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(11/02/2014) Socialism and the Intellectuals by Kingsley Amis.

Published Date Hits: 21

(11/02/2014) Socialism and the Intellectuals by Kingsley Amis. London. 1957. Fabian Society. paperback. Pamphlet. Fabian Tract #304. keywords: Literature England Politics.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   An essay on the socialist movement in English literature and politics. Sections include: ‘The Academics’, ‘Militancy and Realism’, ‘The Self-Employed Intelligensia’, ‘Attitudes in the Thirties’, ‘Marxism and What it Meant’, ‘Political Romanticism’, ‘What are We to Do?’, ‘George Orwell and Class Consciousness’, ‘Causes of Apathy’, ‘The Direction of Change’, ‘Non-political Issues’, ‘Suez and Hungary’, and ‘Self-Interest - or Guilt?’.

Kingsley Amis was born in South London in 1922 and was educated at the City of London School and at St John’s College, Oxford, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. Between 1949 and 1963 he taught at the University College of Swansea, Princeton University and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He started his career as a poet and has continued to write in that medium ever since. His novels include LUCKY JIM (1954). TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU (1960), THE ANTI-DEATH LEAGUE (1966), ENDING UP (1974), THE ALTERATION (1976), JAKE’S THING (1978) and STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984). His novel, THE OLD DEVILS, won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1986. Among his other publications are NEW MAPS OF HELL, a survey of science fiction (1960), RUDYARD KIPLING AND HIS WORLD (1975) and THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION (1981). He published his COLLECTED POEMS in 1979, and has also edited THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF LIGHT VERSE and THE FABER POPULAR RECITER. Kingsley Amis was awarded the CBE in 1981.

 

 

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(11/03/2014) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Published Date Hits: 23

(11/03/2014) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Garden City. 1932. Doubleday Doran & Company. hardcover. 311 pages. keywords: Literature England.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In his new novel Mr. Huxley does for the world of tomorrow what he has already done so successfully in POINT COUNTER POINT for the world of today. Abandoning his mordant criticism of modern men and morals he takes a leap into the future and shows us life as he conceives it may be some thousands of years hence. It is usual for human beings to suppose that, whatever the immediate outlook may be, ultimately all will be for the best in the best of all possible worlds. The philosophers and scientists have encouraged this belief. Mr. Huxley, however, with irrepressible wit and raillery, shows us that there is another side to the coin and warns us against being too optimistic. In a world of auto-gyros, synthetic babies and ‘Feelie’ Palaces there is much to disquiet and amuse a citizen of our primitive twentieth century. There is also unique opportunity for a fresh display of Mr. Huxley’s gaiety and commonsense.

Aldous Huxley was born on 26th July 1894 near Godalming, Surrey. He began writing poetry and short stories in his early twenties, but it was his first novel, CROME YELLOW (1921), which established his literary reputation. This was swiftly followed by ANTIC HAY (1923), THOSE BARREN LEAVES (1925) and POINT COUNTER POINT (1928) - bright, brilliant satires in which Huxley wittily but ruthlessly passed judgment on the shortcomings of contemporary society. For most of the 1920s Huxley lived in Italy and an account of his experiences there can be found in ALONG THE ROAD (1925). The great novels of ideas, including his most famous work BRAVE NEW WORLD (published in 1932 this warned against the dehumanizing aspects of scientific and material 'progress') and the pacifist novel EYELESS IN GAZA (1936) were accompanied by a series of wise and brilliant essays, collected in volume form under titles such as MUSIC AT NIGHT (1931) and ENDS AND MEANS (1937). In 1937, at the height of his fame, Huxley left Europe to live in California, working for a time as a screenwriter in Hollywood. As the West braced itself for war, Huxley came increasingly to believe that the key to solving the world's problems lay in changing the individual through mystical enlightenment. The exploration of the inner life through mysticism and hallucinogenic drugs was to dominate his work for the rest of his life. His beliefs found expression in both fiction (TIME MUST HAVE A STOP, 1944 and ISLAND, 1962) and non-fiction (THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY, 1945, GREY EMINENCE, 1941 and the famous account of his first mescalin experience, THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION, 1954. Huxley died in California on 22nd November 1963.

 

 

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(11/04/2014) The James Bond Dossier by Kingsley Amis

Published Date Hits: 25

(11/04/2014) The James Bond Dossier by Kingsley Amis. London. 1965. Jonathan Cape. hardcover. 159 pages. Jacket design by Jan Pienkowski based on the famous tropme l’aeil paintings by Richard Chopping reproduced on the jackets of the James Bond books. keywords: Literature England Mystery.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   James Bond, 007 of the British Secret Service, has become a phenomenon known throughout the world. Yet, beyond his line of duty and his astonishing expertise in gambling, underwater swimming, super-charged Bentleys - and in attracting curiously-named girls like Pussy Galore and Kissy Suzuki — he has remained an enigma. Is Bond the fairy-tale prince of the mid-twentieth century or (as some have claimed) a symbol of decadence and corruption? Kingsley Amis has taken the measure of 007 from first adventure to last. He has compiled his dossier with a ruthless precision and thoroughness that would be the envy of Dr No, Auric Goldfinger or even Ernst Stavro Blofeld. This may be the most revealing document ever to fall into the hands of Bond’s enemies. But will any of them relish the conclusions it points to?

Kingsley Amis was born in South London in 1922 and was educated at the City of London School and at St John’s College, Oxford, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. Between 1949 and 1963 he taught at the University College of Swansea, Princeton University and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He started his career as a poet and has continued to write in that medium ever since. His novels include LUCKY JIM (1954). TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU (1960), THE ANTI-DEATH LEAGUE (1966), ENDING UP (1974), THE ALTERATION (1976), JAKE’S THING (1978) and STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984). His novel, THE OLD DEVILS, won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1986. Among his other publications are NEW MAPS OF HELL, a survey of science fiction (1960), RUDYARD KIPLING AND HIS WORLD (1975) and THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION (1981). He published his COLLECTED POEMS in 1979, and has also edited THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF LIGHT VERSE and THE FABER POPULAR RECITER. Kingsley Amis was awarded the CBE in 1981.

 

 

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(11/05/2014) Stanley And The Women by Kingsley Amis

Published Date Hits: 51

(11/05/2014) Stanley And The Women by Kingsley Amis. New York. 1985. Summit Books. hardcover. 256 pages. September 1985. Jacket design by Fred Marcellino. keywords: Literature England. 0671603175.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   The hero of Kingsley Amis’s comedy is Stanley Duke. Attractive, prosperous and happily remarried, Stanley leads a life that is positively enviable-that is, until it becomes apparent that his teenage son, Steve, is going mad. It isn’t that Steve suddenly tears up a copy of Bellow’s HERZOG, or cranks his stereo to ear-shattering levels. that’s normal. It’s his pursuit by cosmic forces that concerns his father. Stanley’s confrontation with his son’s madness give Amis the opportunity to pull off a comic masterpiece.

Kingsley Amis was born in South London in 1922 and was educated at the City of London School and at St John’s College, Oxford, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. Between 1949 and 1963 he taught at the University College of Swansea, Princeton University and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He started his career as a poet and has continued to write in that medium ever since. His novels include LUCKY JIM (1954). TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU (1960), THE ANTI-DEATH LEAGUE (1966), ENDING UP (1974), THE ALTERATION (1976), JAKE’S THING (1978) and STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984). His novel, THE OLD DEVILS, won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1986. Among his other publications are NEW MAPS OF HELL, a survey of science fiction (1960), RUDYARD KIPLING AND HIS WORLD (1975) and THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION (1981). He published his COLLECTED POEMS in 1979, and has also edited THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF LIGHT VERSE and THE FABER POPULAR RECITER. Kingsley Amis was awarded the CBE in 1981.

