Zenosbooks

Book Blogs

General book blog.

(01/04/2015) Echoes by Robert Creeley. New York. 1994. New Directions. 116 pages.  hardcover. Jacket photograph by Denny Moers; design by Hermann Strohbach.  0811212637 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   In his ECHOES, Robert Creeley continues to explore the limits and resonances, public and personal, of age. Indeed, the title itself, ECHOES, recurs throughout his poetry of the previous two decades leading up to this collection. Thus ‘Sonnets’ speaks out against the waste of human violence and dogmatism (‘Come round again the banal/belligerence almost a/flatulent echo of times’), while the book’s closing sequence, ‘Roman Sketchbook,’ contemplates with wit and affection the measure of one’s literal body in echoing time and place. Creeley as ever articulates the givens of life, its daily fact and possibility, with careful, concise invention. About ECHOES - ‘Echoing the themes and voice of his ground- breaking and immensely important early work, Creeley’s most recent book is touching, resonant, and never lets the good reader forget the fact that we cannot be as beautiful or as powerful when we age as when we are young. In one sense it is more than an echo; it is a reminder of Creeley’s original stature in American letters.’ - Diane Wakoski (from Creeley’s citation as finalist for the 1995 Paterson Poetry Prize). ‘But for all of his complexity, the poet’s responses to his own sense of aging are surprisingly witty, lyrical and grounded.   ECHOES succeeds beautifully.’ - Publishers Weekly (starred review).

 

  Robert Creeley (1926-2005) published more than sixty books of poetry, prose, essays, and interviews in the United States and abroad. His many honors included the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award, the Frost Medal, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the Bollingen Prize for Poetry. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Distinguished Professor in the Graduate Program in Literary Arts at Brown University

 

 

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(01/03/2015) The Progress of a Biographer by Hugh Kingsmill. London. 1949. Methuen & Company Ltd. 194 pages.  hardcover.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Nowadays it is generally assumed that a writer must be either a Communist or a Catholic. Hugh Kingsmill is neither, nor does he belong to any other body, secular or religious. The idea which underlies this book is that there are absolute truths, which the individual can in some degree apprehend and live by, but which churches and institutions can only obscure and pervert. Most of the sketches in this book were written between the end of the war and the spring of 1948. The subjects range from P. G. Wodehouse to Karl Marx, W. B. Yeats to Thackeray, and from Rainer Maria Rilke to Lloyd George. Believing that to understand a man’s work, one must form a coherent impression of the man, the author has tried to suggest the leading characteristics and governing impulses of his subjects. His intention has been to clarify rather than to criticize, though doubtless the effect may sometimes be one of criticism falling short of clarification.

 

  Hugh Kingsmill Lunn (21 November 1889 – 15 May 1949), who dropped his last name for professional purposes, was a versatile British writer and journalist. Writers Arnold Lunn and Brian Lunn were his brothers. Hugh Kingsmill Lunn was born in London and educated at Harrow School and the University of Oxford. After graduating he worked for a brief period for Frank Harris, who edited the publication Hearth and Home in 1911/2, alongside Enid Bagnold; Kingsmill later wrote a debunking biography of Harris, after the spell had worn off. He began fighting in the British Army in World War I in 1916, and was captured in France the next year. After the war, he began to write, initially both science fiction and crime fiction. In the 1930s he was a contributor to the English Review; later he wrote a good deal of non-fiction for this periodical's successor, the English Review Magazine. His large output includes criticism, essays and biographies, parodies and humour, as well as novels, and edited a number of anthologies. He is remembered for saying 'friends are God's apology for relations', with a notable flavour of Ambrose Bierce. The dictum was subsequently used by Richard Ingrams for the title of his memoir of Kingsmill's friendships with Hesketh Pearson and Malcolm Muggeridge, two intimate friends whom he influenced greatly.Muggeridge drew a darker attitude from Kingsmill's sardonic wit. Dawnist was Kingsmill's word for those infected with unrealistic or utopian idealism — the enemy as far as he was concerned. Kingmill’s works include: The Will To Love (1919) novel, The Dawn's Delay (1924) stories, Blondel (1927), Matthew Arnold (1928) biography, After Puritanism, 1850-1900 (1929), An Anthology Of Invective And Abuse (1929), The Return of William Shakespeare (1929) novel, Behind Both Lines (1930) autobiographical, More Invective (1930) anthology, The Worst of Love (1931) anthology, After Puritanism (1931), Frank Harris (1932) biography, The Table Of Truth (1933), Samuel Johnson (1933) biography, The Sentimental Journey (1934) biography of Charles Dickens, The Casanova Fable: A Satirical Revaluation (1934) with William Gerhardi, What They Said At The Time (1935) anthology, Parents and Children (1936) anthology; Brave Old World (1936) humour, with Malcolm Muggeridge, A Pre-View Of Next Year's News (1937) humour, with Malcolm Muggeridge, Skye High: The Record Of A Tour Through Scotland In The Wake Of The Samuel Johnson And James Boswell.(1937) travel, with Hesketh Pearson, Made On Earth (1937) anthology on marriage, The English Genius: a survey of the English achievement and character (1938) editor, essays by W. R. Inge, Hilaire Belloc, Hesketh Pearson, William Gerhardi, E .S. P. Haynes, Douglas Woodruff, Charles Petrie, J. F. C. Fuller, Alfred Noyes, Rose Macaulay, Brian Lunn, Rebecca West, K. Hare, T. W. Earp, D. H. Lawrence (1938) biography, Next Year's News (1938) humour, with Malcolm Muggeridge, Courage (1939) anthology, Johnson Without Boswell: A Contemporary Portrait of Samuel Johnson (1940) editor, The Fall (1940), This Blessed Plot (1942) travel, with Hesketh Pearson, The Poisoned Crown (1944) essays on genealogies, Talking Of Dick Whittington (1947) travel, with Hesketh Pearson), The Progress Of A Biographer (1949), The High Hill of the Muses (1955) anthology, The Best of Hugh Kingsmill: Selections from his Writings (1970) edited by Michael Holroyd, Bernard Shaw, His Life and Personality.

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(01/02/2015) The Early Pohl by Frederik Pohl. Garden City. 1976. Doubleday. 183 pages.  hardcover. Jacket by Peter Rauch.  0385110146 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

 

   ‘In the winter of 1933, when I was just turned thirteen, I discovered three new truths. The first truth was that the world was in a hell of a mess. The second was that I really was not going to spend my life being a chemical engineer, no matter what I had told my guidance counselor at Brooklyn Technical High School. And the third was that in my conversion to science fiction as a way of life I Was Not Alone.’ With these words, a highly acclaimed writer and editor begins his tale of early life and adventures in science fiction. Together with eight stories and one poem (all of which appeared during the period of 1940-44) is his delightful autobiographical commentary on each of them—as well as revealing anecdotes about his fandom associations, his friends and enemies, his many wives. Awards? Frederik Pohl has had dozens. Criticism? Plenty. But as Pohl says, ‘if I could go back in time.   and have the chance to do it over, knowing everything I know now about the pains and the problems, the disappointments, and the slow-coming rewards.   I would do it exactly the same way, and exult at the chance.’ When you read this book you’ll understand. Frederik Pohl was just a high school student when his first poem was published by Amazing Stories. He was editor of two science fiction magazines before he was even twenty years old. And from there, Frederik Pohl went on to become one of this country’s most prolific and widely read science fiction authors.

 

Pohl Frederik  Frederik George Pohl, Jr. (November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013) was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning more than seventy-five years—from his first published work, the 1937 poem ‘Elegy to a Dead Satellite: Luna’, to the 2011 novel All the Lives He Led and articles and essays published in 2012. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy and its sister magazine If; the latter won three successive annual Hugo Awards as the year's best professional magazine. His 1977 novel Gateway won four ‘year's best novel’ awards: the Hugo voted by convention participants, the Locus voted by magazine subscribers, the Nebula voted by American science fiction writers, and the juried academic John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He won the Campbell Memorial Award again for the 1984 collection of novellas Years of the City, one of two repeat winners during the first forty years. For his 1979 novel Jem, Pohl won a U.S. National Book Award in the one-year category Science Fiction. It was a finalist for three other years' best novel awards. He won four Hugo and three Nebula Awards. The Science Fiction Writers of America named Pohl its 12th recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award in 1993 and he was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1998, its third class of two dead and two living writers. Pohl won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2010, for his blog, ‘The Way the Future Blogs’. 

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(01/01/2015) Heavenly Breakfast by Samuel R. Delany. New York. 1979. Bantam Books. 128 pages. September 1979. paperback.  0553127969 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   SAMUEL R. DELANY takes a long, searching look back at the mythic scenes of his youthful adventures, the launching pad for the psychedelic voyages that shaped his phenomenal science fiction. This is the story of a mind being born, the dawn of a new awareness that set loose the fantastic imagination of ‘the best science fiction writer in the world.’ – Galaxy.

 

 Samuel Ray Delany, Jr., also known as ‘Chip’, is an American author, professor and literary critic. His work includes a number of novels, many in the science fiction genre, as well as memoir, criticism, and essays on sexuality and society. His science fiction novels include BABEL-17, THE EINSTEIN INTERSECTION (winners of the Nebula Award for 1966 and 1967 respectively), NOVA, DHALGREN, and the RETURN TO NEVÈRŸON series. After winning four Nebula awards and two Hugo awards over the course of his career, Delany was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2002. Between 1988 and 1999 he was a professor of comparative literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Between 1999 and 2000 he was a professor of English at SUNY Buffalo. Since January 2001 he has been a professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he is Director of the Graduate Creative Writing Program..

 

 

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

(12/31/2014) In the Problem Pit by Frederik Pohl. New York. 1976. Bantam Books. 194 pages.  paperback.  0553088572 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

  A jarrinq adventure into alternative worlds by Frederik Pohl. WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO US? When we can replace ourselves with unfailing machines just like us? When we can experience the ultimate ecstasy from a little pill? When we can trip back in time to ‘correct’ the errors of history? When all our problems are solved—except the deadly ones we never thought of? 

