Zenosbooks

Book Blogs

General book blog.

(12/18/2008) The Nobbie Stories For Children & Adults by C. L. R. James. Lincoln. 2006. University Of Nebraska Press. Edited & Introduced By Constance Webb. Foreword By Anna Grimshaw. keywords: Literature Caribbean Black Children's Books. 119 pages. Jacket photo - C. L. R. James with his son, courtesy of Anna Grimshaw.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   After more than a decade in the United States, the Caribbean writer C. L. R. James ran afoul of McCarthyism in 1953 and was deported. In exile in London, he began to write stories in the form of letters to his four-year-old son 'Nobbie,' who remained in the States. Through a distinctive, imaginary, and sometimes absurd cast of characters-Good Boongko, Bad boo-boo-loo, Moby Dick, and Nicholas the worker, among others-these stories explore questions of friendship, conflict, community, ethics, and power in humorous and often ingenious ways; they also stand as a moving testament to a father's struggle to be a vivid presence in the life of his son despite separation and distance. Attesting to James's remarkable gifts as a writer and his unusual talent for engaging wide and diverse audiences, these witty and poignant stories, published here for the first time, are not just for James aficionados. Each story is a delight in its own way, making the book irresistible for children and adults alike.

Cyril Lionel Robert James was an Afro-Trinidadian journalist, socialist theorist and writer. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, then a British Crown colony, James attended Queen's Royal College in Port of Spain before becoming a cricket journalist, and also an author of fiction. He would later work as a school teacher, teaching among others the young Eric Williams. Together with Ralph de Boissiere, Albert Gomes and Alfred Mendes, James was a member of the anti-colonialist Beacon Group, a circle of writers associated with The Beacon magazine. In 1932, he moved to Nelson in Lancashire, England in the hope of furthering his literary career. There he worked for the Manchester Guardian and helped the cricketer Learie Constantine write his autobiography. In 1933, James moved to London. James had begun to campaign for the independence of the West Indies while in Trinidad, and his Life of Captain Cipriani and the pamphlet The Case for West-Indian Self Government were his first important published works, but now he became a leading champion of Pan-African agitation and the Chair of the International African Friends of Abyssinia, formed in 1935 in response to Fascist Italy's invasion of what is now Ethiopia. He then became a leading figure in the International African Service Bureau, led by his childhood friend George Padmore, to whom he later introduced Kwame Nkrumah. In Britain, he also became a leading Marxist theorist. He had joined the Labour Party, but in the midst of the Great Depression he became a Trotskyist by 1934, James was a member of an entrist Trotskyist group inside the Independent Labour Party. In this period, amid his frantic political activity, James wrote a play about Toussaint L'Ouverture, which was staged in the West End in 1936 and starred Paul Robeson and Robert Adams. That same year saw the publication in London of James's only novel, Minty Alley, which he had brought with him in manuscript from Trinidad; it was the first novel to be published by a black Caribbean author in the UK. He also wrote what are perhaps his best-known works of non-fiction: World Revolution, a history of the rise and fall of the Communist International, which was critically praised by Leon Trotsky, and The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution, a widely acclaimed history of the Haitian revolution, which would later be seen as a seminal text in the study of the African diaspora. In 1936, James and his Trotskyist Marxist Group left the Independent Labour Party to form an open party. In 1938, this new group took part in several mergers to form the Revolutionary Socialist League. The RSL was a highly factionalised organisation and when James was invited to tour the United States by the leadership of the Socialist Workers' Party, then the US section of the Fourth International, in order to facilitate its work among black workers, he was encouraged to leave by one such factional opponent, John Archer, in the hope of removing a rival. James moved to the USA in late 1938, and after a tour sponsored by the SWP stayed on for over twenty years. But by 1940 he had developed severe doubts about Trotsky's analysis of the Soviet Union as a degenerated workers state and left the SWP along with Max Shachtman, who formed the Workers' Party. Within the WP he formed the Johnson-Forest Tendency with Raya Dunayevskaya and Grace Lee in order to spread their views within the new party. While within the WP the views of the J-F tendency underwent considerable development and by the end of the Second World War they had definitively rejected Trotsky's theory of Russia as a degenerated workers state, instead analysing it as being state capitalist. This political evolution was shared by other Trotskyists of their generation, most notably Tony Cliff. Unlike Cliff, they were increasingly looking towards the autonomous movements of oppressed minorities, a theoretical development already visible in James' thought in his discussions with Leon Trotsky which took place in 1939. An interest in such autonomous struggles came to take centre stage for the tendency. After 1945 the WP saw the prospects for a revolutionary upsurge as receding. The J-F Tendency, by contrast, were more enthused by prospects for mass struggles and came to the conclusion that the SWP, which they considered more proletarian than the WP, thought similarly to themselves about such prospects. Therefore, after a short few months as an independent group when they published a great deal of material for a small group, the J-F tendency joined the SWP in 1947. James would still describe himself as a Leninist, despite his rejection of Lenin's conception of the vanguard role of the revolutionary party, and argue for socialists to support the emerging black nationalist movements by 1949, he came to reject the idea of a vanguard party. This led his tendency to leave the Trotskyist movement and rename itself the Correspondence Publishing Committee. In 1955, nearly half the membership of Committee would leave under the leadership of Raya Dunayevskaya to form a separate tendency of Marxist-humanism and found the organization, News and Letters Committees. Whether Raya Dunayevskaya's faction constituted a majority or minority seems to be a matter of dispute. Historian Kent Worcester claims that Dunayevskaya's supporters formed a majority of the pre-split Correspondence Publishing Committee but Martin Glaberman has claimed in New Politics that the faction loyal to James had a majority. The Committee split again in 1962 as Grace Lee Boggs and James Boggs, two key activists, left to pursue a more Third Worldist approach. The remaining Johnsonites, including leading member Martin Glaberman reconstituted themselves as Facing Reality, which James advised from Britain until the group dissolved, against James' advice, in 1970. James's writings were influential in the development of Autonomist Marxism as a current within Marxist thought, though he himself saw his life's work as developing the theory and practice of Leninism. In 1953, James was forced to leave the US under threat of deportation for having overstayed his visa by over ten years. In his attempt to remain in the USA, James wrote a study of Herman Melville, Mariners, Renegades and Castaways: The Story of Herman Melville and the World We Live In, and had copies of the privately published work sent to every member of the Senate. He wrote the book while being detained on Ellis Island. He returned back to England and then, in 1958 returned to Trinidad, where he edited The Nation newspaper for the pro-independence People's National Movement party. He also had become involved again in the Pan-African movement, believing that the Ghana revolution showed that decolonisation was the most important inspiration for international revolutionaries. James also advocated the West Indies Federation, and it was over this that he fell out with the PNM leadership. He returned to Britain, then to the USA in 1968, where he taught at the University of the District of Columbia. Ultimately, he returned to Britain and spent his last years in Brixton, London. In the 1970s and 1980s, a number of books by James were republished or reissued by Allison and Busby, including four volumes of selected writings: The Future In the Present, Spheres of Existence, At the Rendezvous of Victory and Cricket. In 1983, a short British film featuring James in dialogue with the famous historian E. P. Thompson was made. A public library in Hackney, London is named in his honor; in 2005 a reception there to mark its 20th anniversary was attended by his widow, Selma James. C. L. R. James is widely known as a writer on cricket, especially for his autobiographical 1963 book, Beyond a Boundary. This is considered a seminal work of cricket writing, and is often named as the best single book on cricket ever written. The book's key question, which is frequently quoted by modern journalists and essayists, is inspired by Rudyard Kipling and asks: What do they know of cricket who only cricket know? James uses this challenge as the basis for describing cricket in an historical and social context, the strong influence cricket had on his life, and how it meshed with his role in politics and his understanding of issues of class and race. The literary quality of the writing attracts cricketers of all political views. While editor of The Nation, he led the successful campaign in 1960 to have Frank Worrell appointed as the first black captain of the West Indies cricket team. Constance Webb spent many years working in the publishing industry as an editor and writer. Her correspondence with her husband, C. L. R. James, is the subject of the book Special Delivery. Anna Grimshaw, associate professor of anthropology at Emory University, was C. L. R. James's research assistant at the end of his life and edited SPECIAL DELIVERY and THE C. L. R. JAMES READER.

