(07/20/2014) Angelica's Smile: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery by Andrea Camilleri. New York. Penguin Books. 293 pages. paperback. 9780143123767. Cover design by Paul Buckley. Cover illustration by Andy Bridge. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. keywords: Mystery Sicily Literature Translated
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
The seventeenth installment of the beloved New York Times bestselling series that boasts more than 600,000 books in print The last four books in Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series have leapfrogged their way up the New York Times bestseller list, perfectly positioning Angelica's Smile to ascend to even greater heights. A rash of burglaries has got Inspector Salvo Montalbano stumped. The criminals are so brazen that their leader, the anonymous Mr. Z, starts sending the Sicilian inspector menacing letters. Among those burgled is the young and beautiful Angelica Cosulich, who reminds the inspector of the love-interest in Ludovico Ariosto's chivalric romance, Orlando Furioso. Besotted by Angelica's charms, Montalbano imagines himself back in the medieval world of jousts and battles. But when one of the burglars turns up dead, Montalbano must snap out of his fantasy and unmask his challenger.
Andrea Camilleri is the bestselling author of the popular Inspector Montalbano mystery series, as well as historical novels that take place in nineteenth-century Sicily. He lives in Rome. Stephen Sartarelli is an award-winning translator and poet. He lives in France.
(07/21/2014) Believe in People: The Essential Karel Capek by Karel Capek. London. 2010. Faber & Faber. 358 pages. paperback. 9780571231621. Design by Faber. Selected and Translated from the Czech by Sarka Tobrmanova-Kuhnova. With a preface by John Carey. keywords: Literature Czech Translated
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
A hugely engaging collection of pieces by Karel Capek, one of the great European writers of the 1ast century. Playful and provocative, irreverent and inspiring, Capek is perhaps the best-loved Czech writer of all time. Novelist and playwright, famed for inventing the word ‘robot’ in his play RUR, Capek was a vital part of the burgeoning artistic scene of Czechoslovakia of the 1920s and 30s. But it is in his journalism - his brief, sparky and delightful columns - that Capek can be found at his most succinct, direct and appealing. This selection of Capek’s writing, translated into English for the first time, contains his essential ideas. The pieces are animated by his passion for the ordinary and the everyday - from laundry to toothache, from cats to cleaning windows - his love of language, his lyrical observations of the world and above all his humanism, his belief in people. His letters to his wife Olga, also published here, are extraordinarily moving and beautifully distinct from his other writings. Uplifting, enjoyable and endlessly wise, Believe in People is a collection to treasure.
John Carey is Emeritus Merton Professor of English at Oxford University, a distinguished critic, reviewer and broadcaster, and the author of several books, including studies of Donne, Dickens and Thackeray, as well as The Intellectuals and the Masses. He is the editor of Faber anthologies of Reportage, Utopias and Science. His most recent book, What Good are the Arts?, was praised by Blake Morrison as 'incisive and inspirational'.
(07/22/2014) Homage To The Lame Wolf: Selected Poems 1956-75 by Vasko Popa. Oberlin. 1979. Field Translation Series/Oberlin College. 132 pages.. hardcover. 0932440029. Cover design & illustration by Stephen J. Farkas, Jr. Translated from the Serbian & With An Introduction by Charles Simic. Field Translations Series 2. keywords: Poetry Serbia Literature Translated
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Vasko Popa, the most important living Yugoslav poet, is presented here in a book-length American translation for the first time. His poetry has received wide international recognition and has been translated into almost every European language. The poems in this selection cover his career from the mid-1950’s to the present. Popa lived and worked in Belgrade.
Vasko Popa (June 29, 1922 - January 5, 1991) was a Serbian poet of Romanian descent. Popa was born in the village of Grebenac, Vojvodina, Yugoslavia (present-day Serbia). After finishing high school, he enrolled as a student of the University of Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy. He continued his studies at the University of Bucharest and in Vienna. During World War II, he fought as a partisan and was imprisoned in a German concentration camp in Beckerek (today Zrenjanin, Serbia). After the war, in 1949, Popa graduated from the Romanic group of the Faculty of Philosophy at Belgrade University. He published his first poems in the magazines Književne novine (Literary Magazine) and the daily Borba (Struggle). From 1954 until 1979 he was the editor of the publishing house Nolit. In 1953 he published his first major verse collection, Kora (Bark). His other important work included Nepocin-polje (No-Rest Field, 1956), Sporedno nebo (Secondary Heaven, 1968), Uspravna zemlja (Earth Erect, 1972), Vucja so (Wolf Salt, 1975), and Od zlata jabuka (Apple of Gold, 1978), an anthology of Serbian folk literature. His Collected Poems, 1943–1976, a compilation in English translation, appeared in 1978, with an introduction by the British poet Ted Hughes. On May 29, 1972 Vasko Popa founded The Literary Municipality Vršac and originated a library of postcards, called Slobodno lišce (Free Leaves). In the same year, he was elected to become a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Vasko Popa is one of the founders of Vojvodina Academy of Sciences and Arts, established on December 14, 1979 in Novi Sad. He is the first laureate of the Branko’s award (Brankova nagrada) for poetry, established in honour of the poet Branko Radicevic. In the year 1957 Popa received another award for poetry, Zmaj’s Award (Zmajeva nagrada), which honours the poet Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj. In 1965 Popa received the Austrian state award for European literature. In 1976 he received the Branko Miljkovic poetry award, in 1978 the Yugoslav state AVNOJ Award, and in 1983 the literary award Skender Kulenovic.
In 1995, the town of Vršac established a poetry award named after Vasko Popa. It is awarded annually for the best book of poetry published in Serbian language. The award ceremony is held on the day of Popa’s birthday, 29 June. Vasko Popa died on January 5, 1991 in Belgrade and is buried in the Aisle of the Deserving Citizens in Belgrade’s New Cemetery. Vasko Popa wrote in a succinct modernist style that owed much to surrealism and Serbian folk traditions (via the influence of Serbian poet Momcilo Nastasijevic) and absolutely nothing to the Socialist Realism that dominated Eastern European literature after World War II; in fact, he was the first in post-World War II Yugoslavia to break with the Socialist Realism. He created a unique poetic language, mostly elliptical, that combines a modern form, often expressed through colloquial speech and common idioms and phrases, with old, oral folk traditions of Serbia – epic and lyric poems, stories, myths, riddles, etc. In his work, earthly and legendary motifs mix, myths come to surface from the collective subconscious, the inheritance and everyday are in constant interplay, and the abstract is reflected in the specific and concrete, forming a unique and extraordinary poetic dialectics.In The New York Times obituary, the author mentions that the English poet Ted Hughes lauded Popa as an ‘epic poet’ with a ‘vast vision’. The author also mentions that in his introduction to ‘Vasko Popa: Collected Poems 1943-1976,’ translated by Anne Pennington Hughes says: ‘As Popa penetrates deeper into his life, with book after book, it begins to look like a universe passing through a universe. It is one of the most exciting things in modern poetry, to watch this journey being made.’ Since his first book of verse, Kora (Bark), Vasko Popa has gained steadily in stature and popularity. His poetic achievement - eight volumes of verse written over a period of thirty eight years - has received extensive critical acclaim both in his native land and beyond. He is one of the most translated Serbian poets and at the time he had become one of the most influential World poets.
Charles Simic is the author of six volumes of poetry, of which DISMANTLING THE SILENCE, RETURN TO A PLACE LIT BY A GLASS OF MILK, and CHARON’S COSMOLOGY are the most recent. A professor of English at the University of New Hampshire, he has published many other translations of Yugoslav poetry.