 

 

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(11/13/2014) Wayward Girls & Wicked Women: An Anthology Of Subversive Stories by Angela Carter (editor)

Published Date Hits: 94

(11/13/2014) Wayward Girls & Wicked Women: An Anthology Of Subversive Stories by Angela Carter (editor). New York. 1989. Penguin Books. paperback. 339 pages. Cover design by Melissa Jacoby. Paperback Original. keywords: Literature Women Anthology. 0140103716.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Here are subversive tales - by Ama Ata Aidoo, Djuna Barnes, Jane Bowles, Angela Carter, Colette, Bessie Head, Jamaica Kincaid and Katherine Mansfield among others - all with one thing in common: the wish to restore adventuresses and revolutionaries to their rightful position as role models for all women. Elizabeth Jolley celebrates that rare phenomenon, the female confidence trickster and in Leonora Carrington’s beautifully surreal tale, a hyena is persuaded by a debutante to take her place at the ball - and go dressed to kill. Reflecting the wide-ranging intelligence and deliciously anarchic taste of Angela Carter, some of these stories celebrate toughness and resilience, some of them low cunning: all of them are about not being nice.

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

 

 

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(11/14/2014) God's Fifth Column: A Biography Of The Age 1890-1940 by William Gerhardie

Published Date Hits: 53

(11/14/2014) God's Fifth Column: A Biography Of The Age 1890-1940 by William Gerhardie. London. 1981. Hodder & Stoughton. hardcover. 360 pages. Cover design: Melvyn Gill. 0340263407.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   GOD’S FIFTH COLUMN is the last book of William Gerhardie who died in 1977 in his eighty-second year. Well known in the 1920s and 1930s chiefly as a novelist (whose books were admired by Arnold Bennett, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh and others). Gerhardie fell mysteriously silent at the beginning of the Second World War and did not publish another book during the remaining thirty-seven years of his life. After his death the manuscript of this ambitious and unusual book was discovered among his papers and has been skillfully edited for publication by Michael Holroyd and Robert Skidelsky. It is a biography of the age, 1890-1940, through which Gerhardie lived. ;If I were the Unknown Soldier,’ he wrote, ‘my ghost would refuse to lie down under the heavy piece of marble; I would arise, and I would say to them: keep your blasted memorial and learn sense!’ The suffering unit was Gerhardie’s measure of the crimes and follies of rulers; and his criticism of orthodox historians was that they echoed the generals and statesmen, endorsing the calculations of the insane. For Gerhardie, it is the artists, the men of imagination rather than of will, who are the true spokesmen for mankind; and it is through the artist’s vision and the writer’s use of language that he tries to bring the age into moral perspective. Gerhardie conceived GOD’S FIFTH COLUMN as the motive force that sabotages man’s complacency and makes progress possible. Faith, hope, charity and mercy are the four columns in God’s army; the fifth is divine discontent. The theme, like a fifth column agent himself, enters the work surreptitiously and gains force through cumulative illustration; the absurdity of Queen Victoria, empress of more than half the world, defending her hearthside rug from the footprint of Balfour; the tragic-comedy of Tolstoy, apostle of love, fleeing from his wife; the gaiety of Chekhov’s funeral, his coffin arriving in a truck marked ‘For Oysters.’ The incidents and personalities are subtly linked through contrast and parallel to make GOD’S FIFTH COLUMN one of the most remarkable works of this gifted writer. William Alexander Gerhardie (1895-1977) was a British (Anglo-Russian) novelist and playwright. Gerhardie (or Gerhardi: he added the ‘e’ in later years as an affectation) was one of the most critically acclaimed English novelists of the 1920s (Evelyn Waugh told him ‘I have talent, but you have genius’). H.G Wells was a ferocious champion of his work. His first novel Futility, was written while he was at Cambridge and drew on his experiences in Russia fighting (or attempting to fight) the Bolsheviks, along with his childhood experiences visiting pre-revolutionary Russia. Some say that it was the first work in English to fully explore the theme of ‘waiting’ later made famous by Samuel Beckett in WAITING FOR GODOT, but it is probably more apt to recognize a common comic nihilism between those two figures. His next novel, THE POLYGLOTS is probably his masterpiece (although some argue for DOOM). Again it deals with Russia (Gerhardie was strongly influenced by the tragi-comic style of Russian writers such as Chekhov who he wrote a study of while in College). He collaborated with Hugh Kingsmill on the biography ‘The Casanova Fable’, his friendship with Hugh being both a source of conflict over women and a great intellectual stimulus. After World War II Gerhardie’s star waned, and he became unfashionable, and although he continued to write, he had nothing published after 1939. After a period of poverty-stricken oblivion, he lived to see two ‘definitive collected works’ published by Macdonald (in 1947-49 and then revised again in 1970-74). More recently, both Prion and New Directions Press have been reissuing his works. Asked how to say his name, he told The Literary Digest ‘Pronounced jer (as Ger in Gerald) hardy, with the accent on the a: jer-har’dy. This is the way I and my relatives pronounce it, tho I am told it is incorrect. Philologists are of the opinion that it should be pronounced with the g as in Gertrude. I believe they are right. I, however, cling to the family habit of mispronouncing it. But I do so without obstinacy. If the world made it worth my while I would side with the multitude.’ (Charles Earle Funk, What’s the Name, Please?, Funk & Wagnalls, 1936).

 

 

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(11/15/2014) Anton Chehov by William Gerhardi

Published Date Hits: 49

(11/15/2014) Anton Chehov by William Gerhardi. New York. 1923. Duffield & Company. hardcover. 207 pages.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Author's second book, and the first full-length book on Chehov in any language other than Russian.Gerhardi’s study is centered on a concept of ‘the ineffable,’ which permits the novel to do what philosophy cannot, in other words to hold apparently irreconcilable ideas in a significant relationship. ‘There is a book’, wrote Desmond MacCarthy in the New Statesman, ‘no-one interested in Chehov should miss reading. It has been out some time, and it is by Mr William Gerhardie who wrote that admirable novel about Russian life, Futility. This critical study is one of the best I have read. one that will find a permanent place in any library of critical literature.’ Written for the most part while Gerhardie was at Oxford, Anton Chehov was first published in 1923. It was, indeed, the first critical study of Chehov to be published in any language, and the general acclaim with which it was greeted in England and America was echoed in Russia, where today it is still spoken of as a standard work. For English readers, dealing as it does with the whole of Chehov’s work, it remains one of the most authoritative studies available. Gerhardie was uniquely placed to write this book. His Russian childhood and bilingual upbringing enabled him to appreciate Chehov’s humour and lyricism in a way which simply was not open to those who had access to Chehov’s writings merely in translation. This is a work of warmth and affection. To some extent, Gerhardie claims, Chehov’s writings can take the place of life itself, so that, when they die, Chehov’s readers ‘may congratulate themselves on having lived a hundred lives - but paid for one’. Gerhardie has for Chehov, in addition to the deep understanding ofone imaginative writer for another, a love which is part of his love of life itself.

