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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 

0811215563FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   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, myCreeley Robert 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

 

 

 

 

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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.  

9781621900559FROM THE PUBLISHER -

  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, Ndigirigi GichingiriUnmasking 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.

  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.

 

 

 

 

 

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In the Problem Pit by Frederik Pohl. New York. 1976. Bantam Books. 194 pages.  paperback. 0553088572.  

0553088572FROM 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’.

 

 

 

 

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Heavenly Breakfast by Samuel R. Delany. New York. 1979. Bantam Books. 128 pages. September 1979. paperback. 0553127969.  

0553127969FROM 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.

 

Delany Samuel RSamuel 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.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Early Pohl by Frederik Pohl. Garden City. 1976. Doubleday. 183 pages.  hardcover. Jacket by Peter Rauch. 0385110146.  

0385110146FROM 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’. 

 

 

 

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progress of a biographerThe 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.

 

Kingsmill Hugh  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.

 

 

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0811212637Echoes 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).

Creeley Robert  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

 

 

 

 

 

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 The Happy-Go-Lucky or Leaves From The Life of a Good For Nothing by Joseph Freiherr Von Eichendorff. Philadelphia and London. 1906. J. B. Lippincott Company. 117 pages. hardcover. Translated from the German by Mrs. A. L. Wister. With illustrations in color and tint by Philipp Grot Johann and Professor Edmund Kanoldt and marginal drawings by Eva Nagel Wolf.

 

happy go lucky lippincott 1906 no dwFROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Despaired of by his father and impatient with his lot, a young man hears the enticing call of life on the road. Leaving his home and all that he knows, he embarks on a journey in search of adventure and glory. One day enjoying fortune and plenty, the next at the mercy of villains and rogues, his is a life of chance and wonder that, despite its strange twists and turns, ultimately leads him to his heart’s desire. Primarily a lyrical poet, Joseph von Eichendorff is a key figure in Germany’s literary heritage.

 

Von Eichendorff Joseph Freiherr  Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff (10 March 1788 – 26 November 1857) was a German poet and novelist of the later German romantic school. Eichendorff is regarded as one of the most important German Romantics and his works have sustained high popularity in Germany from production to the present day. Eichendorff was born in 1788 at Schloß Lubowitz near Ratibor (now Racibórz, Poland) in Upper Silesia, then part of the Kingdom of Prussia. His parents were the Prussian officer Adolf Freiherr von Eichendorff and his wife, Karoline (née Freiin von Kloche), who came from an aristocratic Roman Catholic family. He studied law in Halle (1805–1806) and Heidelberg (1807–1808). In 1808 he travelled through Europe, visiting Paris and Vienna. In 1810, he returned home to help his father run the family estate. The same year he met Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Achim von Arnim, Clemens Brentano, and Heinrich von Kleist in Berlin. From 1813 to 1815 he fought in the Napoleonic Wars as a volunteer in the famous Lützow Corps. From 1816, Eichendorff worked in various capacities in the administrative service of the Prussian state. He started with a judicial office in Breslau. In 1821, Eichendorff became school inspector in Danzig, in 1824 Oberpräsidialrat (chief presidential councillor) in Königsberg. He moved with his family to Berlin in 1831, where he worked for several ministries, until he retired in 1844. Eichendorff died in Neisse, Upper Silesia (now Nysa, Poland), in 1857. Eichendorff's guiding poetic theme was that Man should find happiness in full absorption of the beauties and changing moods of Nature. In later life he also wrote several works of history and criticism of German literature. The lyricism of Eichendorff's poetry is much praised, and his poems have been set to music by many composers, including, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Hugo Wolf, Richard Strauss, Friedrich Nietzsche, Hans Pfitzner, Hermann Zilcher, and Alexander Zemlinsky. His later poetic work is generally cast in narrative form (Julian, 1853; Lucius, 1857), and is tinged with his increasingly clerical views. His translations from the Spanish, Der Graf Lucanor (1845) and Die geistlichen Schauspiele Calderons (2 vols., 1846–53), were prompted by the same tendency. Eichendorff's best known work, Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts (English: Of the Life of a Good-For-Nothing) is typical romantic novella, whose main themes are voyage and love. The protagonist leaves his father's mill and becomes a gardener at a Viennese castle where he falls in love with the daughter of the duke. Because she is unattainable he travels to Italy but then returns and learns that she had been adopted by the duke, so nothing stands in the way of a marriage between them.

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Yes I Said Yes I Will Yes: A Celebration of James Joyce, Ulysses, and 100 Years of Bloomsday by Nola Tully. New York. 2004. Vintage. 160 pages. 9781400077311.

 

 

9781400077311FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

    On the fictional morning of June 16, 1904--Bloomsday, as it has come to be known--Mr. Leopold Bloom set out from his home at 7 Eccles Street and began his day’s journey through Dublin life in the pages of James Joyce’s novel of the century, Ulysses. ' Commemorating the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday, Yes I Said Yes I Will Yes ' offers a priceless gathering of what’s been said about Ulysses since the extravagant praise and withering condemnation that first greeted it ' upon its initial publication. From the varied appraisals of such Joyce contemporaries as William Butler Yeats and Virginia Woolf, to excerpts from Tennessee Williams ' term paper ' Why Ulysses ' is Boring ' and assorted wit, praise, parody, caricature, photographs, anecdotes, bon mots, and reminiscence, this treasury of Bloomsiana is a lively and winning tribute to the most famous day in literature. On the fictional morning of June 16, 1904-Bloomsday, as it has come to be known-Mr. Leopold Bloom set out from his home at 7 Eccles Street and began his day’s journey through Dublin life in the pages of James Joyce’s novel of the century, Ulysses. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday, Yes I Said Yes I Will Yes offers a priceless gathering of what’s been said about Ulysses since the extravagant praise and withering condemnation that first greeted it upon its initial publication. From the varied appraisals of such Joyce contemporaries as William Butler Yeats and Virginia Woolf, to excerpts from Tennessee Williams' term paper 'Why Ulysses is Boring' and assorted wit, praise, parody, caricature, photographs, anecdotes, bon mots, and reminiscence, this treasury of Bloomsiana is a lively and winning tribute to the most famous day in literature.

 

Nola Tully is an editor and writer who has held positions at the International Center for Photography, Audubon, and Entertainment Weekly. She lives in New York City.

 

 

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Ulysses by James Joyce. Paris. 1925. Shakespeare & Company. 7th Printing. 736 pages. hardcover.

 

A day in the life of Leopold Bloom and an Odyssey for our times. One of the major works of 20th century literature.

 

ulysses 7th printingFROM THE PUBLISHER -    

 

ULYSSES is a novel by James Joyce, first serialized in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, and then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach on February 2, 1922, in Paris. It is considered one of the most important works of Modernist literature. ULYSSES chronicles the passage through Dublin by its main character, Leopold Bloom, during an ordinary day, June 16, 1904. The title alludes to the hero of Homer’s Odyssey, and there are many parallels, both implicit and explicit, between the two works June 16 is now celebrated by Joyce’s fans worldwide as Bloomsday. ULYSSES totals 250,000 words from a vocabulary of 30,000 words, with most editions containing between 644 and 1000 pages. Divided into 18 ‘episodes’, as they are referred to in most scholarly circles, the book has been the subject of much controversy and scrutiny since its publication, ranging from early obscenity trials to protracted textual ‘Joyce Wars’. ULYSSES’s groundbreaking stream-of-consciousness technique, careful structuring and highly experimental prose - full of puns, parodies, allusions - as well as for its rich characterizations and broad humour, has made the book perhaps the most highly regarded work in Modernist writing.

 

Joyce JamesJames Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer's Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles, perhaps most prominent among these the stream of consciousness technique he perfected. Joyce was born in Dublin, Ireland, on February 2, 1882. He was the oldest of ten children in a family that experienced increasing financial difficulties during his childhood. After attending Clongowes Wood College and Belevedere College (both Jesuit institutions) in Dublin, he entered the Royal University, where he studied languages and philosophy. Upon his graduation, in 1902, Joyce left Ireland for France but returned the following year because his mother was dying. In 1904 he met Nora Barnacle (they fell in love on June 16, ‘Bloomsday’), and in October of that year they went together to Europe, settling in Trieste. In 1909 and again in 1912 Joyce made unsuccessful attempts to publish Dubliners, a collection of fifteen stories that he intended to be ‘a chapter of the moral history of my country focused on Dublin, ‘the centre of paralysis.’ In 1914 Dubliners finally appeared, followed by the semiautobiographical novel A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN, a reworking of an earlier manuscript, STEPHEN HERO. During the First World War Joyce and Nora lived in Zurich; in 1920 they moved to Paris, where Ulysses was published in 1922. FINNEGANS WAKE, Joyce’s most radical and complex work, began appearing in installments in 1928 and was published in its entirety in 1939. After the German occupation of Paris, Joyce and Nora (who were married in 1931) moved to Zurich, where he died in January. His complete oeuvre includes three books of poetry, a play, occasional journalism, and his published letters. Though most of his adult life was spent abroad, Joyce's fictional universe does not extend far beyond Dublin, and is populated largely by characters who closely resemble family members, enemies and friends from his time there; Ulysses in particular is set with precision in the streets and alleyways of the city. Shortly after the publication of Ulysses he elucidated this preoccupation somewhat, saying, ‘For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal.’

 

 

 

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The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses by Kevin Birmingham. New York. 2014. The Penguin Press. hardcover. 419 pages. Jacket Design By Ben Wiseman.  9781594203367.