(07/19/2014) Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe by Simon Winder. New York. Farrar Straus Giroux. 551 pages. hardcover. 9780374175290. Jacket design and illustration by Oliver Munday. keywords: History Hapsburg Europe
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
A charmingly personal history of Hapsburg Europe, as lively as it is informative, by the author of Germania For centuries much of Europe was in the hands of the very peculiar Habsburg family. An unstable mixture of wizards, obsessives, melancholics, bores, musicians and warriors, they saw off-through luck, guile and sheer mulishness-any number of rivals, until finally packing up in 1918. From their principal lairs along the Danube they ruled most of Central Europe and Germany and interfered everywhere-indeed the history of Europe hardly makes sense without them. Danubia, Simon Winder's hilarious new book, plunges the reader into a maelstrom of alchemy, skeletons, jewels, bear-moats, unfortunate marriages and a guinea-pig village. Full of music, piracy, religion and fighting, it is the history of a strange dynasty, and the people they ruled, who spoke many different languages, lived in a vast range of landscapes, believed in rival gods and often showed a marked ingratitude towards their oddball ruler in Vienna. Readers who discovered Simon Winder's storytelling genius and infectious curiosity in Germania will be delighted by the eccentric and fascinating tale of the Habsburgs and their world.
(07/18/2014) The Complete New Yorker by David Remnick (introduction). New York. 2005. Knopf. hardcover. 123 page booklet plus 8 DVDs. keywords: Literature America New Yorker Magazines Anthology. 1400064740.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
EVERY PAGE OF EVERY ISSUE ON 8 DVD-ROMS, WITH A COMPANION BOOK OF HIGHLIGHTS. A cultural monument, a journalistic gold mine, an essential research tool, an amazing time machine. What has the New Yorker said about Prohibition, Duke Ellington, the Second World War, Bette Davis, boxing, Winston Churchill, Citizen Kane, the invention of television, the Cold War, baseball, the lunar landing, Willem de Kooning, Madonna, the internet, and 9/11? Eighty years of The New Yorker offers a detailed, entertaining history of the life of the city, the nation, and the world since 1925. Every article, every cartoon, every illustration, every advertisement, exactly as it appeared on the printed page, in full color. Flip through full spreads of the magazine to browse headlines, art work, ads, and cartoons, or zoom in on a single page, for closer viewing. Print any pages or covers you choose, or bookmark pages with your own notes. Our powerful search environment allows you to home in on the pieces you want to see. Our entire history is catalogued by date, contributor, department, and subject.
(07/17/2014) Hunter's Trap by C. W. Smith. Dallas. 1996. 253 pages. hardcover. 0875651623. Cover art & design by Barbara Whitehead. keywords: Literature Mystery Texas.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
On the night of the vernal equinox in 1930, the novel's protagonist, Wilbur Smythe, puts in motion his plan to avenge the deaths of his wife and his employer, a wealthy Kiowa, both murdered by a banker greedy for the Kiowa's oil money. Smythe intends to kidnap the banker's seventeen-year-old daughter, Sissy, and hold her hostage to torment her father before killing him. Hunter's Trap further explores the clash of values and cultures that formed the core of Smith's earlier novel based on historical events, Buffalo Nickel. In this new novel, he has written a blend of early twentieth-century ‘western’ with Greek tragedy and has given the tension-filled story a sophisticated gloss of 1930s determinism and pre-Christian paganism, so that the horrific outcome of Smythe's plan to use the daughter of his nemesis has a fateful inevitability and a gruesome but implacable logic. Set largely in El Paso and its Mexican neighbor, Juarez, the story weaves together the strong political and social undercurrents of the Depression. Beneath its texture of place and time, however, the story reasserts the age-old wisdom of how thin the margin is between good and evil in members of the human ‘family.’
C. W. Smith (born 1940) is a novelist, short-story and essay writer who serves as a Dedman Family Distinguished Professor in the Department of English at Southern Methodist University. C. W. Smith (full name Charles William Smith) was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, and grew up in Hobbs, New Mexico. He received a B.A. in English from the University of North Texas in 1964 and an M.A. in English from Northern Illinois University in 1967. After teaching at Southwest Missouri State University, he moved to Mexico for a year to work on his first novel, Thin Men of Haddam. Published by Viking/Grossman in 1973, the book won the Jesse H. Jones Award from the Texas Institute of Letters for the Best Novel by a Texan or about Texas and was recognized by the Southwestern Library Association for making a ‘distinguished contribution to an understanding of a vital social issue in the American Southwest.’ Smith has said that his goal since beginning his first novel has been ‘to document in a dramatic fashion the cultural conflicts of the American Southwest as well as the universal, existential dilemmas that arise from being human regardless of place and time.’ In pursuit of that goal, his second novel, set in West Texas among oil field workers and small-town citizens, sought to portray the lives of young people trapped in circumstances too small for their aspirations.
(07/16/2014) Omeros by Derek Walcott. New York. 1990. Farrar Straus Giroux. hardcover. 325 pages. Jacket painting by Derek Walcott. keywords: Poetry Black Caribbean St.Lucia Literature. 0374225915.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Derek Walcott’s OMEROS is a poem in seven books, of circular narrative design. The title is the Greek name for Homer, invoked here by a Greek girl in exile in America, the invocation marking the beginning of a long journey home - through an intricate web of places and histories and associations - for the poem’s characters. Achille, the protagonist, has set out on a fishing expedition from the island of Saint Lucia when he is carried back across the centuries to his ancestral home on the West African coast. On the journey, he is forced to leave behind his friend Philoctete, who is suffering from an incurable leg wound. Achille and Philoctete are simple fishermen, but as Walcott’s poem unfolds, they and their tribulations take on the specific gravity and resonance of their mythic Greek namesakes. The figure of Omeros, too, recurs in various guises, as a native fisherman, an Indian shaman, a vagrant in London, serving as a touchstone for the characters’ journeys toward the spirit’s proper home, both in the present and in the classical past. There are two currents of history in Derek Walcott’s stunning new poem, his longest and most ambitious work to date: the visible history charted in events - the tribal losses of the American Indian, the tragedy of African enslavement - and the interior, unwritten epic fashioned from the suffering of the individual in exile. These two strands of experience, the public and the private, are enacted in the place where history itself has no foundation - in the sea common to both archipelagoes, Greek and Antillean.
(07/15/2014) Race Men by Hazel V. Carby. Cambridge. 1998. Harvard University Press. hardcover. 228 pages. Jacket art: Diedra Harris-Kelley. ‘Harmony,’ 1994. Jacket design by Annamarie McMahon Why. The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures. keywords: Black Race Politics History Feminism America African American. 0674745582.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Who are the 'race men' standing for black America? It is a question Hazel Carby rejects, along with its long-standing assumption: that a particular type of black male can represent the race. A searing critique of definitions of black masculinity at work in American culture, Race Men shows how these defining images play out socially, culturally, and politically for black and white society--and how they exclude women altogether. Carby begins by looking at images of black masculinity in the work of W. E. B. Du Bois. Her analysis of The Souls of Black Folk reveals the narrow and rigid code of masculinity that Du Bois applied to racial achievement and advancement--a code that remains implicitly but firmly in place today in the work of celebrated African American male intellectuals. The career of Paul Robeson, the music of Huddie Ledbetter, and the writings of C. L. R. James on cricket and on the Haitian revolutionary, Toussaint L'Ouverture, offer further evidence of the social and political uses of representations of black masculinity. In the music of Miles Davis and the novels of Samuel R. Delany, Carby finds two separate but related challenges to conventions of black masculinity. Examining Hollywood films, she traces through the career of Danny Glover the development of a cultural narrative that promises to resolve racial contradictions by pairing black and white men--still leaving women out of the picture. A powerful statement by a major voice among black feminists, Race Men holds out the hope that by understanding how society has relied upon affirmations of masculinity to resolve social and political crises, we can learn to transcend them.
HAZEL CARBY is Chair of African and African American Studies and a Professor of American Studies at Yale University. She is the author of RECONSTRUCTING WOMANHOOD: THE EMERGENCE OF THE AFRO-AMERICAN WOMAN NOVELIST.