 

Pohl Frederik  Frederik George Pohl, Jr. (November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013) was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning more than seventy-five years—from his first published work, the 1937 poem ‘Elegy to a Dead Satellite: Luna’, to the 2011 novel All the Lives He Led and articles and essays published in 2012. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy and its sister magazine If; the latter won three successive annual Hugo Awards as the year's best professional magazine. His 1977 novel Gateway won four ‘year's best novel’ awards: the Hugo voted by convention participants, the Locus voted by magazine subscribers, the Nebula voted by American science fiction writers, and the juried academic John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He won the Campbell Memorial Award again for the 1984 collection of novellas Years of the City, one of two repeat winners during the first forty years. For his 1979 novel Jem, Pohl won a U.S. National Book Award in the one-year category Science Fiction. It was a finalist for three other years' best novel awards. He won four Hugo and three Nebula Awards. The Science Fiction Writers of America named Pohl its 12th recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award in 1993 and he was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1998, its third class of two dead and two living writers. Pohl won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2010, for his blog, ‘The Way the Future Blogs’.

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/30/2014) Unmasking the African Dictator: Essays on Postcolonial African Literature by Gichingiri Ndigirigi (editor). Knoxville. 2014. University Of Tennessee Press. 312  pages. September 2014. hardcover.  6’x 9’. Tennessee Studies in Literature, Volume 46.  9781621900559 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

9781621900559  With A Foreword By Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. In Africa, the development of ‘dictatorship fiction’ as a vehicle for depicting the authoritarian state arose more slowly than in other parts of the world. The dictator novel emerged earlier in Latin America, as the region’s anticolonial disengagement preceded that of Africa. Thus, the Latin American variant of this literary genre has been extensively studied, but until now there has been no comparable exploration of the fictional and dramatic representations of tyrannical regimes in Africa. In Unmasking the African Dictator, Gchingiri Ndigirigi redresses that imbalance with a collection of essays that fully examine the figure of the ‘Big Man’ in African arts. This volume features twelve articles from both established and emerging scholars who undertake representative readings of the African despot in fiction, drama, films, and music. Arranged chronologically, these essays cover postcolonial realities in a wide range of countries: Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, the Congo, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Somalia, Kenya, and Uganda. Included here are a variety of voices that illuminate the different aspects of dictator fiction in Africa and in the process enrich our understanding of the continent’s literature, politics, and culture. This work features a foreword by formerly exiled Kenyan novelist, poet, and critic Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Ndigirigi’s own extended introduction reviews the overarching themes found in the collection and summarizes each of the artistic works being examined while placing the individual essays in context. A pioneering study, Unmasking the African Dictator examines the works of several major authors of dictator fictions like Achebe, Ngugi, Farah, and Tamsi, among others. It is an ideal resource for both undergraduate and graduate courses on African literature, culture, and politics.

 

Ndigirigi Gichingiri  Gchingiri Ndigirigi is an associate professor of English at the University of Tennessee. He is the author of Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s Drama and the Popular Theater Experiment.

 

 

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/29/2014) If I Were Writing This by Robert Creeley. New York. 2003. New Directions. 103 pages.  hardcover. Jacket photograph by Denny Moers, 'Directing Passage' (1996, Yugoslavia). Jacket design by Erik Rieselbach.  0811215563 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

0811215563   The poems of If I Were Writing This, Robert Creeley's first major collection since the highly praised Life & Death (1998), have an ‘aching sweetness’ that speak to the preciousness of life as the poet both faces his own mortality and simultaneously looks on a world suddenly more precarious and fragile. In these poems there is longing, a twinge of regret sometimes, a bit of nostalgia, the sadness of passing time, but finally no regrets and no self-pity, just an understanding that this is what it is to be human, an acknowledgment that life is uncertain but also bracing and positive. Creeley himself comments: ‘Given the bleak vulnerability of the world and of our own country's dogmatic commitment to violence, what can either poet or poetry do? For one thing, insist on feeling—insist on witness—insist on being here, in this 'phenomenal world,' as Lawrence called it, 'which is raging and yet apart.' Age brings experience, not wisdom; age makes time actual—each day another—until there is no more. These poems have been my company, my solace, my feelings, my heart. When they cannot speak, it will all be silence.’

 

  Robert Creeley (1926-2005) published more than sixty books of poetry, prose, essays, and interviews in the United States and abroad. His many honors included the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award, the Frost Medal, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the Bollingen Prize for Poetry. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Distinguished Professor in the Graduate Program in Literary Arts at Brown University

 

 

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/28/2014) Quack! Quack! by Leonard Woolf. New York. 1935. Harcourt Brace & Company.  hardcover.   

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

 

   'Leonard has just finished his book, called Quack Quack which will be out in June. I expect it will get him into hot water with all classes, as it is a very spirited attack upon human nature as it is at present. I think you'll enjoy it.' - Virginia Woolf to Margaret Llewelyn Davies, April 28, 1935. 

 

   Leonard Sidney Woolf (25 November 1880 – 14 August 1969) was an English political theorist, author, publisher and civil servant, and husband of author Virginia Woolf. Woolf was born in London, the third of ten children of Solomon Rees Sidney Woolf (known as Sidney Woolf), a barrister and Queen's Counsel, and Marie (née de Jongh). His family was Jewish. After his father died in 1892 Woolf was sent to board at Arlington House School near Brighton, Sussex. From 1894 to 1899 he attended St Paul's School, and in 1899 he won a classical scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was elected to the Cambridge Apostles. Other members included Lytton Strachey, John Maynard Keynes, GE Moore and EM Forster. Thoby Stephen, Virginia Stephen's brother, was friendly with the Apostles, though not a member himself. Woolf was awarded his BA in 1902, but stayed for another year to study for the Civil Service examinations. In October 1904 Woolf moved to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to become a cadet in the Ceylon Civil Service, in Jaffna and later Kandy, and by August 1908 was named an assistant government agent in the Southern Province, where he administered the District of Hambantota. Woolf returned to England in May 1911 for a year's leave. Instead, however, he resigned in early 1912 and that same year married Virginia Stephen (Virginia Woolf). Together Leonard and Virginia Woolf became influential in the Bloomsbury group, which also included various other former Apostles. In December 1917 Woolf became one of the co-founders of the 1917 Club, which met in Gerrard Street, Soho. After marriage, Woolf turned his hand to writing and in 1913 published his first novel, The Village in the Jungle, which is based on his years in Sri Lanka. A series of books followed at roughly two-yearly intervals. On the introduction of conscription in 1916, during the First World War, Woolf was rejected for military service on medical grounds, and turned to politics and sociology. He joined the Labour Party and the Fabian Society, and became a regular contributor to the New Statesman. In 1916 he wrote International Government, proposing an international agency to enforce world peace. As his wife began to suffer from mental illness Woolf devoted much of his time to caring for her (he himself suffered from depression). In 1917 the Woolfs bought a small hand-operated printing press and with it they founded the Hogarth Press. Their first project was a pamphlet, hand-printed and bound by themselves. Within ten years the Press had become a full-scale publishing house, issuing Virginia's novels, Leonard's tracts and, among other works, the first edition of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. Woolf continued as the main director of the Press until his death. His wife's mental problems continued, however, until her suicide in 1941. Later Leonard fell in love with a married artist, Trekkie Parsons. In 1919 Woolf became editor of the International Review. He also edited the international section of the Contemporary Review from 1920 to 1922. He was literary editor of The Nation and Atheneum, generally referred to simply as The Nation, from 1923 to 1930), and joint founder and editor of The Political Quarterly from 1931 to 1959), and for a time he served as secretary of the Labour Party's advisory committees on international and colonial questions. In 1960 Woolf revisited Sri Lanka and was surprised at the warmth of the welcome he received, and even the fact that he was still remembered. Woolf accepted an honorary doctorate from the then-new University of Sussex in 1964 and in 1965 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He declined the offer of CH in the Queen's Birthday honours list in 1966.

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/27/2014) Starchild by Frederik Pohl. Middlesex. 1970. Penguin Books. 148 pages.  paperback. Cover design by Franco Grignani.  0140031030

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Steve Ryland knew more about his future than he did about his past. His past was a fog of forgetfulness. Especially the three days when he committed the crime that made him a prisoner of the Plan of Man. His future was much more certain. If he didn’t develop ‘jetless drive’ he would suffer the horrors of the body bank. His body would be dismantled piece by piece, for ‘spares’ surgery, while he was still alive. Around his neck, a collar containing explosive made escape a deadly risk. Unfortunately, the impossibility of his task made it necessary.

 

Pohl Frederik  Frederik George Pohl, Jr. (November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013) was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning more than seventy-five years—from his first published work, the 1937 poem ‘Elegy to a Dead Satellite: Luna’, to the 2011 novel All the Lives He Led and articles and essays published in 2012. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy and its sister magazine If; the latter won three successive annual Hugo Awards as the year's best professional magazine. His 1977 novel Gateway won four ‘year's best novel’ awards: the Hugo voted by convention participants, the Locus voted by magazine subscribers, the Nebula voted by American science fiction writers, and the juried academic John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He won the Campbell Memorial Award again for the 1984 collection of novellas Years of the City, one of two repeat winners during the first forty years. For his 1979 novel Jem, Pohl won a U.S. National Book Award in the one-year category Science Fiction. It was a finalist for three other years' best novel awards. He won four Hugo and three Nebula Awards. The Science Fiction Writers of America named Pohl its 12th recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award in 1993 and he was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1998, its third class of two dead and two living writers. Pohl won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2010, for his blog, ‘The Way the Future Blogs’.