 

 

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

 


(12/17/2008) The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa. New York. 2007. Farrar Straus Giroux. Translated From The Spanish By Edith Grossman. keywords: Literature Latin America Peru Translated. 276 pages. Cover photograph by Abigail Pope. Cover design by Charlotte Strick. 0374182434.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Ricardo Somocurcio is in love with a bad girl. He loves her as a teenager known as 'Lily' in Lima in 1950, when she arrives one summer out of the blue, claiming to be from Chile but vanishing the moment her claim is exposed as fiction. He loves her next in Paris, where she appears as the enchanting 'Comrade Arlette,' an activist en route to Cuba, and becomes his lover, albeit an icy, remote one who denies knowing anything about the Lily of years gone by Whoever the bad girl turns up as - whether it's Madame Robert Arnoux, the wife of a high-ranking UNESCO official, or Kuriko, the mistress of a sinister Japanese businessman, and however poorly she treats him, Ricardo is doomed to worship her. The protean Lily, gifted liar and irresistible, maddening muse - does Ricardo ever know who she really is? The answer is as unclear as what has become of Ricardo himself, a lifelong expatriate shadowed by the sense that he is only ever drifting. In Mario Vargas Llosa's beguiling new novel, the strange bedfellows of good and bad turn out not to be what they appear.

Mario Vargas Llosa is a Peruvian writer who is one of Latin America's leading novelists and essayists.

 

 

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

 


(12/16/2008) The Day The World Ended At Little Bighorn: A Lakota History by Joseph M. Marshall III. New York. 2007. Viking Press. keywords: History America Native American Littel Bighorn Custer Lakota. 262 pages. 9780670038534. May 2007.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   The 1876 battle of the Little Bighorn, or 'Custer's Last Stand,' as it is also known, captured the American imagination. In the press coverage of the time and even in today's history books, the telling and retelling have emphasized that Custer and his gallant troop of soldiers went down valiantly in a final blaze of glory when they battled Lakota fighters. News of Custer's defeat came just as the United States was celebrating its centennial. 'MASSACRE!' screamed the headlines of newspapers around the country. And with that, history has remembered Native American fighters in this battle as heartless savages impeding the progress of white soldiers who simply wanted to settle uncharted territory. Only now is this story being rewritten. In THE DAY THE WORLD ENDED AT LITTLE BIGHORN, award-winning Lakota historian Joseph M. Marshall III reveals a view of the battle that has been available only in the Lakota oral tradition. Marshall explores the nuances and complexities that led up to and followed the battle. He examines the customs and community of the Lakota and the importance of honor and bravery in the culture. He explores the significance of the battle, illuminating why and how the Lakota fought so fiercely, even as they acknowledged the inevitability of change. And finally he considers the consequences of the battle as part of a tragic fight that changed the scope of both America and the American landscape.

 

 

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

 


(12/15/2008) The Quiet Girl by Peter Hoeg. New York. 2007. Farrar Straus Giroux. Translated From The Danish By Nadia Christensen. keywords: Literature Denmark Translated. 408 pages. Jacket design & photograph by Kwasi Osei. 0374263698.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Set in Denmark in the here and now, THE QUIET GIRL centers around Kaspar Krone, a world-renowned circus clown with a deep love for the music of Johan Sebastian Bach, and an even deeper gambling debt. Wanted for tax evasion and on the verge of extradition, Krone is drafted into the service of a mysterious order of nuns who promise him reprieve from the international authorities in return for his help safeguarding a group of children with mystical abilities-abilities that Krone also shares. When one of the children goes missing, Krone sets off to find the young girl and bring her back, making a shocking series of discoveries along the way about her identity and the true intentions of his young wards. The result is a fast-paced, philosophical thriller blending social realism with the literary fantastic and pitting art and spirituality against corporate interests and nothing less than the will to war by the industrialized world. THE QUIET GIRL is a masterful, inventive novel that marks the triumphal return of one of the great writers of the international literary world.

Peter Hoeg, born in 1957 in Denmark, followed various callings-dancer, actor, sailor, fencer, and mountaineer-before turning seriously to writing. His work has been published in thirty-three countries. THE QUIET GIRL is his fifth novel.

 

 

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

 


(12/14/2008) The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño. New York. 2007. Farrar Straus Giroux. Translated From The Spanish By Natasha Wimmer. keywords: Literature Latin America Chile Translated. 577 pages. Jacket design by Rodrigo Corral. 0374191484.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   New Year's Eve, 1975: Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, founders of the visceral realist movement in poetry, leave Mexico City in a borrowed white Impala. Their quest: to track down the obscure, vanished poet Cesarea Tinajero. A violent showdown in the Sonora desert turns search to flight; twenty years later Belano and Lima are still on the run. The explosive first long work by 'the most exciting writer to come from south of the Rio Grande in a long time', THE SAVAGE DETECTIVES follows Belano and Lima through the eyes of the people whose paths they cross in Central America, Europe, Israel, and West Africa. This chorus includes the muses of visceral realism, the beautiful Font sisters; their father, an architect interned in a Mexico City asylum; a sensitive young follower of Octavio Paz; a foul-mouthed American graduate student; a French girl with a taste for the Marquis de Sade; the great-granddaughter of Leon Trotsky; a Chilean stowaway with a mystical gift for numbers; the anorexic heiress to a Mexican underwear empire; an Argentinian photojournalist in Angola; and assorted hangers-on, detractors, critics, lovers, employers, vagabonds, real-life literary figures, and random acquaintances. A polymathic descendant of Borges and Pynchon, Roberto Bolaño traces the hidden connection between literature and violence in a world where national boundaries are fluid and death lurks in the shadow of the avant-garde. THE SAVAGE DETECTIVES is a dazzling original, the first great Latin American novel of the twenty-first century.

 

 

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

 


(12/12/2008) Love & Night: Unknown Stories by Cornell Woolrich. Tucson. 2007. Dennis McMillan Publications Publications. Edited By Francis M. Nevins. keywords: Literature America Mystery. 236 pages. Jacket design by Michael Kellner. 9780939767588.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   CORNELL WOOLRICH was the Alfred Hitchcock of the written word just as Hitchcock was the Woolrich of the moving image. Thanks to satellite TV and DVDs we can access most of the lesser-known Hitchcock films that are not centrally concerned with crime and suspense - and discover that many of them have close links with his suspense classics. But the lesser-known Woolrich stories, tales that likewise fall out of the suspense field but have countless links with his suspense masterpieces, have remained unseen and unread for seventy to eighty years. In LOVE AND NIGHT, Francis M. Nevins has brought together 15 Woolrich stories, first published between 1926 and 1939, and never reprinted since, in which crime and suspense are peripheral at best but the trademark Woolrich motifs, devices, sardonic humor and compulsive word magic are as strong as ever. With their vivid portraits of life and love and economic and sexual exploitation during the last of the carefree Twenties, then headlong into the depths of the Depression, these tales will surprise and delight the countless readers for whom Woolrich is a cult figure - and anyone else who may not until now have encountered the world that haunted Woolrich his entire life.

Mystery writer and retired law professor Francis M. Nevins is the author of the Edgar-winning CORNELL WOOLRICH: FIRST YOU DREAM, THEN YOU DIE, the editor of several previous Woolrich collections, and a consultant to the Woolrich estate.

 

 

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

 


(12/11/2008) Nietzsche's Political Skepticism by Tamsin Shaw. Princeton. 2007. Princeton University Press. keywords: Political Theory Nietzsche. 192 pages. 9780691133225.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Political theorists have long been frustrated by Nietzsche's work. Although he develops profound critiques of morality, culture, and religion, it is very difficult to spell out the precise political implications of his insights. He himself never did so in any systematic way. In this book, Tamsin Shaw claims that there is a reason for this: Nietzsche's insights entail a distinctive form of political skepticism. Shaw argues that the modern political predicament, for Nietzsche, is shaped by two important historical phenomena. The first is secularization, or the erosion of religious belief, and the fragmentation of moral life that it entails. The second is the unparalleled ideological power of the modern state. The promotion of Nietzsche's own values, Shaw insists, requires resistance to state ideology. But Nietzsche cannot envisage how these values might themselves provide a stable basis for political authority; this is because secular societies, lacking recognized normative expertise, also lack a reliable mechanism for making moral insight politically effective. In grappling with this predicament, Shaw claims, Nietzsche raises profound questions about political legitimacy and political authority in the modern world.

Tamsin Shaw is assistant professor of politics at Princeton University.

 

 

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

 


 

(12/10/2008) The Rebels by Sandor Marai. New York. 2007. Knopf. Translated From The Hungarian By George Szirtes. keywords: Literature Hungary Eastern Europe Translated. 281 pages. Jacket design by Peter Mendelsund. 9780375407574. March 2007.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   EMBERS, CASANOVA IN BOLZANO, and now THE REBELS: the third of the rediscovered novels of the great Hungarian writer--the jolting story of a troubled group of young men on the cusp of life, and death, in World War I. It is the summer of 1918. As graduation approaches at a boys' academy in provincial Hungary, the senior class finds itself in a ghost town. Fathers, uncles, older brothers--all have been called to the front. Surrounded only by old men, mothers, aunts, and sisters, the boys are keenly aware that graduation will propel them into the army and imminently toward likely death on the battlefield. In the final weeks of the academic year, four of these young men--and the war-wounded older brother of one of them--are drawn tightly together, sensing in one another a mutual alienation from their bleak, death-mapped future. Soon they are acting out their frustrations and fears in a series of increasingly serious, strange, and subversive games and petty thefts. But when they attract the attention of a stranger in town--an actor with a traveling theater company--their games, and their lives, begin to move in a direction they could not have predicted and cannot control.