(07/14/2014) Freud And Man's Soul by Bruno Bettelheim. New York. 1982. 114 pages. January 1983. hardcover. 0394524810. Jacket design by Robert Anthony. keywords: Psychology Freud.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
The world-renowned psychoanalyst and child psychologist here gives us an unprecedented reading of Freud - and an exhilarating vision of the true uses of psychoanalysis. He demonstrates that the English translations of Freud’s writings not only distort some of the central concepts of psychoanalysis but actually make it impossible for the reader to recognize that Freud’s ultimate concern was man’s soul, the basic element of our common human what it is, how it manifests itself in everything we do and dream. And he shows that these translations, by masking much of the essential humanism of Freud’s work, have led to a tragic misunderstanding and widespread misuse of psychoanalysis, particularly in America. Reminding us that Freud analyzed his own dreams, his own slips of the tongue, and the reasons he himself made mistakes, Dr. Bettelheim makes clear that Freud created psychoanalysis not so much as a method of analyzing the behavior of other people but as a way for each of us to gain access to (and, where possible, control of) his own unconscious – a goal impeded by English translations in which Freud becomes impersonal esoteric, abstract, ‘scientific’ translations that discourage the reader from embarking on his own voyage of self-discovery and that make it easy for him to distance himself from what Freud sought to teach about the inner life of man and of the reader himself. Startling examples are given of mistranslations. Dr. Bettelheim (who is, as Freud was, a German-speaking Viennese) reveals how in the English versions nearly all of Freud’s references to the soul have been corrupted (for example, Seelentätigkeit – ‘activity of the soul’ – is translated as ‘mental activity’) He demonstrates that Freud’s English translators, because of their determination to perceive psychoanalysis as a medical science, have consistently resorted to the technical Greco-Latinisms of the medical profession - with such terms as ‘parapraxis,’ ‘cathexis,’ and ‘scopophilia’ - in rendering German words that Freud chose specifically for their humanistic resonance, for their power to evoke in his German readers not only an intellectual but also an emotional response. And Dr. Bettelheim makes us realize how these mistranslations - perhaps most notable among them the rendering into ‘English’ of the homely German words ich and es with the distant Latin ego and id - have had a profound effect on both the practice and the history of psychoanalysis. This eloquent, passionately argued, deeply illuminating book is urgent reading for everyone interested in psychoanalysis and for all who seek a humanistic approach to psychology - so central to Freud and so unrecognizable in the English translations of his writings. It is certain to take its place among the classic works of Bruno Bettelheim.
Bruno Bettelheim was born in Vienna in 1903, received his doctorate at the University of Vienna, and came to America in 1939. He was distinguishcd Professor of Education Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of both psychology and psychiatry at the University of Chicago. His previous books include CHILDREN OF THE DREAM, THE INFORMED HEART, LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH, A HOME FOR THE HEART, SURVIVING AND OTHER ESSAYS, and, with Karen Zelan, ON LEARNING TO READ. In 1977 he won both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for THE USES OF ENCHANTMENT.
(07/13/2014) A Good Man In Africa by William Boyd. New York. 1982. Morrow. hardcover. 342 pages. keywords: Literature England Africa. 0688008208.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
A Good Man in Africa is William Boyd's classic, prize-winning debut novel. It is winner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham Prize. Escapee from suburbia, overweight, oversexed. .Morgan Leafy isn't overburdened with worldly success. Actually, he is refreshingly free from it. But then, as a representative of Her Britannic Majesty in tropical Kinjanja, it was not very constructive of him to get involved in wholesale bribery. Nor was it exactly oiling his way up the ladder to hunt down the improbably pointed breasts of his boss' daughter when officially banned from horizontal delights by a nasty dose. .Falling back on his deep-laid reserves of misanthropy and guile, Morgan has to fight off the sea of humiliation, betrayal and ju-ju that threatens to wash over him. William Boyd has received world-wide acclaim for his novels. They are: A Good Man in Africa (1981, winner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham Prize), An Ice Cream War (1982, shortlisted for the 1982 Booker Prize and winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), Stars and Bars (1984), The New Confessions (1987), Brazzaville Beach (1990, winner of the McVitie Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize), The Blue Afternoon (1993, winner of the 1993 Sunday Express Book of the Year Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction, 1995), Armadillo (1998) and Any Human Heart (2002, winner of the Prix Jean Monnet). He is also the author of a collection of screenplays and a memoir of his school days, School Ties (1985); and three collections of short stories: On the Yankee Station (1981), The Destiny of Nathalie X (1995) and Fascination (2004). He also wrote the speculative memoir Nat Tate: an American Artist - the publication of which, in the spring of 1998, caused something of a stir on both sides of the Atlantic. A collection of his non-fiction writings, 1978-2004, entitled Bamboo, was published in October 2005. His ninth novel, Restless, was published in September 2006 (Costa Book Award, Novel of the Year 2006) and his tenth novel, Ordinary Thunderstorms, published September 2009. His novel Waiting For Sunrise was published in February 2011. William Boyd, CBE (born 7 March 1952) is a British novelist and screenwriter resident in London. Boyd was born in Accra, Ghana, and spent his early life in Ghana and Nigeria. He was educated at Gordonstoun school; and then the University of Nice, France, the University of Glasgow, and finally Jesus College, Oxford. Between 1980 and 1983 he was a lecturer in English at St Hilda's College, Oxford, and it was while he was there that his first novel, A Good Man in Africa (1981), was published. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005. Although his novels have been short-listed for major prizes, he has never had the same publicity as his contemporaries. Boyd was selected in 1983 as one of the 20 ‘Best of Young British Novelists’ in a promotion run by Granta magazine and the Book Marketing Council. Boyd's novels include: A Good Man in Africa, a study of a disaster-prone British diplomat operating in West Africa, for which he won the Whitbread Book award and Somerset Maugham Award in 1981; An Ice-Cream War, set against the background of the World War I campaigns in colonial East Africa, which won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was nominated for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1982; Brazzaville Beach, published in 1991, which follows a female scientist researching chimpanzee behaviour in Africa; and Any Human Heart, written in the form of the journals of a fictitious twentieth century British writer, which was long-listed for the Booker Prize in 2002. Restless, the tale of a young woman who discovers that her mother had been recruited as a spy during World War II, was published in 2006 and won the Novel Award in the 2006 Costa Book Awards. Boyd published Waiting for Sunrise: A Novel in early 2012. On 11 April 2012 it was announced that Boyd would write the next James Bond novel. Boyd says the book, Solo, will be set in 1969. Jonathan Cape will publish the book in the UK in the autumn of 2013. Boyd used James Bond creator Ian Fleming as a character in his novel Any Human Heart. Fleming recruits the book's protagonist, Logan Mountstuart, to naval intelligence during World War Two. Boyd has also worked with three of the actors who have portrayed Bond in the film series: Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. As a screenwriter Boyd has written a number of feature film and television productions. The feature films include: Scoop (1987), adapted from the Evelyn Waugh novel; Stars and Bars (1988), adapted from Boyd's own novel; Mister Johnson (1990), based on the 1939 novel by Joyce Cary; A Good Man in Africa (1994), also adapted from his own novel; and The Trench (1999) which he also directed. He was one of a number of writers who worked on Chaplin (1992). His television screenwriting credits include: Good and Bad at Games (1983), adapted from Boyd's short story about English public school life; Dutch Girls (1985); Armadillo (2001), adapted from his own novel; A Waste of Shame (2005) about Shakespeare; Any Human Heart (2010), adapted from his own novel; and Restless (2012), also adapted from his own novel. In 1998, Boyd published Nat Tate: An American Artist 1928-1960, which presents the paintings and tragic biography of a supposed New York-based 1950s abstract expressionist painter named Nat Tate, who actually never existed and was, along with his paintings, a creation of Boyd's. When the book was initially published, it was not revealed that it was a work of fiction, and some were duped by the hoax; it was launched at a lavish party, with excerpts read by David Bowie (who was in on the joke), and a number of prominent members of the art world claimed to remember the artist. It caused quite a stir once the truth was revealed. The name ‘Nat Tate’ is derived from the names of the two leading British art galleries: the National Gallery and the Tate Gallery. Nat Tate also appears in Any Human Heart, also by Boyd, with a wry footnote to the 1998 book. Boyd adapted two Anton Chekhov short stories - A Visit to Friends and My Life (The Story of a Provincial) - to create the play Longing. The play, directed by Nina Raine, stars Jonathan Bailey, Tamsin Greig, Natasha Little, Eve Ponsonby, John Sessions and Catrin Stewart. Boyd, who was theatre critic for the University of Glasgow in the 1970s and has many actor friends, refers to his ambition to write a play as finally getting ‘this monkey off my back.’
