gianfranco Contini.

 


 

Acquainted With Grief by Carlo Emilio Gadda. New York. 1969. George Braziller. 244 pages. hardcover. Translated from the Italian by William Weaver.

 

acquainted with griefFROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

   The setting of this extraordinary novel is an imaginary South American country, but that country, as Gadda makes clear in many hints, is in reality his native Italy. The novel is to a great extent autobiography, and Gonzalo, the central figure, is the author’s self-portrait. ‘Gadda’s description of Gonzalo,’ writes William Weaver in the translator’s preface, ‘is a lacerating, biting caricature of the sober, fastidiously neat, tall, stooping Gadda who is occasionally - and reluctantly - seen at Roman literary gatherings. Like Gonzalo, the Lombard scene, the bourgeois villas of the Brianza region, the peasants are scrutinized through the same penetrating, but sometimes deforming lens.’ The story’s central situation is the tormented relationship between Gonzalo and his widowed mother whose social ambitions are summed up in the tenacious possession of an absurd villa in the country. Like Gadda, Gonzalo was brought up in an atmosphere of genteel poverty, ‘exacerbated by the typical Italian middle-class mania for keeping up appearances, for making a bella figura’ – not the least element present in those moments of Gonzalo’s magnificent rage against the conditions of his life. Gadda’s War Journal indicates the author’s almost pathological attachment to his brother, who was killed in the First World War - an attachment tinged with jealousy of the mother’s preference for this older son. According to Mr. Weaver, who worked closely with Gadda on the present translation, the lasting scars of the relationship explain, in part, why the novel was never finished, and why the incomplete third section, translated here from the manuscript, has never been published in the original Italian, by explicit veto of the author who has referred to it as a self-inflicted wound. ‘In fact, it is virtually unrevised and, perhaps even in translation, it will be seen to have less Gaddian involution. It is considerably less baroque than the preceding chapters.’ The author himself has no use for the term ‘baroque’ when applied to his work. ‘The world is baroque,’ he says, ‘and Gadda has perceived and portrayed its baroqueness.’ The fact that ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF (La cognizione del dolore) appeared under Fascism explains the indirectness of Gadda’s references to the regime. His anti-Fascism is much more explicit in his novel entitled Quer pasticciaccio bruto de via Merulana, published here in translation under the title THAT AWFUL MESS ON VIA MERULANA.

 

Gadda Carlo EmilioCarlo Emilio Gadda (November 14, 1893 – May 21, 1973) was an Italian writer and poet. He belongs to the tradition of the language innovators, writers that played with the somewhat stiff standard pre-war Italian language, and added elements of dialects, technical jargon and wordplay. Gadda was a practising engineer from Milan, and he both loved and hated his job. Critics have compared him to other writers with a scientific background, such as Primo Levi, Robert Musil and Thomas Pynchon—a similar spirit of exactitude pervades some of Gadda's books. Among Gadda's styles and genres are baroque, expressionism and grotesque. Carlo Emilio Gadda was born in Milan in 1893, and he was always intensely Milanese, although late in his life Florence and Rome also became an influence. Gadda's nickname is Il gran Lombardo, The Great Lombard: a reference to the famous lines 70-3 of Paradiso XVII, which predict the protection Dante would receive from Bartolomeo II della Scala of Verona during his exile from Florence: ‘Lo primo tuo refugio e 'l primo ostello / sarà la cortesia del gran Lombardo/ che 'n su la scala porta il santo uccello’ (‘Your first refuge and inn shall be the courtesy of the great Lombard, who bears on the ladder the sacred bird’). Gadda's father died in 1909, leaving the family in reduced economic conditions; Gadda's mother, however, never tried to adopt a cheaper style of life. The paternal business ineptitude and the maternal obsession for keeping ‘face’ and appearances turn up strongly in La cognizione del dolore. He studied in Milan, and while studying at the Politecnico di Milano (a university specialized in engineering and architecture), he volunteered for World War I. During the war he was a lieutenant of the Alpini corps, and led a machine-gun team. He was taken prisoner with his squad during the battle of Caporetto in October 1917; his brother was killed in a plane—and this tragic event death features prominently in La cognizione del dolore. Gadda, who was a fervent nationalist at that time, was deeply humiliated by the months he had to spend in a German POW camp. After the war, in 1920, Gadda finally graduated. He practised as an engineer until 1935, spending three of these years in Argentina. The country at that time was experiencing a booming economy, and Gadda used the experience for the fictional South American-cum-Brianza setting of La Cognizione del Dolore. After that, in the 1940s, he dedicated himself to literature. These were the years of fascism, that found him a grumbling and embittered pessimist. With age, his bitterness and misanthropy somewhat intensified. In Eros e Priapo (1945) Gadda analyzes the collective phenomena that favoured the rise of Italian Fascism, the Italian fascination with Benito Mussolini. It explains Fascism as an essentially bourgeois movement. Eros e Priapo was refused in 1945 by a magazine for is allegedly obscene content, and will only be published for the first time in 1967 by Garzanti. The 1967 edition however was expurgated from some of what Gadda considered the post heavy satiric strokes. The unexpurgated original 1945 edition will be published in 2013. In 1946, the magazine Letteratura published, in five episodes, the crime novel Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana, which was translated into English as That Awful Mess on Via Merulana. It experiments heavily with language, borrowing a great deal from several Italian dialects. It is also notable for not telling whodunnit at the end. There is some debate amongst scholars as regards Gadda's sexual orientation. Certainly, his work demonstrates a strongly subversive attitude towards bourgeois values, expressed above all by a discordant use of language interspersed with dialect, academic and technical jargon and dirty talk. This is particularly interesting as the criticism of the bourgeois life comes, as it were, from the inside, with the former engineer cutting a respectable figure in genteel poverty. Gadda kept writing until his death, in 1973. The most important critic of Gadda was Gianfranco Contini.