Sandor Marai was born in Kassa, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1900, and died in San Diego, California, in 1989. He rose to fame as one of the leading literary novelists in Hungary in the 1930s. Profoundly antifascist, he survived World War II, but persecution by the Communists drove him from the country in 1948. He went into exile, first in Italy, then in the United States.

 

 

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

 


 

(12/09/2008) Political Ideas in the Romantic Age: Their Rise and Influence on Modern Thought by Isaiah Berlin. Princeton. 2006. Princeton University Press. Edited by Henry Hardy. With an introduction by Joshua L. Cherniss. keywords: Philosophy Political Science Politics History. 292 pages. Jacket image: details from 'The Tennis Court Oath, 20 June 1789' after Jacques Louis David. 0691126879.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   It is sometimes thought that the renowned essayist Isaiah Berlin was incapable of writing a big book. But in fact he developed some of his most important essays - including 'Two Concepts of Liberty' and 'Historical Inevitability' - from a book-length manuscript that he intended to publish but later set aside. Published here for the first time, POLITICAL IDEAS IN THE ROMANTIC AGE is the only book in which Berlin lays out in one continuous account most of his key insights about the history of ideas in the period that he made his own--the Romantic age. Distilling his formative early work in the history of ideas, the book also contains much that is not found elsewhere in his writings. The last of Berlin's posthumous books, it is of great interest both for his treatment of the subject and for what it reveals about his intellectual development. Written for a series of lectures at Bryn Mawr College in 1952, and heavily revised and expanded by Berlin afterward, the book argues that the political ideas of the Romantic age are still largely our own - down to the language and metaphors they are expressed in. Vividly expounding the central political ideas of leading European thinkers in the period 1760-1830, including Helvetius, Condorcet, Rousseau, Saint-Simon, Hegel, Schelling, and Fichte, the book is written in Berlin's characteristically accessible style. The book has been carefully prepared by Berlin's longtime editor Henry Hardy, and Joshua L. Cherniss provides an illuminating introduction that sets it in the context of Berlin's life and work.

Isaiah Berlin was a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford University. His books include Karl Marx, Liberty, and, from Princeton, AGAINST THE CURRENT, THE CROOKED TIMBER OF HUMANITY, THE ROOTS OF ROMANTICISM, THE POWER OF IDEAS, THREE CRITICS OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT, and FREEDOM AND ITS BETRAYAL.

Henry Hardy, one of Berlin's literary trustees and a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford University, has edited many of Berlin's books.

Joshua L. Cherniss is completing a doctorate at Oxford University on Berlin's political thought.

 

 

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

 


(12/08/2008) Knots by Nurruddin Farah. New York. 2007. Riverhead Books. keywords: Literature Somalia Africa Black. 422 pages. Jacket painting - Rodrigo Corral. 9781594489242. February 2007.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   A new novel from one of the world's great writers-an extraordinary work set in Mogadiscio, Somalia-that both breaks new ground and brings the author back to his literary roots. A strong, independent, modern woman who was born in Somalia but brought up in North America, Cambara returns to Mogadiscio to escape a failed marriage and an overweening mother. Her journey back to her native home is a desperate attempt to find herself on her own terms-however ironically-in a world of veils and burqas. And she has given herself a mission to reclaim her family's home from the warlord who has taken it as his own. Cambara finds emotional refuge and practical support with a group of Somali women activists working to broker peace in a country that has been savagely riven by its drug-addled, power-hungry men. Farah's novels have been famous for their unique African feminism since his debut, From a Crooked Rib ; Knots represents his most powerful return to that legacy-and provides a timely and sensitive exploration of life behind the veil. Knots also presents a penetrating portrayal of Somalia's capital city-a city that's changed from the city Westerners saw on CNN and in Black Hawk Down, now transformed into a state of violent anarchy and psychological disrepair that is largely undocumented and has never been more important to understand. An especially intimate portrait of Mogadiscio, KNOTS is informed by Farah's own recent efforts to reclaim his family's property there, as well as his experiences trying to negotiate peace among the city's warlords. Now more than ever, Farah's deeply wise and worldly inside look at the Muslim world is valuable and necessary. 'Nuruddin Farah takes us deep into a territory he has charted and mapped and made uniquely his own' - Chinua Achebe.

 

 

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

 


(12/07/2008) Weimar Germany: Promise & Tragedy by Eric D.Weitz. Princeton. 2007. Princeton University Press. keywords: History Germany Weimar Republic. 425 pages. 9780691016955.

A walking-tour history of the Weimar Republic.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   WEIMAR GERMANY still fascinates us, and now this complex and remarkably creative period and place has the history it deserves. Eric Weitz's new book reveals the Weimar era as a time of strikingly progressive achievements--and even greater promise. With a rich thematic narrative and detailed portraits of some of Weimar's greatest figures, this comprehensive history recaptures the excitement and drama as it unfolded, viewing Weimar in its own right--and not as a mere prelude to the Nazi era. WEIMAR GERMANY tells how Germans rose from the defeat of World War I and the turbulence of revolution to forge democratic institutions and make Berlin a world capital of avant-garde art. Setting the stage for this story, Weitz takes the reader on a walking tour of Berlin to see and feel what life was like there in the 1920s, when modernity and the modern city--with its bright lights, cinemas, 'new women,' cabarets, and sleek department stores--were new. We learn how Germans enjoyed better working conditions and new social benefits and listened to the utopian prophets of everything from radical socialism to communal housing to nudism. WEIMAR GERMANY also explores the period's revolutionary cultural creativity, from the new architecture of Erich Mendelsohn, Bruno Taut, and Walter Gropius to Hannah Hoch's photomontages and Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's theater. Other chapters assess the period's turbulent politics and economy, and the recipes for fulfilling sex lives propounded by new 'sexologists.' Yet WEIMAR GERMANY also shows how entrenched elites continually challenged Weimar's achievements and ultimately joined with a new radical Right led by the Nazis to form a coalition that destroyed the republic. Thoroughly up-to-date, skillfully written, and strikingly illustrated, WEIMAR GERMANY brings to life as never before an era of creativity unmatched in the twentieth century-one whose influence and inspiration we still feel today.

Eric D. Weitz is Distinguished McKnight University Professor of History at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of A CENTURY OF GENOCIDE and CREATING GERMAN COMMUNISM, 1890-1990.

 

 

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

 


(12/05/2008) Nada by Carmen Laforet. New York. 2007. Modern Library. Translated From The Spanish By Edith Grossman. Introduction By Mario Vargas Llosa. keywords: Literature Spain Women Translated. 247 pages. Jacket design: Thomas Beck Stvan Jacket photograph - Trevillion Images. 9780679643456.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   CARMEN LAFORET'S NADA is one of the most important literary works of post-Civil War Spain. Loosely based on the author's own life, it is the story of an orphaned young woman who leaves her small town to attend university in war-ravaged Barcelona. Residing amid genteel poverty in a mysterious house on Calle de Aribau, young Andrea falls in with a wealthy band of schoolmates who provide a rich counterpoint to the squalor of her home life. As experience overtakes innocence, Andrea gradually learns the disquieting truth about the people she shares her life with: her overbearing and superstitious aunt Angustias; her nihilistic yet artistically gifted uncle Roman and his violent brother Juan; and Juan's disturbingly beautiful wife, Gloria, who secretly supports the clan with her gambling. From existential crisis to a growing maturity and resolve, Andrea's passionate inner journey leaves her wiser, stronger, and filled with hope for the future. Edith Grossman's vital new translation captures the feverish energy of Laforet's magnificent story, showcasing its sharply drawn characters, its dark, powerful imagery, and its subtle humor. And Mario Vargas Llosa's Introduction illuminates Laforet's brilliant depiction of life during the early days of the Franco regime. With crystalline insight into the human condition, Carmen Laforet's classic novel stands poised to reclaim its place as one of the great novels of twentieth-century Europe.

CARMEN LAFORET had a profound impact on Spanish literature. Her debut novel, Nada, was awarded the first Premio Nadal in 1944-She also wrote a collection of short stories and five other novels, including Al doblar la esquina and La mujer nueva, which won Spain's National Prize for Literature in 1955.