(07/12/2014) The President's Daughter by Barbara Chase-Riboud. New York. 1994. Crown. hardcover. 469 pages. October 1994. Jacket art: Monticello, 1821, by Jefferson Vail. Jacket design by Ken Sansome. keywords: Literature Black America Women African American. 0517598612.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
In 1979 Barbara Chase-Riboud made literary history when she published SALLY HEMINGS to critical praise. Not only did the novel spend six weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and sell 1.6 million copies worldwide, SALLY HEMINGS also accomplished the impossible: It breathed life into a historical enigma. The novel also established Sally Hemings as the emblematic incarnation of many things that were forbidden in this country at that time. Now, Barbara Chase-Riboud is back with THE PRESIDENT’S DAUGHTER, the provocative continuation of the irrefutable historical chronicle of Sally Hemings - Thomas Jefferson’s mistress, the mother of his children, and the slave he would never set free - even when the scandal nearly cost him the presidency. Epic in proportion, yet rendered in exquisite detail by a writer with the eye of a historian and the heart of a storyteller, THE PRESIDENT‘S DAUGHTER begins in 1822 and tells the story of Harriet Hemings, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings’s beautiful and headstrong slave daughter. Harriet is allowed to run away from Monticello and pass for white, as Jefferson had promised Sally their children would be able to do. Harriet experiences the turbulent events leading up to the American Civil War and is eventually thrust into the very heart of the Battle of Gettysburg, where she becomes a kind of Philadelphian Scarlett O’Hara. As THE PRESIDENT’S DAUGHTER draws to a close during the 1876 Centennial celebration in Philadelphia, Harriet receives an anonymous letter that contains the memoirs of her brother Madison Hemings - who is living his life on the black side of the color line. Harriet realizes that someone in her entourage, perhaps even her own husband, knows she is indeed the president’s daughter. In the Chase-Riboud tradition, THE PRESIDENT’S DAUGHTER is more than just the good read it seems at first glance. In truth, not since Mark Twain in the classic masterpiece PUDD’NHEAD WILSON has a major American writer evoked the ambiguity, pathos, complexity, and emotion of the American identity so brilliantly. Barbara Chase-Riboud has written another classic masterpiece of race, love, and color in America. Barbara Chase-Riboud (born June 26, 1939) is an American novelist, poet, sculptor and visual artist best known for her historical fiction. Much of her work has explored themes related to slavery and exploitation. Chase-Riboud attained international recognition with the publication of her first novel, SALLY HEMINGS, in 1979. The novel has been described as the ‘first full blown imagining’ of Hemings' life as a slave and her relationship with Jefferson. In addition to stimulating considerable controversy, the book earned Chase-Riboud the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for the best novel written by an American woman. She has received numerous honors for her work, including the Carl Sandburg Prize for poetry and the Women's Caucus for Art's lifetime achievement award. In 1965, she became the first American woman to visit the People's Republic of China after the revolution and in 1996, she was knighted by the French Government and received the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
(07/11/2014) Collected Poems by Stephane Mallarme. Berkeley. 1994. University Of California Press. hardcover. 283 pages. Jacket illustration by Robert Garrison, 'la vache enragee'. Translated from the French & With A Commentary by Henry Weinfield. keywords: Poetry France Translated Literature. 0520081889.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898) is one of the giants of nineteenth-century French poetry. Leader of the Symbolist movement, he exerted a powerful influence on modern literature and thought, which can be traced in the works of Paul Valéry, W.B. Yeats, and Jacques Derrida. From his early twenties until the time of his death, Mallarmé produced poems of astonishing originality and beauty, many of which have become classics. In the Collected Poems, Henry Weinfield brings the oeuvre of this European master to life for an English-speaking audience, essentially for the first time. All the poems that the author chose to retain are here, superbly rendered by Weinfield in a translation that comes remarkably close to Mallarmé's own voice. Weinfield conveys not simply the meaning but the spirit and music of the French originals, which appear en face. Whether writing in verse or prose, or inventing an altogether new genre--as he did in the amazing ‘Coup de Dés’--Mallarmé was a poet of both supreme artistry and great difficulty. To illuminate Mallarmé's poetry for twentieth-century readers, Weinfield provides an extensive commentary that is itself an important work of criticism. He sets each poem in the context of the work as a whole and defines the poems' major symbols. Also included are an introduction and a bibliography. Publication of this collection is a major literary event in the English-speaking world: here at last is the work of a major figure, masterfully translated.
Henry Weinfield, Professor of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame, is author of three collections of poetry and The Poet without a Name: Gray's Elegy and the Problem of History (1991).
(07/10/2014) Her Husband by Luigi Pirandello. Durham. 2000. Duke University Press. hardcover. 244 pages. Translated from the Italian by Martha King and Mary Ann Frese Witt. keywords: Literature Sicily Italy Translated. 0822326000.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
One of the twentieth century’s greatest literary artists and winner of the Nobel prize in 1934, Luigi Pirandello wrote the novel Her Husband in 1911, before he produced any of the well-known plays with which his name is most often associated today. Her Husband—translated here for the first time into English—is a profoundly entertaining work, by turns funny, bitingly satirical, and tinged with anguish. As important as any of the other works in Pirandello’s oeuvre, it portrays the complexities of male/female relations in the context of a newly emerging, small but vocal Italian feminist movement. Evoking in vivid detail the literary world in Rome at the turn of the century, Her Husband tells the story of Silvia Roncella, a talented young female writer, and her husband Giustino Boggiolo. The novel opens with their arrival in Rome after having left their provincial southern Italian hometown following the success of Silvia’s first novel, the rather humorously titled House of Dwarves. As his wife’s self-appointed (and self-important) promoter, protector, counselor, and manager, Giustino becomes the primary target of Pirandello’s satire. But the couple’s relationship—and their dual career—is also complicated by a lively supporting cast of characters, including literary bohemians with avant-garde pretensions and would-be aristocratic esthetes who are all too aware of the newly acquired power of journalists and the publishing establishment to make or break their careers. Having based many of the characters—including Silvia and Giustino—on actual literary acquaintances of his, Pirandello reacted to the novel’s controversial reception by not allowing it to be reprinted after the first printing sold out. Not until after his death were copies again made available in Italy. Readers will find Her Husband eerily evocative of the present in myriad ways—not the least of which is contemporary society’s ongoing transformation wrought by the changing roles of men and women, wives and husbands.
LUIGI PIRANDELLO was born on June 28, 1867, in Agrigento, Sicily. After attending secondary school in Palermo, he went, at the age of eighteen, to the University of Rome. The following year he transferred to the University of Bonn. In Germany he studied romance philology and philosophy, started to write poetry, and completed a translation of Goethe’s ROMAN ELEGIES. On his return to Rome, Pirandello was urged by his fellow Sicilian, the novelist Capuana, to try his hand at prose writing. In the short-story form, Pirandello’s genius began to emerge. In the twenty years from 1894 to the outbreak of World War I he published innumerable short stories and four novels. In an experimental mood, Pirandello then turned to the stage, attempting at first to convey as vividly as possible the attitudes and speech of his native island. A couple of regional plays preceded his first stage success, RIGHT YOU ARE IF YOU THINK YOU ARE, which had its premiere in 1917. From then on Pirandello wrote forty-odd plays in relatively quick succession. He was fifty-four when his drama SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR brought him international acclaim. In 1934 Pirandello was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died a year and a half later.