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/26/2014) Droll Tales: The Second Decade by Honore de Balzac. New York. 1929. Covici Friede. 279 pages.  hardcover.  Illustrated by Jean De Bosschere. Translated from the French by J. Lewis May.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Droll Stories, collection of short stories by Honoré de Balzac, published in three sets of 10 stories each, in 1832, 1833, and 1837, as Contes drolatiques. Rabelaisian in theme, the stories are written with great vitality in a pastiche of 16th-century language. The tales are fully as lively as the author’s masterful Comédie humaine series, but they stand apart for their good-humoured licentiousness and historical wordplay. Droll Stories -  Volume 2, The Second Ten Tales. CONTENTS: The Three Clerks of Saint Nicholas; The Continence of King Francis I; The Merry Quips of the Nuns of Poissy; How the Chateau D’Azay Came to Be Built; The Sham Courtesan; The Danger of Being Too Innocent; A  Dear Night of Love; The Sermon of the Merry Vicar of Meudon; Love’s Despair; The Succubus; Epilogue.

 

  Honoré de Balzac (20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850) was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon. Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multifaceted characters, who are complex, morally ambiguous and fully human. His writing influenced many subsequent novelists such as Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Gustave Flaubert, Benito Pérez Galdós, Marie Corelli, Henry James, William Faulkner, Jack Kerouac, and Italo Calvino, and philosophers such as Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Many of Balzac's works have been made into or have inspired films, and they are a continuing source of inspiration for writers, filmmakers and critics. An enthusiastic reader and independent thinker as a child, Balzac had trouble adapting to the teaching style of his grammar school. His willful nature caused trouble throughout his life and frustrated his ambitions to succeed in the world of business. When he finished school, Balzac was an apprentice in a law office, but he turned his back on the study of law after wearying of its inhumanity and banal routine. Before and during his career as a writer, he attempted to be a publisher, printer, businessman, critic, and politician; he failed in all of these efforts. La Comédie humaine reflects his real-life difficulties, and includes scenes from his own experience. Balzac suffered from health problems throughout his life, possibly due to his intense writing schedule. His relationship with his family was often strained by financial and personal difficulties, and he ended several friendships over critical reviews. In 1850 he married Ewelina Hanska, his longtime love; he died five months later.

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/25/2014) Selected Poems by Robert Creeley. Berkeley. 1991. University Of California Press. 366 pages.  hardcover. Cover photos: top left, Jonathan Williams; top-right and lower left, Elsa Dorfman; lower-right, Chris Felver. Jacket design: Barbara Jellow.  0520069358 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Here, in a new selection of 200 poems from over four decades, is the distinctive voice of Robert Creeley, reminding us of what has made him one of the most important and affectionately regarded poets of our time. Since the publication of For Love, Robert Creeley has been a popular and frequently controversial force in American poetry. He has challenged established canons of literary taste, prompted the most avant-garde writers of his gene ration, and, with his spare, subtly colloquial poems, defined a literary style to which today’s ‘language’ poets trace their inspiration. In opposition to established literary tastes, Creeley’s idiosyncratic lyrics have shaped the legacy of a ‘new American poetry’ for an entire generation of younger poets. Creeley published his first poem in the Harvard magazine Wake in 1946. In 1949 he began corresponding with William Carlos Williams and Ezra Pound. Creeley’s acquaintance with the poet Charles Olson dates from the following year. In 1954, as rector of Black Mountain College (an experimental arts school in North Carolina), Olson invited Creeley to join the faculty and to edit the Black Mountain Review. Through the Review and his own incisive essays, Creeley helped define an emerging counter-tradition to the literary establishment - a postwar poetry originating with Pound, Williams, and Zukofsky and expanding through the lives and works of Olson, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, Denise Levertov, Edward Dorn, and others. Like many of these experimental poets, Creeley broke into the literary establishment by stealth, and he still views himself as something of an outsider. ‘I began with fugitive publication,’ he says, ‘and have been variously on the run ever since.’ Creeley’s poems are distinctive for their precise, terse - almost minimalist-language. The syncopated rhythms and silences of his verse have been compared to the jazz improvisations of Charlie Parker. From the initial lyrics of personal exploration to the recognitions of adamant daily life, Selected Poems offers an introduction to the singular inventiveness that has established Creeley as a major contemporary poet.

 

 Robert Creeley (May 21, 1926 – March 30, 2005) was an American poet and author of more than sixty books. He is usually associated with the Black Mountain poets, though his verse aesthetic diverged from that school's. He was close with Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, John Wieners and Ed Dorn. He served as the Samuel P. Capen Professor of Poetry and the Humanities at State University of New York at Buffalo. In 1991, he joined colleagues Susan Howe, Charles Bernstein, Raymond Federman, Robert Bertholf, and Dennis Tedlock in founding the Poetics Program at Buffalo. Creeley lived in Waldoboro, Maine, Buffalo, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island where he taught at Brown University. He was a recipient of the Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/24/2014) The Son by Jo Nesbø. New York. 2014. Knopf. 405 pages. May 2014. hardcover. 9780385351379

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

9780385351379  The author of the best-selling Harry Hole series now gives us an electrifying tale of vengeance set amid Oslo's brutal hierarchy of corruption. Sonny Lofthus has been in prison for almost half his life: serving time for crimes he didn't commit. In exchange, he gets an uninterrupted supply of heroin—and a stream of fellow prisoners seeking out his Buddha-like absolution. Years earlier Sonny’s father, a corrupt cop, took his own life rather than face exposure. Now Sonny is the center of a vortex of corruption: prison staff, police, lawyers, a desperate priest—all of them focused on keeping him stoned and jailed. When Sonny discovers a shocking truth about his father’s suicide, he makes a brilliant escape and begins hunting down the people responsible for his and his father’s demise. But he's also being hunted, and by enemies too many to count. Two questions remain: who will get to him first, and what will he do when he’s cornered?

 

Nesbø Jo  Jo Nesbø’s books have sold more than twenty million copies worldwide, and have been translated into forty-seven languages. His Harry Hole novels include The Bat, The Redbreast, Nemesis, The Devil’s Star, The Redeemer, The Snowman, The Leopard, Phantom, and Police, and he is the author of Headhunters and several children’s books. He has received the Glass Key Award for best Nordic crime novel. He is also a musician, songwriter, and economist and lives in Oslo.

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/23/2014) You by Zoran Drvenkar. New York. 2014. Knopf. 497 pages. August 2014. hardcover. Jacket design by Kelly Blair.  Translated from the German by Shaun Whiteside.  9780307958068 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Take one man traveling down the highway. Imagine him without mercy. Call him the Traveler and fear him. Take five girls who open the door to chaos and watch them run. Put five kilos of heroin and a gun in their luggage. Call them the Sweet Nightmares and fear them. Take a father haunted by his past who never forgets a grudge. Call him the Kingpin and don’t go near him. All hurtle toward each other. Full of revenge, they have no idea that YOU are watching them. It’s a late-summer night in Berlin and notorious criminal Ragnar Desche isn’t too happy. He’s just found his brother, Oskar, dead, frozen stiff and sitting in his home next to a swimming pool full of marijuana plants. Someone’s flooded the pool and stolen a Range Rover, but what’s worse is that Ragnar’s huge cache of drugs is missing—and he’s going to want it back. Meanwhile, nearby, a group of teenage girls are out at the movies. Thinking about boys and worrying about acne, they notice that the prettiest member of their clique is missing. She hasn’t been seen for days, and the trouble she’s found herself in is about to set all of the girls on a collision course with the Desche gang and drag them into a fight for their lives—a fight that might turn out to be more evenly matched than it first appears. A gritty, pulsating, psychological thriller told through the eyes of an enormous cast of characters, You is an audacious and unpredictable combination of pulp, pluck, and revenge.

 

  Zoran Drvenkar was born in Croatia in 1967 and moved to Germany when he was three years old. He has been working as a writer since 1989 and doesn’t like to be pinned down to one genre. He has written more than twenty novels, ranging from children’s and young adult books to the darker literary novels Sorry and You. In 2010, Sorry won Germany’s Friedrich Glauser Prize for crime fiction. Drvenkar lives in an old mill just outside of Berlin.

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/22/2014) Memory Gardens by Robert Creeley. New York. 1986. New Directions. 88 pages.  hardcover. Photograph by Denny Moers; design by Hermann Strohbach.  0811209733 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   The title of Robert Creeley’s gathering of poems, Memory Gardens, softly announces his meditative theme. As on a quiet walk through a familiar landscape, the poet leads us along paths of recollection. Thoughts turn back upon themselves, evoking half-forgotten intangibles of past moments. Childhood and family, old loves lost and new loves gained, the change of seasons, supper in the kitchen—it is such particularities as these that Creeley catches with the spare lines of his tight constructions. Though comprised of short poems in the main, the collection includes three exceptional Sequences: the poignant ‘Four for John Daley’; ‘Apres Anders,’ macaronic improvisations on work by the German poet Richard Anders; and ‘A Calendar,’ a group of twelve poems, one for each month of the year, appropriately concluding the book with a December ‘Memory’ (‘On1y us then/remember, discover,/still can care for /the human’). Some Comments About Robert Creeley’s Poetry: ‘Creeley is absolutely mesmerizing in his ability to suspend and to define the passage of thought, the process of experience in all its ironic, inexorable sadness. No poetic theories are required to support such art; it achieves its own permanence by relating at once to our own groping, semi-articulate wonder.’ - Joyce Carol Oates, The New Republic. ‘One of the very few contemporaries with whom it is essential to keep in contact.’ - Hugh Kenner. ‘[Creeley] is on anyone’s short list of the best working American poets.’ - The Washington Post. ‘His influence on contemporary American poetry has probably been more deeply felt than any other writer of his generation.’ - Terry Southern, The New York Times Book Review.