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

 

 

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(11/16/2014) Memoirs Of A Polyglot: The Autobiography of William Gerhardie by William Gerhardie

Published Date Hits: 39

(11/16/2014) Memoirs Of A Polyglot: The Autobiography of William Gerhardie by William Gerhardie. New York. 1973. St Martin's Press. hardcover. 408 pages. Preface by Michael Holroyd. 0356031470.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Written with a rare candour, this enchanting and entertaining book describes the early life of this ‘unique, isolated and important figure in English letters.’ William Gerhardie has been quoted as saying that his hopes lie in ‘ever being discovered astonishingly anew.’ He has revised and briefly expanded his autobiography (first written in 1931) for its inclusion in Macdonald’s new definitive editions of his works, all of which are introduced by Prefaces by Michael Holroyd. Mr Gerhardie writes about his grandparents and parents, and about his childhood in St Petersburg where his father, a Br1tish cotton manufacturer settled in the 1890s. He joined the Scots Greys in the First World War, was commissioned and posted to the British Embassy at Petrograd, where he saw the Russian Revolution in various stages. MEMOIRS OF A POLYGLOT is illustrated with photographs, many of them charming examples from family albums. At Oxford, he wrote FUTILITY, the first of his novels. MEMOIRS OF A POLYGLOT wonderfully illuminates the literary personality and the enduring works of this author, of whom C. P. Snow has said: ‘He is a comic writer of genus. but his art is profoundly serious. William Gerhardie was the friend some of the most interesting people of the 1920s and 1930s - from Beaverbrook to the Sitweils - and writes brilliantly, and amusingly about the literary and political scene. ‘The narrative,’ Michael Holroyd says in his Preface, ‘which contains so many percipient little pen portraits, stops for no man, but merely seems to pick them up in its stride.’ As Michael Ivens has commented, William Gerhardie’s life has been full of ‘odd and incredible events’ and these - including many travels - are described in MEMOIRS OF A POLYGLOT with zest, humour and remarkable insight. 

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

 

 

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(10/13/2014) Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley

Published Date Hits: 84

(10/13/2014) Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley. New York. 1958. Harper & Brothers. hardcover. 147 pages. keywords: Literature England Essays.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISITED is not fiction. It is a shocking, yet calm, estimate of what has been done (since the publication of BRAVE NEW WORLD in 1932), what is being done and what may very soon be done to turn men into compliant robots. The enemies of freedom are subtle, often unobserved, and far more numerous than we suppose. Mr. Huxley reveals them with the lucidity and scientific insight for which he is famous. With overpowering impact, the book is a challenge to complacency and a plea that mankind should educate itself in freedom before it is too late.

Aldous Huxley was born on 26th July 1894 near Godalming, Surrey. He began writing poetry and short stories in his early twenties, but it was his first novel, CROME YELLOW (1921), which established his literary reputation. This was swiftly followed by ANTIC HAY (1923), THOSE BARREN LEAVES (1925) and POINT COUNTER POINT (1928) - bright, brilliant satires in which Huxley wittily but ruthlessly passed judgment on the shortcomings of contemporary society. For most of the 1920s Huxley lived in Italy and an account of his experiences there can be found in ALONG THE ROAD (1925). The great novels of ideas, including his most famous work BRAVE NEW WORLD (published in 1932 this warned against the dehumanizing aspects of scientific and material 'progress') and the pacifist novel EYELESS IN GAZA (1936) were accompanied by a series of wise and brilliant essays, collected in volume form under titles such as MUSIC AT NIGHT (1931) and ENDS AND MEANS (1937). In 1937, at the height of his fame, Huxley left Europe to live in California, working for a time as a screenwriter in Hollywood. As the West braced itself for war, Huxley came increasingly to believe that the key to solving the world's problems lay in changing the individual through mystical enlightenment. The exploration of the inner life through mysticism and hallucinogenic drugs was to dominate his work for the rest of his life. His beliefs found expression in both fiction (TIME MUST HAVE A STOP, 1944 and ISLAND, 1962) and non-fiction (THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY, 1945, GREY EMINENCE, 1941 and the famous account of his first mescalin experience, THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION, 1954. Huxley died in California on 22nd November 1963.

 

 

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(11/06/2014) An Island Is A World by Samuel Selvon

Published Date Hits: 46

(11/06/2014) An Island Is A World by Samuel Selvon. London. 1955. Allan Wingate. hardcover. 288 pages. keywords: Literature Caribbean Trinidad. 1586174908.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   With this second book, the young author of A BRIGHTER SUN definitely proves himself a writer of distinction not untouched by genius. This is a word which one hesitates to use on the dust jacket of a novel, but it is also one which has sprung naturally to the lips of everyone who has read his manuscript. Once again the setting is Trinidad, and the theme the Indian as against the black community life of that Island. Himself a Trinidadian Indian, Selvon not only feels himself an integral part of the life he depicts, but has the almost unique gift of being able to communicate the thoughts, the language and the quirks of character of his subjects. There is the fat old jeweller, Johnnie, with his drunken, warped mentality, perpetually battling against the female opposition of his wife and two daughters, Rena and Jennifer. There are the two brothers, Rufus and Forster, whose changing outlook forces them to leave Trinidad for the United States and for London respectively, only to return home in the end. And there is Father Hope, the self-appointed priest, living a secluded philosophical life in the small mountain village of Veronica. The inter-relationships of these characters - Rufus's disastrous marriage to Rena, Jennifer's attitude to her father and so on - are worked out with mathematical skill, and the result is a novel filled with the complexity of life in Trinidad, where many races and communities mingle, and where a sense of island patriotism is only now slowly beginning to form. The book also gives a vivid picture of the life of West Indian immigrants in London - a topical theme indeed - and the less difficult absorption of West Indian elements into the city life of America.

Samuel Selvon (1923–16 April 1994) was a Trinidad-born writer. Selvon’s novel The Lonely Londoners is ground-breaking in its use of creolized English, or ‘nation language’, for narrative as well as dialogue. As he explained: ‘When I wrote the novel that became The Lonely Londoners, I tried to recapture a certain quality in West Indian everyday life. I had in store a number of wonderful anecdotes and could put them into focus, but I had difficulty starting the novel in straight English. The people I wanted to describe were entertaining people indeed, but I could not really move. At that stage, I had written the narrative in English and most of the dialogues in dialect. Then I started both narrative and dialogue in dialect and the novel just shot along.’ Samuel Dickson Selvon was born in San Fernando in the south of Trinidad. His parents were East Indian: his father was a first-generation Christian immigrant from Madras and his mother's father was Scottish. He was educated there at Naparima College, San Fernando, before leaving at the age of fifteen to work. He was a wireless operator with the Royal Naval Reserve from 1940 to 1945. Thereafter he moved north to Port of Spain, and from 1945 to 1950, worked for the Trinidad Guardian as a reporter and for a time on its literary page. In this period, he began writing stories and descriptive pieces, mostly under a variety of pseudonyms such as Michael Wentworth, Esses, Ack-Ack and Big Buffer. Selvon moved to London, England, in the 1950s, and then in the late 1970s to Alberta, Canada, where he lived until his death from a heart attack on 16 April 1994 on a return trip to Trinidad. Selvon married twice: in 1947 to Draupadi Persaud (one daughter) and in 1963 to Althea Daroux (two sons, one daughter). Selvon is known for novels such as The Lonely Londoners (1956) and Moses Ascending (1975). His novel A Brighter Sun (1952), detailing the construction of the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway in Trinidad through the eyes of young Indian worker Tiger, was a popular choice on the CXC English Literature syllabus for many years. Other notable works include Ways of Sunlight (1957), Turn Again Tiger (1958) and Those Who Eat the Cascadura (1972). During the 1970s and early 1980s, Selvon converted several of his novels and stories into radio scripts, broadcast by the BBC, which were collected in Eldorado West One (Peepal Tree Press, 1988) and Highway in the Sun (Peepal Tree Press, 1991). After moving to Canada, Selvon found a job teaching creative writing as a visiting professor at the University of Victoria. When that job ended, he took a job as a janitor at the University of Calgary in Alberta for a few months, before becoming writer-in-residence there. He was largely ignored by the Canadian literary establishment, with his works receiving no reviews during his residency. The Lonely Londoners, as with most of his later work, focuses on the immigration of West Indians to Britain in the 1950s and 1960s, and the cultural differences that are often subtle and implicit to the dying Empire's fantasy of a ‘white nation’. Selvon also illustrates the panoply of different ‘cities’ that are lived in London, as with any major city, due to class and racial boundaries. In many ways, his books are the precursors to works such as Some Kind of Black by Diran Adebayo, White Teeth by Zadie Smith and The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi. Selvon's papers are now at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin, USA. These consist of holograph manuscripts, typescripts, book proofs, manuscript notebooks, and correspondence. Drafts for six of his eleven novels are present, along with supporting correspondence and items relating to his career.