(07/09/2014) The African-American Novel In The Age Of Reaction: Three Classics by William L. Andrews (editor)
(07/09/2014) The African-American Novel In The Age Of Reaction: Three Classics by William L. Andrews (editor). New York. 1992. Mentor/New American Library. paperback. 587 pages. July 1992. ME2849. Edited & With An Introduction by William L. Andrews. Includes-IOLA LEROY by Frances E. W. Harper, THE MARROW OF TRADITION by Charles W. Chesnutt, & THE SPORT OF THE GODS by Paul Laurence Dunbar. keywords: Literature Black America Mentor Slavery Paperback Literary Criticism. 0451628497.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
‘Out of the race must come its own defenders. With [African-Americans] the pen is mightier than the sword. It is the wagon of civilization, and they must use it in their own defense.’ - Frances E. W. Harper. In 1896 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the South’s ‘separate but equal’ racial doctrine. Around this time, three powerful but very different black voices responded in protest, and they did so in the three exceptional novels collected here. Frances E. W. Harper’s IOLA LEROY follows the struggles and soul-searching of a light-skinned black woman during the turbulent years of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Charles W. Chesnutt’s THE MARROW OF TRADITION knits together the lives of a rich white family and a mixed-race couple who face the violent results of white supremacy in a North Carolina town. Dramatically different is Paul Laurence Dunbar’s THE SPORT OF THE GODS, the first extensive portrayal in fiction of twentieth-century Harlem - and a disturbing depiction of the plight of black families in the urban ghetto that anticipates the writings of Richard Wright. Widely read by contemporary audiences, these novels remain significant as works that influenced a nation’s conscience as well as fine examples of early African-American fiction whose time has come to be recognized and revered.
(07/08/2014) Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History by Eduardo Galeano. New York. 2013. Nation Books. hardcover. 423 pages. Jacket design by Nicole Caputo. Jacket image by Coco Cano. Translated from the Spanish by Mark Fried. keywords: Literature Translated Uruguay Latin America Calendar History World. 9781568587479.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Unfurling like a medieval book of days, each page of Eduardo Galeano’s Children of the Days has an illuminating story that takes inspiration from that date of the calendar year, resurrecting the heroes and heroines who have fallen off the historical map, but whose lives remind us of our darkest hours and sweetest victories. Challenging readers to consider the human condition and our own choices, Galeano elevates the little-known heroes of our world and decries the destruction of the intellectual, linguistic, and emotional treasures that we have all but forgotten. Readers will discover many inspiring narratives in this collection of vignettes: the Brazilians who held a “smooch-in” to protest against a dictatorship for banning kisses that “undermined public morals”; the astonishing day Mexico invaded the United States; and the “sacrilegious” women who had the effrontery to marry each other in a church in the Galician city of A Coruna in 1901. Galeano also highlights individuals such as Pedro Fernandes Sardinha, the first bishop of Brazil, who was eaten by CaetÉ Indians off the coast of Alagoas, as well as Abdul Kassem Ismael, the grand vizier of Persia, who kept books safe from war by creating a walking library of 117,000 tomes aboard four hundred camels, forming a mile-long caravan. Beautifully translated by Galeano’s longtime collaborator, Mark Fried, Children of the Days is a majestic humanist treasure that shows us how to live and how to remember. It awakens the best in us.
Eduardo Hughes Galeano (born 3 September 1940) is a Uruguayan journalist, writer and novelist. His best known works are Memoria del fuego (Memory of Fire Trilogy, 1986) and Las venas abiertas de América Latina (Open Veins of Latin America, 1971) which have been translated into 20 languages and transcend orthodox genres: combining fiction, journalism, political analysis, and history. The author himself has proclaimed his obsession as a writer saying, ‘I'm a writer obsessed with remembering, with remembering the past of America above all and above all that of Latin America, intimate land condemned to amnesia.’
(07/07/2014) Black Awakening In Capitalist America: An Analytic History by Robert L. Allen. Garden City. 1969. Doubleday. hardcover. 251 pages. Jacket design by Al Nagy. keywords: African American Black History Politics America.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Robert L. Allen has written a profound and complete account of the awakening of oppressed black people in America’s capitalist economy, and the inability of that economy to deal with proletarian dissatisfaction, agitation and revolution. In analyzing the most significant black movements, the author traces a history peopled by the most significant figures of the black awakening (LeRoi Jones, Harold Cruse, Stokely Carmichael, Rap Brown, Roy Wilkins, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and others.) And through their pronouncements and political tactics he illuminates the most significant forces in America’s revolutionary ferment. A lucid, impartial and courageous book, BLACK AWAKENING IN CAPITALIST AMERICA presents the colonial suppression of the black community in a society where racial prejudice is but one facet of an injustice largely spawned by corporate capitalism. The questions raised are not only about racial inequality, but whether our traditional capitalist morality can accommodate the needs of the underprivileged and alienated, not whether America is right or wrong, but whether or not it is a viable society for our drastically changing times.
Robert L. Allen’s journalistic background has given him ample experience to assume the role of chronicler of the black awakening. As a reporter for the Guardian, a political newspaper in San Francisco, he observed firsthand many of the most significant black movements.
(07/06/2014) All About H. Hatterr by G. V. Desani. New York. 1951. Farrar Straus & Young. 300 pages. Hardcover. keywords: Literature India Anglo-Indian
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
It is seldom that a publisher has a chance to present a book like ALL ABOUT H. HATTERR. In England, Mr. Desani’s book has already entered the literary scene as a succès d’estime on a prodigious scale. T. S. Eliot called it ‘Certainly a remarkab1e book. In all my experience, I have not met with anything quite like it. It is amazing that anyone should be able to sustain a piece of work in this style and tempo at such length.’ And other British critics, in an attempt to label this new Anglo-Indian writer, have said almost everything possible: ‘A literary hellzapoppin’ (The Tribune); ‘riotously funny . . . Mr. Desani is the playboy of the English language . . . the Danny Kaye of literature’ (Harold Brighouse in the Manchester Guardian); ‘Joyce, Sterne, Rabelais. Miller, Runyon and Saroyan - dash of them all, but unique enough to stand on its feet’ (Life and Letters). The author explains H. HATTERR simply as a portrait of a man. He is the popular mind expressing itself at its best, at its worst, now bawdy, then vulgar, but important because he’s us.’ H. HATTERR is Desani’s imaginary Anglo-Indian, who, by recounting amusing tales of his life, gives depth and viewpoint to the author’s own philosophical beliefs. This is a book of many ‘morals,’ some of which are accepted as moral. But Desani’s underlying feeling seems to be that life is tragic only because it is a joke of which we cannot see the point. Desani uses an unconventional style that is not ‘streams of consciousness’ but emphasizes the informal conversational approach of Hatterr, and aids in exaggerating the minor tragedies in the comedy of life. But the only way to approach ALL ABOUT H. HATTERR is to read it.
G. V. Desani was born on July 8, 1909 in Nairobi, Kenya, the son of an Indian merchant, and was reared in India. In the late 1930s, and throughout the war, he was a BBC broadcaster and lectured on India throughout England. All About H. Hatterr was written and published in 1948, causing an immediate sensation and eventually achieving permanent fame as one of the greatest Anglo-Indian novels of the century. From the early 1950s to the mid-1960s, Mr. Desani studied Buddhism and Hindu culture in seclusion in India and Burma. He came to the United States in 1970 to teach at Boston University and subsequently the University of Texas at Austin, where he was Professor Emeritus of religion and philosophy. Dr. Desani died in November, 2000.
(07/05/2014) The Land of Dreams: Minnesota Trilogy, Volume 1 by Vidar Sundstøl. Minneapolis. 2013. University of Minnesota Press. hardcover. 284 pages. Jacket design by Percolator. Translated from the Norwegian by Tiina Nunnally. keywords: Mystery Literature Translated Norway. 9780816689408.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Winner of the Riverton Prize for best Norwegian crime novel and named by Dagbladet as one of the top twenty-five Norwegian crime novels of all time, The Land of Dreams is the chilling first installment in Vidar Sundstøl’s critically acclaimed Minnesota Trilogy, set on the rugged north shore of Lake Superior and in the region’s small towns and deep forests. The grandson of Norwegian immigrants, Lance Hansen is a U.S. Forest Service officer and has a nearly all-consuming passion for local genealogy and history. But his quiet routines are shattered one morning when he comes upon a Norwegian tourist brutally murdered near a stone cross on the shore of Lake Superior. Another Norwegian man is nearby; covered in blood and staring out across the lake, he can only utter the word kjærlighet. Love. FBI agent Bob Lecuyer is assigned to the case, as is Norwegian detective Eirik Nyland, who is immediately flown in from Oslo. As the investigation progresses, Lance begins to make shocking discoveries—including one that involves the murder of an Ojibwe man on the very same site more than one hundred years ago. As Lance digs into two murders separated by a century, he finds the clues may in fact lead toward someone much closer to home than he could have imagined. The Land of Dreams is the opening chapter in a sweeping chronicle from one of Norway’s leading crime writers—a portrait of an extraordinary landscape, an exploration of hidden traumas and paths of silence that trouble history, and a haunting study in guilt and the bonds of blood. Vidar Sundstøl is the acclaimed Norwegian author of six novels, including the Minnesota Trilogy, written after he and his wife lived for two years on the north shore of Lake Superior. The Land of Dreams was nominated for the Glass Key for best Scandinavian crime novel of the year, and the series has been translated into eight languages.