 

  Robert Creeley (May 21, 1926 – March 30, 2005) was an American poet and author of more than sixty books. He is usually associated with the Black Mountain poets, though his verse aesthetic diverged from that school's. He was close with Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, John Wieners and Ed Dorn. He served as the Samuel P. Capen Professor of Poetry and the Humanities at State University of New York at Buffalo. In 1991, he joined colleagues Susan Howe, Charles Bernstein, Raymond Federman, Robert Bertholf, and Dennis Tedlock in founding the Poetics Program at Buffalo. Creeley lived in Waldoboro, Maine, Buffalo, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island where he taught at Brown University. He was a recipient of the Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/21/2014) Eyrbyggja Saga by Hermann Palsson and Paul Edwards (translators). Toronto and Buffalo. 1973. University of Toronto Press. 198 pages.  hardcover. The cover drawing is adapted from a carving on a medieval cabinet door in the National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavik.  Translated from the Old Icelandic by Hermann Palsson and Paul Edwards.  0802019420 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

 

   ‘Of all the various records of Icelandic history and literature,’ wrote Sir Walter Scott, ‘there is none more interesting than Eyrbyggja Saga.’ Probably composed soon after 1250, this saga is part of the mainstream of medieval Icelandic literature and has been regarded as one of the most remarkable of the classical sagas of Icelanders. Its central is figure is Snorri the Priest, ‘a very shrewd man with remarkable foresight, a long memory, and a taste for vengeance,’ whose friends found in him a wise counselor, but whose enemies learned to dread his advice. During his lifetime (963-1031) Iceland officially adopted Christianity; and, although formerly a pagan priest, Snorri did more than anyone else to persuade his fellow countrymen to question the values of their ancestral faith. Eyrbyggja Saga as a complex structure in which eerie ghost-stories are interwoven with sober and realistic accounts of life in Iceland a thousand years ago. There are also antiquarian and gothic elements, unquiet graves of the malevolent dead, violent encounters with Vikings and berserks, which are recounted in a pervasive heroic spirit. On the surface, this saga reads like an historical record tracing the lives of several generations from the late ninth century to the early eleventh, but underlying that is a description of a community progressing from lawlessness to collective responsibility. The subtle and sophisticated narrative of Eyrbyggja Saga makes a searching examination of the internal conflicts which rapid social change arouses in any transitional society.

The translators both taught at the University of Edinburgh, where HERMAN PALSSON was reader in Icelandic and PAUL EDWARDS was a senior lecturer in English.

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/20/2014) Hrolf Gautreksson: A Viking Romance by Hermann Palsson and Paul Edwards (translators). Toronto and Buffalo. 1972. University of Toronto Press. 149 pages.  hardcover. The cover drawing is adapted from a carving on a medieval cabinet door in the National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavik.  Translated from the Icelandic by Hermann Palsson and Paul Edwards.  0802018149 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

  HROLF GAUTREKSSON, appearing here for the first time in an English translation, is a fourteenth-century Icelandic ‘novel’ in which features of the sagas of earlier centuries are seen in the process of blending with the conventions and characteristics of the European romance. It is interesting as an example of a hybrid literary genre, and tells of the derring-do and successes of a young Viking hero who becomes a king and marries a rather unusual queen. The story takes the reader from Scandinavia to Russia to England and Ireland, through a world of primitive Christianity in which people who are still unmistakably Vikings live in a strangely chivalrous society of jousts, feasts, and courtly love. The underlying moral theme is about moderation and excess, but this is also an entertaining adventure story. The translation is preceded by an introduction by Professors Pálsson and Edwards which discusses the work as a piece of fiction and as an example of the literary tradition of which it is a part.

 

HERMANN PALSSON studied Icelandic at the University of Iceland, and Celtic at University College, Dublin. He was a Visiting Professor at University of Toronto in 1967-1968 and was also Reader in Icelandic at the University of Edinburgh, where he taught since 1950.

 

PAUL EDWARDS studied English at Durham, and Celtic and Icelandic at Cambridge. For ten years he taught in Africa, was also a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Edinburgh, having taught there since 1963.

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/19/2014) Return To My Native Land by Aime Cesaire. Brooklyn. 2014. Archipelago Books. 80 pages.  paperback. Cover art: William Kentridge.  Translated from the French by John Berger and Anna Bostock. Drawings by Peter de Francia.  9781935744948 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

  A work of immense cultural significance and beauty, this long poem became an anthem for the African diaspora and the birth of the Negritude movement. With unusual juxtapositions of object and metaphor, a bouquet of language-play, and deeply resonant rhythms, Césaire considered this work a “break into the forbidden,” at once a cry of rebellion and a celebration of black identity. ‘It was in April 1941, while passing through Martinique on his wartime journey to New York, that André Breton chanced on a long poem, “Cahier d’un retour au pays natal”, freshly printed in the magazine Tropiques. He at once declared it a masterpiece and the work of “a great black poet”. Its author was a young Caribbean writer, Aimé Césaire, and the native land of its title was Martinique, to which the author had returned after a long stay as a student in Paris. Composed in 1939, his poem would circulate in various forms until a definitive edition was issued by Présence Africaine in Paris in 1956. An explosive critique of French colonialism, it had become a central text of the Negritude movement. In 1939, the island of Martinique was still an open wound, left septic after French rule. The poem pulls no punches. Now tremulous, now grating, the improvised text drums and jabs in spasmodic phrases and slogans. Each encounter, each twist of idiom, thrusts itself into the reader’s mind as a fierce challenge to understand and to empathize. Breton saw in Césaire’s writing “a quality of mastery in his tone” and was thrilled to discover that Surrealism could erupt in the tropics, the expression of a fresh poetics that shattered the even hum of French colonial discourse. Césaire’s poetry makes for difficult reading. Its headlong progression is accretive and associative, full of repeated phrases and unsettling detours. Its ruling device is the surrealist image, in which words clash and flare, to create tantalizing moments of revelation, paradoxically offering meaning while undermining coherence. The text spills forth in searing details and tableaux, ranging from the whispered evocation of “a little line of sand” to the description of a poverty-stricken black man on a bus, whose decrepit state inspires in the poet disgust and shame, which swiftly modulate into anger. Martinique is an island lost but now found, as the young writer hammers out his portrait of a debased homeland crying out for recognition and redemption. The poem’s uncompromising delivery was thoroughly absorbed and emulated by the translators John Berger and Anna Bostock, who wrestled its outbursts into a forceful yet faithful English equivalent. Their version dates from 1969. To this reissue are added six charcoal drawings by the late Peter de Francia, showing African bodies in poses suggestive of sheer torpor: yet we may take it that tropical languor is but a prelude to decisive rebellion.’ - Roger Cardinal. ‘Return to My Native Land is a monumental tome to our times, and this new translation by John Berger and Anya Bostock possesses the tropical heat of the poet’s sonority. Though, in his refrain, Aimé Césaire intones “the small hours,” there isn’t anything small about the raw lyricism articulated into this incantation of fiery wit. The translators convey the spirit of improvisation, yet, with a deftness of image and music, they deliver this book-length poem as a seamless work of art—an existential cry against a man-made void. What translates is the speaker’s revolutionary psyche on to the page—his fierce affirmation of existence through an eloquent clarity of the real and surreal. Nowhere is Césaire’s passion sacrificed; this translation is a tribute to the poet.’ - Yusef Komunyakaa.

 

  AIME CESAIRE (1913-2008) was a poet, playwright, statesman, and cultural critic, and is best known as the creator of the concept of negritude. His books include AIME CESAIRE: THE COLLECTED POETRY, NOTEBOOK OF A RETURN TO THE NATIVE LAND, and DISCOURSE ON COLONIALISM.

 

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

(12/18/2014) Slave Ship by Frederik Pohl. New York. 1957. Ballantine Books. 148 pages.  paperback.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   How men first learned the language of the animals – and the startling consequences! FIRST THEY CRACKED THE CODES.  The big electronic calculators that handled math codes, production lines, found it simple to decipher the small but racy vocabularies of the animals. Then man, had achieved the age-old dream: He could respond when his dog struggled to tell him something, and he could tell that foolish sheep that if he didn’t act right he’d be mutton; and, being man, he could create the wildest, craziest secret weapon for the war that is man’s heritage but not that of the new, now-articulate minorities. ‘Mr. Pohl is not afraid of emotion, so that his stories have a drive and power enviable in any writer, especially in one whose main outlet is science fiction.’ - The New York Times.

 

Pohl Frederik Frederik George Pohl, Jr. (November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013) was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning more than seventy-five years—from his first published work, the 1937 poem ‘Elegy to a Dead Satellite: Luna’, to the 2011 novel All the Lives He Led and articles and essays published in 2012. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy and its sister magazine If; the latter won three successive annual Hugo Awards as the year's best professional magazine. His 1977 novel Gateway won four ‘year's best novel’ awards: the Hugo voted by convention participants, the Locus voted by magazine subscribers, the Nebula voted by American science fiction writers, and the juried academic John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He won the Campbell Memorial Award again for the 1984 collection of novellas Years of the City, one of two repeat winners during the first forty years. For his 1979 novel Jem, Pohl won a U.S. National Book Award in the one-year category Science Fiction. It was a finalist for three other years' best novel awards. He won four Hugo and three Nebula Awards. The Science Fiction Writers of America named Pohl its 12th recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award in 1993 and he was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1998, its third class of two dead and two living writers. Pohl won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2010, for his blog, ‘The Way the Future Blogs’.

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/17/2014) The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth. New York. 1953. Ballantine Books. 181 pages.  paperback. Cover art by Richard Powers.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

  How would you like to live in a future world where Congress is made up of senators from large corporations,’ where armed warfare occurs between advertising agencies and where one of those agencies gets the job of ‘selling’ the idea of emigration to Venus? Mitch Courtenay, ace copywriter (or Copysmith Star Class) is given the job of convincing people that they ought to emigrate to Venus. Ranged against him are a rival agency, an underground organization, and his wife. This book crackles with action, drama - and ideas. You’ll be arguing about it (pro or con) for weeks.