 


 

The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer  by Jesse L. Byock. Berkeley. 1990. University of California Press. 146 pages. hardcover. Translated from the Icelandic and with an introduction by Jesse L. Byock. Jacket design: Donna L. Wittlin. 0520069048.

 

0520069048FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

   THE SAGA OF THE VOLSUNGS is essential reading for students of oral traditions and for anyone investigating the historical and mythic past of northern Europe. This outstanding new translation by Jesse L. Byock is a welcome and significant addition to the great books of world literature. The saga is an Icelandic prose epic whose anonymous thirteenth-century author based his story on ancient myth and legend grounded in the folk culture of Old Scandinavia. A trove of traditional lore, the saga tells of jealousies stirred by the god Odin, unrequited love, arcane runic knowledge, the vengeance of a barbarian queen, schemes of Attila the Hun, and the mythic deeds of the dragon-slayer, Sigurd the Volsung. As the stories of royal families unfold, the saga recounts the progress of the wars among Burgundians, Huns, and Goths. Some of the episodes may be linked with the events of the fourth and fifth centuries A. D., the period of the great folk migrations in Europe when the Roman Empire collapsed. The saga treats some of the same legends as the Middle High German epic poem, the NIBELUNGENLIED. In both accounts, though in different ways, Sigurd (Siegfried in the German tradition) acquires the Rhinegold and becomes tragically enmeshed in a love triangle involving a supernatural woman. In the Norse tradition she is a Valkyrie, one of Odin’s warrior-maidens. THE SAGA OF THE VOLSUNGS is of special interest to admirers of Richard Wagner, who drew heavily upon this Norse source in writing his Ring Cycle. With its magical ring acquired by the hero, and the sword to be reforged, the saga has also been a primary source for writers of fantasy such as J.R.R. Tolkien and romantics such as William Morris. Byock’s comprehensive introduction explores the history, legends, and myths contained in the saga and traces the development of the narrative. Byock Jesse L

 

JESSE L. BYOCK teaches Old Norse and medieval Scandinavian subjects in the Department of Germanic Languages at the University of California, Los Angeles. His previous books, FEUD IN THE ICELANDIC SAGA (1982), and MEDIEVAL ICELAND: SOCIETY, SAGAS, AND POWER (1988), were published by the University of California Press.

 

 


 

Life And Fate by Vasily Grossman. New York. 1986. Harper & Row. 880 pages. March 1986. hardcover. 0060153652. Jacket illustration by Christopher Zacharow. Translated from the Russian by Robert Chandler. 