(07/04/2014) 1852 Independence Day speech by Frederick Douglass.
On the 4th of July, I am always reminded of the famous 4th of July Independence Day Speech at Rochester, 1852 given by Frederick Douglass.
The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro - Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men, too great enough to give frame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. The point from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favorable; and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration. They were statesmen, patriots and heroes, and for the good they did, and the principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honor their memory. Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us? Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions! Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold, that a nation's sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish, that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation's jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the lame man leap as an hart. But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrevocable ruin! I can to-day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people! By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea! we wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, 0 Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. Fellow-citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth! To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then, fellow-citizens, is American slavery. I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave's point of view. Standing there identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July! Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America. is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery, the great sin and shame of America! I will not equivocate; I will not excuse; I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and just. But I fancy I hear some one of my audience say, It is just in this circumstance that you and your brother abolitionists fail to make a favorable impression on the public mind. Would you argue more, an denounce less; would you persuade more, and rebuke less; your cause would be much more likely to succeed. But, I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light? Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slaveholders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia which, if committed by a black man, subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of the same crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment. What is this but the acknowledgment that the slave is a moral, intellectual, and responsible being? The manhood of the slave is conceded. It is admitted in the fact that Southern statute books are covered with enactments forbidding, under severe fines and penalties, the teaching of the slave to read or to write. When you can point to any such laws in reference to the beasts of the field, then I may consent to argue the manhood of the slave. When the dogs in your streets, when the fowls of the air, when the cattle on your hills, when the fish of the sea, and the reptiles that crawl, shall be unable to distinguish the slave from a brute, then will I argue with you that the slave is a man! For the present, it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Is it not astonishing that, while we are ploughing, planting, and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses, constructing bridges, building ships, working in metals of brass, iron, copper, silver and gold; that, while we are reading, writing and ciphering, acting as clerks, merchants and secretaries, having among us lawyers, doctors, ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators and teachers; that, while we are engaged in all manner of enterprises common to other men, digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific, feeding sheep and cattle on the hill-side, living, moving, acting, thinking, planning, living in families as husbands, wives and children, and, above all, confessing and worshipping the Christian's God, and looking hopefully for life and immortality beyond the grave, we are called upon to prove that we are men! Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Amercans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom? speaking of it relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively. To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for him. What, am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters? Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood, and stained with pollution, is wrong? No! I will not. I have better employment for my time and strength than such arguments would imply. What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman, cannot be divine! Who can reason on such a proposition? They that can, may; I cannot. The time for such argument is passed. At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation's ear, I would, today, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced. What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy - a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour. Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival. Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. There are forces in operation which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery. The arm of the Lord is not shortened, and the doom of slavery is certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from the Declaration of Independence, the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age. Nations do not now stand in the same relation to each other that they did ages ago. No nation can now shut itself up from the surrounding world and trot round in the same old path of its fathers without interference. The time was when such could be done. Long established customs of hurtful character could formerly fence themselves in, and do their evil work with social impunity. Knowledge was then confined and enjoyed by the privileged few, and the multitude walked on in mental darkness. But a change has now come over the affairs of mankind. Walled cities and empires have become unfashionable. The arm of commerce has borne away the gates of the strong city. Intelligence is penetrating the darkest corners of the globe. It makes its pathway over and under the sea, as well as on the earth. Wind, steam, and lightning are its chartered agents. Oceans no longer divide, but link nations together. From Boston to London is now a holiday excursion. Space is comparatively annihilated. -- Thoughts expressed on one side of the Atlantic are distinctly heard on the other. The far off and almost fabulous Pacific rolls in grandeur at our feet. The Celestial Empire, the mystery of ages, is being solved. The fiat of the Almighty, Let there be Light, has not yet spent its force. No abuse, no outrage whether in taste, sport or avarice, can now hide itself from the all-pervading light. The iron shoe, and crippled foot of China must be seen in contrast with nature. Africa must rise and put on her yet unwoven garment. 'Ethiopia, shall, stretch. out her hand unto Ood. In the fervent aspirations of William Lloyd Garrison, I say, and let every heart join in saying it: God speed the year of jubilee / The wide world o'er! / When from their galling chains set free, / Th' oppress'd shall vilely bend the knee, / And wear the yoke of tyranny / Like brutes no more. / That year will come, and freedom's reign, / To man his plundered rights again / Restore. / God speed the day when human blood / Shall cease to flow! / In every clime be understood, / The claims of human brotherhood, / And each return for evil, good, / Not blow for blow; / That day will come all feuds to end, / And change into a faithful friend / Each foe. / God speed the hour, the glorious hour, / When none on earth / Shall exercise a lordly power, / Nor in a tyrant's presence cower; / But to all manhood's stature tower, / By equal birth! / That hour will come, to each, to all, / And from his Prison-house, to thrall / Go forth. / Until that year, day, hour, arrive, / With head, and heart, and hand I'll strive, / To break the rod, and rend the gyve, / The spoiler of his prey deprive -- / So witness Heaven! / And never from my chosen post, / Whate'er the peril or the cost, / Be driven.
(07/03/2014) Part-Time Crime: An Ethnography of Fiddling & Pilferage by Jason Ditton. London. 1977. Macmillan. hardcover. 195 pages. keywords: Sociology Crime Stealing Pilferage. 0333214668.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
In this book Jason Ditton unravels the paradox of how fiddling - stealing from customers (which is a criminal offence) - is simultaneously ‘fiddling’, that is, felt to be practically and psychologically trifling by those who do it. Through an ethnographic study of bakers’ roundsmen (the author worked as a baker for several months, and then extensively interviewed the other roundsmen) at the ‘Wellbread’ bakery, the novel thesis of ‘part-time’ crime is carefully teased out and documented. The roundsmen are initially taught to fiddle by the bakery management. The customer’s expectation that the roundsmen should be servile is a bitter experience and guarantees that the customer will continue to be fiddled. The roundsmen protect themselves both practically (by practising a portfolio of fiddles which could not all be exposed at once) and psychologically by wrapping themselves in cosy rationalisations like ‘I was told to do it’, ‘we all do it’, or ‘they can afford it’. In the end they (and the rest of us) believe that fiddling ‘isn’t really criminal, is it?’. The book provides us all with a salutary lesson by showing how easily we convince ourselves that our deceptions - our ‘fiddles’ - are acceptable.
Jason Ditton is S.S.R.C. Senior Research Fellow in Sociology, University of Durham and Director of the Service Industries Reward Structure Project. He was brought up in Ipswich and educated at Durham. He has written articles on a wide range of subjects including the Sociology of time, boredom, output restriction deviancy theory, and the sociology of blame.
(07/02/2014) Canary in the Cat House by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Greenwich. 1961. Fawcett Gold Medal. paperback. 160 pages. September 1961. s1153. Cover illustration and design by Leo and Diane Dillon. keywords: Literature America.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Off the top of his head – the short, wild fantasies of one of America’s most imaginative writers - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Scarifying satirist by trade, sings for his supper in a world he regards as a house of ill-repute, or worse - Twelve brilliant stories of today, and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American writer. His works such as Cat's Cradle (1963), Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), and Breakfast of Champions (1973) blend satire, gallows humor, and science fiction. As a citizen he was a lifelong supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union and a critical pacifist intellectual. He was known for his humanist beliefs and was honorary president of the American Humanist Association. The New York Times headline at the time of Vonnegut's passing called Vonnegut ‘the counterculture's novelist.’