 

Pohl Frederik  Frederik George Pohl, Jr. (November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013) was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning more than seventy-five years—from his first published work, the 1937 poem ‘Elegy to a Dead Satellite: Luna’, to the 2011 novel All the Lives He Led and articles and essays published in 2012. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy and its sister magazine If; the latter won three successive annual Hugo Awards as the year's best professional magazine. His 1977 novel Gateway won four ‘year's best novel’ awards: the Hugo voted by convention participants, the Locus voted by magazine subscribers, the Nebula voted by American science fiction writers, and the juried academic John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He won the Campbell Memorial Award again for the 1984 collection of novellas Years of the City, one of two repeat winners during the first forty years. For his 1979 novel Jem, Pohl won a U.S. National Book Award in the one-year category Science Fiction. It was a finalist for three other years' best novel awards. He won four Hugo and three Nebula Awards. The Science Fiction Writers of America named Pohl its 12th recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award in 1993 and he was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1998, its third class of two dead and two living writers. Pohl won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2010, for his blog, ‘The Way the Future Blogs’.

 

Kornbluth C M Cyril M. Kornbluth (July 2, 1923 – March 21, 1958) was an American science fiction author and a notable member of the Futurians. He used a variety of pen-names, including Cecil Corwin, S. D. Gottesman, Edward J. Bellin, Kenneth Falconer, Walter C. Davies, Simon Eisner, Jordan Park, Arthur Cooke, Paul Dennis Lavond and Scott Mariner. The ‘M’ in Kornbluth's name may have been in tribute to his wife, Mary Byers; Kornbluth's colleague and collaborator Frederik Pohl confirmed Kornbluth's lack of any actual middle name in at least one interview.

 

 

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/16/2014) Swedish Cops: From Sjöwall & Wahlöö to Steigh Larsson by Michael Tapper. Bristol and Chicago. 2014. Intellect. 377 pages.  paperback. Cover design by Stephanie Sarlos.  9781783201884 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

  SWEDISH COPS is a history of Swedish culture and ideas in an international context, as expressed in crime fiction from 1965 to 2012. It argues that, from being feared and despised, the police emerged as heroes and part of the social project of the welfare state after World War II. Establishing themselves artistically and commercially at the forefront of the genre, Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö constructed a model for using the police novel as an instrument for social and political criticism. With varying political affiliations, their model has been adapted by authors such as Leif G. W. Persson, Jan Guillou, Henning Mankell, Håkan Nesser, Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström, and Stieg Larsson, as well as film series such as Beck and Wallander. SWEDISH COPS is the first book of its kind, and it is as thrilling as the novels and films it analyzes.

 

  Michael Tapper teaches film at Lund University. He has been a contributor to the Swedish National Encyclopaedia since 1989 and has served as film critic at the daily Sydsvenska Dagbladet in Malmö, Sweden, since 1999.

 

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/15/2014) The Festival Of San Joaquin by Zee Edgell. Portsmouth. 1997. Heinemann. paperback. 155 pages. Cover illustration by Derek Lockhart. Cover design by Touchpaper. keywords: Literature Caribbean Belize Women. 0435989480.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

  Luz Marina, cleared of murdering her brutal husband, is released from prison on a three-year probation. Determined to rebuild her life and gain custody of her children, she perseveres, sustained by mother love and her faith in God in her battle against the poverty, guilt, vanity, and vengeance that threaten to overwhelm her. In this novel, set in the Mestizo community in Belize, Zee Edgell explores with sensitivity and understanding the contradictory and secret territory that is domestic violence.

 

  Zelma I. Edgell, better known as Zee Edgell, MBE, (born 21 October 1940 in Belize City, Belize) is a writer. She has had four of her novels published. She was an associate professor of English at Kent State University. After attending the local St. Catherine's Academy in Belize City (the basis for St. Cecilia's Academy in Beka Lamb), Edgell studied journalism at the school of modern languages at the Polytechnic of Central London and continued her education at the University of the West Indies. She worked as a journalist serving as the founding editor of The Reporter. She has also lived for extended periods in such diverse places as Jamaica, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Somalia, working with development organizations and the Peace Corps. She has been director of women's affairs for the government of Belize, lecturer at the former University College of Belize (forerunner to the University of Belize) and she was an associate professor in the department of English at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, where she taught creative writing and literature. Edgell also tours internationally, giving book readings and delivering papers on the history and literature of Belize. She is considered Belize's principal contemporary writer. Edgell is married to American educator Al Edgell, who had a decades long career in international development. They have two children, Holly, a journalism professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, and Randall, a physician specializing in stroke treatment and prevention. Edgell has also contributed extensively to the Belizean Writers Series, published by local publishing house Cubola Productions. She edited and contributed stories to the fifth book in the series, Memories, Dreams and Nightmares: A Short Story Anthology of Belizean women writers, published in 2004. She was made a Member of the order of the British Empire in the 2007 Queen's Birthday Honour List. In 2009 the University of the West Indies conferred upon her the honorary degree D.Litt at graduation ceremonies in Cave Hill, Barbados. Her first novel, Beka Lamb, published in 1982, details the early years of the nationalist movement in British Honduras from the eyes of a teenage girl attending high school in the colony; given that it was published a year after Belize became independent this was the first novel to be published in the new nation. Beka Lamb also gained the distinction of being Belize's first novel to reach beyond its borders and gain an international audience, winning Britain's Fawcett Society Book Prize, a prize awarded annually to a work of fiction that contributes to an understanding of women's position in society today. Her subsequent novel, In Times Like These (1991) portrayed the turmoil of nearly independent Belize from the point of view of another female protagonist, this time the adult director of women's affairs (a post Edgell once held). The Festival of San Joaquin (1997), her third novel told the story of a woman accused of murdering her husband, and in her short stories, Edgell skillfully explores the layers of Belize's complicated social and racial stratification through the lens of her female protagonists. Edgell has said she would eventually like to write about male protagonists as well as her extensive travels across the world. Edgell's fourth novel was published by Heinemann's Caribbean Writers Series in January 2007. The events of Time and the River unfold during the heyday of slavery in Belize. It focuses on the life of a young slave woman, Leah Lawson, who eventually (through marriage) becomes a slaveowner herself. She even finds herself in the position of owning her own family members. The story is told against the backdrop of the brutal forestry slavery of the time and slave revolts, true historical moments in the history of the country that is now known as Belize. Edgell released this book in Belize at the end of March with appearances at the University of Belize, Belmopan and in Belize City. Edgell's third novel, ‘The Festival of San Joaquin,’ will be re-issued by Macmillan Caribbean in October 2008.

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/14/2014) Talkin' Moscow Blues by Josef Skvorecky. New York. 1990. Ecco Press. paperback. 367 pages. January 1990. Cover: David Montle. Paperback Original. keywords: Essays Translated Czech Eastern Europe Literature. 0880012315.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 Josef Skvorecky’s novels have established him as a major author around the world, but his less well known essays include some of his most stimulating writing. TALKIN’ MOSCOW BLUES is the first-ever collection of Skvorecky’s essays, reviews, and interviews. Here are deeply personal stories about the friends and events that have shaped his beliefs and his writing: thoughtful examinations of the nature of art, politics, and freedom; reviews of writers such as Faulkner and Kafka, and filmmakers Jiri Menzel and Francis Coppola. And sprinkled throughout are Skvorecky’s lively commentaries on the foibles of both East and West. Skvorecky has lived under the spectrum of political regimes – from the rightist oppression of the Nazis to the leftist oppression of the Soviets – and he has resisted the influence of both sides. As a amateur musician in Czechoslovakia he slipped ‘verboten’ lyrics past the Nazi censor and played ‘degenerate’ jazz with a lookout at the door; as a lifelong film devotee and friend of top filmmakers he saw scripts written and rewritten to match the ebb and flow of party politics; as a writer he had his first major work, THE COWARDS, banned and confiscated by the authorities. As a Czech he is exiled for life, but as a Canadian he has found freedom to express his thoughts and opinions, both in fiction and non-fiction. Josef Skvorecky won the 1980 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and the 1984 Governor General’s Award for THE ENGINEER OF HUMAN SOULS.

 

 Josef Škvorecký (September 27, 1924 – January 3, 2012) was a Czech-Canadian writer and publisher who spent much of his life in Canada. SKVORECKY was born in Bohemia, emigrated to Canada in 1968, and was for many years a professor of English at Erindale College, University of Toronto. He and his wife, the novelist Zdena Salivarova, ran a Czech-language publishing house, Sixty-Eight Publishers, in Toronto, and were long-time supporters of Czech dissident writers before the fall of communism in that country. Skvorecky’s novels include THE COWARDS, MISS SILVER’S PAST, THE BASS SAXOPHONE, THE ENGINEER OF HUMAN SOULS, and DVORAK IN LOVE. He was the winner of the 1980 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1984 Governor General’s Award for fiction in Canada. Škvorecký's fiction deals with several themes: the horrors of totalitarianism and repression, the expatriate experience, and the miracle of jazz.

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/10/2014) Salman The Solitary by Yashar Kemal. London. 1997. 311 pages. hardcover. 1860463894. Jacket illustration by Chris Corr. Translated from the Turkish by Thilda Kemal. keywords: Literature Translated Turkey.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Fleeing invading Russian troops with his family, Ismail Agha, a Kurdish peasant in Turkey, comes upon Salman, a small child left for dead at the roadside. At the urgings of his mother, who treats Salman’s wounds, Ismail agrees to take Salman with the family. When the family settles in a small village, Ismail raises Salman as his own son. Salman idolizes Ismail and imitates him in every way. Ismail dotes on the foundling, until his wife, Zero, becomes pregnant and bears him Mustafa. Suddenly, Salman is no longer the beloved only son, and a vicious rivalry blossoms between the boys. Salman’s obsessive devotion to Ismail grows; at the same time, his anger at being replaced in his father’s affections drives him to violence, first against Mustafa and, finally, against the very father whose love and approval he desperately needs. Chilling, bloody, relentlessly real, this highly emotional examination of the father-son bond and of jealousy between brothers is the work of a major Turkish novelist.