 

 

9781594203367FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

 

 

   ‘A great story - how modernism brought down the regime of censorship - told as a great story. Kevin Birmingham’s imaginative scholarship brings Joyce and his world to life. There is a fresh detail on nearly every page.’ - Louis Menand, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Metaphysical Club. For more than a decade, the book that literary critics now consider the most important novel in the English language was illegal to own, sell, advertise or purchase in most of the English-speaking world. James Joyce’s big blue book, Ulysses, ushered in the modernist era and changed the novel for all time. But the genius of Ulysses was also its danger: it omitted absolutely nothing. All of the minutiae of Leopold Bloom’s day, including its unspeakable details, unfold with careful precision in its pages. The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice immediately banned the novel as ‘obscene, lewd, and lascivious.’ Joyce, along with some of the most important publishers and writers of his era, had to fight for years to win the freedom to publish it. The Most Dangerous Book tells the remarkable story surrounding Ulysses, from the first stirrings of Joyce’s inspiration in 1904 to its landmark federal obscenity trial in 1933. Literary historian Kevin Birmingham follows Joyce’s years as a young writer, his feverish work on his literary masterpiece, and his ardent love affair with Nora Barnacle, the model for Molly Bloom. Joyce and Nora socialized with literary greats like Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, T. S. Eliot and Sylvia Beach. Their support helped Joyce fight an array of anti-vice crusaders while his book was disguised and smuggled, pirated and burned in the United States and Britain. The long struggle for publication added to the growing pressures of Joyce’s deteriorating eyesight, finances and home life. Salvation finally came from the partnership of Bennett Cerf, the cofounder of Random House, and Morris Ernst, a dogged civil liberties lawyer. With their stewardship, the case ultimately rested on the literary merit of Joyce’s master work. The sixty-year-old judicial practices governing obscenity in the United States were overturned because a federal judge could get inside Molly Bloom’s head. Birmingham’s archival work brings to light new information about both Joyce and the story surrounding Ulysses. Written for ardent Joyceans as well as novices who want to get to the heart of the greatest novel of the twentieth century, The Most Dangerous Book is a gripping examination of how the world came to say yes to Ulysses. Birmingham Kevin

 

 

Kevin Birmingham received his PhD in English from Harvard, where he is a Lecturer in History & Literature and an instructor in the university's writing program. His research focuses on twentieth-century fiction and culture, literary obscenity and the avant-garde. He was a bartender in a Dublin pub featured in Ulysses for one day before he was unceremoniously fired. This is his first book.

 

 

 

 

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 The Boom in Spanish American Literature: A Personal History by Jose Donoso. New York. 1977. Columbia University Press. 122 pages. Jacket Design by Laiying Chong. 0231041640.

 

boom in spanish american literatureFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Recent years have witnessed an astonishing eruption in the literary output of writers in Latin America, a phenomenon that the Latin Americans themselves refer to as the Boom. This book is a fascinating account of this exciting period in Latin American letters by the Chilean novelist Jose Donoso. Mr. Donoso's latest novel, The Obscene Bird of Night, was published in the United States and received an extraordinary frontpage review in the New York Times Book Review; his short stories and novellas will appear in English translation this year. Himself a product of the era he describes, Mr. Donoso provides a personal history and critique of the Boom that has brought a number of outstanding writers to the forefront. Among the writers Mr. Donoso discusses in his account are Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, Julio Cortazar, Mario Vargas Llosa, Octavio Paz, and Jorge Luis Borges. Originally published in Spain, this book recounts Mr. Donoso's own psychic and literary liberation from intellectual provinciality and tells how the so-called Boom actually came to be. Placing this 'fortunate explosion' in perspective, the author links significant changes in the contemporary Spanish American novel to a process of internationalization and to a growing sophistication and cosmopolitanism on the part of young Latin American writers. He deflates the myths surrounding this new crop of writers-particularly their 'literary cocktail circuit' reputation-and provides glimpses into the literary lives of many of Latin America's most celebrated authors. Written by a charming, keen, and self-aware observer, The Boom is a valuable as well as an entertaining commentary on the riches of contemporary Spanish American literature. The book will find an audience among students, specialists, and general readers interested in a literature that is now taking its place in the consciousness of Americans both North and South. Foreword by Ronald Christ. A Center for Inter-American Relations Book.

 

 

Donoso Jose José Donoso Yáñez (October 5, 1924–December 7, 1996) was a Chilean writer. He lived most of his life in Chile, although he spent many years in self-imposed exile in Mexico, the United States (Iowa) and mainly Spain. Although he had left his country in the sixties for personal reasons, after 1973 he said his exile was also a form of protest against the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. He returned to Chile in 1981 and lived there until his death. Donoso is the author of a number of remarkable stories and novels, which contributed greatly to the Latin American literary boom. The term 'Boom' was coined in his 1972 essay Historia personal del ‘boom’. His best known works include the novels Coronación, El lugar sin límites (The Place Without Limits) and El obsceno pájaro de la noche (The Obscene Bird of Night). His works deal with a number of themes, including sexuality, the duplicity of identity, psychology, and a sense of dark humor. After his death, his personal papers at the University of Iowa revealed his homosexuality; a revelation that caused a certain controversy in Chile.

 

 

 

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Lolita - 2 Volumes by Vladimir Nabokov. Paris. 1959. Olympia Press. keywords: Literature America Russia. 411 pages. September 1959.

 

One of the most compelling stories of love and obsession ever written, LOLITA is a book that you will never forget. 

 

 

lolita olympia pressFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   LOLITA is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, first published in 1955 in Paris. The novel is both famous for its innovative style and infamous for its controversial subject: the book's narrator and main character Humbert Humbert becomes sexually obsessed with a pubescent girl, who is aged 12 years when most of the novel takes place. The novel was adapted to film twice, once in 1962 by Stanley Kubrick and again in 1997 by Adrian Lyne. A divorced scholar in his late thirties, Humbert leaves Europe for the United States and moves into a rented room in the home of Charlotte Haze, after seeing her twelve-year-old daughter Dolores sunbathing in the garden. Humbert, who has had a lifelong passion for 'nymphets' - as a pre-adolescent, he experienced the loss of his childhood sweetheart to typhus - is instantly smitten, and will do anything to be near her. The novel is a tragicomedy narrated by Humbert, who riddles the narrative with wordplay and his wry observations of American culture. His humor provides an effective counterpoint to the pathos of the tragic plot. The novel's flamboyant style is characterized by word play, double entendres, multilingual puns, anagrams, and coinages such as nymphet, a word which has since had a life of its own and can be found in most dictionaries, and the lesser used 'faunlet'. Nabokov's LOLITA is far from an endorsement of pedophilia, since it dramatizes the tragic consequences of Humbert's obsession with the young heroine. Nabokov himself described Humbert as 'a vain and cruel wretch' and 'a hateful person' Humbert is a well-educated, multilingual, literary-minded European emigre. He fancies himself a great artist, but lacks the curiosity that Nabokov considers essential. Humbert tells the story of a Lolita that he creates in his mind because he is unable and unwilling to actually listen to the girl and accept her on her own terms. In the words of Richard Rorty, from his famous interpretation of LOLITA in CONTINGENCY, IRONY, AND SOLIDARITY, Humbert is a 'monster of incuriosity'. Some critics have accepted Humbert's version of events at face value. In 1959, novelist Robertson Davies excused the narrator entirely, writing that the theme of LOLITA is 'not the corruption of an innocent child by a cunning adult, but the exploitation of a weak adult by a corrupt child'. Most writers, however, have given less credit to Humbert and more to Nabokov's powers as an ironist. Martin Amis, in his essay on Stalinism, KOBA THE DREAD, proposes that LOLITA is an elaborate metaphor for the totalitarianism which destroyed the Russia of Nabokov's childhood Amis interprets it as a story of tyranny told from the point of view of the tyrant. 'All of Nabokov's books are about tyranny,' he says, 'even LOLITA. Perhaps LOLITA most of all'. In 2003, Iranian expatriate Azar Nafisi published the memoir READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN about an illicit women's reading group. In this book the psychological and political interpretations of Lolita are united, since as female intellectuals in Iran, Nafisi and her students were denied both public liberty and private sexual selfhood. Although rejecting a too-easy identification of Lolita's captivity with that of her students Nafisi writes of her students' strong emotional connection with the book: 'what linked us so closely was this perverse intimacy of victim and jailer' and 'like Lolita we tried to escape and create our own little pockets of freedom'. For Nafisi the essence of the novel is Humbert's solipsism and his erasure of Lolita's independent identity. She writes: 'Lolita was given to us as Humbert's creature [. ] To reinvent her, Humbert must take from Lolita her own real history and replace it with his own [. ] Yet she does have a past. Despite Humbert's attempts to orphan Lolita by robbing her of her history, that past is still given to us in glimpses'. One of the novel's early champions, Lionel Trilling, warned in 1958 of the moral difficulty in interpreting a book with so eloquent and so self-deceived a narrator: 'we find ourselves the more shocked when we realize that, in the course of reading the novel, we have come virtually to condone the violation it presents [. ] we have been seduced into conniving in the violation, because we have permitted our fantasies to accept what we know to be revolting'. Because of the subject matter, Nabokov had difficulty finding a publisher, eventually resorting to Olympia Press, a publisher of 'erotica' in Paris, which published LOLITA in September 15, 1955. Nabokov VladimirA favorable notice by English author Graham Greene led to widespread critical admiration for the book, and its eventual U. S. publication on August 18, 1958, by G. P. Putnam's Sons. Today, it is considered by many one of the finest novels written in the 20th century. In 1998, it was named the fourth greatest novel of the 20th century by the Modern Library.

 

 

VLADIMIR NABOKOV (1899-1977) was one of the twentieth century's greatest writers in Russian and English. Poet, novelist, dramatist, memoirist, critic, translator, essayist, and scientist, he was awarded the National Medal for Literature in 1973. He taught creative writing and Russian literature at Wellesley, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard. Among his most celebrated works are LOLITA; PALE FIRE; ADA; SPEAK, MEMORY; and his translation of Pushkin's EUGENE ONEGIN.