(07/01/2014) Madrid: A Guide to Recent Architecture by Hugh Broughton. London. 1997. Ellipsis/Konemann. paperback. 319 pages. Cover photograph: (front) Santiago Bernabeu Stadium; (back) Casa Rodriguez. keywords: Architecture Madrid Spain. 3895086401.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
More than ever Madrid demands recognition in the international architectural arena. Since the death of Franco in 1975, the city has witnessed Europe’s largest public housing programme. Libraries, health centres, universities and schools have also been built, drawing on the combined talents of established designers and the avant-garde younger generation. The architects constantly strive to fuse traditional idioms with a modernist syntax in the best spirit of new-wave Spanish architecture. The 1980s saw commercial projects mushrooming in the city centre, replaced in the 1990S by schemes such as Hollein’s dramatic interior for the Banco Santander, Moneo’s seminal Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, and Philippe Starck’s Teatriz extravaganza. A series of delicate interventions have also left their mark, including Miralles’ constructivist interior for the Circulo de Lectores and Podrecca’s delightful A+A gallery.
Hugh Broughton runs his own architectural practice. He is the author of numerous articles on recent Spanish architecture.
(06/30/2014) Los Angeles: A Guide to Recent Architecture by Dian Phillips-Pilverman (with Peter Lloyd)
(06/30/2014) Los Angeles: A Guide to Recent Architecture by Dian Phillips-Pilverman (with Peter Lloyd). London. 1996. Ellipsis/Konemann. paperback. 320 pages. Cover photograph: (front) Erhard Pfeiffer, Gary Group Office Building; (back) Paul Warchol, Creative Artists Agency. keywords: Architecture Los Angeles. 3895082856.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
This book describes and illustrates more than 100 buildings of the last ten years — ranging in scale from shops and family residences to the rediscovery of public space seen in schemes such as Pershing Square, taking in housing for the homeless, schools, daycare facilities, libraries, churches, offices and restaurants along the way. It features the work of the internationally known ‘LA School’ (including Morphosis, Frank Gehry, Eric Moss, and Frank Israel), architects such as Ray Kappe and Pierre Koenig with a long record of interesting work, and the younger architects (BAM Construction/Design Inc and studio bau:ton, among many others) whose work continues the L.A. tradition of innovation.
Dian Phillips-Pulverman is an architect. She trained at the Architectural Association School in London and lives in Santa Monica.
(06/29/2014) Divagations by Stephane Mallarme. Cambridge. 2007. Harvard University Press. hardcover. 302 pages. Jacket photograph: Kamil Vojmar. Jacket design by Annamarie McMahon Why. Translated from the French by Barbara Johnson. keywords: Literature France Poetry Translated. 9780674024380.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
‘This is a book just the way I don’t like them,’ the father of French Symbolism, Stéphane Mallarmé, informs the reader in his preface to Divagations: ‘scattered and with no architecture.’ On the heels of this caveat, Mallarmé’s diverting, discursive, and gorgeously disordered 1897 masterpiece tumbles forth—and proves itself to be just the sort of book his readers like most. The salmagundi of prose poems, prose-poetic musings, criticism, and reflections that is Divagations has long been considered a treasure trove by students of aesthetics and modern poetry. If Mallarmé captured the tone and very feel of fin-de-siècle Paris, he went on to captivate the minds of the greatest writers of the twentieth century—from Valéry and Eliot to Paul de Man and Jacques Derrida. This was the only book of prose he published in his lifetime and, in a new translation by Barbara Johnson, is now available for the first time in English as Mallarmé arranged it. The result is an entrancing work through which a notoriously difficult-to-translate voice shines in all of its languor and musicality. Whether contemplating the poetry of Tennyson, the possibilities of language, a masturbating priest, or the transporting power of dance, Mallarmé remains a fascinating companion—charming, opinionated, and pedantic by turns. As an expression of the Symbolist movement and as a contribution to literary studies, Divagations is vitally important. But it is also, in Johnson’s masterful translation, endlessly mesmerizing.
Stéphane Mallarmé was the son of Numa Mallarmé, a civil servant, and Elisabeth Desmolins. Mallarmé did not follow his father's or grandfather's path of civil servitude, instead excelling at languages and writing often, influenced by poets Victor Hugo and Charles Baudelaire. Mallarmé received his baccalaureate in 1860 and went on to publish his first poem ‘Placet’ in the French magazine Le Papillon in 1862. He pursued further studies in London to improve his knowledge of English. In 1863, he married German governess Christina ‘Maria’ Gerhard and obtained his certificate for teaching English. He and Maria traveled to Tournon where he taught in a provincial secondary school. In 1864, Maria gave birth to their daughter, Genevieve. Mallarmé's teaching career took him to Besancon, Avignon, and back to Paris again until he retired in 1893. One of Mallarmé's most well-known poems, L'Aprés Midi D'un Faun (The Afternoon of a Faun) (1865), inspired Debussy's tone poem (1894) of the same name and was illustrated by Edouard Manet. Among his other works are Hérodiade (1896) and Toast Funèbre (A Funeral Toast), which was written in memory of the author Théopile Gautier. Mallarmé's later works include the experimental poem Un Coup de Dés (1914), published posthumously. Besides his own writings, Mallarmé was well-known for his Tuesday evening salons at his home on the Rue de Rome in Paris. These gatherings were a hub of Parisian intellectual life and attracted the likes of writers André Gide, Paul Valéry, Oscar Wilde, Paul Verlaine, Rainer Maria Rilke, and W.B. Yeats, the painters Renoir, Monet, Degas, Redon, and Whistler, and the sculptor Rodin, among others. Those who attended became known as Les Mardistes, derived from the French word for Tuesday. In the 1880s, Mallarmé was at the center of a group of French writers including Andre Gide, Paul Valéry and Marcel Proust. Mallarmé referred to their group as The Decadents, a comment on their bohemian lifestyles. He and Valéry, following Baudelaire, would later become known as two of the leaders of the Symbolist movement in poetry. While French poetry had traditionally held fairly strict conventions of rhyme, meter and theme, Mallarmé and his contemporaries departed from these traditions, employing condensed figures and unorthodox syntax. Mallarmé's work was often termed as difficult or obscure. His later works, including Un Coup de Des, explored the relationship between content and form, between the text and the arrangement of words and spaces on the page. Mallarmé died in Valvin, Vulaines-sur-Seine on September 9, 1898, before finishing what he called his ‘Grande Oeuvre.’
Barbara Johnson taught in the departments of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University and was the Frederic Wertham Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society. She is the author of The Critical Difference, A World of Difference, and The Wake of Deconstruction.
(06/28/2014) Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol. New York. 1996. Pantheon Books. hardcover. 403 pages. February 1996. Jacket image: (Front) detail of 'Peasant Women at Church', 1911, by Kazimir Malevich, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. (Back) Full painting. Jacket design: Kathleen DiGrado. Translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky. keywords: Literature Translated Russia.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
DEAD SOULS is the great comic masterpiece of Russian literature - Nikolai Gogol’s satirical epic of life, both real and fantastic, in the benighted provinces. Here are the isolated villages, the pot-holed highways, the country houses, and the hovels. Even more memorably, here is an amazing swarm of characters: rogues and scoundrels, landowners and serfs, officials and more officials-all of them, like Chaucer’s pilgrims and Dickens’s Londoners, both utterly lifelike and alarmingly larger than life. And setting everything in motion is the unstoppable, supremely acquisitive anti-hero, Chichikov, the trafficker in ‘souls’-those peasants who, even if dead, could still be bought, sold, and mortgaged for profit. Of all the classic Russian writers, it is Gogol whose work has suffered the most at the hand of translators: Vladimir Nabokov pronounced all English translations of Dead Souls ‘absolutely worthless. dry and flat.’ Now-as they have done in their award-winning translations of Dostoevsky - Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have produced a text that is altogether faithful to the style and intent of the author’s own language. For the first time, Chichikov and his world are brought to life in an English that captures the writer’s vibrantly comic and lyrical style. English-speaking readers finally have the opportunity to appreciate fully Gogol’s remarkable achievement: a novel, eighteen years in the writing, in which he hoped to show the world ‘the untold riches of the Russian soul.’ Here is Dead Souls in what is certain to become the standard, definitive edition.