 

 

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(11/07/2014) James Joyce: A Passionate Exile by John McCourt

Published Date Hits: 51

(11/07/2014) James Joyce: A Passionate Exile by John McCourt. London. 2000. Orion Books. hardcover. 112 pages. Front cover: James Joyce by Augustus John courtesy of the artist estate, Bridgernan Art Library. Back: James Joyce in Zurich 1938, Hulton Getty. keywords: Literature Ireland James Joyce Photography Literary Criticism. 0752818295.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   JAMES JOYCE: A PASSIONATE EXILE is a revealing new account of the life, times and writings of the twentieth century’s most distinguished novelist. Combining words with an extraordinary collection of contemporary photographs and other images, it depicts his family’s fall from riches to rags and his experience of growing up in late nineteenth century Dublin. Author and Joyce scholar John McCourt also examines Joyce’s relationship with his life-long partner, Nora Barnacle and casts new light on their 40-year voluntary exile in Europe, first in the cosmopolitan Adriatic port of Trieste, then in lively wartime Zurich, and finally in Paris, the artistic centre of the world in the 1920s and 30s. Exile from Ireland was a necessary condition for Joyce to forge in the smithy of his soul the uncreated conscience of his race in his magnificent short story collection DUBLINERS, in his intense bildungsroman A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN and in his modern epic ULYSSES.

John McCourt is from Dublin. He was educated at Belvedere College and University College, Dublin, where he obtained his PhD for a thesis on Joyce’s Trieste experiences. He has been living and working in Trieste since 1991. He is a researcher and lecturer at the University of Trieste, where he is also programme director of the university’s annual Trieste Joyce School.

 

 

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(11/08/2014) Manuel Puig and The Spider Woman: His Life and Fictions by Suzanne Jill Levine

Published Date Hits: 57

(11/08/2014) Manuel Puig and The Spider Woman: His Life and Fictions by Suzanne Jill Levine. New York. 2000. Farrar Straus Giroux. hardcover. 448 pages. Jacket design by Jonathan D. Lippincott. Jacket photograph by Mario Fenelli. Photograph of author and Manuel Puig, 1981, by Lydia Rubio. keywords: Literature Argentina Biography Latin America Translated. 0374281904.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Manuel Puig (1932-1990), Argentinian author of KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN and pioneer of high camp, stands alone in the pantheon of contemporary Latin American literature. Strongly influenced by Hollywood films of the thirties and forties, his many-layered novels and plays integrate serious fiction and popular culture, mixing political and sexual themes with B-movie scenarios. When his first two novels were published in the late sixties, they delighted the public but were dismissed as frivolous by the leftist intellectuals of the Boom; his third novel was banned by the Peronist government for irreverence. His influence was already felt though-even by writers who had dismissed him-and by the time the film version of KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN became a worldwide hit, he was a renowned literary figure. Puig’s way of life was as unconventional as his fiction: he spoke of himself in the female form in Spanish, renamed his friends after his favorite movie stars, referred to his young male devotees as ‘daughters,’ and, as a perennial expatriate, lived (often with his mother) everywhere from Rome to Rio de Janeiro. Suzanne Jill Levine, his principal English translator, draws upon years of friendship as well as copious research and interviews in her remarkable book, the first biography of this inimitable writer.

SUZANNE JILL LEVINE is a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara and a noted translator of contemporary Latin American literature. She is the author of three books, including THE SUBVERSIVE SCRIBE.

 

 

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(11/09/2014) The Moon & The Bonfires by Cesare Pavese

Published Date Hits: 66

(11/09/2014) The Moon & The Bonfires by Cesare Pavese. New York. 1953. Farrar Straus & Young. hardcover. 206 pages. Translated from the Italian by Marianne Ceconi. Foreword by Paolo Milano. keywords: Literature Italy Translated.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Anguila, the narrator, is a successful businessman lured home from California to the Piedmontese village where he was fostered by peasants. But, after twenty years, much has changed. Slowly, through the power of memory, he is able to piece together the past and relates it to what he finds left in the present. He looks at the lives and sometimes violent faces of the villagers he has known from childhood, setting the poverty, ignorance or indifference that binds them to these hills and valleys against the beauty of the landscape and the rhythm of the seasons. With stark realism and muted compassion, Pavese weaves the strands together and brings them to a stark and poignant climax.

Cesare Pavese (9 September 1908 – 27 August 1950) was an Italian poet, novelist, literary critic and translator; he is widely considered among the major authors of the 20th century in his home country. Cesare Pavese was born in Santo Stefano Belbo, in the province of Cuneo. It was the village where his father was born and where the family returned for the summer holidays each year. He started infant classes in San Stefano Belbo, but the rest of his education was in schools in Turin. His most important teacher at the time was Augusto Monti, writer and educator, whose writing style was devoid of all rhetoric. As a young man of letters, Pavese had a particular interest in English-language literature, graduating from the University of Turin with a thesis on the poetry of Walt Whitman. Among his mentors at the university was Leone Ginzburg, expert on Russian literature and literary critic, husband of the writer Natalia Ginzburg and father of the future historian Carlo Ginzburg. In those years, Pavese translated both classic and recent American and British authors that were then new to the Italian public. Pavese moved in antifascist circles. In 1935 he was arrested and convicted for having letters from a political prisoner. After a few months in prison he was sent into ‘confino’, internal exile in Southern Italy, the commonly used sentence for those guilty of lesser political crimes. (Carlo Levi and Leone Ginzburg, also from Turin, were similarly sent into confino.) A year later Pavese returned to Turin, where he worked for the left-wing publisher Giulio Einaudi as editor and translator. Natalia Ginzburg also worked there. Pavese was living in Rome when he was called up into the fascist army, but because of his asthma he spent six months in a military hospital. When he returned to Turin, German troops occupied the streets and most of his friends had left to fight as partisans. Pavese fled to the hills around Serralunga di Crea, near Casale Monferrato.He took no part in the armed struggle taking place in that area. During the years in Turin, he was the mentor of the young writer and translator Fernanda Pivano, his former student at the Liceo D'Azeglio. Pavese gave her the American edition of SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY, which came out in Pivano's Italian translation in 1943.After the war Pavese joined the Italian Communist Party and worked on the party's newspaper, L'Unità. The bulk of his work was published during this time. Toward the end of his life, he would frequently visit Le Langhe, the area where he was born, where he found great solace. Depression, the failure of a brief love affair with the actress Constance Dowling, to whom his last novel was dedicated, and political disillusionment led him to his suicide by an overdose of barbiturates in 1950. That year he had won the Strega Prize for La Bella Estate, comprising three novellas: 'La tenda', written in 1940, 'Il diavolo sulle colline'(1948) and 'Tra donne sole' (1949). Leslie Fiedler wrote of Pavese's death ‘. .for the Italians, his death has come to have a weight like that of Hart Crane for us, a meaning that penetrates back into his own work and functions as a symbol in the literature of an age.’ The circumstances of his suicide, which took place in a hotel room, mimic the last scene of Tra Donne Sole (AMONG WOMEN ONLY), his penultimate book. His last book was 'La Luna e i Falò', published in Italy in 1950 and translated into English as THE MOON AND THE BONFIRES by Louise Sinclair in 1952.