 

 

 

 

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Smilla's Sense Of Snow by Peter Hoeg. New York. 1993. Farrar Straus Giroux. Translated From The Danish By Tiina Nunnally. 453 pages. Jacket design by Honi Werner. 0374266441.

 

 

An inventive thriller with an unlikely but refreshingly believable heroine.

 

 

0374266441FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   SMILLA'S SENSE OF SNOW presents one of the toughest heroines in modern fiction. Smilla Qaavigaaq Jaspersen is part Inuit, but she lives in Copenhagen. She is thirty-seven, single, childless, moody, and she refuses to fit in. Smilla's six-year-old Inuit neighbor, Isaiah, manages only with a stubbornness that matches her own to befriend her. When Isaiah falls off a roof and is killed, Smilla doesn't believe it's an accident. She has seen his tracks in the snow, and she knows about snow. She decides to investigate and discovers that even the police don't want her to get involved. But opposition appeals to Smilla. As all of Copenhagen settles down for a quiet Christmas, Smilla's investigation takes her from a fervently religious accountant to a tough-talking pathologist and an alcoholic shipping magnate and into the secret files of the Danish company responsible for extracting most of Greenland's mineral wealth - and finally onto a ship with an international cast of villains bound for a mysterious mission on an uninhabitable island off Greenland. To read SMILLA'S SENSE OF SNOW is to be taken on a magical, nerve-shattering journey - from the snow-covered streets of Copenhagen to the awesome beauty of the Arctic ice caps. A mystery, a love story, and an elegy for a vanishing way of life, Hoeg PeterSMILLA'S SENSE OF SNOW is a breathtaking achievement, an exceptional feat of storytelling.

 

 

 Peter Høeg was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. Before becoming a writer, he worked variously as a sailor, ballet dancer, and actor. He published his first novel, A HISTORY OF DANISH DREAMS (1988), to positive reviews. However, it was SMILLA’S SENSE OF SNOW (1992), a million-copy bestseller, that earned Høeg immediate and international literary celebrity. His books have been published in more than thirty countries.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Itching Parrot by Jose Joaquin Fernandez De Lizardi. Garden City. 1942. Doubleday. Translated from the Spanish by Katherine Anne Porter. 290 pages.

 

An early Latin American picaresque novel.

 

 

itching parrot doubleday doran 1942FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

  The Mangy Parrot: The Life and Times of Periquillo Sarniento Written by himself for his Children (Spanish: El Periquillo Sarniento) by Mexican author Jose Joaquin Fernandez de Lizardi, is generally considered the first novel written and published in Latin America. El Periquillo was written in 1816, though due to government censorship the last of four volumes were not published until 1831. The novel has been continuously in print in more than twenty editions since then. El Periquillo Sarniento can be read as a nation-building novel, written at a critical moment in the transition of Mexico (and Latin America) from colony to independence. Jean Franco has characterized the novel as 'a ferocious indictment of Spanish administration in Mexico: ignorance, superstition and corruption are seen to be its most notable characteristics' [Jean Franco, An Introduction to Spanish-American Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969), p. 34; cited in Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, revised edition (London: Verso, 1991), p. 29]. Given Lizardi's career as a pioneering Mexican journalist, his novel can also be read as a journal of opinion in the guise of a picaresque novel. It follows the adventures of Pedro Sarmiento (nicknamed 'Periquillo Sarniento' or 'Mangy Parrot' by his disreputable friends), who, like Lizardi himself, is the son of a Criollo family from Mexico City with more pretensions to 'good birth' than means of support. The story begins with Periquillo's birth and miseducation and continues through his endless attempts to make an unearned living, as a student, a friar, a gambler, a notary, a barber, a pharmacist, a doctor, a beggar, a soldier, a count, and a thief, until late in life he sees the light and begins to lead an honest life. At every point along the way, Lizardi uses the deathbed voice of the elderly and repentant Periquillo to lambast the social conditions that led to his wasted life. In this, the novelist mimics the role of the early nineteenth-century journalist more interested in arguing opinions than relating mundane incidents. The marriage of slapstick humor with moralizing social commentary, established in El Periquillo, remained a constant in the Mexican novels that followed on its heels throughout the nineteenth century (Antonio Benitez-Rojo, 'Jose Joaquin Fernandez de Lizardi and the Emergence of the Spanish American Novel as National Project,' Modern Language Quarterly 57 (2): pp. 334-35). Agustin Yanez justifies this often criticized 'moralizing' tendency in Lizardi as 'a constant in the artistic production of Mexico... and moreover, it is a constant in Mexican life' ('El Pensador Mexicano,' in Cedomil Goic, ed., Historia y critica de la literatura hispanoamericana, t. I, Epoca colonial, Barcelona: Grijalbo, 1988, pp. 428-29). At the same time, as critics have noted, Lizardi's interest in depicting the realities and reproducing the speech of Mexicans from all social classes make his novel a bridge between the inherited picaresque mold that forms its overt structure and the costumbrista novels of the nineteenth century. Jose Joaquin Fernandez de Lizardi is emblematic of the generation of intellectuals, artists, and writers who led Mexico into the modern era. His own life history resonates with the ambivalences and outright contradictions of a world between colonial rule and independence. His writings -- four novels, several fables, two plays, dozens of poems, over 250 articles and pamphlets -- are important in three ways: as artistic expressions in themselves; as texts that contributed in vital ways to the intellectual life of Mexico early in its independence; and as windows into the daily life of that period. Of Lizardi's many published works, El Periquillo Sarniento remains the most important. It typifies the dual impulse of his writing: to entertain and to edify. It is also a lively, comic novel that captures much of the reality of Mexico in 1816. In his subsequent novels Noches tristes (1818) and La Quijotita y su prima (1818-19), Lizardi's didactic side won out over his will to entertain. La Quijotita in particular is an exercise in moralizing, populated with flat characters whose function is to model particular foibles or virtues. Lizardi's last novel, Don Catrin de la Fachenda (1820), has on the contrary been held up by some critics as superior to El Periquillo. In Don Catrin, Lizardi took pains to respond to critics of the overt moralizing in his first novel. The result is a slimmed-down, artistically unified, more ironic, and darker picaresque (Nancy Vogeley, 'A Latin American Enlightenment Version of the Picaresque: Lizardi's Don Catrin de la Fachenda,' in Carmen Benito-Vessels and Michael Zappala, eds., The Picaresque, Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1994, pp. 123-46). Yet El Periquillo retains its importance. As Antonio Benitez-Rojo writes, citing Benedict Anderson's use of El Periquillo as an exemplar of the anti-colonial novel, 'the illusion of accompanying Periquillo along the roads and through the villages and towns of the viceroyalty helped awaken in the novel's readers the desire for nationness.' Don Catrin 'is artistically superior to El Periquillo Sarniento,' Benitez-Rojo continues, 'yet for all its defects the latter, because of its great vitality, is a major work of Mexican literature.' ('Jose Joaquin Fernandez de Lizardi and the Emergence of the Spanish American Novel as National Project,' p. 335; p. 336.) Finally, El Periquillo has the virtue of being the first, as Lizardi himself noted: 'I am far from believing that I have written a masterpiece that is free from defects: it has many that I recognize, and must have others still that I have not noticed; but it also has one undeniable distinction, which is that of being the first novel that has been written in this country by an American in three hundred years.' (Cited in Jefferson Rea Spell, Bridging the Gap, Mexico City: Editorial Libros de Mexico, 1971, p. 267.) Because of its status as the first novel written by a Latin American and one emulated by generations of Mexican novelists, El Periquillo Sarniento appears on many 'must-read' lists for graduate programs in Latin American literature, and it is of equal interest to students of Latin American history.Print Editions of El Periquillo in Spanish and English - The most widely available edition in Spanish of El Periquillo Sarniento, edited and annotated by Jefferson Rea Spell, is published in Mexico by Editorial Porrua (many editions since 1949).; An excellent new edition, edited and annotated by Carmen Ruiz Barrionuevo, was published in Madrid by Ediciones Catedra in 1997, but has since gone out of print; A partial translation of El Periquillo Sarniento into English was published in 1942 by Doubleday under the title The Itching Parrot; A new and unabridged English translation, The Mangy Parrot (2004), is published by Hackett Publishing Company. ISBN 0-87720-735-8; An abridgment of the Hackett translation is published under the title The Mangy Parrot, Abridged (2005). ISBN 0-87220-670-X.