 

0060153652FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Suppressed by the KGB, Life and Fate is a rich and vivid account of what the Second World War meant to the Soviet Union. On its completion in 1960, LIFE AND FATE was suppressed by the KGB. Twenty years later, the novel was smuggled out of the Soviet Union on microfilm. At the centre of this epic novel looms the battle of Stalingrad. Within a world torn apart by ideological tyranny and war, Grossman’s characters must work out their destinies. Chief among these are the members of the Shaposhnikov family – Lyudmila, a mother destroyed by grief for her dead son; Viktor, her scientist-husband who falls victim to anti-semitism; and Yevgenia, forced to choose between her love for the courageous tank-commander Novikov and her duty to her former husband. Life and Fate is one of the great Russian novels of the 20th century, and the richest and most vivid account there is of what the Second World War meant to the Soviet Union.

 

Grossman VasilyVasily Semyonovich Grossman (December 12, 1905 - September 14, 1964) was a Soviet writer and journalist. Grossman trained as an engineer and worked in the Donets Basin, but changed career in the 1930s and published short stories and several novels. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he became a war correspondent for the Red Army newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda, writing firsthand accounts of the battles of Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk and Berlin. Grossman's eyewitness accounts of conditions in a Nazi extermination camp, following the liberation of Treblinka, were among the earliest. Grossman also translated Armenian literature into Russian, despite the fact that (as he writes in 'Dobro Vam!', - the account of a sojourn in Armenia in the early 1960s, during which he worked at the translation of a book by a local writer called Martirosjan) he lacked the ability to read Armenian, and worked on an interlinear translation made for him by a third person. After World War II, Grossman's faith in the Soviet state was shaken by Joseph Stalin's turn towards antisemitism in the final years before his death in 1953. While Grossman was never arrested by the Soviet authorities, his two major literary works (Life and Fate and Everything Flows) were censored during the ensuing Nikita Khrushchev period as unacceptably anti-Soviet, and Grossman himself became in effect a nonperson. The KGB raided Grossman's flat after he had completed Life and Fate, seizing manuscripts, notes and even the ribbon from the typewriter on which the text had been written. Grossman was told by the Communist Party's chief ideologist Mikhail Suslov that the book could not be published for two or three hundred years. At the time of Grossman's death from stomach cancer in 1964, these books were unreleased. Copies were eventually smuggled out of the Soviet Union by a network of dissidents, including Andrei Sakharov and Vladimir Voinovich, and first published in the West, before appearing in the Soviet Union in 1988. Born Iosif Solomonovich Grossman in Berdychiv, Russian Empire (today in Ukraine) into an emancipated Jewish family, he did not receive a traditional Jewish education. A Russian nanny turned his name Yossya into Russian Vasya (a diminutive of Vasily), which was accepted by the whole family. His father had social-democratic convictions and joined the Mensheviks. Young Vasily Grossman idealistically supported the Russian Revolution of 1917. Grossman began writing short stories while studying at Moscow State University and later continued his literary activity working as an engineer in the Donbass. One of his first short stories, In the town of Berdichev, drew favourable attention and encouragement from Maxim Gorky and Mikhail Bulgakov. The film Commissar (director Aleksandr Askoldov), made in 1967, suppressed by the KGB and released only in October 1990, is based on this four-page story. In the mid-1930s Grossman left his job as an engineer and committed himself fully to writing. By 1936 he had published two collections of stories and the novel Glyukauf, and in 1937 was accepted into the privileged Union of Writers. His novel Stepan Kol'chugin (published 1937-40) was nominated for a Stalin prize but deleted from the list by Stalin himself for alleged Menshevik sympathies. During the Great Purge some of his friends and close relatives were arrested, including his common-law wife. For months he petitioned the authorities to release her, which happened in 1938. When Nazi-Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, Grossman's mother was trapped in Berdychiv by the invading German Army, and eventually murdered together with 20,000 to 30,000 other Jews who had not evacuated. Grossman was exempt