Yashar Kemal, (born in 1922) is a Turkish writer of Kurdish ethnic heritage. He is one of Turkey's leading writers. He has long been a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, on the strength of Memed, My Hawk. As an outspoken intellectual, he does not hesitate to speak on sensitive issues. His activism resulted in a twenty-month suspended jail sentence, on charges of advocating separatism. Kemal, was born in Hemite (now Gökçedam), a hamlet in the province of Osmaniye in southern Turkey. His parents were from Van, who came into Çukurova during the First World War. Kemal had a difficult childhood because he lost his right eye due to a knife accident, when his father was slaughtering a sheep on Eid al-Adha, and had to witness as his father was stabbed to death by his adoptive son Yusuf while praying in a mosque when he was five years old. This traumatic experience left Kemal with a speech impediment, which lasted until he was twelve years old. At nine he started school in a neighboring village and continued his formal education in Kadirli, Osmaniye Province. Kemal was a locally noted bard before he started school, but was unappreciated by his widowed mother until he composed an elegy on the death of one of her eight brothers, all bandits. However, he forgot it and became interested in writing as a means to record his work when he questioned an itinerant peddler, who was doing his accounts. Ultimately, his village paid his way to university in Istanbul. He worked for a while for rich farmers, guarding their river water against other farmers' unauthorized irrigation. However, instead he taught the poor farmers how to steal the water undetected, by taking it at night. Later he worked as a letter-writer, then as a journalist, and finally as a novelist. He said that the Turkish police took his first two novels. When Yashar Kemal was visiting Akdamar Island in 1951, he saw the island's Holy Cross Church being destroyed. Using his contacts to the public, he helped stop destruction of the site. However, the church remained in a neglected state until 2005, when restoration by the Turkish government began. In 1952, Yashar Kemal married Thilda Serrero, a member of a prominent Sephardi Jewish family in Istanbul. Her grandfather, Jak Mandil Pasha, was the chief physician of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II. She translated 17 of her husband’s works into the English language. Thilda died on January 17, 2001 (aged 78) from pulmonary complications at a hospital in Istanbul, and was laid to rest at Zincirlikuyu Cemetery. Thilda is survived by her husband, her son Rasit and a grandchild. Yashar Kemal remarried on August 1, 2002 with Ayse Semiha Baban, a lecturer for public relations at Bilgi University in Istanbul. She was educated at the American University of Beirut, Bosphorus University and Harvard University. He published his first book Agitlar (‘Ballads’) in 1943, which was a compilation of folkloric themes. This book brings to light many long forgotten rhymes and ballads and Kemal had started to collect these ballads at the age of 16. His first stories Bebek (‘The Baby’), Dükkanc? (‘The Shopkeeper’), Memet ile Memet (‘Memet and Memet’) were published in 1950. He had written his first story Pis Hikaye (‘The Dirty Story’) in 1944, while he was serving in the military, in Kayseri. Then he published his book of short stories Sari Sicak (‘Yellow Heat’) in 1952. The initial point of his works was the toil of the people of the Çukurova plains and he based the themes of his writings on the lives and sufferings of these people. Yashar Kemal has used the legends and stories of Anatolia extensively as the basis of his works. He received international acclaim with the publication of Memed, My Hawk (Turkish: Ince Memed) in 1955. In Ince Memed, Yashar Kemal criticizes the fabric of the society through a legendary hero, a protagonist, who flees to the mountains as a result of the oppression of the Aghas. One of the most famous living writers in Turkey, Kemal is noted for his command of the language and lyrical description of bucolic Turkish life. He has been awarded 19 literary prizes so far and nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1973. His 1955 novel Teneke was adapted into a theatrical play, which was staged for almost one year in Gothenburg, Sweden, in the country where he lived for about two years in the late 1970s. Italian composer Fabio Vacchi adapted the same novel with the original title into an opera of three acts, which premiered at the Teatro alla Scala in Milano, Italy in 2007. Kemal lays claim to having recreated Turkish as a literary language, by bringing in the vernacular, following Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's sterilization of Turkish by removing Persian and Arabic elements.

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

(12/12/2014)  Joyce's Dublin: A Walking Guide To Ulysses by Jack McCarthy (with Danis Rose). New York. 1991. St Martin's Press. hardcover. 93 pages. Jacket photograph courtesy of The Bettman Archive. Jacket design by Doris Borowsky. keywords: Ireland Joyce Ireland Literature Reference. 0312058853.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   James Joyce once remarked that he was ‘more interested in the street names of Dublin than in the riddle of the universe.’ Dublin is a detailed presence in all of Joyce’s works, but his classic novel ULYSSES guaranteed Dublin enduring fame for readers and visitors. JOYCE’S DUBLIN traces the routes the main characters take throughout ULYSSES, a series of intricately crafted peregrinations Joyce used to puzzle and intrigue his readers. He even bragged about putting ‘so many enigmas and puzzles’ in ULYSSES that it would keep the professors busy for centuries. Like ULYSSES, this book is divided into eighteen chapters, each with notes to accompany the novel and designed for layman and scholar. Anything but the expected stoic academic tome, it is a guide for people who want to see the city for themselves and fo1lw in the footsteps of Stephen and Bloom - climbing the Martello Tower, walking Sandymount Strand, drinking at Davy Byrne’s Pub, or reading in the National Library - and truly digest Joyce’s masterpiece.

 

JACK MCCARTHY is a lawyer, real estate developer, and author living and working in Princeton, New Jersey. He is married, and has three children. DANIS ROSE is an editor of the James Joyce Archive, and the author of several books on Joyce, including THE LOST NOTEBOOK: NEW EVIDENCE ON THE GENESIS OF ULYSSES (1989).

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/11/2014) Eva's Apples by William Gerhardi. New York. 1928. Duffield & Company. hardcover. 394 pages.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   William Gerhardi’s third novel, published in England as JAZZ AND JASPER. The American publisher, Duffield, insisted on the title change claiming that the word ‘jazz’ had been ‘worn threadbare’ in the States. Gerhardi always wanted the title to be DOOM, which it eventually became in later editions in later editions. Despite its bleak title, DOOM is Gerhardie’s most wildly funny novel. It is the story of Frank Dickin, an impoverished young novelist and his involvement, on the one hand with an eccentric family of Russian emigres and in particular their beautiful daughter Eva - and, on the other with an all-powerful newspaper magnate, Lord Ottercove, who decides to take him up as a lost cause. The untameable comic pot-pourri also involves a mad English lord who plans to destroy the world, and, with an outrageous sleight of hand, that only Gerhardie could get away with, the novel slowly slips from social comedy toward apocalyptic speculation. ‘Amusing, brilliant and quite, quite mad.’ - Herald Tribune.

William Alexander Gerhardie (1895-1977) was a British (Anglo-Russian) novelist and playwright. Gerhardie (or Gerhardi: he added the ‘e’ in later years as an affectation) was one of the most critically acclaimed English novelists of the 1920s (Evelyn Waugh told him ‘I have talent, but you have genius’). H.G Wells was a ferocious champion of his work. His first novel Futility, was written while he was at Cambridge and drew on his experiences in Russia fighting (or attempting to fight) the Bolsheviks, along with his childhood experiences visiting pre-revolutionary Russia. Some say that it was the first work in English to fully explore the theme of ‘waiting’ later made famous by Samuel Beckett in WAITING FOR GODOT, but it is probably more apt to recognize a common comic nihilism between those two figures. His next novel, THE POLYGLOTS is probably his masterpiece (although some argue for DOOM). Again it deals with Russia (Gerhardie was strongly influenced by the tragi-comic style of Russian writers such as Chekhov who he wrote a study of while in College). He collaborated with Hugh Kingsmill on the biography ‘The Casanova Fable’, his friendship with Hugh being both a source of conflict over women and a great intellectual stimulus. After World War II Gerhardie’s star waned, and he became unfashionable, and although he continued to write, he had nothing published after 1939. After a period of poverty-stricken oblivion, he lived to see two ‘definitive collected works’ published by Macdonald (in 1947-49 and then revised again in 1970-74). More recently, both Prion and New Directions Press have been reissuing his works. Asked how to say his name, he told The Literary Digest ‘Pronounced jer (as Ger in Gerald) hardy, with the accent on the a: jer-har’dy. This is the way I and my relatives pronounce it, tho I am told it is incorrect. Philologists are of the opinion that it should be pronounced with the g as in Gertrude. I believe they are right. I, however, cling to the family habit of mispronouncing it. But I do so without obstinacy. If the world made it worth my while I would side with the multitude.’ (Charles Earle Funk, What’s the Name, Please?, Funk & Wagnalls, 1936).

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

(12/09/2014) Doom by William Gerhardie. New York. 1975. St Martin's Press. hardcover. 275 pages. Preface by Michael Holroyd.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   The novels of William Gerhardie have their unique place in the literature of the 20’s and 30’s, and when some of them became available again. Briefly, in the late 40’s they were acclaimed afresh by the critics: ‘He is a comic writer of genius. but his art is profoundly serious; underneath the shamelessness and the farce, his themes are the great ones. of love, grief and death, of intimations of joy and of our imprisonment in the world of flesh and time.’ - C. P. Snow, The Sunday Times. ‘The humour of life, the poetry of death and the release of the spirit - these things William Gerhardie describes as no prose writer has done before him. How did he become lost to view? How can we resurrect him ? Anthony Powell, Evelyn Waugh. C. P. Snow, Kingsley Amis, William Cooper - all acknowledge his influence. He is one of the immortals. He is our Gogol’s Overcoat. We all come out of him.’ - Olivia Manning, The Times. Now. after being out of print for two decades, all of Mr. Gerhardie’s works are to be re-published in revised, definitive editions with prefaces by Michael Holroyd, the third generation of critics to acknowledge the important position they hold in English fiction. Doom is perhaps William Gerhardie’s wittiest novel, Its central character is based on Beaverbrook; Lord Ottercove dominates a story which combines extravagant fantasy with Fleet Street satire, and his immense energy carries along’ an entourage that includes fictional portraits of several people whom Gerhardie knew in real life, having met some of them through Beaverbrook. Arnold Bennett, who appears, was to praise Doom for its ‘wild and brilliant originality.’