Nikolai Gogol was born in the Ukraine in 1809 and died in 1852. Originally trained as a painter, he became interested in the theater, and was soon known for his plays and short stories, notably DIARY OF A MADMAN (1834), THE NOSE (1836), THE INSPECTOR(1836), and THE OVERCOAT (1842). DEAD SOULS, his masterpiece, was published in 1842. Richard Pevear, a native of Boston, and Larissa Volokhonsky, a native of Leningrad, are married and live in France. Their translation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV won the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize.
(06/27/2014) The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer by Jesse L. Byock (translator and editor)
(06/27/2014) The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer by Jesse L. Byock (translator and editor). Berkeley. 1990. University of California Press. hardcover. 146 pages. Jacket design: Donna L. Wittlin. Translated from the Icelandic and with an introduction by Jesse L. Byock. keywords: Literature Iceland Sagas Translated. 0520069048.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
THE SAGA OF THE VOLSUNGS is essential reading for students of oral traditions and for anyone investigating the historical and mythic past of northern Europe. This outstanding new translation by Jesse L. Byock is a welcome and significant addition to the great books of world literature. The saga is an Icelandic prose epic whose anonymous thirteenth-century author based his story on ancient myth and legend grounded in the folk culture of Old Scandinavia. A trove of traditional lore, the saga tells of jealousies stirred by the god Odin, unrequited love, arcane runic knowledge, the vengeance of a barbarian queen, schemes of Attila the Hun, and the mythic deeds of the dragon-slayer, Sigurd the Volsung. As the stories of royal families unfold, the saga recounts the progress of the wars among Burgundians, Huns, and Goths. Some of the episodes may be linked with the events of the fourth and fifth centuries A. D., the period of the great folk migrations in Europe when the Roman Empire collapsed. The saga treats some of the same legends as the Middle High German epic poem, the NIBELUNGENLIED. In both accounts, though in different ways, Sigurd (Siegfried in the German tradition) acquires the Rhinegold and becomes tragically enmeshed in a love triangle involving a supernatural woman. In the Norse tradition she is a Valkyrie, one of Odin’s warrior-maidens. THE SAGA OF THE VOLSUNGS is of special interest to admirers of Richard Wagner, who drew heavily upon this Norse source in writing his Ring Cycle. With its magical ring acquired by the hero, and the sword to be reforged, the saga has also been a primary source for writers of fantasy such as J.R.R. Tolkien and romantics such as William Morris. Byock’s comprehensive introduction explores the history, legends, and myths contained in the saga and traces the development of the narrative.
JESSE L. BYOCK teaches Old Norse and medieval Scandinavian subjects in the Department of Germanic Languages at the University of California, Los Angeles. His previous books, FEUD IN THE ICELANDIC SAGA (1982), and MEDIEVAL ICELAND: SOCIETY, SAGAS, AND POWER (1988), were published by the University of California Press.
(06/26/2014) Selected Poems by Charles Olson. Berkeley. 1993. University of California Press. hardcover. 225 pages. Jacket art: 'Charles Olson' by R. B. Kitaj. Edited by Robert Creeley. keywords: Poetry America Literature. 0520075285.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
'I have assumed a great deal in the selection of the poems from such a large and various number, making them a discourse unavoidably my own as well as any Olson himself might have chosen to offer. I had finally no advice but the long held habit of our using one another, during his life, to act as a measure, a bearing, an unabashed response to what either might write or say.'-Robert Creeley. A seminal figure in post-World War II literature, Charles Olson has helped define the postmodern sensibility. His poetry embraces themes of empowering love, political responsibility, the wisdom of dreams, the intellect as a unit of energy, the restoration of the archaic, and the transformation of consciousness-all carried in a voice both intimate and grand, American and timeless, impassioned and coolly demanding. In this selection of some 70 poems, Robert Creeley has sought to present a personal reading of Charles Olson's decisive and inimitable work-'unequivocal instances of his genius'-over the many years of their friendship.
(06/25/2014) The Conscience Of Words by Elias Canetti. New York. 1979. Seabury Press. hardcover. 246 pages. 246 pages. keywords: Literature Translated Bulgaria Eastern Europe. 0816493340.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
This volume contains the essays of Elias Canetti written between the years of 1962 and 1974. As such, it is a unique record of his critical concerns, a record, as he says, ‘summing up the spiritual stations of my entire adult life.’ At first glance, it may seem odd to juxtapose studies of figures like Kafka and Confucius, Buchner and Tolstoy, Karl Kraus and Hitler, or to mix essays describing catastrophes like Hiroshima with literary ref lections about keeping journals or identifying the structure of a novel. But it has always been this adjacency, this ability to connect the seemingly disparate, that has been the particular achievement of this audacious writer. Of all of Canetti’s works—whether they be novels, sociological investigations, or criticism—this collection of essays best indicates what most concerns Canetti the man. In his own words: ‘The public and the private can no longer be separated, they overlap in ways that would never have seemed possible. The enemies of mankind have rapidly gained power, coming very close to an ultimate goal of destroying the earth. Hence, it is all the more important to speak about those that have withstood our monstrous century. It is not, I think, superfluous to speak also about oneself - among countless other witnesses of this era. It is not purely private to show how a man of today has managed to produce a novel, so long as his aim was to truly confront the age; or how he arranges a diary to keep from being spiritually ground up in that age.’
Elias Canetti (1905-1994), Bulgarian-born author of the novel Auto-da-Fé, the sociological study Crowds and Power, and three previously published memoir volumes (The Tongue Set Free, The Torch in my Ear, and The Play of the Eyes), won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981.
(06/24/2014) Love In The Ruins by Walker Percy. New York. 1971. Farrar Straus Giroux. hardcover. 403 pages. Jacket design by Janet Halverson. keywords: Literature America. 0374193029.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Love in the Ruins is a novel of speculative or science fiction by author Walker Percy from 1971. It follows its main character, Dr Thomas More, namesake and descendant of Sir Thomas More (author of Utopia), a psychiatrist in a small town in Louisiana called Paradise. Over time, the US has become progressively more fragmented, between left and right, black and white, as social trends of the 1960s run to illogical extremes. Society begins to come apart at the seams and no one except More seems to notice and no one, including him, seems particularly to care. More, a lapsed Catholic, an alcoholic, and a womanizer, invents a device that he names the Ontological Lapsometer, which can diagnose and treat the harmful mental states at the root of society's slow disintegration. However, in the wrong hands, the device can also exacerbate the problems, and a government representative, intent on getting More a Nobel Prize, seeks to put it to his own uses while More attempts to prevent a disaster.
Walker Percy, (May 28, 1916 – May 10, 1990) was a Southern author from Covington, Louisiana, whose interests included philosophy and semiotics. Percy is known for his philosophical novels set in and around New Orleans, Louisiana, the first of which, The Moviegoer, won the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. He devoted his literary life to the exploration of ‘the dislocation of man in the modern age.’ His work displays a combination of existential questioning, Southern sensibility, and deep Catholic faith.
(06/17/2014) Spies of the Balkans: A Novel by Alan Furst. New York. 2010. Random House. hardcover. 268 pages. Jacket design by Robbin Schiff. keywords: Mystery Espionage Spies Balkan Literature. 9781400066032.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Greece, 1940. In the port city of Salonika, with its wharves and brothels, dark alleys and Turkish mansions, a tense political drama is being played out. As Adolf Hitler plans to invade the Balkans, spies begin to circle--and Costa Zannis, a senior police official, must deal with them all. He is soon in the game, working to secure an escape route for fugitives from Nazi Berlin that is protected by German lawyers, Balkan detectives, and Hungarian gangsters--and hunted by the Gestapo. Meanwhile, as war threatens, the erotic life of the city grows passionate. For Zannis, that means a British expatriate who owns the local ballet academy, a woman from the dark side of Salonika society, and the wife of a shipping magnate. With extraordinary historical detail and a superb cast of characters, Spies of the Balkans is a stunning novel about a man who risks everything to fight back against the world's evil.
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