from military service, but volunteered for the front, where he spent more than 1,000 days. He became a war correspondent for the popular Red Army newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star). As the war raged on, he covered its major events, including the Battle of Moscow, the Battle of Stalingrad, the Battle of Kursk and the Battle of Berlin. In addition to war journalism, his novels (such as The People are Immortal) were being published in newspapers and he came to be regarded as a legendary war hero. The novel Stalingrad (1950), later renamed For a Just Cause, is based on his own experiences during the siege. Grossman described Nazi ethnic cleansing in German occupied Ukraine and Poland, and the liberation by the Red Army of the Nazi-German Treblinka and Majdanek extermination camps. He collected some of the first eyewitness accounts - as early as 1943 - of what later became known as the Holocaust. His article The Hell of Treblinka (1944) was disseminated at the Nuremberg Trials as evidence for the prosecution. Grossman participated in the assembly of the Black Book, a project of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee to document the crimes of the Holocaust. The post-war suppression of the Black Book by the Soviet state shook him to the core, and he began to question his own loyal support of the Soviet regime. First the censors ordered changes in the text to conceal the specifically anti-Jewish character of the atrocities and to downplay the role of Ukrainians who worked with the Nazis as police. Then, in 1948, the Soviet edition of the book was scrapped completely. The poet Semyon Lipkin, Grossman's friend, believed it was Joseph Stalin's post-war antisemitic campaign that cracked Grossman's belief in the Soviet system. Grossman also criticized collectivization and political repression of peasants that led to the Holodomor tragedy. He wrote that ‘The decree about grain procurement required that the peasants of the Ukraine, the Don and the Kuban be put to death by starvation, put to death along with their little children.’ Because of state persecution, only a few of Grossman's post-war works were published during his lifetime. After he submitted for publication his magnum opus, the novel Life and Fate (1959), the KGB raided his flat. The manuscripts, carbon copies, notebooks, as well as the typists' copies and even the typewriter ribbons were seized. The Politburo ideology chief Mikhail Suslov told Grossman that his book could not be published for two or three hundred years. Grossman wrote to Nikita Khrushchev: ‘What is the point of me being physically free when the book I dedicated my life to is arrested... I am not renouncing it... I am requesting freedom for my book.’ However, Life and Fate and his last major novel, Everything Flows (1961) were considered a threat to the Soviet power; these novels were suppressed and the dissident writer effectively transformed into a nonperson. Grossman died of stomach cancer in 1964, not knowing whether his major novels would ever be read by the public. Life and Fate was published in 1980 in Switzerland, thanks to fellow dissidents: physicist Andrei Sakharov secretly photographed draft pages preserved by Semyon Lipkin, and the writer Vladimir Voinovich managed to smuggle the photographic films abroad. Two dissident researchers, professors and writers, Efim Etkind and Shimon Markish retyped the text from the microfilm, with some mistakes and misreadings due to the bad quality. The book was finally published in the Soviet Union in 1988 after the policy of glasnost was initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev. The text was published again in 1989, because further original manuscripts emerged after the first publication. Everything Flows was also published in the Soviet Union in 1989. Life and Fate is considered to be in part an autobiographical work. Robert Chandler, the novel's English translator, has written in his introduction to the Harvill edition that its leading character, Viktor Shtrum, ‘is a portrait of the author himself,’ reflecting in particular his anguish at the murder of his mother at the Berdichev Ghetto. Chapter 18, a letter from Shtrum's mother, Anna, has been dramatized for the stage and film The Last Letter (2002), directed by Frederick Wiseman, and starring Catherine Samie. Chandler additionally suggests that aspects of the character and experience of Shtrum are based on the physicist Lev Landau. The late novel Everything Flows, in turn, is especially noted for its quiet, unforced, and yet horrifying condemnation of the Soviet totalitarian state: a work in which Grossman, liberated from worries about censors, spoke honestly about Soviet history. Some critics have compared Grossman's novels to the work of Leo Tolstoy.