EDITH GROSSMAN is the distinguished translator of works by many Spanish and Latin American writers, including Miguel de Cervantes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Alvaro Mutis. She is the recipient of two Translation of the Year awards from the American Literary Translators Association and the 2OO6 PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation. She lives in New York City. MARIO VARGAS LLOSA is one of Latin America's preeminent fiction writers and essayists. His novels include THE FEAST OF THE GOAT, THE NOTEBOOKS OF DON RIGOBERTO, And AUNT JULIA AND THE SCRIPTWRITER.

 

 

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

 


(12/03/2008) Collected Poems In English by Joseph Brodsky. New York. 2000. Farrar Straus Giroux. Poems Written In English & Poems Translated From The Original Russian By Or With The Author. Including Translations by - Jonathan Aaron, Peter France, Jamey Gambrell, Paul Graves, Anthony Hecht, George L. Kline, David McDuff, David MacFadyen, Jane Ann Mill. keywords: Poetry Russia Literature Translated. 540 pages. Jacket Design By Susan Mitchell. Jacket Photograph By M. Sozzani. 0374125457.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   One of the greatest and the grandest advocates of the literary vocation, Joseph Brodsky truly lived his life as a poet, and for it earned eighteen months of internal exile at hard labor, expulsion from his native country, and the Nobel Prize in Literature. Here, collected for the first time, are all the poems he published in English, from his earliest collaborations with Derek Walcott, Richard Wilbur, Howard Moss, and Anthony Hecht to the moving farewell poems he wrote near the end of his life. With nearly two hundred poems, several of them never before published in book form, this will be the essential volume of Brodsky's work.

Joseph Brodsky came to the United States in 1972, an involuntary exile from the Soviet Union. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987 and served as Poet Laureate of the United States in 1991 and 1992.

 

 

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

 


(12/02/2008) The Selected Poetry Of Vicente Huidobro. New York. 1981. New Directions. Edited by David M. Guss. keywords: Poetry Translated Latin America Chile Literature. 234 pages. Jacket portrait of Vicente Huidobro by Juan Gris, courtesy of the Huidobro collection; design by Hermann Strohbach. 0811208044.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   The Selected Poetry of Vicente Huidobro is the first major collection of the great Chilean writer's work to appear in English. Throughout Latin America and Europe, Huidobro is considered one of the most significant poets of our century and is recognized as one of the seminal figures in modem Spanish-language poetry. Octavio Paz wrote of him: 'He is the invisible oxygen of our poetry.' His masterpiece, the epic Altazor (which appears almost entire in this bilingual edition) has been called 'one of the most important works of Latin American literature of all time.' CONTENTS: Introduction: Poetry Is A Heavenly Crime; Frontispiece; PRELUDE - Arte Poetica/Ars Poetica; from Creationism; HORIZON CARRE/SQUARE HORIZON (1917) - Nouvelle Chanson/New Song; Orage/Storm; Telephone/Telephone; Chanson/Song; Cow Boy/Cow Boy; TOUR EIFFEL/EIFFEL TOWER (1918) - Tour Eiffel/Eiffel Tower; ECUATORIAL/EQUATORIAL (1918) - Ecuatorial/Equatorial; POEMAS ARTICOS / ARCTIC POEMS (1918) - Expres/Express; Camino/Road; Emigrante a America/Emigrant to America; Marino/Sailor; Mares Articos/Arctic Seas; AUTOMNE REGULIER/ORDINARY AUTUMN (1925) - Automne Regulier/Ordinary Autumn; Relativite du Printemps/Relativity of Spring; Clef des Saison/Key to the Seasons; Honni Soit Qui Mal/Honni Soit Qui Mal; Y Danse/Y Danse; Ya Vas Hatchou/Ya Vas Hatchou; Poeme/Poem; TOUT A COUP/SUDDENLY (1925) - 2/2; 3/3; 10/10; 30/30; 32/32; MANIFESTES/MANIFESTOS (1925) - Manifesto Perhaps; Illustrations; ALTAZOR (1919-1931) - Preface; de Canto I/from Canto I/Canto III/Canto III; de Canto IV/from Canto IV; Canto V/Canto V; Canto VI/Canto VI; Canto VII; VER Y PALPAR / TO SEE AND FEEL (1941) - Fuerzas Naturales/Natural Forces; Naturaleza Viva/Lifescape; Ella/She; Cancion de Marcelo Cielomar/Song of Marcelo Cielomar; Los Senores de la Familia/Members of the Family; Cancion de la Muervida/Song of the Deathlife; Tenemos un Cataclismo/There Is a Cataclysm; Adentro/Inside Us; Ronda de la Vida Riendo/Song of the laughing life; Pesos y Medidas/Weights and Measures; Sin Por Que/Without Reason; Fin de Cuentos/End of the Story; Anuncio/Announcement; EL CIUDADANO DEL OLIVIDO/THE CITIZEN OF OBLIVION (1941) - Rincones Sordos/Quiet Spaces; Solo/Alone; Tiempo de Espera/Time of Waiting; La Vida al Aire/Life in the Air; Un Dia Vendra/A Day Will Come; ULTIMOS POEMAS/LAST POEMS (1948) - Aire de Alba/Dawn Air; La Vida Es Sueno/La Vida Es Sueno; La Poesia Es un Atentado Celeste/Poetry Is a Heavenly Crime; Monumento al Mar/Monument to the Sea; Eramos los Elegidos del Sol/We Were the Sun's Chosen Ones; El Paso del Retorno/The Return Passage; FAREWELL - Hasta luego/Farewell; The Works of Vicente Huidobro.

Victor Huidobro (1893-1948) left Santiago in his early twenties, arriving in Paris in 1916 where he co-founded the influential Cubist magazine Nord-Sud with Guillaume Apollinaire and Pierre Reverdy. Soon after, he launched his own poetic movement known as Creationism and wrote, as well, for a score of other avant-garde journals. Author of over forty books-plays, political tracts, novels, manifestos, journalism, and poetry-Huidobro worked with Edgard Varese, Hans Arp, Juan Gris, Robert Delaunay, Jorge Luis Borges, and other important artists of his time.

The editor of the present collection, David M. Guss, is a poet and translator who has lived and worked in various parts of South America. His most recent work is a translation of Marc de Civrieux's Watunna: An Orinoco Creation Cycle (North Point Press).

The translations from both Spanish and French have been made by a group of poets known for their outstanding work as translators: Stephen Fredman, Carlos Hagen, W. S. Merwin, Geoffrey O'Brien, David Ossman, Michael Palmer, Jerome Rothenberg, Eliot Weinberger, and Geoffrey Young. In addition to doing the major portion of the translation, editor Guss has provided a critical/biographical essay, 'Poetry Is a Heavenly Crime,' to introduce Vicente Huidobro to a wider North American audience.

 

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

 


(12/01/2008) The Saga Of The People Of Laxardal & Bolli Bollason's Tales edited by Bergljot S. Kristjansdottir. New York. 2008. Penguin Books. Translated From The Icelandic By Keneva Kunz. keywords: Literature Iceland Translated Saga. 223 pages. Cover - Detail from Oseberg wood carving depicting woman appearing to restrain one man from striking another. Norwegian, 9th century. 9780140447750.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Gudrun is headstrong, proud and the most beautiful woman in Iceland. The tragic story of how she comes to betray and destroy the only man she has ever truly loved lies at the heart of this forceful family saga, which traces the passions and blood feuds of three generations of strong women, wise leaders and hotheaded warriors. Written around 1245 but telling of earlier centuries, when magic rites and sorcery clashed with the spread of Christianity throughout a rapidly changing Viking world, this tale of revenge slayings and sacrifice, desire and regret, is one of the best-loved works of Icelandic literature. The accompanying sequel tells of Bolli Bollason, Gudrun's adored son, and his fortune-seeking exploits. Keneva Kunz's authoritative translation is accompanied by an introduction by Bergljot S. Kristjandottir, which unravels the fascinating structure of the saga, considers the religious values underpinning the story and examines the intriguing narrative -voice of the tale's unknown author. This edition also contains notes and a chronology, graphical representations of the story, maps, an index of characters and suggestions for further reading.