 

 

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(11/10/2014) Old Tales From Spain by Felipe Alfau

Published Date Hits: 71

(11/10/2014) Old Tales From Spain by Felipe Alfau. Garden City. 1929. Doubleday Doran. hardcover. 207 pages. Illustrated by Rhea Wells. keywords: Spain Childrens Literature.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   A collection of children's stories from the author of LOCOS: A COMEDY OF GESTURES and CHROMOS.

Felipe Alfau (1902–1999), was a Spanish American (Catalan American) novelist and poet. Like his contemporaries Luigi Pirandello and Flann O'Brien, Alfau is considered a forerunner of later postmodern writers such as Vladimir Nabokov, Thomas Pynchon, Donald Barthelme, and Gilbert Sorrentino. Born in Barcelona, Alfau emigrated with his family at the age of fourteen to the United States, where he lived the remainder of his life. Alfau earned a living as a translator; his sparse fictional and poetic output remained obscure throughout most of his life. Alfau wrote two novels in English: LOCOS: A COMEDY OF GESTURES and CHROMOS. LOCOS — a metafictive collection of related short stories set in Toledo and Madrid, involving several characters that defy the wishes of the author, write their own stories, and even assume each others' roles — was published by Farrar and Rinehart in 1936. The novel, for which Alfau was paid $250, received some critical acclaim, but little popular attention. The novel was republished in 1987 after an editor for the small publisher Dalkey Archive Press found the book at a barn sale in Massachusetts, read it, and contacted Alfau after finding his telephone number in the Manhattan phone book. The novel's second incarnation was modestly successful, but Alfau refused payment, instructing the publisher to use the earnings from LOCOS to fund some other unpublished work. When asked if he had written any other books, Alfau provided the manuscript for CHROMOS, which had been resting in a drawer since 1948. CHROMOS, a comic story of Spanish immigrants to the United States contending with their two cultures, went on to be nominated for the National Book Award in 1990. Alfau also wrote a book of poetry in Spanish, SENTIMENTAL SONGS (La poesia cursi), written between 1923 and 1987 and published in 1992, and a book of children's stories, OLD TALES FROM SPAIN, written in 1929.

 

 

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(11/11/2014) Nights At The Circus by Angela Carter

Published Date Hits: 62

(11/11/2014) Nights At The Circus by Angela Carter. New York. 1985. Viking Press. hardcover. 295 pages. February 1985. Jacket illustration & design by Vincent X. Kirsch. Winner James Tait Black Memorial Prize. keywords: Literature England Women. 0670803758.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Sophi Fevvers—the toast of Europe’s capitals, courted by the Prince of Wales, painted by Toulouse-Lautrec—is an aerialiste extraordinaire, star of Colonel Kearney’s circus. She is also part woman, part swan. Jack Walser, an American journalist, is on a quest to discover Fevvers’s true identity: Is she part swan or all fake? Dazzled by his love for Fevvers, and desperate for the scoop of a lifetime, Walser joins the circus on its tour. The journey takes him - and the reader - on an intoxicating trip through turn-of-the-century London, St. Petersburg, and Siberia - a tour so magical that only Angela Carter could have created it.

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

 

 

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(11/12/2014) The Watcher And Other Stories by Italo Calvino

Published Date Hits: 59

(11/12/2014) The Watcher And Other Stories by Italo Calvino. New York. 1971. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. hardcover. 181 pages. Jacket design by Anita Walker Scott. Translated from the Italian by William Weaver & Others. keywords: Literature Translated Italy. 0151948801.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Italo Calvino, the scintillating author of COSMICOMICS and T ZERO, shows his astonishing range in these three long stories. In ‘The Watcher,’ fact predominates over fantasy. The setting is Cottolengo, a city within the city of Turin, where, hidden from sight, the rejects of the human race — cripples, idiots, monsters — are cared for by the Church in a self-contained world of their own. Here, on Election Day, Amerigo Ormeo, member of a left-wing party, penetrates into the enemy stronghold to see that no election fraud is committed. Two concepts of man confront each other, movingly, revealingly, and not without a subtle ambiguity. In the other stories fantasy rockets off from its base in fact. ‘Smog,’ written in 1958, marvelously anticipates a preoccupation with pollution that is raised to lunatic proportions. ‘The Argentine Ant’ is a masterpiece of sustained horror with farcical undertones, illustrating man’s defeat before an enemy too small and ubiquitous to be overcome. A bold intelligence, a true originality, a brilliant inventiveness raise these stories to an exhilarating pitch and make them irresistible reading.

Italo Calvino (October 15, 1923 - September 19, 1985) was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy (1952-1959), the Cosmicomics collection of short stories (1965), and the novels Invisible Cities (1972) and If on a winter’s night a traveler (1979). Italo Calvino was born in Santiago de Las Vegas, Cuba, to botanists Mario Calvino and Evelina Mameli. (His brother was Floriano Calvino, a famous geologist.) The family soon moved to its homeland Italy, where Italo lived most of his life. They moved to Sanremo, on the Italian Riviera, where his father had come from (his mother came from Sardinia). The young Italo became a member of the Avanguardisti (a fascist youth organization in which membership was practically compulsory) with whom he took part in the occupation of the French Riviera. He suffered some religious troubles, as his relatives were openly atheist in a largely Catholic country. He was sent to attend a Waldensian private school. Calvino met Eugenio Scalfari (later a politician and the founder of the major Italian newspaper La Repubblica), with whom he would remain a close friend. In 1941 Calvino moved to Turin, after a long hesitation over living there or in Milan. He often humorously described this choice, and used to describe Turin as ‘a city that is serious but sad.’ In 1943 he joined the Partisans in the Italian Resistance, in the Garibaldi brigade, with the battlename of Santiago. With Scalfari he created the MUL (liberal universitarian movement). Calvino then entered the (still clandestine) Italian Communist Party. Calvino graduated from the University of Turin in 1947 with a thesis on Joseph Conrad and started working with the official Communist paper L’Unità. He also had a short relationship with the Einaudi publishing house, which put him in contact with Norberto Bobbio, Natalia Ginzburg, Cesare Pavese and Elio Vittorini. With Vittorini he wrote for the weekly Il Politecnico (a cultural magazine associated with the university). Calvino then left Einaudi to work mainly with L’Unità and the newborn communist weekly political magazine Rinascita. He worked again for the Einaudi house from 1950, responsible for the literary volumes. The following year, presumably to advance in the communist party, he visited the Soviet Union. The reports and correspondence he produced from this visit were later collected and earned him literary prizes. In 1952 Calvino wrote with Giorgio Bassani for Botteghe Oscure, a magazine named after the popular name of the party’s head-offices. He also worked for Il Contemporaneo, a Marxist weekly. From 1955 to 1958 Calvino had an affair with the actress Elsa de’ Giorgi, an older and married woman. Calvino wrote hundreds of love letters to her. Excerpts were published by Corriere della Sera in 2004, causing some controversy. In 1957, disillusioned by the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary, Calvino left the Italian Communist party. His letter of resignation was published in L’Unità and soon became famous. He found new outlets for his periodic writings in the magazines Passato e Presente and Italia Domani. Together with Vittorini he became a co-editor of Il Menabò di letteratura, a position which Calvino held for many years. Despite severe restrictions in the US against foreigners holding communist views, Calvino was allowed to visit the United States, where he stayed six months from 1959 to 1960 (four of which he spent in New York), after an invitation by the Ford Foundation. Calvino was particularly impressed by the ‘New World’: ‘Naturally I visited the South and also California, but I always felt a New Yorker. My city is New York.’ The letters he wrote to Einaudi describing this visit to the United States, were first published as ‘American Diary 1959-1960’ in the book Hermit in Paris in 2003. In 1962 Calvino met the Argentinian translator Esther Judith Singer (Chichita) and married her in 1964 in Havana, during a trip in which he visited his birthplace and met Ernesto Che Guevara. This encounter later led him to contribute an article on the 15th of October 1967, a few days after the death of Guevara, describing the lasting impression Guevara made on him. Back in Italy, and once again working for Einaudi, Calvino started publishing some of his cosmicomics in Il Caffè, a literary magazine. Vittorini’s death in 1966 influenced Calvino greatly. He went through what he called an ‘intellectual depression’, which the writer himself described as an important passage in his life: ‘. I ceased to be young. Perhaps it’s a metabolic process, something that comes with age, I’d been young for a long time, perhaps too long, suddenly I felt that I had to begin my old age, yes, old age, perhaps with the hope of prolonging it by beginning it early’. He then started to frequent Paris, where he was nicknamed L’ironique amusé. Here he soon joined some important circles like the Oulipo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle) and met Roland Barthes and Claude Lévi-Strauss, in the fermenting atmosphere that was going to evolve into 1968’s cultural revolution (the French May). During his French experience, he also became fond of Raymond Queneau’s works, which would influence his later production. Calvino had more intense contacts with the academic world, with notable experiences at the Sorbonne (with Barthes) and at Urbino’s university. His interests included classical studies: Honoré de Balzac, Ludovico Ariosto, Dante, Ignacio de Loyola, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Cyrano de Bergérac, and Giacomo Leopardi. At the same time, not without surprising Italian intellectual circles, Calvino wrote novels for Playboy’s Italian edition (1973). He became a regular contributor to the important Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. In 1975 Calvino was made Honorary Member of the American Academy, and the following year he was awarded the Austrian State Literary Prize for European literature. He visited Japan and Mexico and gave lectures in several American towns. In 1981 he was awarded the prestigious French Légion d’Honneur. During the summer of 1985, Calvino prepared some notes for a series of lectures to be delivered at Harvard University in the fall. However, on 6 September, he was admitted to the ancient hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena, where he died during the night between the 18 and 19 September of a cerebral hemorrhage. His lecture notes were published posthumously as Six Memos for the Next Millennium in 1988. His style is not easily classified; much of his writing has an air of the fantastic reminiscent of fairy tales (Our Ancestors, Cosmicomics), although sometimes his writing is more ‘realistic’ and in the scenic mode of observation (Difficult Loves, for example). Some of his writing has been called ‘postmodern’, reflecting on literature and the act of reading, while some has been labeled ‘magical realist’, others fables, others simply ‘modern’. Twelve years before his death, he was invited to and joined the Oulipo group of experimental writers. He wrote: ‘My working method has more often than not involved the subtraction of weight. I have tried to remove weight, sometimes from people, sometimes from heavenly bodies, sometimes from cities; above all I have tried to remove weight from the structure of stories and from language.’.