 


 

 

The Decline of the Californios: A Social History of the Spanish-Speaking Californians, 1846-1890 by Leonard Pitt. Berkeley. 1998. University of California Press. paperback. 324 pages. Foreword by Ramón A. Gutiérrez. 0520219589.

 

0520219589FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   In his enduring study of Spanish-speaking Californians—a group that includes both native-born Californians, or Californios, and immigrants from Mexico—Leonard Pitt charts one of the earliest chapters in the state's ethnic history, and, in the process, he sheds light on debates and tensions that continue to this day. In a new foreword for this edition, Ramón A. Gutiérrez discusses the shaping and reception of the book and also views this classic work in light of recent scholarship on California and ethnic history.

 

Leonard Pitt is Professor Emeritus of History at California State University, Northridge. He is the coauthor, with Dale Pitt, of Los Angeles A to Z: An Encyclopedia (1997). Ramón A. Gutiérrez is Associate Chancellor and Professor of Ethnic Studies and History at the University of California, San Diego, and is coeditor of Contested Eden: California before the Gold Rush (California, 1998). 

 


 

 

 

Legends Of The Fall by Jim Harrison. New York. 1978. Delacorte Press. hardcover. 0440054656.

 

0440054656FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Includes ‘Legends of the Fall,’ ‘Revenge,’ and ‘The Man who Gave Up His Name.’ All three volumes issued in cream colored linen housed in a cream colored slipcase. The publication of this magnificent trilogy of short novels confirmed Jim Harrison s reputation as one of the finest American writers of his generation. These absorbing novellas explore the theme of revenge and survival, adding up to an extraordinary vision of the twentieth-century man. Set in the Rocky Mountains, Legends of the Fall is the epic tale of three brothers and their lives at the beginning of World War I. In Revenge, love causes the course of a man s life to be savagely and irrevocably altered. And in The Man Who Gave Up His Name, a man is unable to relinquish his consuming obsessions with women, dancing, and food. Harrison Jim

 

James Harrison (December 11, 1937 – March 26, 2016) was an American writer known for his poetry, fiction, reviews, essays about the outdoors, and writings about food. He is best known for his 1979 novella "Legends of the Fall". He has been called "a force of nature", and his work has been compared to that of William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. Harrison's characters tend to be rural by birth and to have retained some qualities of their agrarian pioneer heritage which explains their sense of rugged intelligence and common sense. They attune themselves to both the natural and the civilized world, surrounded by excesses, but determined to live their lives as well as possible.

 

 

 


 

 

 

The Souls Of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois. Chicago. 1903. McClurg & Company. 265 pages.

 

A landmark book from one of the greatest minds that this country has ever produced.

 

souls of black folks 3rd edition no dwFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   'Herein lie buried many things which if read with patience and interest may show the strange meaning of being black. The meaning is not without interest to you, Gentle Reader; for the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line.' Thus the keynote is struck for an extraordinary work which is even more pertinent today than it was when it was first published in 1903. W. E. B. Du Bois was a black- power advocate in an age of absolute white supremacy, and in THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK he previewed the racial strife and conflicts which are exploding today. Over sixty years ago Du Bois urged the establishment of an 'all-black party' and preached the need for black 'conscious self-realization' and for the separate autonomy of the black community. At the same time he stressed the White man's responsibility for correcting racial inequality and pleaded for mutual understanding, for a nonviolent solution to a centuries-old dilemma. As Alvin F. Poussaint declares in one of the two notable introductions to this volume, THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK is 'a monument to the black man's struggle in this country.'

 