 

 

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

 


(11/30/2008) World Revolution 1917-1936: The Rise & Fall Of The Communist International by C. L. R. James. London. 1937. Secker & Warburg. keywords: World Revolution Russia History. 429 pages.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   A popular history of the rise and fall of the Communist International. First published in 1937, this was one of the few contemporary attempts to synthesize the experience of the revolutionary movement after World War I. 'This book is an introduction to and survey of the revolutionary Socialist movement since the War-the antecedents, foundation and development of the Third International-its collapse as a revolutionary force. The Bolshevik Party, and the Soviet Union which it controls, being the dominating factors in the Third International, are given extensive treatment. The ideas on which the book are based are the fundamental ideas of Marxism. Since 1923 they have been expounded chiefly by Trotsky and a small band of collaborators. Many who sneered or ignored for years are now uncomfortably aware that inside Russia there is something vaguely called 'Trotskyism,' which the Soviet authorities, despite the economic successes, discover in the very highest offices in the State and in increasingly wide circles of the population. At the same time in Western Europe, statesmen and publicists, frightened at the steady rise of the revolutionary wave, join with the Stalinist regime in Russia to condemn 'Trotskyism.' Mr. Winston Churchill, in the Evening Standard of October 16th, 1936, unleashes a fierce diatribe against the 'Trotskyists,' coupled with scarcely veiled approval of the Stalinists, i.e. of the Third International. Governments and national statesmen do pot concern themselves with jesuitical differences between interpretations of Marx and Lenin. The whole future of civilization is involved. The present crisis in world affairs, the growth of Fascism, the Spanish revolution, the inevitable revolution in France, the role of Russia yesterday, to-day, and to-morrow, the constant ebb and flow of political parties and movements all over the world, these things must be seen, can only be understood at all, as part of the international revolutionary movement against Capitalism which entered a decisive stage in 1917 with the foundation of the first Workers' State and, two years later, the organisation of a revolutionary International. Ruhr invasion; the illness and death of Lenin and the quick victory of Stalin over Trotsky in 1923; Chang-Kai-Shek's northern expedition in 1926, the failure of the Shanghai Commune and the disastrous adventure of the Canton insurrection; the breakdown of the New Economic policy in 1928, the 'liquidation of the kulak,' and the capitulation without a blow of the powerful working-class movement of Germany before Hitler; the restoration of private property on the Russian countryside, the Popular Front in France, the murder of Zinoviev and Kamenev, the turning of guns by the Third International on the P.O.U.M. in Spain because it agitates for the Socialist revolution-all these major events of post-war history are one closely-connected whole. Seen in isolation they are a jumble. This book shows their inter-connection. How much the book owes to the writings of Trotsky, the text can only partially show. But even with that great debt, it could never have been written at all but for the material patiently collected and annotated in France, China, America, Germany and Russia. My task has been chiefly one of selection and co-ordination. Yet in so wide and complicated a survey, differences of opinion and emphasis are bound to arise. Therefore while the book owes so much to others as to justify the use of the term 'we,' the ultimate responsibility must remain my own.' - from the author's preface to the book.

Cyril Lionel Robert James (4 January 1901-19 May 1989) was an Afro-Trinidadian journalist, socialist theorist and writer. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, then a British Crown colony, James attended Queen's Royal College in Port of Spain before becoming a cricket journalist, and also an author of fiction. He would later work as a school teacher, teaching among others the young Eric Williams. Together with Ralph de Boissi?re, Albert Gomes and Alfred Mendes, James was a member of the anti-colonialist Beacon Group, a circle of writers associated with The Beacon magazine. In 1932, he moved to Nelson in Lancashire, England in the hope of furthering his literary career. There he worked for the Manchester Guardian and helped the cricketer Learie Constantine write his autobiography. In 1933, James moved to London. James had begun to campaign for the independence of the West Indies while in Trinidad, and his Life of Captain Cipriani and the pamphlet The Case for West-Indian Self Government were his first important published works, but now he became a leading champion of Pan-African agitation and the Chair of the International African Friends of Abyssinia, formed in 1935 in response to Fascist Italy's invasion of what is now Ethiopia. He then became a leading figure in the International African Service Bureau, led by his childhood friend George Padmore, to whom he later introduced Kwame Nkrumah. In Britain, he also became a leading Marxist theorist. He had joined the Labour Party, but in the midst of the Great Depression he became a Trotskyist. By 1934, James was a member of an entrist Trotskyist group inside the Independent Labour Party. In this period, amid his frantic political activity, James wrote a play about Toussaint L'Ouverture, which was staged in the West End in 1936 and starred Paul Robeson and Robert Adams. That same year saw the publication in London of James's only novel, Minty Alley, which he had brought with him in manuscript from Trinidad; it was the first novel to be published by a black Caribbean author in the UK. He also wrote what are perhaps his best-known works of non-fiction: World Revolution (1937), a history of the rise and fall of the Communist International, which was critically praised by Leon Trotsky, and The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (1938), a widely acclaimed history of the Haitian revolution, which would later be seen as a seminal text in the study of the African diaspora. In 1936, James and his Trotskyist Marxist Group left the Independent Labour Party to form an open party. In 1938, this new group took part in several mergers to form the Revolutionary Socialist League. The RSL was a highly factionalised organisation and when James was invited to tour the United States by the leadership of the Socialist Workers' Party, then the US section of the Fourth International, in order to facilitate its work among black workers, he was encouraged to leave by one such factional opponent, John Archer, in the hope of removing a rival. James moved to the USA in late 1938, and after a tour sponsored by the SWP stayed on for over twenty years. But by 1940 he had developed severe doubts about Trotsky's analysis of the Soviet Union as a degenerated workers state and left the SWP along with Max Shachtman, who formed the Workers' Party. Within the WP he formed the Johnson-Forest Tendency with Raya Dunayevskaya (his pseudonym being Johnson and Dunayevskaya's Forest) and Grace Lee (later Grace Lee Boggs) in order to spread their views within the new party. While within the WP the views of the J-F tendency underwent considerable development and by the end of the Second World War they had definitively rejected Trotsky's theory of Russia as a degenerated workers state, instead analysing it as being state capitalist. This political evolution was shared by other Trotskyists of their generation, most notably Tony Cliff. Unlike Cliff, they were increasingly looking towards the autonomous movements of oppressed minorities, a theoretical development already visible in James' thought in his discussions with Leon Trotsky which took place in 1939. An interest in such autonomous struggles came to take centre stage for the tendency. After 1945 the WP saw the prospects for a revolutionary upsurge as receding. The J-F Tendency, by contrast, were more enthused by prospects for mass struggles and came to the conclusion that the SWP, which they considered more proletarian than the WP, thought similarly to themselves about such prospects. Therefore, after a short few months as an independent group when they published a great deal of material for a small group, the J-F tendency joined the SWP in 1947. James would still describe himself as a Leninist, despite his rejection of Lenin's conception of the vanguard role of the revolutionary party, and argue for socialists to support the emerging black nationalist movements. By 1949, he came to reject the idea of a vanguard party. This led his tendency to leave the Trotskyist movement and rename itself the Correspondence Publishing Committee. In 1955, nearly half the membership of Committee would leave under the leadership of Raya Dunayevskaya to form a separate tendency of Marxist-humanism and found the organization, News and Letters Committees. Whether Raya Dunayevskaya's faction constituted a majority or minority seems to be a matter of dispute. Historian Kent Worcester claims that Dunayevskaya's supporters formed a majority of the pre-split Correspondence Publishing Committee but Martin Glaberman has claimed in New Politics that the faction loyal to James had a majority. The Committee split again in 1962 as Grace Lee Boggs and James Boggs, two key activists, left to pursue a more Third Worldist approach. The remaining Johnsonites, including leading member Martin Glaberman reconstituted themselves as Facing Reality, which James advised from Britain until the group dissolved, against James' advice, in 1970. James's writings were influential in the development of Autonomist Marxism as a current within Marxist thought, though he himself saw his life's work as developing the theory and practice of Leninism. In 1953, James was forced to leave the US under threat of deportation for having overstayed his visa by over ten years. In his attempt to remain in the USA, James wrote a study of Herman Melville, Mariners, Renegades and Castaways: The Story of Herman Melville and the World We Live In, and had copies of the privately published work sent to every member of the Senate. He wrote the book while being detained on Ellis Island. He returned back to England and then, in 1958 returned to Trinidad, where he edited The Nation newspaper for the pro-independence People's National Movement (PNM) party. He also had become involved again in the Pan-African movement, believing that the Ghana revolution showed that decolonisation was the most important inspiration for international revolutionaries. James also advocated the West Indies Federation, and it was over this that he fell out with the PNM leadership. He returned to Britain, then to the USA in 1968, where he taught at the University of the District of Columbia. Ultimately, he returned to Britain and spent his last years in Brixton, London. In the 1970s and 1980s, a number of books by James were republished or reissued by Allison and Busby, including four volumes of selected writings: The Future In the Present, Spheres of Existence, At the Rendezvous of Victory and Cricket. In 1983, a short British film featuring James in dialogue with the famous historian E. P. Thompson was made. A public library in Hackney, London is named in his honor; in 2005 a reception there to mark its 20th anniversary was attended by his widow, Selma James. C. L. R. James is widely known as a writer on cricket, especially for his autobiographical 1963 book, Beyond a Boundary. This is considered a seminal work of cricket writing, and is often named as the best single book on cricket (or even the best book on any sport) ever written. The book's key question, which is frequently quoted by modern journalists and essayists, is inspired by Rudyard Kipling and asks: What do they know of cricket who only cricket know? James uses this challenge as the basis for describing cricket in an historical and social context, the strong influence cricket had on his life, and how it meshed with his role in politics and his understanding of issues of class and race. The literary quality of the writing attracts cricketers of all political views. While editor of The Nation, he led the successful campaign in 1960 to have Frank Worrell appointed as the first black captain of the West Indies cricket team.