 

 

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(11/01/2014) Heroes and Villains by Angela Carter

Published Date Hits: 23

(11/01/2014) Heroes and Villains by Angela Carter. New York. 1969. Simon & Schuster. hardcover. 215 pages. Jacket design by Graham Percy. keywords: Literature England Women.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

  An allegorical post-Apocalyptic novel, in which three surviving social groups—the Professors, the Barbarians, and the Out People—come into conflict when a Professor’s daughter is captured and becomes the bride of a Barbarian. The novel is set in a future Dark Ages, but its opening is a clever parody of ‘Emma.’

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

 

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(10/26/2014) Chinese Junks on the Pacific: Views from a Different Deck by Hans Konrad Van Tilburg

Published Date Hits: 79

(10/26/2014) Chinese Junks on the Pacific: Views from a Different Deck by Hans Konrad Van Tilburg. Gainesville. University Press of Florida. paperback. 288 pages. June 2013. A volume in the series New Perspectives on Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology, edited by James C. Bradford and Gene A. Smith. 6 x 9. 55 b/w illus. keywords: Chinese Junks Maritime History. 9780813049212.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘It is Van Tilburg’s goal to broaden our understanding of Chinese nautical technology, to explore the evolution of Chinese vessels between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, to investigate the differences between Chinese and Western ships and, in the absence of historical documents, to read the vessels themselves as cultural artefacts [sic] or texts that contain historical information regarding their construction and functions that would otherwise be lost to history.’ —International Journal of Maritime History ‘Treats surviving ships as living records of China’s pre-modern shipbuilding and shipping practices at an archaeological and anthropological juncture. This is a welcome move in scholarship.’ - Mariner’s Mirror ‘By focusing on the voyage of ten junks that crossed the Pacific between 1905 and 1989. [Van Tilburg] reveals the multifarious history behind these vessels and the stereotypes held by an intrigued American public witnessing their arrival.’—Bulletin of the Pacific Circle.

Hans Konrad Van Tilburg, maritime heritage coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is the author of A Civil War Gunboat in Pacific Waters: Life on Board USS Saginaw.

 

 

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(10/27/2014) The Return Of William Shakespeare by Hugh Kingsmill

Published Date Hits: 109

(10/27/2014) The Return Of William Shakespeare by Hugh Kingsmill. London. 1929. Duckworth & Company. hardcover. 254 pages. keywords: Literature England Shakespeare.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   This is the fantastic tale of an insignificant scientist, Albert Henry Butt, who discovers a way to bring the dead back to life. He is able to bring back anyone who has ever lived, but only if he knows exactly when and where the person was born. The character, Melmouth, a Shakespeare fan, talks Butt into bringing the elusive Shakespeare back to life. So, Butt reanimates the Shakespeare living in 1607, when Melmouth believes Shakespeare was at his most influential. However, Shakespeare cannot cope with modern life and 1607 was a time when he was in a deep depression. He has an emotional breakdown. By the time Shakespeare recovers, the unavoidable physical decay of his body begins. Will the mystery of Shakespeare be uncovered?.

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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(10/28/2014) Every Day Drinking by Kingsley Amis

Published Date Hits: 65

(10/28/2014) Every Day Drinking by Kingsley Amis. London. 1983. Hutchinson & Company. hardcover. 119 pages. Cover illustration by Merrily Harpur. Text illustrations by Merrily Harpur. keywords: Literature England Drink. 0091547105.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Apart from being one of Britain’s most distinguished living writers, Kingsley Amis is recognized as a considerable expert on the art and pleasure of drinking. His interest in the subject is not the limited one of the wine snob, devoted to the fine vintages of Burgundy and Bordeaux, but ranges over the whole field of everyday drinking, from British beer to the most exotic apentifs and liqueurs and from the distillation of single malt whisky and the mixing of the perfect martini to the effective handling of wine waiters and the nursing of a hangover. The pieces in this delightful and informative collection, in short, are concerned with the whole business of drink and drinking, from the manufacture and preparation of the alcoholic substances themselves to the pleasure - and occasional pain - of consuming them, all described with Kingsley Amis’s characteristic blend of knowledge and wit.

Kingsley Amis was born in South London in 1922 and was educated at the City of London School and at St John’s College, Oxford, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. Between 1949 and 1963 he taught at the University College of Swansea, Princeton University and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He started his career as a poet and has continued to write in that medium ever since. His novels include LUCKY JIM (1954). TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU (1960), THE ANTI-DEATH LEAGUE (1966), ENDING UP (1974), THE ALTERATION (1976), JAKE’S THING (1978) and STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984). His novel, THE OLD DEVILS, won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1986. Among his other publications are NEW MAPS OF HELL, a survey of science fiction (1960), RUDYARD KIPLING AND HIS WORLD (1975) and THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION (1981). He published his COLLECTED POEMS in 1979, and has also edited THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF LIGHT VERSE and THE FABER POPULAR RECITER. Kingsley Amis was awarded the CBE in 1981.