Du Bois W E BWilliam Edward Burghardt Du Bois (February 23, 1868 - August 27, 1963) was a black civil rights activist, leader, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, educator, historian, writer, editor, poet, and scholar. He became a naturalized citizen of Ghana in 1963 at the age of 95. David Levering Lewis, a biographer, wrote, 'In the course of his long, turbulent career, W. E. B. Du Bois attempted virtually every possible solution to the problem of twentieth-century racism -- scholarship, propaganda, integration, national self-determination, human rights, cultural and economic separatism, politics, international communism, expatriation, third world solidarity.' W. E. B. Du Bois was born on Church Street on February 23, 1868, in Great Barrington, at the south-western edge of Massachusetts, to Alfred Du Bois and Mary Silvina Burghardt Du Bois, whose February 5, 1867, wedding had been announced in the Berkshire Courier. Alfred Du Bois had been born in Haiti. Their son was born 5 months before the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, and added to the U.S. Constitution. Alfred Du Bois was descended from free people of color, including the slave-holding Dr. James Du Bois of Poughkeepsie, New York, a physician. In the Bahamas, James Du Bois had fathered three sons, including Alfred, and a daughter, by his slave mistress. Du Bois was also the great-grandson of Elizabeth Freeman ('Mum Bett'), a slave who successfully sued for her freedom, laying the groundwork for the eventual abolition of slavery in Massachusetts. Du Bois was born free and did not have contact with his biological father. He blamed his maternal grandparents for his father's leaving because they did not take kindly to him. Du Bois was very close to his mother Mary, who was from Massachusetts. Du Bois moved frequently when he was young, after Mary suffered a stroke which left her unable to work. They survived on money from family members and Du Bois' after-school jobs. Du Bois wanted to help his mother as much as possible and believed he could improve their lives through education. Some of the neighborhood whites noticed him, and one allowed Du Bois and his mother to rent a house from him in Great Barrington. While living there, Du Bois performed chores and worked odd jobs. Du Bois did not feel differently because of his skin color while he was in school. In fact, the only times he felt out of place were when out-of-towners would visit Great Barrington. One such incident occurred when a white girl who was new in school refused to take one of his fake calling cards during a game. The girl told him she would not accept it because he was black. He then realized that there would always be some kind of barrier between whites and others. Young Du Bois may have been an outsider because of his status, being poor, not having a father and being extremely intellectual for his age; however, he was very comfortable academically. Many around him recognized his intelligence and encouraged him to further his education with college preparatory courses while in high school. This academic confidence led him to believe that he could use his knowledge to empower African Americans. Du Bois was awarded a degree from Fisk University in 1888. During the summer following graduation from Fisk, Du Bois managed the Fisk Glee Club. The club was employed at a grand luxury summer resort on Lake Minnetonka in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. The resort was a favorite spot for vacationing wealthy American Southerners and European royalty. Du Bois and the other club members doubled as waiters and kitchen workers at the hotel. Observing the drinking, rude and crude behavior and sexual promiscuity of the rich white guests of the hotel left a deep impression on the young Du Bois. Du Bois entered Harvard College in the fall of 1888, having received a $250 scholarship. He earned a bachelor's degree cum laude from Harvard in 1890. In 1892, received a stipend to attend the University of Berlin. While a student in Berlin, he travelled extensively throughout Europe, and came of age intellectually while studying with some of the most prominent social scientists in the German capital, such as Gustav von Schmoller. In 1895, Du Bois became the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University. After teaching at Wilberforce University in Ohio and the University of Pennsylvania, he established the department of sociology at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). Du Bois wrote many books, including three major autobiographies. Among his most significant works are The Philadelphia Negro (1899), The Souls of Black Folk (1903), John Brown (1909), Black Reconstruction (1935), and Black Folk, Then and Now (1939). His book The Negro (1915) influenced the work of several pioneer Africanist scholars, such as Drusilla Dunjee Houston and William Leo Hansberry. In 1940, at Atlanta University, Du Bois founded Phylon magazine. In 1946, he wrote The World and Africa: An Inquiry Into the Part that Africa has Played in World History. In 1945, he helped organize the historic Fifth Pan-African Conference in Manchester, England. While prominent white voices denied African American cultural, political and social relevance to American history and civic life, in his epic work, Reconstruction Du Bois documented how black people were central figures in the American Civil War and Reconstruction. He demonstrated the ways Black emancipation--the crux of Reconstruction--promoted a radical restructuring of United States society, as well as how and why the country turned its back on human rights for African Americans in the aftermath of Reconstruction. This theme was taken up later and expanded by Eric Foner and Leon F. Litwack, the two leading contemporary scholars of the Reconstruction era. In total, Du Bois wrote 22 books, including five novels, and helped establish four journals. Du Bois was the most prominent intellectual leader and political activist on behalf of African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century. A contemporary of Booker T. Washington, the two carried on a dialogue about segregation and political disenfranchisement. He