 

 

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

 


(11/29/2008) The Holocaust Industry: Reflections On The Exploitation Of Jewish Suffering by Norman G. Finkelstein. London/New York. 2000. Verso. keywords: Holocaust Judaica History Politics. 150 pages. Cover photograph by Richard Sylvarnes. 1859847730.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

    In an iconoclastic and controversial new study, Norman G. Finkelstein moves from an interrogation of the place the Holocaust has come to occupy in American culture to a disturbing examination of recent Holocaust compensation agreements. It was not until the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, when Israel's evident strength brought it into line with US foreign policy, that memory of the Holocaust began to acquire the exceptional prominence it enjoys today. Leaders of America's Jewish community were delighted that Israel was now deemed a major strategic asset and, Finkelstein contends, exploited the Holocaust to enhance this new-found status. Their subsequent interpretations of the tragedy are often at variance with actual historical events and are employed to deflect any criticism of Israel and its supporters. Recalling Holocaust hoaxers such as Jerzy Kosinski and Binjamin Wilkomirski, as well as the demagogic constructions of writers like Daniel Goldhagen, Finkelstein contends that the main danger posed to the memory of Nazism's victims comes not from the distortions of Holocaust deniers but from self-proclaimed guardians of Holocaust memory. Drawing on a wealth of untapped sources, he exposes the double shakedown of European countries as well as legitimate Jewish claimants, and concludes that the Holocaust industry has become an outright extortion racket. Thoroughly researched and closely argued, THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY is all the more disturbing and powerful because the issues it deals with are so rarely discussed.

 

 

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

 


(11/28/2008) The Waste Land & Other Poems by T. S. Eliot. New York. 1998. Penguin Books. Edited & With An Introduction and Notes by Frank Kermode. keywords: Literature Poetry America. 108 pages. Cover painting by Pieter Brueghel the Elder 'Triumph of Death', c. 014243731x.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   While recovering from a mental collapse in a Swiss sanitarium in 1921, T. S. Eliot finished what would become the definitive poem of the modern condition, and one that still casts a large and ominous shadow over twentieth-century poetry. Built upon the imagery of the Grail legend, the Fisher King, and ancient fertility cults, The Waste Land is both a poetic diagnosis of an ailing civilization and a desperate quest for spiritual renewal. Through pastiche and collage Eliot unfolds a nightmarish landscape of sexual disorder and spiritual desolation, inhabited by the voice of an unconscious that is at turns deeply personal and culturally collective. This edition collects all of the poems published in Eliot's first three volumes of verse, including 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,' 'Portrait of a Lady,' 'Gerontion,' 'Sweeney Among the Nightingales,' and 'Whispers of Immortality. ' Along with THE WASTE LAND, as Frank Kermode writes in his introduction, 'the early poems establish what the later poems confirm: taken together, they constitute a strong claim for Eliot's primacy among twentieth-century poets in English. '. T. S. Eliot is one of the most important and influential poets of the twentieth century. His unique and innovative evocations of the folly and poetry of humanity helped reshape modern literature, with poems such as 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,' included here, and most notably, the title poem, THE WASTE LAND, his groundbreaking masterpiece of postwar decay and redemption. Since its publication in 1922, The Waste Land has become one of the most widely studied modernist texts in English literature. Gathering together many of Eliot's major early poems, distinguished Harvard scholar and literary critic Helen Vendler presents an invaluable portrait of T. S. Eliot as a young poet and examines the artistry and craft that made him a Nobel laureate and one of the most significant voices in modern verse.

 

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

 


(11/27/2008) Selected Poems by Zbigniew Herbert. Middlesex. 1968. Penguin Books. Translated From The Polish By Czeslaw Milosz & Peter Dale Scott. Introduction by A. Alvarez. keywords: Literature Translated Poland Eastern Europe Poetry. 140 pages. Cover design by Alan Spain.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   No country has suffered more of the brutalities of Communism and Fascism than Poland. Yet Zbigniew Herbert, the most classical of its poets, is neither nationalist nor Catholic. He speaks for no party. Avant-garde in manner, but controlled, precise, and honest in thought, he stands aside from the chaos all around him, ironically bent on survival. His is the voice of sanity.

 

 

 

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

 


(11/26/2008) The Difficult Days by Roberto Sosa. Princeton. 1983. Princeton University Press. Translated from The Spanish by Jim Lindsey. keywords: Poetry Translated Honduras Literature Latin America. 79 pages. Cover art by Ezequiel Padilla Ayestas. 0691065837.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Roberto Sosa was born in Honduras in 1930. Expressing the oppression and poverty of his country, his poetry has been both banned and highly honored. Un mundo para todos dividido received the Casa de las Americas Award in Havana in 1971 after its publication was stopped in Honduras for political reasons. Despite the banning, the students and artists of Tegucigalpa recite Sosa’s verses regularly in cafes and nightclubs throughout the capital. The poems in THE DIFFICULT DAYS are taken from Un mundo para todos dividido and from Los Pobres, winner of the Adonais Award in Madrid in 1968. CONTENTS: Esta Luz Que Subscribo/This Light I Subscribe To; Los Pobres/The Poor; Transparencia/Transparency; Los Peldaños Que Faltan/The Missing Stairs; Los Indios/The Indians; La Realidad/Reality; La Yerba Cortada por los Campesinos/The Grass the Peasants Cut; Los Elegidos de la Violencia/Those the Violence Selects; Las Voces No Escuchadas de los Ricos/Unheard Voices of the Rich; La Muerte Otra/The Other Death; Los Claustros/The Sanctuary; La Hora Baja/Low Hour; Malignos Bailarines sin Cabeza/Wicked Headless Dancers; Las Sales Enigmáticas/ The Mysterious Sallies; Piano Vacio/Empty Piano; La Batalla Oscura/The Dark War; Mi Padre/My Father; Arte Espacial/Spatial Art; Canción para un Gato Muerto/Song for a Dead Cat; Testimonios/Testimonies; Los Dias Dificiles/The Difficult Days; Después de los Encuentros/After the Encounters; Un Anormal Volumen de Lluvia (Crónica de un Juicio Final)/ An Unusual Amount of Rain (A Doomsday Report); Descripción de una Ciudad en Peligro/Description of an Endangered City; El Aire Que Nos Queda/The Air We Have Left; El Invierno Puede Ser un Inválido/Winter Can Be an Invalid; La Arena del Desierto Que Comparto con Otros/The Desert Sand I Share with Others. . Jim Lindsay is the author of the book of poems IN LIEU OF MECCA (University of Pittsburgh). The poems in THE DIFFICULT DAYS are taken from Un mundo para todos dividido and from Los Pobres.

 

 

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

 


(11/25/2008) Selected Poems by Joseph Brodsky. New York. 1974. Harper & Row. Translated From The Russia & with an introduction by George L. Kline. Foreword by W. H. Auden. keywords: Poetry Translated Russia. 172 pages. 0060104848. January 1974.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Since early June, 1972, when Russian poet Joseph Brodsky was officially 'invited' to leave the Soviet Union, hardly a month has passed without some conspicuous article about him in the American press. At 33, Brodsky is a literary figure of international stature, of particular interest because his work--unlike Yevtushenko's and Voznezhensky's - is intensely inward, metaphysical, almost mystical, and wholly nonpolitical. These are the very factors which have incensed the Soviet authorities against him, and his having been born a Jew has not helped matters. Nor has the evidence in his recent work of his increasing commitment to Christianity. This selection, superbly translated by George L. Kline in close collaboration with the poet, contains more than fifty poems, including the famous Elegy for John Donne, his Verses on the Death of I S. Eliot, and two cantos of his extraordinary long poem Gorbunov and Gorchakov. W. H. Auden, on the basis of these translations, hailed Brodsky as a poet of the first order.

Joseph Brodsky has lectured and read at many American universities. Following a semester's teaching at Queens College, he was Poet in Residence at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

George L. Kline is a professor in the Department of Philosophy at Bryn Mawr.