 

 

 

 

Lizardi Jose Joaquin Fernandes deJosé Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi (November 15, 1776 – June 21, 1827), Mexican writer and political journalist, best known as the author of El Periquillo Sarniento (1816), translated as The Mangy Parrot in English, reputed to be the first novel written in Latin America. Lizardi, as he is generally known, was born in Mexico City when it was still the capital of the colonial Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain. His father was a physician employed in and around Mexico City, who for a time supplemented the family income by writing. Likewise, his mother came from a family of modest but "decent" means; her own father had been a bookseller in the nearby city of Puebla. The death of Lizardi’s father after a short illness in 1798 forced the young man to leave his studies in the Colegio de San Ildefonso and enter the civil service as a minor magistrate in the Taxco-Acapulco region. He married in Taxco in 1805. The necessity of providing for a growing family led Lizardi to supplement his meager income as his father had, by writing. He began his literary career in 1808 by publishing a poem in honor of Ferdinand VII of Spain. Though Ferdinand VII later became a target of nationalist rage among pro-independence Mexicans because of his tendency toward despotism, his politics were still unknown in 1808, the year of the Napoleonic invasion of Spain. With Napoleon’s brother-in-law usurping the Spanish throne and the legitimate king in exile, raising a public voice in his favor was a patriotic stance for a Mexican intellectual, and in line with Lizardi’s later proto-nationalist views. At the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence in November 1810, Morelos’s insurgent forces fought their way into Taxco where Lizardi was heading the local government as acting Subdelegado (the highest provincial government position in the colonial system). After an initial insurgent victory, Lizardi tried to play both sides: he turned over the city’s armory to the insurgents, but he also informed the vice-royalty of rebel movements. Judged in the context of his later writings, these actions do not appear hypocritical. Lizardi was always supportive of the intellectual aims and reformist politics of the insurgents, but was equally opposed to war and bloodshed. By peacefully capitulating Taxco to the insurgents, he aimed to avoid loss of life in the city then under his command. Following the royalist recapture of Taxco in January 1811, Lizardi was taken prisoner as a rebel sympathizer and sent with the other prisoners of war to Mexico City. There he appealed successfully to the viceroy, arguing that he had acted only to protect Taxco and its citizens from harm. Lizardi was now free and living in Mexico City, but he had lost his job and his possessions. He turned now to full-time writing and publishing to support his family, publishing more than twenty lightly satirical poems in broadsheets and pamphlets in the course of the year. After a limited freedom of the press was declared in Mexico on October 5, 1812 (see Spanish Constitution of 1812), Lizardi quickly organized one of the first non-governmental newspapers in the country. The first issue of his El Pensador Mexicano ("The Mexican Thinker," a title he adopted as his own pseudonym) came out on October 9, just four days after press freedom was allowed. In his journalism, Lizardi turned from the light social criticism of his earlier broadsheets to direct commentary on the political problems of the day, attacking the autocratic tendencies of the viceregal government and supporting the liberal aspirations represented by the Cortes in Spain. His articles show the influence of Enlightenment ideas derived from clandestine readings of forbidden books by Voltaire, Rousseau, and Diderot, a hazardous route to take in those hopeful but uncertain times. In the ninth issue of El Pensador Mexicano (December 1812), Lizardi attacked viceroy Francisco Javier Venegas directly, resulting in his arrest. He continued to issue the paper from his jail cell, but he dismayed pro-independence readers by suppressing his sympathies for the insurgents and muting critiques of the system that had imprisoned him. When a new viceroy, Félix María Calleja, was named in March 1813, Lizardi lavished praise on him; the viceroy responded by freeing Lizardi after seven months of jail. Lizardi continued to write and publish his periodicals after his release, but increased attention from royalist censors and the Inquisition muted his critical tone. When victory over Napoleon in Europe led to the reestablishment of an authoritarian monarchy, the overthrow of the Spanish Cádiz Cortes, and the abrogation of freedom of the press in 1814, Lizardi turned from journalism to literature as a means of expressing his social criticism. This social and political conjuncture led to Lizardi's writing and publication of El Periquillo Sarniento, which is commonly recognized as the first novel by a Mexican and the first Latin American novel. Though it is a novel in form and scope, El Periquillo Sarniento resembled Lizardi’s periodicals in several ways: he printed and sold it in weekly chapter installments throughout 1816; he wove extensive commentary on the political and moral climate of Mexico into the narration; and, like his periodicals, the novel was eventually halted by censorship. The first three volumes slipped past the censor, as Lizardi had hoped they would in their fictionalized guise, but Lizardi’s direct attack on the institution of slavery (in the form called Asiento) in the fourth volume was enough to have the publication stopped. The final sixteen chapters of El Periquillo were only published in 1830 - 1831, after Lizardi’s death and a decade following Mexican independence. Lizardi’s other works of fiction also appeared by installments during the years of renewed royalist repression that lasted until 1820: Fábulas (collection of fables, 1817), Noches tristes (novel, 1818), La Quijotita y su prima (novel, 1818–1819) and Don Catrín de la Fachenda (completed 1820, published 1832). With the re-establishment of the liberal Spanish constitution in 1820, Lizardi returned to journalism, only to be attacked, imprisoned, and censored again by a changing roster of political enemies. Royalists repressed him until the independence of Mexico in 1821; centralists opposed to his federalist leanings attacked him after independence; throughout, he suffered attacks by the Catholic hierarchy, opposed to his Masonic leanings. Lizardi died of tuberculosis in 1827 at the age of 50. Because of his family’s extreme poverty he was buried in an anonymous grave, without the epitaph he had hoped would be engraved on his tombstone: "Here lie the ashes of the Mexican Thinker, who did the best he could for his country." It is unfortunate that today Lizardi is remembered primarily by educators, teachers, university students, and government officials in Latin America, reflecting a possible deterioration of quality education in the region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Epitaph Of A Small Winner by Joaquim Maria Machado De Assis. New York. 1952. Noonday Press. Drawings by Shari Frisch. Translated from the Portuguese by William L. Grossman. 223 pages. Cover: Shari Frisch. (original title: Memorias postumas de Bras Cubas).

 

THE POSTHUMOUS MEMOIRS OF BRAS CUBAS by Joaquim Maria Machado De Assis, also translated as EPITAPH OF A SMALL WINNER, is a Brazilian classic. The narrator of the story is Bras Cubas, who unfortunately for him, is now dead. That does not stop him though from telling his story.

 

epitaph of a small winner noondayFROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

Funny and profound are these reflections and musings of a man from beyond the grave. Satirical, witty, completely human in feeling, EPITAPH OF A SMALL WINNER is that rarest of works, a book which is at the same time both profound and thoroughly delightful. It tells the story of Braz Cubas, a wealthy Carioca, or rather it is Braz, now dead, who tells his story. For EPITAPH OF A SMALL WINNER is a posthumous memoir, the memories of a ghost, a man who now beyond life can view it with dispassion - the illicit love affairs, the political ambitions, the jealousies and hatreds which comprised his sixty-four years. But though the grave has given Braz distance, it has not dampened his sense of humor. On the contrary, it has sharpened it; Braz Cubas is certainly the wittiest ghost in literature. Most ghosts take themselves far too seriously; but not Braz. If he has returned to haunt mankind, it is by means of laughter. He is the spirit of satire moving among us, pointing out our idiosyncrasies and foibles. 'Machado de Assis, son of a poor mulatto of Rio, became the most illustrious of Brazilian writers. His work brings to mind at once Anatole France and Lawrence Sterne, yet is nonetheless original. ' - Andre Maurois. 'A master of psychology and of an ironic brand of humour.' Samuel Putnam. 

 

 

Assis Joaquim Maria Machado De Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, often known as Machado de Assis, Machado, or Bruxo do Cosme Velho, (June 21, 1839, Rio de Janeiro-September 29, 1908, Rio de Janeiro) was a Brazilian novelist, poet and short-story writer. He is widely regarded as the most important writer of Brazilian literature. However, he did not gain widespread popularity outside Brazil in his own lifetime. Machado's works had a great influence on Brazilian literary schools of the late 19th century and 20th century. Jose Saramago, Carlos Fuentes, Susan Sontag and Harold Bloom are among his admirers and Bloom calls him 'the supreme black literary artist to date. ' Son of Francisco Jose de Assis (a mulatto housepainter, descendent of freed slaves) and Maria Leopoldina Machado de Assis (a Portuguese washerwoman), Machado de Assis lost both his mother and his only sister at an early age. Machado is said to have learned to write by himself, and he used to take classes for free will. He learned to speak French first and English later, both fluently. He started to work for newspapers in Rio de Janeiro, where he published his first works and met established writers such as Joaquim Manuel de Macedo. Machado de Assis married Carolina Xavier de Novais, a Portuguese descendant of a noble family. Soon the writer got a public job and this stability permitted him to write his best works. Machado de Assis began by writing popular novels which sold well, much in the late style of Jose de Alencar. His style changed in the 1880s, and it is for the sceptical, ironic, comedic but ultimately pessimistic works he wrote after this that he is remembered: the first novel in his 'new style' was Epitaph for a Small Winner, known in the new Gregory Rabassa translation as The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas (a literal translation of the original title, Memorias Postumas de Bras Cubas). In their brilliant comedy and ironic playfulness, these resemble in some ways the contemporary works of George Meredith in the United Kingdom, and Eca de Queiros in Portugal, but Machado de Assis' work has a far bleaker emotional undertone. Machado's work has also been compared with Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy. Machado de Assis could speak English fluently and translated many works of William Shakespeare and other English writers into Portuguese. His work contains numerous allusions to Shakespearean plays, John Milton and influences from Sterne and Meredith. He is also known as a master of the short story, having written classics of the genre in the Portuguese language, such as O Alienista, Missa do Galo, 'A Cartomante' and 'A Igreja do Diabo. ' Along with other writers and intellectuals, Machado de Assis founded the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 1896 and was its president from 1897 to 1908, when he died. The translator, Dr. William L. Grossman, is of all things an authority on transportation law and economics. Called to Brazil in 1948 as head of the economics department of a Brazilian college, he learned Portuguese, and, fascinated by the works of Machado de Assis, spent his academic holidays translating Epitaph of a Small Winner. Dr. Grossman has returned to this country as a transportation consultant and professor at New York University.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Royal Game and Other Stories by Stefan Zweig. New York. 1981. Harmony Books. Translated From The German By Jill Sutcliffe. Introduction By John Fowles. 250 pages. Jacket design by Shirley Tuckley. 0517545535.

 

 

The stories of Stefan Zweig are exquisite gems. In his day he was one of most popular writers of his time, but now many of his books are out-of-print. Thankfully, a few presses like Pushkin Press are making some of Zweig's work available once again. THE ROYAL GAME & OTHER STORIES contains some of Zweig's classics.