was labeled 'The Father of Pan-Africanism.' In 1905, Du Bois along with Minnesota attorney Fredrick L. McGhee and others helped to found the Niagara Movement with William Monroe Trotter. The Movement championed, among other things, freedom of speech and criticism, the recognition of the highest and best human training as the monopoly of no caste or race, full male suffrage, a belief in the dignity of labor, and a united effort to realize such ideals under sound leadership. The alliance between Du Bois and Trotter was, however, short-lived, as they had a dispute over whether or not white people should be included in the organization and in the struggle for Civil Rights. Du Bois felt that they should, and with a group of like-minded supporters, he helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. In 1910, he left his teaching post at Atlanta University to work as publications director at the NAACP full-time. He wrote weekly columns in many newspapers, including the Chicago Defender, the Pittsburgh Courier and the New York Amsterdam News, three African-American newspapers, and also the Hearst-owned San Francisco Chronicle. For 25 years, Du Bois worked as Editor-in-Chief of the NAACP publication, The Crisis, which then included the subtitle A Record of the Darker Races. He commented freely and widely on current events and set the agenda for the fledgling NAACP. Its circulation soared from 1,000 in 1910 to more than 100,000 by 1920. Du Bois published Harlem Renaissance writers Langston Hughes and Jean Toomer. As a repository of black thought, the Crisis was initially a monopoly, David Levering Lewis observed. In 1913, Du Bois wrote The Star of Ethiopia, a historical pageant, to promote African-American history and civil rights. The seminal debate between Booker T. Washington and Du Bois played out in the pages of the Crisis with Washington advocating a philosophy of self-help and vocational training for Southern blacks while Du Bois pressed for full educational opportunities. Du Bois thought blacks should seek higher education, preferably liberal arts. Du Bois believed blacks should challenge and question whites on all grounds, but Washington believed assimilating and fitting into the 'American' culture is the best way for Blacks to move up in society. While Washington states that he didn't receive any racist insults until later on his years, Du Bois said Blacks have a 'Double-Conscious' mind in which they have to know when to act 'White' and when to act 'Black'. Booker T. Washington felt that teaching was a duty but Du Bois felt it was a calling. Du Bois became increasingly estranged from Walter Francis White, the executive secretary of the NAACP, and began to question the organization's opposition to racial segregation at all costs. Du Bois thought that this policy, while generally sound, undermined those black institutions that did exist, which Du Bois thought should be defended and improved, rather than attacked as inferior. By the 1930s, Lewis said, the NAACP had become more institutional and Du Bois, increasingly radical, sometimes at odds with leaders such as Walter White and Roy Wilkins. In 1934, after writing two essays in the Crisis suggesting that black separatism could be a useful economic strategy, Du Bois left the magazine to return to teaching at Atlanta University. In 1909, W. E. B. Du Bois addressed the American Historical Association (AHA). According to David Levering Lewis, 'His would be the first and last appearance of an African American on the program until 1940.' In a review of the second book in Lewis's biographies of Du Bois, Michael R. Winston observed that, in understanding American history, one must question 'how black Americans developed the psychological stamina and collective social capacity to cope with the sophisticated system of racial domination that white Americans had anchored deeply in law and custom.' Winston continued, 'Although any reasonable answer is extraordinarily complex, no adequate one can ignore the man (Du Bois) whose genius was for 70 years at the intellectual epicenter of the struggle to destroy white supremacy as public policy and social fact in the United States.' Du Bois was investigated by the FBI, who claimed in May 1942 that '[h]is writing indicates him to be a socialist,' and that he 'has been called a Communist and at the same time criticized by the Communist Party.' Du Bois visited Communist China during the Great Leap Forward. Also, in the March 16, 1953 issue of The National Guardian, Du Bois wrote 'Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature.' Du Bois was chairman of the Peace Information Center at the start of the Korean War. He was among the signers of the Stockholm Peace Pledge, which opposed the use of nuclear weapons. In 1950, at the age of 82, he ran for the U.S. Senate on the American Labor Party ticket in New York and received 4% of the vote. Although he lost, Du Bois remained committed to the progressive labor cause and in 1958, joined Trotskyists, ex-Communists and independent radicals in proposing the creation of a united left-wing coalition to challenge for seats in the elections for the New York state senate and assembly. He was indicted in the United States under the Foreign Agents Registration Act and acquitted for lack of evidence. W. E. B. Du Bois became disillusioned with both black capitalism and racism in the United States. In 1959, Du Bois received the Lenin Peace Prize. In 1961, at the age of 93, he joined the Communist Party USA. Du Bois was invited to Ghana in 1961 by President Kwame Nkrumah to direct the Encyclopedia Africana, a government production, and a long-held dream of his. When, in 1963, he was refused a new U.S. passport, he and his wife, Shirley Graham Du Bois, became citizens of Ghana, renouncing his US citizenship. Du Bois' health had declined in 1962, and on August 27, 1963, he died in Accra, Ghana at the age of ninety-five, one day before Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech. At the March on Washington, Roy Wilkins informed the hundreds of thousands of marchers and called for a moment of silence.

 


 

 

 


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