 

 

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

 


(11/24/2008) The Pleasures Of Exile by George Lamming. London. 1960. Michael Joseph. keywords: Literature Caribbean Barbados Black. 232 pages. Jacket design by William Belcher.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In THE PLEASURES OF EXILE, George Lamming reveals the way he sees and thinks as a colonial writer who has chosen to live as an exile in London. He explains how this situation is forced upon the West Indian writer, and although this is not a literary exercise, Lamming leaves us in no doubt about the origin and development of the West Indian novel during the decade 1948 to 1958. In reporting his experience of Ghana, Nigeria and the United States he draws a picture of three different types of world whose citizens - the West Indian, the West African and the American Negro - share the common historic bond of slavery and colonialism, yet remain distinct products of their particular social and political environment. Lamming gives the word `colonialism' a universal significance by suggesting the sense in which the white coloniser inevitably becomes colonised by the very process of colonisation. Political independence is an absolute necessity if we are to make a move forward but political independence can only help towards that atmosphere in which an intelligent and creative assault must be made upon the whole edifice of cultural imperialism; for it is this particular brand of imperialism which, in Lamming's opinion, is the very basis of the colonial's psychological disorder. The book is not only a warning to the new independent states of Africa. It is a condemnation of West Indian ambivalence and bad faith. It is, above all, a frank and authentic indictment of the English conscience and, as such, it demands the attention of every English reader who would like to know how this particular stranger in our midst has seen us.

 

 

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

 


(11/23/2008) Hope Against Hope: A Memoir by Nadezhda Mandelstam. New York. 1970. Atheneum. Translated From The Russian By Max Hayward. keywords: Russia Translated Autobiography Literature. 432 pages. Jacket design by Jeanyee Wong.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Osip Mandelstam ranks with Boris Pasternak as one of the most admired Russian writers of the twentieth century. Because of the hostility of competing literary groups that threw in their lot with the Bolsheviks, Mandelstam and his followers were marked from the beginning by the new regime. After his first arrest in 1934 for writing an anti-Stalinist poem, Man made a half-hearted attempt to adapt to circumstances, but was subsequently banished from Moscow. Redeemed by the pleadings of Paternak, he was again imprisoned and finally died during the Great Purge of 1937-38. His widow's memoir gives the first authentic account of the tragic confrontation between the poet and the dictator which has long been legend in Moscow literary circles. At the same time she provides an unparalleled wealth of information about the dismal effects of political terror on Russian intellectuals during the dark 1920's and '30's. HOPE AGAINST HOPE has been translated by Max Hayward, Fellow of St. Antony's College, Oxford whose previous translations include Boris Pasternak's DR. ZHIVAGO Mr. Hayward has also provided an Appendix identifying persons mentioned in Mrs. Mandelstam's text and explaining Russian literary movements and organizations of the twentieth century. The interpretive Introduction is by Clarence Brown, Professor of Russian Literature at Princeton University, author of THE PROSE OF OSIP MANDELSTAM.

 

 

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

 


 

(11/22/2008) Sculpture: Some Observations On Shape & Form From Pygmalion's Creative Dream by Johann Gottfried Herder. Chicago. 2002. University of Chicago Press. Translated From The German By Jason Gaiger. keywords: Art Literature Germany Philosophy Translated. 141 pages. Cover - 'Gaul Committing Suicide with His Wife', marble. 0226327558.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   'The eye that gathers impressions is no longer the eye that sees a depiction on a surface; it becomes a hand, the ray of light becomes a finger, and the imagination becomes a form of immediate touching. ' - Johann Gottfried Herder. Long recognized as one of the most important eighteenth-century works on aesthetics and the visual arts, Johann Gottfried Herder's Plastik has never before appeared in a complete English translation. In this landmark essay, Herder combines rationalist and empiricist thought with a wide range of sources - from the classics to Norse legend, Shakespeare to the Bible - to illuminate the ways we experience sculpture. Standing on the fault line between classicism and romanticism, Herder draws most of his examples from classical sculpture, while nevertheless insisting on the historicity of art and of the senses themselves. Through a detailed analysis of the differences between painting and sculpture, he develops a powerful critique of the dominance of vision both in the appreciation of art and in our everyday apprehension of the world around us. One of the key articulations of the aesthetics of Sturm und Drang, SCULPTURE is also important as an anticipation of subsequent developments in art theory. Jason Gaiger's translation of SCULPTURE includes an extensive introduction to Herder's thought, explanatory notes, and illustrations of all the sculptures discussed in the text.

 

 

 

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

 


(11/21/2008) The Vicar's Passion by Honore de Balzac. Kobenhavn/Los Angeles. 2006. Green Integer Press. Translated From The French By Ed Ford. keywords: Literature France Translated. Green Integer 150. 671 pages. Cover photograph in a drawing of Honore de Balzac. 9781931243476. Originally published as Le Vicaire des Ardennes by Honore de Saint-Aubin in 1822.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   This early Balzac novel, never before translated into English, was written under the pseudonym of Horace de Saint Aubin. Balzac wrote several of his early works under pen names, but this work--with its controversial subjects of incest and rape--certainly seems to have justified Balzac's hidden identity. The novel begins with a brilliant comedic scene in which the local bourgeoisie wonders about its new vicar, a dashingly handsome young man with a dark, brooding personality. Ultimately, they begin to uncover his 'terrible' past, which includes a passionate love for his sister Melanie and a friendship with the local Marquise, who herself is attracted to the young man--until she discovers an even darker truth. At times comic, always adventurous and erotic, and brilliantly satiric, this is an important rediscovered work in the career of one of the greatest authors of world literature.  

 

 

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

 


 

(11/19/2008) The Antilles: Fragments Of Epic Memory by Derek Walcott. New York. 1993. Farrar Straus Giroux. keywords: Caribbean Black Literature. unpaginated. Front and back jacket art by Derek Walcott. 0374105308.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Derek Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on December 10, 1992. His Nobel lecture is a stirring evocation of the multivalent wholeness of the culture of the Antilles, forged out of a violent history against a land- and seascape of immemorial dimensions. 'Caribbean culture is not evolving but already shaped,' writes Walcott. 'Its proportions are not to be measured by the traveller or the exile, but by its own citizenry and architecture. ' He finds the image of this culture in the city of Port of Spain, Trinidad, 'mongrelized, polyglot, a ferment without a history, like heaven. ' And watching a group of East Indian Trinidadians reenact the Hindu epic the RAMAYANA in the small village of Felicity, he meditates on the sacred celebration of joy, the rehearsal of collective memory, that is the very essence of human experience, beyond history. Walcott's lecture is a powerful reenvisioning of the themes that have energized and informed his poetry.

 

 

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

 


(11/18/2008) Another Way To Be: Selected Works Of Rosario Castellanos by Rosario Castellanos. Athens. 1990. University Of Georgia Press. Translated From The Spanish & Edited Myralyn F. Allgood. Foreword By Edward D. Terry. keywords: Literature Mexico Translated Women. 146 pages. Cover photograph courtesy of Oscar Bonifaz. 0820312401.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ANOTHER WAY TO BE is a multifaceted selection of the writings of Rosario Castellanos, one of Mexico's most distinguished literary personalities. Poet, novelist, journalist, philosopher, and diplomat, Castellanos was a woman whose life and art reflected her commitment to the problems and promise of her native land. The daughter of a wealthy landowner who had married a seamstress from a lower class, she saw during her childhood the clash of cultures and social classes in tradition-bound communities where women were condemned to lives of submission and Indians were regarded as nothing more than chattel. From these experiences she came to see the world as a place where races and individuals are caught up in an ongoing struggle for justice and dignity, for 'another way to be human and free. ' In her work she focuses a penetrating light on interpersonal and interracial conflicts, denouncing the pervasive injustice as she created a literature that she hoped would be a catalyst for change. ANOTHER WAY TO BE opens with selections from her poetry, presented both in Spanish and in English translation. In such poems as 'Wailing Wall' and the previously unpublished 'Ritual Bath in the Grijalva,' there are echoes of Chilean Nobel laureate Gabriela Mistral, whom she greatly admired. Poems like 'Indian Mother' and 'The Indian's Prayer' express empathy and compassion for the native of Chiapas. Selections from Castellano's prize-winning fiction reflect her concern with the hostility and prejudice that cripple human relationships and her refusal to depict women and Indians as stereotypes. This collection closes with a group of essays, the product of the latter phase of Castellanos's creative evolution. Written with keen insight and satirical humor, these essays - like her other writing - reflect her training in philosophy, her intellectual debt to Simone Weil and Simone de Beauvoir, and the kinship she felt with Virginia Woolf and Emily Dickinson. Together with the introductory essay by Myralyn Allgood and an extensive bibliography, the selections in ANOTHER WAY TO BE - most appearing in translation for the first time - give a rich and full sense of the diverse talents of a remarkable writer.