 

 

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(10/29/2014) Two Murders In My Double Life by Josef Skvorecky

Published Date Hits: 83

(10/29/2014) Two Murders In My Double Life by Josef Skvorecky. New York. 2001. Farrar Straus Giroux. hardcover. 175 pages. Jacket design by Lynn Buckley. His 1st Novel Written In English. keywords: Literature Translated Czech Eastern Europe. 0374280258.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In Josef Škvorecký’s first novel written in English, the narrator lives in two radically dissimilar worlds: the exile world of the post-Communist Czech Republic where old feuds, treacherous betrayals, and friendships persevere; and the comfortable, albeit bland world of middle-class Canada. Murder intrudes upon both world. One features a young female sleuth, a college beauty queen, jealousy in the world of academia, and a neat conclusion. The other is a tragedy caused by evil social forces and philosophies, in which a web of lies insidiously entangles Sidonia, the narrator’s wife. A brilliantly stylish tour de force in which the bright, sarcastic comedy of one tale sharply contrasts with the dark, elegiac bitterness of the other, TWO MURDERS IN MY DOUBLE LIFE confirms Škvorecký’s reputation as a versatile and engaging writer. Josef Škvorecký (September 27, 1924 – January 3, 2012) was a Czech-Canadian writer and publisher who spent much of his life in Canada.

JOSEF 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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(10/30/2014) I Want It Now by Kingsley Amis

Published Date Hits: 53

(10/30/2014) I Want It Now by Kingsley Amis. New York. 1969. Harcourt Brace & World. hardcover. 255 pages. keywords: Literature England.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Ronnie Appleyard’s stock-in-trade as a successful and ambitious TV interviewer is sincerity, a quality he’s an expert on though values little, Yet a stab at candour seems in order when confronted by the altogether unnerving strangeness of Simon Quick, the girl he discovers at a party - barefoot, boyise and heiress to uncountable millions. As he accompanies her through the Hades of lavish, under-catered parties and submits to the dispiriting global entertainments of the extremely rich and their calculated patronage, Ronnie is for once uncertain of his motives, Surely it must be Simon’s money he’s after? What is there about this wild, erratic girl but her money that could possibly puncture his resilient cynicism? I WANT IT NOW is Kingsley Amis’s funniest book since LUCKY JIM. At its centre is a relationship which, in its struggle to overcome the self-consciousness and the clichés of the so-called ‘permissive’ society, illuminates with devastating accuracy and wit the precarious role of honesty in a success-addicted age.

Kingsley Amis was born in South London in 1922 and was educated at the City of London School and at St John’s College, Oxford, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. Between 1949 and 1963 he taught at the University College of Swansea, Princeton University and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He started his career as a poet and has continued to write in that medium ever since. His novels include LUCKY JIM (1954). TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU (1960), THE ANTI-DEATH LEAGUE (1966), ENDING UP (1974), THE ALTERATION (1976), JAKE’S THING (1978) and STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984). His novel, THE OLD DEVILS, won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1986. Among his other publications are NEW MAPS OF HELL, a survey of science fiction (1960), RUDYARD KIPLING AND HIS WORLD (1975) and THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION (1981). He published his COLLECTED POEMS in 1979, and has also edited THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF LIGHT VERSE and THE FABER POPULAR RECITER. Kingsley Amis was awarded the CBE in 1981.

 

 

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(10/31/2014) Fireworks by Angela Carter

Published Date Hits: 91

(10/31/2014) Fireworks by Angela Carter. London. 1974. Quartet Books. hardcover. 122 pages. Jacket design by The Green Bay Packers Art Co. keywords: Literature England Women. 0704320436.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Here is the ritualism of Tokyo where lovers ponder the intangible reflections of themselves, ‘reflections of nothing but appearances, in a city dedicated to seeming’, and ‘the velvet nights spaked with menace’ of a wasted London, poised on the brink of destruction. In these extraordinary tales Angela Carter pinpoints the symbolism of the city streets and weaves allegories around forests and jungles of strange and erotic landscapes of the imagination.

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

 

 

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(10/18/2014) My Enemy's Enemy by Kingsley Amis

Published Date Hits: 68

(10/18/2014) My Enemy's Enemy by Kingsley Amis. New York. 1963. Harcourt Brace & World. hardcover. 224 pages. Jacket design by Paul Bacon Studios. keywords: Literature England. 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   There are surprises in this first collection of stories by one of the most prominent members of England’s new generation of writers. Satire is here, along with characteristically apt and original turns of phrase, but the tone is more sober than that in any of Kingsley Amis’s four novels, and we discover fresh aspects of a talent that until now has seemed predominantly comic. The closing phases of the war in Europe provide a background for two short stories and a novella about a Corps of Signals company in Belgium, which dramatize with acerb irony the dismay felt by adherents of the old order as a radically different England begins to emerge from the conflict. There are other ironies in three contrasting stories set in postwar England: sad and wry in an account of strife between a sluttish young woman and a detestable social worker; gentler in a swift sketch portraying a girl of eighteen on her first date with an office superior; overtly compassionate in a substantial and beautifully modulated tale about a man in his sixties who discovers fresh truths about himself and human nature in general when he attends the funeral of the woman he has loved. The final story, in which an aficionado of science fiction successfully tries his own hand at that mode, brings to a subtly disturbing close a volume of uncommon interest and variety.

Kingsley Amis was born in South London in 1922 and was educated at the City of London School and at St John’s College, Oxford, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. Between 1949 and 1963 he taught at the University College of Swansea, Princeton University and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He started his career as a poet and has continued to write in that medium ever since. His novels include LUCKY JIM (1954). TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU (1960), THE ANTI-DEATH LEAGUE (1966), ENDING UP (1974), THE ALTERATION (1976), JAKE’S THING (1978) and STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984). His novel, THE OLD DEVILS, won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1986. Among his other publications are NEW MAPS OF HELL, a survey of science fiction (1960), RUDYARD KIPLING AND HIS WORLD (1975) and THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION (1981). He published his COLLECTED POEMS in 1979, and has also edited THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF LIGHT VERSE and THE FABER POPULAR RECITER. Kingsley Amis was awarded the CBE in 1981.

 

 

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(10/19/2014) The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

Published Date Hits: 89

(10/19/2014) The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. New York. 1977. Norton. hardcover. 602 pages. Painting by Domenica di Michelino, ‘Dante and His Poem’ (detail). Jacket design by Mike McIver. Translated by John Ciardi. keywords: Literature Translated Italy Poetry. 0393044726.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   This brilliant, standard translation of one of the great classics of Western literature is now made available in a single-volume hardcover edition, for the first time complete and in final form. Although Dante is one of the two who 'divide the world between them,' the world had to wait until now for a truly accessible translation of Dante into spoken English. Archibald MacLeish describes Ciardi's version as 'a text with the clarity and sobriety of a first-rate prose translation wich at the same time suggests in powerful and unmistakable ways the run and rhythm of the great original. .a spectacular achievement.'

Durante degli Alighieri (Dante 1265–1321), was a major Italian poet of the Middle Ages. His Divine Comedy, originally called Comedìa and later called Divina by Boccaccio, is widely considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature. In Italy he is called il Sommo Poeta (‘the Supreme Poet’) and il Poeta. He, Petrarch, and Boccaccio are also called ‘the three fountains’ and ‘the three crowns’. Dante is also called ‘the Father of the Italian language’.

Poet, educator, critic, John Ciardi has won countless awards, much praise, and a strong following for his own poetry. He was the poetry editor of the Saturday Review for sixteen years, director of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference for seventeen years, and an essayist of both wit and powerful insight.