 

 

 

0517545535FROM THE PUBLISHER -


   It is difficult to imagine, while reading the five newly translated stories here, how a writer of Stefan Zweig's awesome gifts came to suffer literary obscurity. Such formidable figures as Thomas Mann, Richard Strauss, and Sigmund Freud all praised Zweig; his books were international best-sellers. As John Fowles writes in his introduction to The Royal Game and Other Stories, Zweig is a 'remarkably fertile and gifted writer. Stefan Zweig's stories have a dark magnetism; they explore the limitless scope of every kind of single-mindedness-obsessional love, pathological revenge, and even madness in chess. Zweig wrote: 'A psychological problem is as attractive for me in a living person as in an historical person. my novels and biographies come out of the same source. , an insatiable curiosity. ' Zweig pushes his fictional characters through traps and pitfalls that divert them from their characteristic behavior and then follows them to the extremes to which their minds will eventually lead. The reader is inexorably drawn into a web of hidden secrets and unforgettable characters. THE ROYAL GAME AND OTHER STORIES brings to the modern reader a compelling kind of narrative wizardry little found today. As John Fowles, author of The French Lieutenant's Woman, concludes in his introduction, 'Now I must let Zweig's troubled, but always humane, spirit speak for itself. It has wandered much too far out of the English-speaking world's memory. It is time, on this centenary of his birth, that we read him again. ' Five stories you will always remember by a writer you will never forget. In LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN, a celebrated novelist returns home early one morning. His servant hands him tea and a letter; the letter is written in an unfamiliar, shaky, feminine hand. It begins, 'To you who never knew me,' and gradually reveals a woman's obsession and impossible love. THE BURNING SECRET is a story from the land of childhood. During the days of Imperial Austria, a young baron arrives in Semmering for a mountain holiday. At an elegant dinner, he finds an object for his lust: a sensual Jewess, who is accompanied by her small boy. The baron befriends the boy, gains his confidence, and closes in on the married mother. AMOK is a tale of dark passion. As John Fowles says, 'Conrad's literal typhoons are carried over into the domain of the sexual. ' A European doctor commits a crime. Guilt-ridden and alcoholic, he is banished to the remote tropics. At first, he successfully fights death and disease - later, they seep into his very being. A wealthy married woman mysteriously appears at his isolated outpost, pregnant with her lover's child. Trapped by her own passion, she requests the doctor's services. He agrees but only if she will first surrender herself to him. Frau Wagner, in 'FEAR,' is respectable-she has a husband, children, and servants. Yet something has gone wrong; she lives and dreams the horror that her secret love will be discovered. THE ROYAL GAME is the story of a man who enters into a fateful chess match. Imprisoned years before by the Gestapo, a single chess book saves Dr. B. from the madness of solitary confinement. Now while he is aboard a ship to Buenos Aires, his fellow passengers urge him to challenge Czenotivic, the world champion, to a match. Dr. B. hesitates, then agrees. The madness of his imprisonment returns. 'Stefan Zweig has suffered, since his death in 1942, a darker eclipse than any other famous writer of this century. Even 'famous writer' understates the prodigious reputation he enjoyed in the last decade or so of his life, when he was arguably the most widely read and translated serious author in the world. ' - From the Introduction by John Fowles.

 

 

Zweig Stefan STEFAN ZWEIG was born in 1881 in Vienna to a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. He was first known as a poet and translator and then as a biographer, producing studies of an assortment of people-notably, Erasmus, Joseph Fouch?, and Marie Antoinette. His well-known collection of stories, Kaleidoscope, appeared in 1934 and his one-truly remarkable-novel, Beware of Pity, appeared in 1939. Zweig traveled widely, and living in Salzburg between the wars, he made friends with the greats-Romain Rolland, Freud, Toscanini. Recognition as a writer came early, and by the time he was forty, he had already achieved literary fame. In 1934, with Nazism entrenched across the border, Zweig left Austria to settle in England-his publishing life was destroyed by the Nazis and he saw his dream of a united Europe shattered. Shortly after completing the title story in this collection in 1942, Zweig took his own life in Petropolis, Brazil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Joseph Fouche: The Portrait Of A Politician by Stefan Zweig. London. 1930. Cassell & Company. Translated From The German By Eden & Cedar Paul. 327 pages.

 

Long out-of-print, this biography of Joseph Fouche, a major behind-the-scenes figure in the French Revolution, is a fascinating study of one man's rise from relatively humble beginnings to the absolute pinnacle of power, back down again, then up, and then again down. Fouche's roll-coaster ride of fortune is a remarkable story.

 

joseph fouche cassell and company 1930FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   'Gambler-in-chief at the great roulette board of human destiny,' Joseph Fouche is one of the most amazing figures in history. He is 'the most remarkable politician the world has ever known,' says Stefan Zweig, and, by way of proof, offers a brilliant and fascinating biography. Against the flaming background of the French Revolution we see Fouche, hitherto unknown, a 'semi-priest,' take his seat as member of the dreaded National Convention of France. When the people cry for the blood of the aristocrats he proceeds to Lyons, which has risen against the revolutionists, and plunges into an orgy of murder and blasphemy; when the people turn to moderation he repudiates his former companions, helps to speed Robespierre to the guillotine, and becomes the most moderate of moderates. His rise is meteoric, his fall equally so. Suddenly Citizen Fouche sinks into obscure poverty, earning his crust of bread by petty spying, even, at one tune, by becoming a swineherd. Then in the next era Fouche rises again to new and greater heights as Minister of Police to Napoleon. Not only does he spy out Napoleon's enemies, he even uses Josephine to spy on the Emperor himself. Joseph Fouche, the man who killed aristocrats and tended swine, finally becomes Duke of Otranto, millionaire, aristocrat, master-spy, and super-blackguard. From the pages of this volume emerge not only Fouche, but some of the great figures of history: Napoleon, Robespierre, Louis XVIII, Talleyrand, Lafayette. To read it is to gain knowledge of sixty of the most volcanic years the world has known.

Zweig Stefan

Stefan Zweig (November 28, 1881 – February 22, 1942) was an Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist and biographer. At the height of his literary career, in the 1920s and 1930s, he was one of the most famous writers in the world. Zweig was the son of Moritz Zweig (1845–1926), a wealthy Jewish textile manufacturer, and Ida Brettauer (1854–1938), from a Jewish banking family. Joseph Brettauer did business for twenty years in Ancona, Italy, where his second daughter Ida was born and grew up, too. Zweig studied philosophy at the University of Vienna and in 1904 earned a doctoral degree with a thesis on ‘The Philosophy of Hippolyte Taine‘. Religion did not play a central role in his education. ‘My mother and father were Jewish only through accident of birth‘, Zweig said later in an interview. Yet he did not renounce his Jewish faith and wrote repeatedly on Jews and Jewish themes, as in his story Buchmendel. Zweig had a warm relationship with Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, whom he met when Herzl was still literary editor of the Neue Freie Presse, then Vienna's main newspaper; Herzl accepted for publication some of Zweig's early essays. Zweig believed in internationalism and in europeanism; Herzl's Jewish nationalism could not therefore have much attraction, as The World of Yesterday, his autobigraphy, makes clear. The Neue Freie Presse did not review Herzl's Der Judenstaat. Zweig himself called Herzl's book an ‘obtuse text, [a] piece of nonsense’. Stefan Zweig was related to the Czech writer Egon Hostovský. Hostovský described Zweig as ‘a very distant relative’; some sources describe them as cousins. At the beginning of World War I, patriotic sentiment was widespread, and extended to many German and Austrian Jews: Zweig, as well as Martin Buber and Hermann Cohen, all showed support. Zweig, although patriotic, refused to pick up a rifle; instead, he served in the Archives of the Ministry of War, and soon acquired a pacifist stand like his friend Romain Rolland, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature 1915. He then moved to Switzerland until the end of the war. Zweig remained a pacifist all his life and advocated the unification of Europe. Like Rolland, he wrote many biographies. His Erasmus of Rotterdam he called a ‘concealed self-portrayal’ in The World of Yesterday. Zweig married Friderike Maria von Winternitz (born Burger) in 1920; they divorced in 1938. As Friderike Zweig she published a book on her former husband after his death. She later also published a picture book on Zweig. In 1939 Zweig married his secretary Lotte Altmann. Zweig left Austria in 1934, following Hitler's rise to power in Germany. He then lived in England (in London first, then from 1939 in Bath). Because of the swift advance of Hitler's troops into France and all of Western Europe, Zweig and his second wife crossed the Atlantic Ocean and traveled to the United States, where they settled in 1940 in New York City, and traveled. On August 22, 1940, they moved again to Petrópolis, a town in the conurbation of Rio de Janeiro. Feeling more and more depressed by the growth of intolerance, authoritarianism, and nazism, and feeling hopeless for the future for humanity, Zweig wrote a note about his feelings of desperation. Then, in February 23, 1942, the Zweigs were found dead of a barbiturate overdose in their house in the city of Petrópolis, holding hands. He had been despairing at the future of Europe and its culture. ‘I think it better to conclude in good time and in erect bearing a life in which intellectual labour meant the purest joy and personal freedom the highest good on Earth’, he wrote. The Zweigs' house in Brazil was later turned into a museum and is now known as Casa Stefan Zweig. Zweig was a very prominent writer in the 1920s and 1930s, and befriended Arthur Schnitzler and Sigmund Freud. He was extremely popular in the USA, South America and Europe, and remains so in continental Europe; however, he was largely ignored by the British public, and his fame in America has since dwindled. Since the 1990s there has been an effort on the part of several publishers (notably Pushkin Press and the New York Review of Books) to get Zweig back into print in English. Plunkett Lake Press Ebooks has begun to publish electronic versions of his non-fiction as well. Criticism over his oeuvre is severely divided between some English-speaking critics, who despise his literary style as poor, lightweight and superficial, and some of those more attached to the European tradition, who praise his humanism, simplicity and effective style. Zweig is best known for his novellas (notably The Royal Game, Amok, Letter from an Unknown Woman – filmed in 1948 by Max Ophüls), novels (Beware of Pity, Confusion of Feelings, and the posthumously published The Post Office Girl) and biographies (notably Erasmus of Rotterdam, Conqueror of the Seas: The Story of Magellan, and Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles and also posthumously published, Balzac). At one time his works were published in English under the pseudonym 'Stephen Branch' (a translation of his real name) when anti-German sentiment was running high. His biography of Queen Marie-Antoinette was later adapted for a Hollywood movie, starring the actress Norma Shearer in the title role. Zweig enjoyed a close association with Richard Strauss, and provided the libretto for Die schweigsame Frau (The Silent Woman). Strauss famously defied the Nazi regime by refusing to sanction the removal of Zweig's name from the program for the work's première on June 24, 1935 in Dresden. As a result, Goebbels refused to attend as planned, and the opera was banned after three performances. Zweig later collaborated with Joseph Gregor, to provide Strauss with the libretto for one other opera, Daphne, in 1937. At least one other work by Zweig received a musical setting: the pianist and composer Henry Jolles, who like Zweig had fled to Brazil to escape the Nazis, composed a song, ‘Último poema de Stefan Zweig’, based on ‘Letztes Gedicht’, which Zweig wrote on the occasion of his 60th birthday in November 1941. During his stay in Brazil, Zweig wrote Brasilien, Ein Land der Zukunft (Brazil, Land of the Future) which was an accurate analysis of his newly adopted country and in his book he managed to demonstrate a fair understanding of the Brazilian culture that surrounded him. Zweig was a passionate collector of manuscripts. There are important Zweig collections at the British Library and at the State University of New York at Fredonia. The British Library's Stefan Zweig Collection was donated to the library by his heirs in May 1986. It specialises in autograph music manuscripts, including works by Bach, Haydn, Wagner, and Mahler. It has been described as ‘one of the world's greatest collections of autograph manuscripts’. One particularly precious item is Mozart's ‘Verzeichnüß aller meiner Werke’ – that is, the composer's own handwritten thematic catalogue of his works. The 1993–1994 academic year at the College of Europe was named in his honour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hopes & Impediments: Selected Essays by Chinua Achebe. New York. 1989. Doubleday. 188 pages. Jacket illustration by Sally Sturman. 0385247303. October 1989.