William Alexander Gerhardie (1895-1977) was a British (Anglo-Russian) novelist and playwright. Gerhardie (or Gerhardi: he added the ‘e’ in later years as an affectation) was one of the most critically acclaimed English novelists of the 1920s (Evelyn Waugh told him ‘I have talent, but you have genius’). H.G Wells was a ferocious champion of his work. His first novel Futility, was written while he was at Cambridge and drew on his experiences in Russia fighting (or attempting to fight) the Bolsheviks, along with his childhood experiences visiting pre-revolutionary Russia. Some say that it was the first work in English to fully explore the theme of ‘waiting’ later made famous by Samuel Beckett in WAITING FOR GODOT, but it is probably more apt to recognize a common comic nihilism between those two figures. His next novel, THE POLYGLOTS is probably his masterpiece (although some argue for DOOM). Again it deals with Russia (Gerhardie was strongly influenced by the tragi-comic style of Russian writers such as Chekhov who he wrote a study of while in College). He collaborated with Hugh Kingsmill on the biography ‘The Casanova Fable’, his friendship with Hugh being both a source of conflict over women and a great intellectual stimulus. After World War II Gerhardie’s star waned, and he became unfashionable, and although he continued to write, he had nothing published after 1939. After a period of poverty-stricken oblivion, he lived to see two ‘definitive collected works’ published by Macdonald (in 1947-49 and then revised again in 1970-74). More recently, both Prion and New Directions Press have been reissuing his works. Asked how to say his name, he told The Literary Digest ‘Pronounced jer (as Ger in Gerald) hardy, with the accent on the a: jer-har’dy. This is the way I and my relatives pronounce it, tho I am told it is incorrect. Philologists are of the opinion that it should be pronounced with the g as in Gertrude. I believe they are right. I, however, cling to the family habit of mispronouncing it. But I do so without obstinacy. If the world made it worth my while I would side with the multitude.’ (Charles Earle Funk, What’s the Name, Please?, Funk & Wagnalls, 1936).

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

(12/09/2014) Several Perceptions by Angela Carter. New York. 1968. Simon & Schuster. hardcover. 154 pages. Jacket design by Paul Davis. keywords: Literature England Women.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Center stage in Angela Carter’s unruly tale of the Flower Power Generation is Joseph - a decadent, disorientated rebel without a cause. A self-styled nihilist whose girlfriend has abandoned him, Joseph has decided to give up existing. But his concerned friends and neighbours have other plans. In an effort to join in the spirit of protest which motivates his contemporaries, Joseph frees a badger from the local zoo; sends a turd airmail to the President of the United States; falls in love with the mother of his best friend; and, accompanied by the strains of an old man’s violin, celebrates Christmas Eve in a bewildering state of sexual discovery. But has he found the Meaning of Life?

Angela Carter (7 May 1940 – 16 February 1992) was an English novelist and journalist, known for her feminist, magical realism, picaresque and science fiction works. In 2008, The Times ranked Carter tenth, in their list of ‘The 50 greatest British writers since 1945’ Born Angela Olive Stalker in Eastbourne, in 1940, Carter was evacuated as a child to live in Yorkshire with her maternal grandmother. As a teenager she battled anorexia. She began work as a journalist on the Croydon Advertiser, following in the footsteps of her father. Carter attended the University of Bristol where she studied English literature. She married twice, first in 1960 to Paul Carter. They divorced after twelve years. In 1969 Angela Carter used the proceeds of her Somerset Maugham Award to leave her husband and relocate for two years to Tokyo, Japan, where she claims in NOTHING SACRED (1982) that she ‘learnt what it is to be a woman and became radicalised.’ She wrote about her experiences there in articles for New Society and a collection of short stories, FIREWORKS: NINE PROFANE PIECES (1974), and evidence of her experiences in Japan can also be seen in THE INFERNAL DESIRE MACHINES OF DOCTOR HOFFMAN (1972). She then explored the United States, Asia and Europe, helped by her fluency in French and German. She spent much of the late 1970s and 1980s as a writer in residence at universities, including the University of Sheffield, Brown University, the University of Adelaide, and the University of East Anglia. In 1977 Carter married Mark Pearce, with whom she had one son. As well as being a prolific writer of fiction, Carter contributed many articles to The Guardian, The Independent and New Statesman, collected in SHAKING A LEG. She adapted a number of her short stories for radio and wrote two original radio dramas on Richard Dadd and Ronald Firbank. Two of her fictions have been adapted for the silver screen: The Company of Wolves (1984) and THE MAGIC TOYSHOP (1987). She was actively involved in both film adaptations, her screenplays are published in the collected dramatic writings, The Curious Room, together with her radio scripts, a libretto for an opera of Virginia Woolf's Orlando, an unproduced screenplay entitled The Christchurch Murders (based on the same true story as Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures) and other works. These neglected works, as well as her controversial television documentary, The Holy Family Album, are discussed in Charlotte Crofts' book, Anagrams of Desire (2003). Her novel NIGHTS AT THE CIRCUS won the 1984 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for literature. At the time of her death, Carter was embarking on a sequel to Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre based on the later life of Jane's stepdaughter, Adèle Varens. However, only a synopsis survives. Angela Carter died aged 51 in 1992 at her home in London after developing lung cancer.

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

(12/08/2014) The Memoirs Of Satan by William Gerhardi and Brian Lunn. London. 1932. Cassell & Company. hardcover. 382 pages.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   SATAN narrates the epic of mankind and the part he has played therein. From the dim days of the remote Ice Age he watches the growth of the world, the coming of man, the part played by love and passion. He gives his version of the stories of Adam and Eve, the destruction of Sodom, the adventures of Jonah, the tribulation of Job ; he recalls the great days of history when he possessed Tiberius, Nero, the Caliph of Bagdad, Cromwell, Marie Antoinette, Napoleon, and many another. Finally, he arrives at a Bayswater boardinghouse, an old man and very weary. He has his last great adventure, makes his last possession, and then his mortal remains are taken for cremation to Golders Green. FROM Futurian War Digest, a sci-fi/fantasy fanzine published in Leeds during the Second World War by J. Michael Rosenblum – (from Issue 13 (Vol. 2, Number 1), dated October 1941: ‘The Memoirs of Satan’ collated by William Gerhardie and Brian Lunn, (Cassell & Co 1932) is a surprising sort of book altogether. According to this, Satan was a collaborator of God, chosen to look after this earth because of his free and independent spirit. Mankind is due to an infatuation of his for a primitive she-ape, and he continually bemoans the fact that he did not choose a more sensible animal, such as the whale, to half endow with his divine nature. Due to his failure with this planet, Satan is finally punished by the All-Highest with the withdrawal of his immortality, and he dies, leaving the notes of his eon-long existence in a Bloomsbury hotel.’

 

  William Alexander Gerhardie (1895-1977) was a British (Anglo-Russian) novelist and playwright. Gerhardie (or Gerhardi: he added the ‘e’ in later years as an affectation) was one of the most critically acclaimed English novelists of the 1920s (Evelyn Waugh told him ‘I have talent, but you have genius’). H.G Wells was a ferocious champion of his work. His first novel Futility, was written while he was at Cambridge and drew on his experiences in Russia fighting (or attempting to fight) the Bolsheviks, along with his childhood experiences visiting pre-revolutionary Russia. Some say that it was the first work in English to fully explore the theme of ‘waiting’ later made famous by Samuel Beckett in WAITING FOR GODOT, but it is probably more apt to recognize a common comic nihilism between those two figures. His next novel, THE POLYGLOTS is probably his masterpiece (although some argue for DOOM). Again it deals with Russia (Gerhardie was strongly influenced by the tragi-comic style of Russian writers such as Chekhov who he wrote a study of while in College). He collaborated with Hugh Kingsmill on the biography ‘The Casanova Fable’, his friendship with Hugh being both a source of conflict over women and a great intellectual stimulus. After World War II Gerhardie’s star waned, and he became unfashionable, and although he continued to write, he had nothing published after 1939. After a period of poverty-stricken oblivion, he lived to see two ‘definitive collected works’ published by Macdonald (in 1947-49 and then revised again in 1970-74). More recently, both Prion and New Directions Press have been reissuing his works. Asked how to say his name, he told The Literary Digest ‘Pronounced jer (as Ger in Gerald) hardy, with the accent on the a: jer-har’dy. This is the way I and my relatives pronounce it, tho I am told it is incorrect. Philologists are of the opinion that it should be pronounced with the g as in Gertrude. I believe they are right. I, however, cling to the family habit of mispronouncing it. But I do so without obstinacy. If the world made it worth my while I would side with the multitude.’ (Charles Earle Funk, What’s the Name, Please?, Funk & Wagnalls, 1936). 

 

Brian Lunn (1893–1956) was a British writer. He was born in Bloomsbury, London to Methodist parents. He had a somewhat Puritanical upbringing, his father Henry Simpson Lunn (1859-1939, founder of Lunn's Travel agency that would become Lunn Poly) having strong religious beliefs which were in conflict with his talent as a businessman. Arnold Lunn and Hugh Kingsmill were his brothers. His most important work as a writer was 'Switchback', his autobiography published in 1948. Its highlight is Brian's description of a mental breakdown he had while serving in Mesopotamia in the 11th Black Watch. The onset of his breakdown was described as follows: 'Men and beasts passed through the haze, black outlines; a troup of mules with Indian driver was a stately silhouette; shambling after them a bucket-carrying menial with tousled turban and bedraggled shirt flapping round flexed knees was an immortal grotesque, raised above the plane of human need and anxiety. The Platonic Idea, as interpreted by Schopenhauer, the basis of art. Removed from all appeal to the will, the horrible was transmuted into the beautiful. He was, in fact, a sanitary man staggering back from a punishment fatigue; constantly in trouble, he would incur more fatigues, with stoppages of pay, staggering in the bog of inefficiency under implacable authority. ' '...I looked along the river banks - tents and incinerators, horses and mules, soldiers, native and European, a complex of endeavour in an enterprise as unreal as all the day-to-day needs and anxieties and discomforts, ambitions and humiliations of each individual, were real.' ‘Unreal? The word came back to me as a sudden illumination. That was it, it was all a staged show.' The delusions which accompanied this insight were hardly more absurd than the futilities of war. His other books were a biography of Martin Luther, a travel guide to Belgium and a history of the Rothschild family. "Salvation Dynasty" was Brian Lunn's account of the Salvation Army's founders.