 

 

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(10/20/2014) Open Doors and Three Novellas by Leonardo Sciascia

Published Date Hits: 58

(10/20/2014) Open Doors and Three Novellas by Leonardo Sciascia. New York. 1992. Knopf. hardcover. 295 pages. August 1992. Jacket design by Carol Devine Carson. Translated from the Italian by Marie Evans. Joseph Farrell & Sacha Rabinovitch. keywords: Literature Translated Sicily Italy. 0394589793.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   From the late Leonardo Sciascia, four brief but virtuoso novellas that confirm his preeminence as one of Italy’s greatest contemporary writers. Using past and present real-life events as the points of departure for his fiction, Sciascia’s self- styled racconti-inchiesti, or investigative tales, are as emotionally condensed as they are linguistically rich. In the title novella, Sciascia transports us to Palermo; it is 1937. It is here that the politics of fascism, with its policy of ‘closed doors,’ collide with those of socialism, whose doors are ostensibly open. As we ponder the fate of a man on trial for the triple murder of his wife, his former employer, and the successor to his job, it is not so much the verdict that keeps us in suspense as the sentence the accused may face from the presiding judge. In Death and the Knight, a police deputy wearily approaching the end of his career finds himself in confrontation with a radical student group—an encounter that leads him down a path of fear and paranoia, the repercussions of which linger long after the story’s chilling conclusion. The ironically titled A Straightforward Tale presents, in an astonishingly brief period of time, every possible perspective on the mysterious death of a diplomat who has been found slumped over his desk, pen in hand, the piece of paper in front of him containing nothing but the words ‘I have found.’ And in 1912 + 1, a wealthy and beautiful contessa is put on trial for the murder of the handsome young orderly who had forced his attentions on her. In writing that is beautifully textured, an brilliantly incorporating psychological suspense and indelible character portraits into the larger spheres of politics and history, Leonardo Sciascia reemerges, once and for all, as an enduring and eloquent voice in contemporary Italian literature.

The late novelist and essayist Leonardo Sciascia (1921-1989) was one of Italy’s greatest contemporary writers, His critically acclaimed fiction has been translated into a number of languages and has also been turned into films, the most recent of which, Open Doors, based on the novella contained in this quartet, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1990.

 

 

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(10/21/2014) We Sell Drugs: The Alchemy of US Empire by Suzanna Reiss

Published Date Hits: 93

(10/21/2014) We Sell Drugs: The Alchemy of US Empire by Suzanna Reiss. Berkeley. University of California Press. paperback. 330 pages. August 2014. American Crossroads, 39. 6 x 9. 1 map, 12 images. keywords: History. 9780520280786.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   This history of U.S.-led international drug control provides new perspective on the economic, ideological, and political foundations of a Cold War American empire. We Sell Drugs is grounded in the transnational geography and political economy of the coca leaf and coca-derived commodities market stretching to the U.S. from Peru and Bolivia. Coca was one of two seminal substances in international drug control. More than a narrow account of the biography of a famous plant and its equally famous derivative products—Coca-Cola and cocaine—Suzanna Reiss situates these commodities within a landscape of drug production and consumption. Examining efforts to control the circuits through which coca traveled, Reiss provides a geographic and legal anchor for considering the historical construction of designations of legality and illegality. The book also argues that the legal status of any given drug is premised on who grew, manufactured, distributed, and consumed it and not on the qualities of the drug itself. Drug control is part of a powerful toolbox for ordering international trade, national economies, and society’s habits and daily lives. In a historical landscape animated by struggles over political economy, national autonomy, colonialism, and racial equality, We Sell Drugs insists on the socio-historical underpinnings of designations of legality to explore how drug control became a weapon for ordering domestic and international affairs.

Suzanna Reiss is assistant professor of history at the University of Hawai’i Manoa.

 

 

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(10/22/2014) Johnson Without Boswell by Hugh Kingsmill

Published Date Hits: 56

(10/22/2014) Johnson Without Boswell by Hugh Kingsmill. New York. 1941. Knopf. hardcover. 318 pages. keywords: Literature England Biography Samuel Johnson.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘Boswell’s LIFE OF JOHNSON is in some respects a first draft of Boswell’s autobiography. Some say that Boswell resurrected Johnson; others that Johnson lies imprisoned in Boswell’s book. How Boswell posthumously possessed Johnson and, like a great theatrical director, produced him for an audience of readers as a tremendous John Bull character, was brilliantly indicated by an anthology called JOHNSON WITHOUT BOSWELL , put together in 1940 by Hugh Kingsmill.’ - an extract from Michael Holroyd’s Biography Lecture on the Orange Word Stage at the Hay festival, June 9, 2002.

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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(10/23/2014) Black Legacies: Race and the European Middle Ages by Lynn T. Ramey

Published Date Hits: 57

(10/23/2014) Black Legacies: Race and the European Middle Ages by Lynn T. Ramey. Gainesville. University Press of Florida. hardcover. 192 pages. September 2014. 9 x 6. keywords: History Race. 9780813060071.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘A provocative study of western racial attitudes Ramey adds an important, likely controversial, and well-written scholarly challenge to the argument that racism in the West was the product of nineteenth-century science ‘—Hamilton Cravens, coeditor of Race and Science. ‘The significance of this book extends beyond the medieval past Black Legacies shows that behind myths of knights in shining armor and fair maidens lies a contested literary and cultural history of medievalism that troubles understandings of race Uncorrected Proof from the nineteenth century to today ‘—Russ Castronovo, author of Beautiful Democracy. Black Legacies looks at color-based prejudice in medieval and modern texts in order to reveal key similarities Bringing far-removed time periods into startling conversation, this book argues that certain attitudes and practices present in Europe’s Middle Ages were foundational in the development of the western concept of race Using historical, literary, and artistic sources, Lynn Ramey shows that twelfth- and thirteenth-century discourse was preoccupied with skin color and the coding of black as ‘evil’ and white as ‘good ‘ Ramey demonstrates that fears of miscegenation show up in all medieval European societies She pinpoints these same ideas in the rhetoric of later centuries Mapmakers and travel writers of the colonial era used medieval lore of ‘monstrous peoples’ to question the humanity of indigenous New World populations, and medieval arguments about humanness were employed to justify the slave trade Ramey even analyzes how race is explored in films set in medieval Europe, revealing an enduring fascination with the Middle Ages as a touchstone for processing and coping with racial conflict in the West today.

LYNN T. RAMEY is associate professor of French at Vanderbilt University She is the author of Christian, Saracen and Genre in Medieval French Literature: Imagination and Cultural Interaction in the French Middle Ages and coeditor of Race, Class, and Gender in ‘Medieval’ Cinema.

 

 

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(10/24/2014) Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious by D. H. Lawrence

Published Date Hits: 71

(10/24/2014) Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious by D. H. Lawrence. New York. 1921. Seltzer. hardcover. 120 pages. keywords: Literature England Psychology.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘He was a clever man as well as a man of genius. a being, somehow of another order, more sensitive, more highly conscious, more capable of feeling than even the most gifted of common men’ - Aldous Huxley. In these brilliant pioneering essays Lawrence set out to redefine the unconscious as ‘only another word for life’. Roused by Freud’s resurrection of the unconscious, he describes its biological nature, shows how both society and the individual have failed to exploit it and suggests revolutionary changes in education to accommodate and develop it Lawrence’s passionate interest in the unconscious is a key to the understanding of his fiction and poetry; his imaginative arguments and supple prose persuade and excite as disturbingly today as they first did sixty years ago.

David Herbert Lawrence (11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930) was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence. His collected works, among other things, represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialization. In them, some of the issues Lawrence explores are emotional health, vitality, spontaneity and instinct. Lawrence's opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile which he called his ‘savage pilgrimage.’ At the time of his death, his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents. E. M. Forster, in an obituary notice, challenged this widely held view, describing him as, ‘The greatest imaginative novelist of our generation.’ Later, the influential Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence's fiction within the canonical ‘great tradition’ of the English novel.

 

 

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