 

A thought-provoking collection of essays from the Nigerian author of THINGS FALL APART. His essay on Joseph Conrad is especially brilliant.

 

0385247303FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   One of the most provocative and original voices in contemporary literature, Chinua Achebe commands widespread critical acclaim. His novels, including the recently published ANTHILLS OF THE SAVANAH, are considered modern classics. HOPES AND IMPEDIMENTS draws on the best critical writings of this powerful writer over the past twenty-five years, offering a new perspective on the human condition. These essays range from an analysis of Joseph Conrad that has infuriated many an English professor, to a moving tribute to James Baldwin. There are reflections on broad topics such as 'The Truth of Fiction,' 'Thoughts on the African Novel,' 'Impediments to Dialogue Between North and South,' and on the present needs of his own society. Throughout these provocative works run the central themes of literature and art against the background of Europe and Africa and the black-white divide. Mr. Achebe brings to bear his unique creative energies in exposing the monster of racist habit. 'Gloriously gifted with the magic of an ebullient, generous, great talent.' - Nadine Gordimer.

 

Achebe ChinuaChinua Achebe (born Albert Chinụalụmọgụ Achebe, 16 November 1930 – 21 March 2013) was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic. His first novel Things Fall Apart (1958), often considered his masterpiece, is the most widely read book in modern African literature. Chinua Achebe published THINGS FALL APART in 1958. It was followed by NO LONGER AT EASE (AWS 3) and ARROW OF GOD (AWS 16). A MAN OF THE PEOPLE (AWS 31) aroused widespread interest on publication at the time of the January 1966 coup because of its prophetic ending. The effects of his novels, and of his editorship of the African Writers Series has had a dramatic impact on the development of the literature of Africa. Some of the stories in GIRLS AT WAR (AWS 100) and some of the poems in BEWARE SOUL BROTHER (AWS 120) are set in the war. His essays were published in 1975 under the title MORNING YET ON CREATION DAY (Heinemann). He was educated at Government College, Umuahia and University College, Ibadan. By the time he left the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation in 1966 he had become Director of External Broadcasting. Since the war he has been at the Universities of Nigeria, Massachusetts and Connecticut. He has now returned to Nsukka. Among many recent honours has been the award of a Fellowship of the Modern Languages Association of America and of Doctorates at the Universities of Stirling and Southampton. He has recently followed Heinrich Boll, the Nobel prizewinner, as the recipient of the Scottish Arts Council's Neil Gunn Fellowship. Chinua Achebe is best known as a novelist. But the years of the Nigerian crisis and the civil war were not, for both practical and psychological reasons, a time for work on full-length novels. He found poetry a means of expressing his distress, even though few of the poems speak directly of the war. He has added some new poems to this collection which has already been published in Nigeria. 

 

 

 

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The Art Of The Novel by Milan Kundera. New York. 1988. Grove Press. Translated From The French By Linda Asher. 165 pages. Jacket design by the author. 0802100112.

Milan Kundera reinvigorates our desire to tackle the classics in literature.

 

0802100112FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In these seven related essays he reacquaints us with some of the giants of the novel and inspires us to rethink our relationships to their narratives. 'Need I stress that intend no theoretical statement at all, and that the entire book is simply a practitioner's confession? Every novelist's work contains an implicit vision of the history of the novel, an idea of what the novel is; I have tried to express here the idea of the novel that is inherent in my own novels. ' In seven relatively independent but closely linked parts, Milan Kundera sets forth his personal conception of the European novel Is its history coming to an end? Today in the period of 'terminal paradoxes,' the novel 'cannot live in peace with the spirit of our time:. if it is to go on 'progressing' as novel, it can do so only against the progress of the world. ' One of the parts is devoted to Hermann Broch, another to Kafka, and throughout the book Kundera constantly reflects on the writers who are the mainstays of his 'personal history of the novel': Rabelais, Cervantes, Sterne, Diderot, Flaubert, Tolstoy Musil, Gombrowicz. In two dialogues, the author speaks directly about his own art almost in the craftsman's sense of the word: about his means of creating 'experimental selves' and novelistic 'polyphony' about his methods of composition. And in a characteristically playful and original 'dictionary' he defines and considers the 'key words' that appear throughout his novels as well as those that underlie his aesthetic of the novel.

Kundera Milan

MILAN KUNDERA was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia. Since 1975, he has lived in France. He is the author of THE JOKE, LAUGHABLE LOVES, LIFE IS ELSEWHERE, THE FAREWELL PARTY THE BOOK OF LAUGHTER AND FORGETTING, THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING and the play JACQUES AND HIS MASTER. The fiction was originally written in Czech, THE ART OF THE NOVEL in French.

 

 

 

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Therese Raquin by Emile Zola. New York. 1962. Penguin Books. Translated From The French & With An Introduction By Leonard Tancock. 256 pages. The cover shows a detail from Under the Lamplight by Edouard Vuillard in the Musee Annonciade, St Tropez. 0140441204.

THERESE RAQUIN has all of the steaminess of a James M. Cain novel. Absolutely hypnotic in stretches - It is short, but not too sweet.

pc therese raquin 1962FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 'Putrid Literature', 'a quagmire of slime and blood', 'a sewer' - these were some of the critics' reactions to this novel. The immediate success which THERESE RAQUIN enjoyed on publication in 1868 was partly due to scandal, following the accusation of pornography; in reply Zola defined the new creed of Naturalism in the famous preface which is printed in this volume. The novel is a grim tale of adultery, murder and revenge in a nightmarish setting. A thriller and, as Leonard Tancock says in his introduction, a cautionary tale on the sixth and seventh commandments, this early work of Zola's is full of black macabre poetry which has kept its tragic power for over a century.

Zola EmileÉmile François Zola (2 April 1840 – 29 September 1902) was a French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'Accuse.

 

 

 

 

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The Cowards by Josef Skvorecky. New York. 1970. Grove Press. Translated From The Czech By Jeanne Nemcova. 416 pages.

 

Josef Skvorecky's groundbreaking novel of he last days of the Nazi Protectorate of Czechoslovakia.

 

 

cowardsFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Danny Smiricky is as concerned with woman and jazz as he is with the departure of the defeated Nazis and the advancing Soviet army. Still, there is no way to avoid the political absurdities that are just around the corner. 'I wrote a novel about which there are two divergent opinions: it was considered either epoch-making or scandalous. But I never set out to create art at all, I simply tried to write a book. THE COWARDS came out quite smoothly, without any problems. I expected to be attacked for excessive naturalism, slang, some of the erotic scenes, and I was ready to defend myself on the grounds of literary theory. But I would have never dreamed that I might become the target of attacks for having sullied things which are holy and glorious. ' Thus spoke the author in 1962. Josef Skvorecky's crime was that he wrote about the Red Army as a collection of men, not as gods of the proletariat. Czech writers, poets, composers, directors, editors, and readers thought The Cowards was indeed one of the major works of fiction to emerge from the post-war period. Politicians and establishment critics with Stalinist leanings found the book scandalous. As a result, all who appreciated THE COWARDS--the editors who published the novel and the critics who praised it--were fired outright and the accustomed avenues of expression denied them. This was Prague in 1958. Under Dubcek, the book was reissued and quickly became a manifesto for the young generation of Czechoslovak liberals. Since then, it has been translated into German, French, Polish, English, and other editions are soon to appear. 'What is THE COWARDS anyway? The story of a small town, its jazz, its student life, the end of the war. ' It is also the intense, personal story of Danny Smiricky and the boys in his band who somehow float above the turmoil, somehow remain the only sane human beings in a chaotic time. The cowards scoff at the self-appointed civil government, they find the regimentation of the military authorities absurd, and their only immediate thoughts--with humor, irony, and fantasy--are of the girls they have had or the girls they want. THE COWARDS relates the events of the last week of the Nazi Protectorate of Czechoslovakia, of the advancing Soviets, of Danny's feelings for women, politics, sharp clothes, his saxophone, and his 'image. ' It is a remembrance of a lost time, of a lost feeling, of a boredom with the exterior world, and a fascination with jazz and Danny's own sprawling imagination. Josef Skvorecky's book is an important statement by a major international writer.

