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Sor Juana Ines De La Cruz: Selected Works by Sor Juana Ines De La Cruz. New York. 2014. Norton. 216 pages. hardcover. Jacket photograph by Susan Fox. Jacket design by Tiani Kennedy.  Translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman. Introduction by Julia Alvarez. 9780393241754.  

 

9780393241754FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Latin America's great poet rendered into English by the world's most celebrated translator of Spanish-language literature. Sor Juana (1651–1695) was a fiery feminist and a woman ahead of her time. Like Simone de Beauvoir, she was very much a public intellectual. Her contemporaries called her "the Tenth Muse" and "the Phoenix of Mexico," names that continue to resonate. An illegitimate child, self-taught intellectual, and court favorite, she rose to the height of fame as a writer in Mexico City during the Spanish Golden Age. This volume includes Sor Juana's best-known works: "First Dream," her longest poem and the one that showcases her prodigious intellect and range, and "Response of the Poet to the Very Eminent Sor Filotea de la Cruz," her epistolary feminist defense - evocative of Mary Wollstonecraft and Emily Dickinson - of a woman's right to study and to write. Thirty other works - playful ballads, extraordinary sonnets, intimate poems of love, and a selection from an allegorical play with a distinctive New World flavor - are also included.

 

 

De La Cruz Sor Juana Ines  Sister (Spanish: Sor) Juana Inés de la Cruz, O.S.H. (English: Joan Agnes of the Cross) (12 November 1651 – 17 April 1695), was a self-taught scholar and poet of the Baroque school, and nun of New Spain. Although she lived in a colonial era when Mexico was part of the Spanish Empire, she is considered today a Mexican writer, and stands at the beginning of the history of Mexican literature in the Spanish language.

 

 

 

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Talkin' Moscow Blues by Josef Skvorecky. New York. 1990. Ecco Press. paperback. 367 pages. January 1990. Cover: David Montle. Paperback Original.

 

0880012315FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ballantine space merchants 21The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth. New York. 1953. Ballantine Books. 181 pages.  paperback. Cover art by Richard Powers.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ballantine slave ship 192Slave Ship by Frederik Pohl. New York. 1957. Ballantine Books. 148 pages.  paperback.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

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

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

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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0811209733Memory Gardens by Robert Creeley. New York. 1986. New Directions. 88 pages.  hardcover. Photograph by Denny Moers; design by Hermann Strohbach.  0811209733 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9780385351379The Son by Jo Nesbø. New York. 2014. Knopf. 405 pages. May 2014. hardcover. 9780385351379

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Starchild by Frederik Pohl. Middlesex. 1970. Penguin Books. 148 pages.  paperback. Cover design by Franco Grignani.  0140031030

 

 

0140031030FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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quack quack no dwQuack! Quack! by Leonard Woolf. New York. 1935. Harcourt Brace & Company.  hardcover.   

FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

0811215563FROM THE PUBLISHER -

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

9781621900559FROM THE PUBLISHER -

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

0553088572FROM THE PUBLISHER -

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

0553127969FROM THE PUBLISHER -

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

0385110146FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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progress of a biographerThe Progress of a Biographer by Hugh Kingsmill. London. 1949. Methuen & Company Ltd. 194 pages.  hardcover.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

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

 

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

 

 

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0811212637Echoes by Robert Creeley. New York. 1994. New Directions. 116 pages.  hardcover. Jacket photograph by Denny Moers; design by Hermann Strohbach.  0811212637.  

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

happy go lucky lippincott 1906 no dwFROM THE PUBLISHER -

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

 

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

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

 

 

9781400077311FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

ulysses 7th printingFROM THE PUBLISHER -    

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

9781594203367FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

boom in spanish american literatureFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

lolita olympia pressFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

An inventive thriller with an unlikely but refreshingly believable heroine.

 

 

0374266441FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

An early Latin American picaresque novel.

 

 

itching parrot doubleday doran 1942FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

epitaph of a small winner noondayFROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Learning to Grieve

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    Learning to Grieve “Maybe I didn’t die properly,” says Jamie (played by Alan Rickman) in Anthony Minghella’s early film Truly, Madly, Deeply. “Maybe that’s why I can come back.” His partner, Nina (Juliet Stevenson), has been driven mad with grief, following his sudden[…]

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  • China’s Clampdown on Hong Kong

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    China’s Clampdown on Hong Kong As the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China approached, commentary in the English-language press about the future of the colony was written in the elegiac style of obituaries, extolling the past and lamenting the future. In June[…]

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  • Query

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    I am writing the biography of Morton Sobell, and would like to hear from anyone who knew him. David Evanier 917-671-7612 devanier@earthlink.net

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  • The Representative

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    The Representative After the election of 2018, the US Congress became the most racially and ethnically diverse it had ever been. The freshman class contained a record number of incoming women (thirty-six), including the four young progressives who came to be called[…]

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  • Measuring Slavery’s Impact

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    To the Editors: Fara Dabhoiwala in “Speech and Slavery in the West Indies” [NYR, August 20] makes two claims that cannot be correct. As one of the scholars working on the www .slavevoyages.org site, which he kindly references, I would[…]

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  • Boston

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    When I first moved to this city to take a job, and the snows began to fall, a slow sadness took hold of me. Someone left a tiny pencil drawing of a sailboat on the ceiling of my bedroom, and[…]

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  • Seeing Too Clearly

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    Seeing Too Clearly Not long ago, Hari Kunzru was asked in an interview, “What is the worst-case scenario for the future?” He answered with brutal lucidity: The US becomes an autocracy, and devolves into a weak and fractious patchwork of jurisdictions run by[…]

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  • Max Weber’s Agon

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    To the Editors: We appreciate Peter E. Gordon’s thoughtful review of Charisma and Disenchantment, our edition of Max Weber’s “vocation lectures” [NYR, June 11], but of course we’re not writing simply to say thank you. For all the care and[…]

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  • Rashly Filling the Void

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    In an essay about his landmark novel, Native Son, Richard Wright argued that while the racial identity of his protagonist was essential to the storyline, it was not exclusively tied to the book’s broader meaning. True, Bigger Thomas—that brooding, brutal,[…]

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  • Don’t Wish for a Restoration

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    During the last few years—and increasingly during the last few months—Americans have more and more come to resemble the passengers on the steamboat Fidèle in Herman Melville’s The Confidence Man. A sign hanging from the barbershop bulkhead says “No Trust.”[…]

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