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 

(12/07/2014) Laughter In The Dark by Vladimir Nabokoff. Indinapolis. 1938. 292 pages. hardcover. keywords: Literature America Russia.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Laughter in the Dark is a worked-over English translation of Kamera obskura, with the names of the main characters altered but with theme and plot more or less intact. A rather stuffy Berlin art critic (Bruno Krechmar in the Russian version / Albert Albinus in the English translation) becomes infatuated with a teenaged gamine (Margot,) leaving his wife and child to set up house with her. Through Albinus, Margot again encounters her first lover, an inhumanly nasty artist (Robert Gorn / Axel Rex.) As a result, Albinus suffers a series of misfortunes at the caprice of Rex and the not unwilling Margot. The Berlin setting, German characters, and cruel world view set Laughter in the Dark somewhat apart from the bulk of Nabokov’s oeuvre.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Nabokovs were known for their high culture and commitment to public service, and the elder Nabokov was an outspoken opponent of antisemitism and one of the leaders of the opposition party, the Kadets. In 1919, following the Bolshevik revolution, he took his family into exile. Four years later he was shot and killed at a political rally in Berlin while trying to shield the speaker from right-wing assassins. The Nabokov household was trilingual, and as a child Nabokov was already reading Wells, Poe, Browning, Keats, Flaubert, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, alongside the popular entertainments of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne. As a young man, he studied Slavic and romance languages at Trinity College, Cambridge, taking his honors degree in 1922. For the next eighteen years he lived in Berlin and Paris, writing prolifically in Russian under the pseudonym Sirin and supporting himself through translations, lessons in English and tennis, and by composing the first crossword puzzles in Russian. In 1925 he married Vera Slonim, with whom he had one child, a son, Dmitri. Having already fled Russia and Germany, Nabokov became a refugee once more in 1940, when he was forced to leave France for the United States. There he taught at Wellesley, Harvard, and Cornell. He also gave up writing in Russian and began composing fiction in English. In his afterword to Lolita he claimed: "My private tragedy, which cannot, and indeed should not, be anybody's concern, is that I had to abandon my natural idiom, my untrammeled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English, devoid of any of those apparatuses--the baffling mirror, the black velvet backdrop, the implied associations and traditions--which the native illusionist, frac-tails flying, can magically use to transcend the heritage in his own way." [p. 317] Yet Nabokov's American period saw the creation of what are arguably his greatest works, Bend Sinister (1947), Lolita (1955), Pnin (1957), and Pale Fire (1962), as well as the translation of his earlier Russian novels into English. He also undertook English translations of works by Lermontov and Pushkin and wrote several books of criticism. Vladimir Nabokov died in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977.

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

(12/06/2014) The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter. New York. 1967. Simon & Schuster. hardcover. 191 pages. Jacket design by Paul Davis. keywords: Literature England Women.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   A startling tale of the redemptive power of physical and emotional love. One night Melanie walks through the garden in her mother’s wedding dress. The next morning her world is shattered. Forced to leave the comfortable home of her childhood, she is sent to London to live with relatives she has never met: Aunt Margaret, beautiful and speechless, and her brothers, Francie, whose graceful music belies his clumsy nature, and the volatile Finn, who kisses Melanie in the ruins of the pleasure gardens. And brooding Unlce Philip loves only the life-sized wooden puppets he creates in his toyshop. This classic gothic novel established Angela Carter as one of our most imaginative writers and augurs the themes of her later creative work.

 

  Angela Carter (7 May 1940 – 16 February 1992) was an English novelist and journalist, known for her feminist, magical realism, picaresque and science fiction works. In 2008, The Times ranked Carter tenth, in their list of ‘The 50 greatest British writers since 1945’ Born Angela Olive Stalker in Eastbourne, in 1940, Carter was evacuated as a child to live in Yorkshire with her maternal grandmother. As a teenager she battled anorexia. She began work as a journalist on the Croydon Advertiser, following in the footsteps of her father. Carter attended the University of Bristol where she studied English literature. She married twice, first in 1960 to Paul Carter. They divorced after twelve years. In 1969 Angela Carter used the proceeds of her Somerset Maugham Award to leave her husband and relocate for two years to Tokyo, Japan, where she claims in NOTHING SACRED (1982) that she ‘learnt what it is to be a woman and became radicalised.’ She wrote about her experiences there in articles for New Society and a collection of short stories, FIREWORKS: NINE PROFANE PIECES (1974), and evidence of her experiences in Japan can also be seen in THE INFERNAL DESIRE MACHINES OF DOCTOR HOFFMAN (1972). She then explored the United States, Asia and Europe, helped by her fluency in French and German. She spent much of the late 1970s and 1980s as a writer in residence at universities, including the University of Sheffield, Brown University, the University of Adelaide, and the University of East Anglia. In 1977 Carter married Mark Pearce, with whom she had one son. As well as being a prolific writer of fiction, Carter contributed many articles to The Guardian, The Independent and New Statesman, collected in SHAKING A LEG. She adapted a number of her short stories for radio and wrote two original radio dramas on Richard Dadd and Ronald Firbank. Two of her fictions have been adapted for the silver screen: The Company of Wolves (1984) and THE MAGIC TOYSHOP (1987). She was actively involved in both film adaptations, her screenplays are published in the collected dramatic writings, The Curious Room, together with her radio scripts, a libretto for an opera of Virginia Woolf's Orlando, an unproduced screenplay entitled The Christchurch Murders (based on the same true story as Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures) and other works. These neglected works, as well as her controversial television documentary, The Holy Family Album, are discussed in Charlotte Crofts' book, Anagrams of Desire (2003). Her novel NIGHTS AT THE CIRCUS won the 1984 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for literature. At the time of her death, Carter was embarking on a sequel to Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre based on the later life of Jane's stepdaughter, Adèle Varens. However, only a synopsis survives. Angela Carter died aged 51 in 1992 at her home in London after developing lung cancer.

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 


Search

Zenos RSS Feed

feed-image Feed Entries

Zeno's Picks

Neglectedbooks.com

The Neglected Books Page

17 November 2018

www.NeglectedBooks.com: Where forgotten books are remembered
  • The Unspeakable Scot, by T. H. W. Crosland (1902)

    “This book is for Englishmen,” T. H. W. Crosland writes in his introduction to The Unspeakable Scotsman. “It is also in the nature of a broad hint for Scotchmen,” he adds, and the hint is a none-too-subtle invitation to back in their place, which Crosland defines as intrinsically inferior to that of any Englishman. He... Read more

    The

    ...
  • Shade of Eden, by Kathleen Sully (1960)

    I wrote in my post on Kathleen Sully’s Canaille that she was an unstudied novelist — sometimes clumsy in her prose and style but also free of many of the conventions of more mainstream writers. In Shade of Eden, she amply demonstrates that one set of conventions she felt free to ignore was that of... Read more

    The post ...

  • Once Around the Sun, by Brooks Atkinson (1951)

    January 5th For seventeen years, seven days a week, Joe Berman has efficiently presided over his newsstand at the corner of Eighty-sixth Street and Broadway. He opens it before five in the morning. Mrs. Berman, wearing a smart hair-do and a Persian lamb coat, relieves him for an hour at breakfast and for two hours... Read more

    The post ...

  • Canaille, by Kathleen Sully (1956)

    In his Observer review of Canaille, Kathleen Sully’s second book, John Wain wrote, “one never knows what she will do from one page to the next, only that it will probably be something surprising.” After reading over a dozen of Sully’s novels, I can say that truer words have rarely been written. Canaille (French for... Read more

    The post ...

  • Red Salvia!, from The Tribulations of a Baronet, by Timothy Eden (1933)

    He turns his attention to the head gardener, who has been hovering in the background. They go through the houses — orchids, gardenias — a whole house full of these — a purple lasiandra climbing against a grey wall, the cool malmaisons, where he picks himself a button-hole, cherry-pie, verbena, sweet-scented geranium, and so out... ...

  • The Tribulations of a Baronet, by Timothy Eden (1933)

    I first mentioned The Tribulations of a Baronet in a post derived from an article titled “Out of Print” from the TLS in 1961. At the time, I wrote that it “appears to be a bit like Joe Gould’s Secret, another masterful portrait of a man of great promise and much disappointment.” Having since read... Read more

    The post ...

  • Complete eTexts of Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage Now Available

    As faithful readers of this site (both of them) know, I devoted nearly two months’ reading and writing back in 2016 to Dorothy Richardson’s 13-volume masterpiece, Pilgrimage, and it remains perhaps the most profoundly revealing experience in by reading life. I personally think that all self-respecting adult males should be required to read Pilgrimage, as... ...

  • “To my Daughter on her Birthday,” from Yorkshire Lyrics, collected by John Hartley

    To my Daughter on her Birthday Darling child, to thee I owe, More than others here will know; Thou hast cheered my weary days, With thy coy and winsome ways. When my heart has been most sad, Smile of thine has made me glad; In return, I wish for thee, Health and sweet felicity. May... Read more

    The post ...

  • Luxury Cruise, by Joseph Bennett (1962)

    Reading Luxury Cruise is a bit like thumbing through issues of Holiday magazine, the glossy travel magazine of the 1950s. The look, the ads, the content — they all spell “M,000,000,000Ney.” The passengers aboard the Olympic have paid at least $14,000 each for their berths on this round-the-world cruise. That’s over $120,000 in today’s dollars,... Read

    ...
  • Appius and Virginia, by G. E. Trevelyan (1933)

    I’ll admit that I bought G. E. Trevelyan’s novel, Appius and Virginia, on the briefest of descriptions: “A story of a spinster who raises an ape in isolation in hopes of turning him into a man.” It seemed to promise another His Monkey Wife, John Collier’s sublime account of … well, as the title says.... Read more

    The post ...

Copyright © 2018 Zenosbooks. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.