 

 

Skvorecky JosefJosef 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.

 

 

 

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 The World and Africa by W. E. Burghardt Du Bois. New York. 1947. Viking Press. 276 pages.

 

Although published in 1947, this book has a freshness of vision that many contemporary books lack. This is a serious look at Africa's contribution to world culture and Africa's place in world history. Of particular interest is the way that Du Bois connects the scramble for Africa to the First World War.

 

 

world africaFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   DuBois never relented in attacks upon imperialism, especially in Africa. (His book entitled THE WORLD AND AFRICA was written as a contradiction to the pseudo-historians who consistently omitted Africa from world history. ) In 1945 he served as an associate consultant to the American delegation at the founding conference of the United Nations in San Francisco. He charged the world organization with planning to be dominated by imperialist nations and not intending to intervene on the behalf of colonized countries. He announced that the fifth Pan-African Congress would convene to determine what pressure could be applied to the world powers. W. E. B. Du Bois' THE WORLD AND AFRICA, which refutes the racist thesis primarily associated with Eurocentric historians that of all the continents, Africa had made no contribution to world history and civilization. Du Bois's main objectives in this celebratory book, as in his classic SOULS OF BLACK FOLK, were threefold: to write the history and culture of the people of Africa and African descent; to enable African Americans to identify with Africa as a proud and dignified source of identity that could be placed on an equal footing with Europe, Asia, and North America; and to posit Africa's humanism and rich heritage as a compelling argument against racism and colonialism. Du Bois believed that freedom was whole and indivisible, that Black people in America would not be completely free until Africa was liberated and emancipated in modernity; his Pan-Africanism was born out of the consciousness of freedom as a common goal for Black and Brown people.

 

 

 

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

 

 

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Embers by Sandor Marai. New York. 2001. Knopf. Translated From The Hungarian By Carol Brown Janeway. 217 pages. Jacket painting by Alexandre Cabanel - Portrait of Countess de Keller, 1873. Jacket design by Susan Carroll. 0375407561. October 2001.

 

From Hungary, a rediscovered gem about friendship, betrayal, and revenge.

 

 

0375407561FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   The rediscovery of a masterpiece of Central European literature originally published in Budapest in 1942 and known to modern readers until last year. An extraordinary novel about a triangular relationship, about love, friendship, and fidelity; about betrayal, pride, and true nobility. In a castle at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, an old aristocrat waits to greet the friend he has not seen for forty-one years. In the course of this one night, from dinner until dawn, the two men will fight a duel of words and silences, of stories, of accusations and evasions, that will encompass their entire lives and that of a third person, missing from the candlelit dining hall-the now dead chatelaine of the castle. The last time the three of them sat together was in this room, after a stag hunt in the forest, The year was 1900. No game was shot that day but the reverberations were cataclysmic. And the time of reckoning has finally arrived. Already a great international best-seller, EMBERS is a magnificent addition to world literature in the English language.

 

 

Marai SandorSandor Marai was born in Kassa, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1900. He rose to fame as one of the leading literary novelists in Hungary in the 1930s. Profoundly antifascist, he survived World War II, but persecution by the Communists drove him from the country in 1948, first to Italy and then to the United States. Marai committed suicide in San Diego in 1989. He is the author of a significant body of work, which Knopf is translating into English.

 

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The Life Of The Party by Maureen Freely. New York. 1985. Simon & Schuster. 416 pages. Jacket design by Fred Marcellino. 0671506145.

 

A novel of American expatriate life in Istanbul that is by turns funny and tragic, from the translator of Nobel Prize winner, Orhan Pamuk.

 

0671506145FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Hector Cabot was known to e the life of every party he attended in Istanbul: a famous rascal, an incorrigible womanizer, a good-for-nothing charmer, a loser of geese. That last attribute was commemorated each year on 'Hector Cabot Goosebuying Day' in honor of the famous binge in 1962 when he went downtown to buy a goose for Christmas dinner and returned three days later completely naked except for a Turkish flag. Hector taught at Woodrow College perched above the Bosphorus. Other members of the expatriate circle, though not quite as flamboyant as Hector, were avid spectators of, if not participants in, the decadence: Meredith Lacey, who stalked married men like wild game; her husband, Leslie, melancholy in his repressed homosexuality; Stella Ashe, lover of Hector and mother of his child; Stella's husband, Thomas, the quarry of Meredith Lacey. Those also featured in Maureen Freely's astonishing cast include Hector's demonic Greek mother, Aspasia, whose life is devoted to taunting her daughter-in-law, Amy, the long-suffering victim of Hector's philandering and hijinks; Emin Bey, the elegant and educated Turk who is friend and admirer of Hector; and his nephew Ismet, a secret policeman whose ambition leads him to invent dark secrets about the crowd of fast-living Westerners. Maureen Freely superbly portrays the expatriate party dwindling to its end against the backdrop of Turkeys own internal tensions. This is a marvelous, rich, funny book--full of life--peopled with engaging, sharply drawn characters, offering a sensitive portrait of the clash of cultures. Maureen Freely's vitality and precision as a writer, her ability to capture the niceties of social comedy and tragedy, make THE LIFE OF THE PARTY a novel of breathtaking assurance, wholly fulfilling the promise of her wickedly amusing first novel, MOTHER'S HELPER.

 

 

Freely MaureenMaureen Freely was born in the US but grew up in Turkey, where her family still lives. She was educated at Radcliffe College (Harvard University) and has made her home in England for the past 22 years. She is the author of three works of non-fiction: PANDORA'S CLOCK (1993,) WHAT ABOUT US? (1995) AND THE PARENT TRAP (2000); AND SEVEN NOVELS: MOTHER'S HELPER (1979), THE LIFE OF THE PARTY (1985), THE STORK CLUB (1992), UNDER THE VULCANIA (1994), THE OTHER REBECCA (1996) and ENLIGHTENMENT (2007), which is set in Istanbul. She has been a regular contributor to The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent and The Sunday Times for two decades, writing on feminism, family and social policy, Turkish culture and politics, and contemporary writing. For the past ten years she has been the Deputy Director of the Writing Programme at the University of Warwick. She is perhaps best known for her translations of SNOW (2003), ISTANBUL: MEMORIES OF A CITY (2004) and THE BLACK BOOK (2005), by the Turkish novelist and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, and for her campaigning journalism after Pamuk and an estimated 80 other writers were prosecuted (and in the case of Hrant Dink, assassinated) for insulting Turkishness, state institutions, or the memory of Ataturk.

 

 

 

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The Pledge by Friedrich Duerrenmatt. New York. 1959. Knopf. Translated From The German By Richard and Clara Winston. 185 pages. Jacket design by George Salter.

 

A police detective's relentless search to find a child-murderer in this unconventional story of guilt, responsibility, justice, and fate from the Swiss writer, Friedrich Duerrenmatt. 

 

 

pledgeFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

  A child has been murdered. . . The official solution of the crime does not satisfy the inspector. He sets out on his own to find the bestial killer. Suspense mounts as the story turns into a bizarre tale of guilt and justice. The story of the sex maniac’s crime makes for harrowing reading, but the account of the detective’s decay as a citizen and a man constitutes an arresting and deeply moving human drama. He is driven by his pledge toward a stratagem as questionable as the crime itself.

 

 

 

Durrenmatt Friedrich Friedrich Durrenmatt (Duerrenmatt) was a Swiss author and dramatist. He was a proponent of epic theater whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. The politically active author gained fame largely due to his avant-garde dramas, philosophically deep crime novels, and often macabre satire. One of his leading sentences was: 'A story is not finished, until it has taken the worst turn'. Durrenmatt was a member of the Gruppe Olten. Durrenmatt was born in Konolfingen, in the Emmental, the son of a Protestant pastor. His grandfather Ulrich Durrenmatt was a conservative politician. The family moved to Bern in 1935. Durrenmatt began to study of philosophy and German language and literature at the University of Zurich in 1941, but moved to the University of Bern after one semester. In 1943 he decided to become an author and dramatist and dropped his academic career. In 1945-46, he wrote his first play 'It is written'. On October 11 1946 he married the actress Lotti Geissler. She died on January 16 1983 and Durrenmatt married again in 1984 to another actress, Charlotte Kerr. Durrenmatt also some of his own works and his drawings were exhibited in Neuchatel in 1976 and 1985, as well as in Zurich in 1978. Like Brecht, Durrenmatt explored the dramatic possibilities of epic theater. His plays are meant to involve the audience in a theoretical debate, rather than as purely passive entertainment. When he was 26, his first play, It Is Written, premiered to great controversy. The story of the play revolves around a battle between a sensation-craving cynic and a religious fanatic who takes scripture literally, all of this taking place while the city they live in is under siege. The play's opening night in April, 1947 caused fights and protests in the audience. His first major success was the play Romulus the Great. Set in the year 476 A. D. , the play explores the last days of the Roman Empire, presided over, and brought about by its last emperor. The Visit which tells of a rich benefactor visiting her beneficiaries, is the work best known in the United States. The satirical drama The Physicists which deals with issues concerning science and its responsibility for dramatic and even dangerous changes to our world has also been presented in translation. Radio plays published in English include Hercules in the Augean Stables, Incident at Twilight and The Mission of the Vega The two late works 'Labyrinth' and 'Turmbau zu Babel' are a collection of unfinished ideas, stories, and philosophical thoughts. In 1990, he gave two famous speeches, one in honour of Vaclav Havel, and the other in honour of Mikhail Gorbachev Durrenmatt often compared the three Abrahamic religions and Marxism, which he also saw as a religion. Even if there are several parallels between Durrenmatt and Brecht, Durrenmatt never took a political position, but represented a pragmatic philosophy of life. In 1969, he traveled in the USA, in 1974 to Israel, and in 1990 to Auschwitz in Poland. Durrenmatt died on December 14, 1990 in Neuchatel.