 

 

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

 


(11/17/2008) Children Of The Revolution: The French, 1799-1914 by Robert Gildea. Cambridge. 2008. Harvard University Press. keywords: History France French Revolution. 540 pages. Jacket art - Detail, Alfred Roll, 'The 14th of July 1880'. 9780674032095.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   The dazzling allure of France throughout the nineteenth century made it one of the world's great cultural beacons: in art, technology, literature, and science, it renewed itself over and over again. And yet, behind this facade, France was a country wracked with anxiety, crushed by a sense of national decline and, above all, unable to resolve the chaotic legacy of the Revolution. For those who lived in the wake of the French Revolution, from the storming of the Bastille to Napoleon's final defeat, its aftermath left a profound wound that no subsequent king, emperor, or president could heal. CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION follows the ensuing generations who repeatedly tried and failed to come up with a stable regime after the trauma of 1789. The process encouraged fresh and often murderous oppositions between those who were for, and those who were against, the Revolution's values. Bearing the scars of their country's bloody struggle, and its legacy of deeply divided loyalties, the French lived the long nineteenth century in the shadow of the revolutionary age. Despite the ghosts raised in this epic tale, Robert Gildea has written a richly engaging and provocative book. His is a strikingly unfamiliar France, a country with an often overwhelming gap between Paris and the provinces, a country torn apart by fratricidal hatreds and a tortured history of feminism, the site of political catastrophes and artistic triumphs, and a. country that managed--despite a pervasive awareness of its own fall from grace--to fix itself squarely at the heart of modernity. Indeed, Gildea reveals how the collective recognition of the great costs of the Revolution galvanized the French to achieve consensus in a new republic and to integrate the tumultuous past into their sense of national identity. It was in this spirit that France's young men went to the front in World War I with a powerful sense of national confidence and purpose.

ROBERT GILDEA is Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford, and the author of MARIANNE IN CHAINS, the winner of the Wolfson Prize for history.

 

 

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

 


(11/16/2008) Darkness & A Little Light by Johannes Bobrowski. New York. 1994. New Directions. Translated From The German by Leila Vennewitz. keywords: Literature Germany Translated. 111 pages. Jacket watercolor, Owl in Flight Before a Full Moon, by Caspar David Friedrich; design by Semadar Megged. 0811212599.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   DARKNESS AND A LITTLE LIGHT presents a dozen gorgeous stories by the great Johannes Bobrowski, widely regarded as 'the most distinctive poet to have emerged from East Germany' A P. O. W. in Russia after WWII, Bobrowski returned to his forever-changed native province, former East Prussia, in 1949. His lost homeland--which he called by the region's ancient name of Sarmartia--haunts all his work. Full of longing and an astonishing poetic beauty, his stories are visionary elegies to vanished ways of life. Some of the stories, set in the nineteenth century or in the darkness of WWII, are directly elegiac. But tales relating the dreary, oversynthesized reality of East German life in the '50s and '60s are also shot through with piercing traces of an older, more richly atmospheric world of nature and memory. Complex, melancholic, and dreamlike, the stories of DARKNESS AND A LITTLE LIGHT have never before been available in English. In the hands of distinguished translator Leila Vennewitz they attain their full measure' of beauty and mystery. 'I admire these brief stories or prose poems of Bobrowski very much. They stay marvelously in the world of the senses and yet the other world, the world of `darkness and little light' is always near. In their forgiveness of life, they have the gentleness of Tomas Transtromer, and in their clarity, some of the harshness of Brecht. What a pleasure to welcome Johannes Bobrowski to American readers.' - Robert Bly.

Johannes Bobrowski was born in 1917 in Tilsit, East Prussia, the son of a German railway man. His cultural mix comprised German, Jewish, Lithuanian, and Polish roots--his great-great uncle was Joseph Conrad. Drafted into the Wehrmacht in 1939, Bobrowski fought on the Eastern front, and was a P. O. W. in Russia until 1949. He then settled in East Berlin, working as a reader for a publishing company, rearing a family, and achieving fame as a poet. He died in 1965.

Probably most famous for her translations of the works of Heinrich Boll, Leila Vennewitz has won several prestigious awards for her work, including the Schlegel-Tieck Prize, the Goethe House-P. E. N. Prize, and the German Literary Prize from the American Translators Association. She has recently translated novels by Alfred Andersch and Uwe Timm for New Directions.

 

 

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

 


(11/15/2008) The King Of The Ants: Mythological Essays by Zbigniew Herbert. New York. 1999. Ecco Press. Translated From The Polish By John & Bogdana Carpenter. keywords: Poetry Poland Treanslated Literature. 86 pages. Jacket design by Michaela Sullivan. 0880016183. February 1999.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   This new prose collection from the late Zbigniew Herbert, available for the first time in English, is a witty, sage retelling of myths and tales 'simple and as old as the world' 'Herbert never simply retells a myth; instead, he presents a re-creation of it and emphasizes a narrative,' explain translators John and Bogdana Carpenter in their foreword. 'The old story or fragmentary text serves as a canvas for a new story that he carries quite far from its original point of departure. It is a springboard for a broader exploration of human behavior. The `mythological essay' becomes a twentieth-century philosophical parable. ' Hybrids of the short story and the essay, the eleven pieces in The King of the Ants present Herbert's very different 'apocryphal' views of the mythological past. The volume's title story considers the tension between humankind's 'solemn idleness' and 'progress--that treacherous force. ' Other essays include a short tragic tale, an ode to the mythic suffering of 'the catatonic of mythology', and a droll look at the violent struggle between Heracles and the multiheaded beast Cerberus The renowned poet/essayist Zbigniew Herbert interprets, with characteristic irony and sanity, the contemporary experience through the perspective of myth in this final prose collection.

ZBIGNIEW HERBERT was a spiritual leader of the anticommunist movement in Poland. His work has been translated into almost every European language; he has won numerous prizes, most recently the Jerusalem Prize and the T. S. Eliot Prize. His books include the poetry volumes SELECTED POEMS, REPORT FROM THE BESIEGED CITY AND OTHER POEMS, and MR. COGITO, and the prose collections BARBARIAN IN THE GARDEN and STILL LIFE WITH A BRIDLE. Herbert's most recent book of poetry is ELEGY FOR THE DEPARTURE AND OTHER POEMS.

JOHN and BOGDANA CARPENTER won the PEN Translation Award for Herbert's Selected Poems. John Carpenter is a poet and a critic; Bogdana Carpenter is a professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Michigan.

 

 

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

 



Search

Zeno's Picks

  • Walker, David. David Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks

    Walker, David. David Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World Walker, David. David Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World. University Park. 2000. Penn State University Press. 9780271019949. Edited, with an introduction and annotations by Peter P. Hinks. 5 x 8.5. 2 illustrations. 184 pages. paperback.   FROM THE PUBLISHER - In 1829 David Walker, a free black born in Wilmington, North Carolina, wrote one of America’s most provocative politicaldocuments of the nineteenth[…]

    Read more...
  • Dumas, Henry. Jonoah & the Green Stone

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks

    Dumas, Henry. Jonoah & the Green Stone Dumas, Henry. Jonoah & the Green Stone. New York. 1976. Random House. 0394497910. 170 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Mike Stromberg.  FROM THE PUBLISHER - Henry Dumas was a first-rate writer with first-order intelligence. The publication of his short stories, ARK OF BONES, and poetry, PLAY EBONY PLAY IVORY, was received with spectacular acclaim. Now a novel has been discovered that will satisfy the appetites[…]

    Read more...
  • Uwagba, Otegha. Whites: On Race and Other Falsehoods

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks

    Uwagba, Otegha. Whites: On Race and Other Falsehoods Uwagba, Otegha. Whites: On Race and Other Falsehoods. London. 2020. 4th Estate. 9780008440428. 71 pages. paperback.  FROM THE PUBLISHER - In this powerful and timely personal essay, best-selling author Otegha Uwagba reflects on racism, whiteness, and the mental labour required of Black people to navigate relationships with white people. Presented as a record of Uwagba's observations on this era-defining moment in history - that is,[…]

    Read more...
  • Davies, Carole Boyce. Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks

    Davies, Carole Boyce. Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones Davies, Carole Boyce. Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones. Durham. 2008. Duke University Press. 9780822341161. 311 pages. paperback. Cover photograph - Claudia Jones in 1948.  FROM THE PUBLISHER - In LEFT OF KARL MARX, Carole Boyce Davies assesses the activism, writing, and legacy of Claudia Jones (1915-1964), a pioneering Afro-Caribbean radical intellectual, dedicated communist, and feminist. Jones is buried[…]

    Read more...
  • Painter, Nell Irvin. The History of White People

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks

    Painter, Nell Irvin. The History of White People Painter, Nell Irvin. The History of White People. New York. 2010. Norton. 9780393049343. 496 pages. hardcover. Cover design by Keenan.  FROM THE PUBLISHER - A mind-expanding and myth-destroying exploration of notions of white race - not merely a skin color but also a signal of power, prestige, and beauty to be withheld and granted selectively. Our story begins in Greek and Roman antiquity, where the[…]

    Read more...
Copyright © 2021 Zenosbooks. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.