 

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 Black Looks: Race & Representation by bell hooks. Boston. 1992. South End Press. 200 pages. Cover design by Julie Ault and G. Watkins.

 

Any bell hooks book is worth a read. In this collection of 12 essays hooks takes on popular music, advertising, literature, television, historical narrative, and film in an exploration of race, representation, and resistance. Should be required reading for the planet. Her perspective is fresh and stimulating and definitely against the grain.

 

 

black looksFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   In these twelve new essays, feminist theorist and cultural critic bell hooks digs ever deeper into the personal and political consequences of contemporary representations of black women and men within our white supremacist culture. Taking on popular music, advertising, literature, television, historical narrative, and, most importantly, film, hooks consistently demonstrates the incisive intelligence and passion for justice that prompted Publishers Weekly to dub her 'one of the foremost black intellectuals in America today.'

 

hooks bell bell hooks is a writer and professor who speaks widely on issues of race, class, and gender. Her previous books include AIN'T I A WOMAN, FEMINIST THEORY, TALKING BACK, YEARNING, and most recently, with Cornel West, BREAKING BREAD: INSURGENT BLACK INTELLECTUAL LIFE.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Joke by Milan Kundera. New York. 1969. Coward McCann. Translated From The Czech By David Hamblyn & Oliver Stallybrass.

 

 

Later translated From the Czech by Michael Henry Heim in 1982, and then fully revised by the author & newly translated again by Michael Henry Heim. The 1982 edition provides English-language readers an important further means toward revaluation of THE JOKE. For reasons he describes in his Author's Note to that edition, Milan Kundera devoted much time to creating a completely revised translation that reflects his original as closely as any translation possibly can: reflects it in its fidelity not only to the words and syntax but also to the characteristic dictions and tonalities of the novel's narrators. The result is nothing less than the restoration of a classic.

 

joke kunderaFROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In 1992, a quarter century after THE JOKE was first published and several years after the collapse of the Soviet-imposed Czechoslovak regime, it becomes easier to put such implications into perspective in favor of valuing the book as what it truly is: great, stirring literature that sheds new light on the eternal themes of human existence. All too often, this brilliant novel of thwarted love and revenge miscarried has been read for its political implications. Now, a quarter century after THE JOKE was first published and several years after the collapse of the Soviet-imposed Czechoslovak regime, it becomes easier to put such implications into perspective in favor of valuing the book as what it truly is: great, stirring literature that sheds new light on the eternal themes of human existence. All too often, this brilliant novel of thwarted love and revenge miscarried has been read for its political implications.

 

 

Kundera Milan The son of a well-known pianist, Milan Kundera was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia. He was enrolled in the Czech Communist Party right after the Second World War, then debarred from it after the incidents of February, 1948 (the takeover of Prague), at which time he was a student. He worked as a laborer, then as a jazz musician, and finally ended up devoting himself to literature and film. He was a professor at the Prague Institute for Advanced Cinematographic Studies, where his students were the creators of the Czech New Wave in film. After the Russian invasion in 1968, he lost his post and saw all his books removed from the public libraries in his country. In 1975, he settled in France, and in 1979, the Czech government, responding to the publication of THE BOOK OF LAUGHTER AND FORGETTING, revoked his Czech citizenship. His first novel, THE JOKE, and his collection of stories, LAUGHABLE LOVES, appeared in print in Prague before 1968. His other novels have not been allowed publication in his fatherland. LIFE IS ELSEWHERE won the Prix Medicis for the best foreign novel published in France in 1973, and The Farewell Party won a similar prize, the Premio Mondello, for the best foreign novel published in Italy in 1976. Kundera’s works have been translated into twenty languages.

 

 

 

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The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino. New York. 1959. Random House. Translated From The Italian By Archibald Colquhoun. 219 pages. Jacket design by George Salter.

 

The story of a young Baron who rebels against eating snails by taking to the trees... and he never comes down.

 

 

baron in the treesFROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In 1767, when he was twelve years old, a rebellious Italian nobleman, Cosimo Piovasco di Rond?, reacted against his father's authoritarianism and the injustice of being forced to eat macabre dishes--beheaded snails among them--prepared by his diabolical sister Battista. He climbed a tree, as boys that age are wont to do. Unlike other boys, Cosimo never came down. THE BARON IN THE TREES is the wonderfully witty novel of Cosimo's unique arboreal existence. From the trees, Cosimo explained, he could see the earth more clearly. Free from the humdrum routine of an earthbound existence, the Baron had fantastic adventures with pirates, women and spies, and still had time to read, study, and ponder the deeper issues of the period. He corresponded with Diderot and Rousseau, became a military strategist, and outstared Napoleon when the Emperor paid him a visit. Dispensing truth and justice from wherever he might be, the Baron was friend to fruit thieves and noblemen alike. He converted the most feared bandit in the area into a dedicated bookworm, whose passion for literature led to his professional downfall. Women were quite willing to go out on a limb for Cosimo. The most daring of all was Viola, the exotic blonde whose love affair with Cosimo is one of the most intense and extraordinary in fiction. This beautifully written novel is a highly imaginative satire of eighteenth-century life and letters. Reminiscent of Voltaire's satirical romances, THE BARON IN THE TREES displays to dazzling effect Italo Calvino's sure sense of the sublime and the ridiculous.

 

 

Calvino ItaloItalo Calvino was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy, the Cosmicomics collection of short stories, and the novels Invisible Cities and If on a winter's night a traveler.

 

 

 

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 Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. New York. 1973. Viking Press. 760 pages. Jacket design by Marc Getter. 0670348325.

 

There is no denying that reading GRAVITY'S RAINBOW is an undertaking and I don't pretend to understand everything that Pynchon is up to in the novel. One thing is for sure though, it is a novel like no other. Parts of the book will stay with you long after you have finished it. Not for the faint of heart, but well worth the effort.

 

0670348325FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   GRAVITY'S RAINBOW is an epic postmodern novel written by Thomas Pynchon and first published on February 28, 1973. The narrative is set primarily in Europe at the end of World War II and centers around the design, production and dispatch of V-2 rockets by the German military, and, in particular, the quest undertaken by several of the characters to uncover the secret of a mysterious device named the 'Schwarzgerat,' or '00000. ' Frequently digressive and often playfully self-conscious, the novel subverts many of the traditional elements of plot and character development, traverses detailed, specialist knowledge drawn from a wide range of disciplines, and has earned a reputation as a 'difficult' book. In 1974, the three-member Pulitzer Prize jury on fiction supported GRAVITY'S RAINBOW for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. However, the other eleven members of the board overturned this decision, branding the book 'unreadable, turgid, overwritten, and obscene. ' The novel was nominated for the 1973 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and won the National Book Award in 1974. Since its publication, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW has spawned an enormous amount of literary criticism and commentary, including two reader's guides and several online concordances, and is widely regarded as Pynchon's magnum opus. GRAVITY'S RAINBOW is composed of four parts, each of these comprising a number of episodes whose divisions are marked by a graphical depiction of a series of squares. It has been suggested that these represent sprocket holes as in a reel of film, although they may also bear some relation to the engineer's graph paper on which the first draft of the novel was written. One of the book's editors has been quoted as saying that the aforementioned squares relate to censored correspondence sent between soldiers and their loved ones during the war. When family and friends received edited letters, the removed sections would be cut out in squared or rectangular sections. The squares that start each of the four parts would therefore be indicative of what is not written, or what is removed by an external editor or censor. The number of episodes in each part carries with it a numerological significance which is in keeping with the use of numerology and Tarot symbolism throughout the novel. Many facts in the novel are based on technical documents relating to the V-2 rockets. Equations featured in the text are correct. References to the works of Pavlov, Ouspensky, and Jung are based on Pynchon's actual research. The firing command sequence in German that is recited at the end of the novel is also correct and is probably copied in verbatim from the technical report produced by Operation Backfire. The novel is regarded by some as the greatest postmodern work of 20th century literature, while others have declared it unreadable. The three-member Pulitzer Prize jury on fiction unanimously supported GRAVITY'S RAINBOW for the 1974 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. However, the other eleven members of the fourteen-member Pulitzer board overturned this decision, calling the book 'unreadable', 'turgid', 'overwritten', and 'obscene', with at least one member confessing to having gotten only a third of the way through the book. The novel inspired the 1984 song 'Gravity's Angel' by Laurie Anderson. In her 2004 autobiographical performance 'The End of the Moon', Anderson said she once contacted Pynchon asking permission to adapt GRAVITY'S RAINBOW as an opera. Pynchon replied that he would allow her to do so with one condition: the opera had to be written for a single instrument: the banjo. Anderson said she took that as a polite 'no.'

 

 

Pynchon Thomas Thomas Pynchon is the author of V., THE CRYING OF LOT 49, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW, SLOW LEARNER, a collection of short stories, VINELAND and, MASON & DIXON. He received the national book award for Gravity's Rainbow in 1974.

 

 

 

 

 

 

happy pig    

 

 

 

 

 

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