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A Taste of Eternity: A Novel by Gisèle Pineau. Lubbock. 2014. Texas Tech University Press. 161 pages. paperback. 9780896728707. Cover design by Ashley Beck. Translated from the French by C. Dickson. The Americas Series. 

 

 

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   Two women, separate but bound by hope When Sybille arrives in Paris from Guadeloupe with her infant son, she encounters the extravagant and marvelous Lila. Sybille is young and black with her life still ahead of her; an ex-actress, Lila is white and seventy years old. Despite their differences, the women become inseparable. Haunted by memories, Lila confides in Sybille and, among other things, relates the endless cycle of lovers in her life. Her most cherished memories are of Henry, a black man from the British Caribbean whom she met during the Liberation Day celebrations in Paris. Gradually, Sybille and Lila discover that the West Indies and the charm of Guadeloupe create a deep and common bond between them. The narrative leaps from one side of the Atlantic to the other, playing black against white, past against present, rural Caribbean culture against the urban life of Paris and New York. Sybille's memories of her own tragic childhood form a counterpoint to tales of Henry growing up on the island of St. John. The stories contain mysterious and magical elements revolving around one central theme: how fate works to draw lovers apart. Despite repeated defeats, love still survives. In tales and in legends, mocking all obstacles, it circumvents the game of destiny and the tragic vanity of mankind.Pineau Gisele

 

 

Gisèle Pineau is a French novelist, writer, and former psychiatric nurse. Although born in Paris, her origins are Guadeloupean and she has written several books on the difficulties and torments of her childhood as a black person growing up in Parisian society. She now divides her time between France and Guadeloupe.

 

Growing up, C. Dickson travelled extensively with family and lived in all parts of the United States. She left the United States in 1976 for travel in South America, Europe, and Africa and learned French fluently during this time. Now living in France, C. Dickson has acquired dual nationality.

 

 

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Viga-Glums Saga with Tales of Ogmund Bash and Thorvald Chatterbox by John McKinnell (translator). Edinburgh. 1987. Canongate Books/UNESCO. 160 pages. paperback. 0862410843. Unesco collection of representative works. 

 

 

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   Set amid the power struggles of 10th-century Iceland, VIGA-GLUMS SAGA is a tale of cunning, courage, and unscrupulous ambition. Glum, a tough and self-assertive realist, vanquishes his oppressors to regain his ancestral home, and enjoys wealth and power for forty years. Yet in old age and defeat he shows a steadfast courage more admirable than the successful aggression of his youth, and his verses reveal a dignity and pathos in direct contrast to the sly cunning of his triumphant rivals. A distinguished addition to The New Saga Library (General Editor Hermann Pálsson), this translation is based on the version in the Mödruvallabók codex of the mid-14th century.

 

 

John McKinnell is a lecturer in Medieval Literature at the University of Durham. His published work includes articles on Old English poetry, Chaucer, and medieval drama, as well as Icelandic literature and manuscripts.

 

 

 

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A Treatise On Poetry by Czeslaw Milosz. New York. 2001. Ecco Press. 125 pages. hardcover. 0060185244. Jacket design by Angela Voulangas.  Translated from the Polish by the Author & Robert Hass. 

 

 

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   The Nobel Prize-winning poet Czeslaw Milosz began his remarkable A TREATISE ON POETRY in the winter of 1955 and finished it in the spring of 1956. It was published originally in parts in the Polish émigré journal Kultura. Now it is available in English for the first time in this expert translation by the award-winning American poet Robert Hass. A TREATISE ON POETRY is a great poem about some of the most terrible events in the twentieth century. Divided into four sections, the poem begins at the end of the nineteenth century as a comedy of manners and moves with a devastating momentum through World War I to the horror of World War II. Then it takes on directly and plainly the philosophical abyss into which the European cultures plunged. ‘Author's Notes’ on the poem appear at the end of the volume. A stunning literary composition, these notes stand alone as brilliant miniature portraits that magically re-create the lost world of prewar Europe. A TREATISE ON POETRY evokes the European twentieth century, its comedy and terror and grief, with the force and expressiveness of a great novel. A tone poem to a lost time, a harrowing requiem for the century's dead, and a sober meditation on history, consciousness, and art: here is a masterwork that confronts the meaning of the twentieth century with a directness Milosz Czeslawand vividness that are without parallel. 

 

 

Czeslaw Milosz was born in Lithuania in 1911. His books of poetry in English include The Collected Poems, 1931-1987, UNATTAINABLE EARTH, THE SEPARATE NOTEBOOKS, PROVINCES, BELLS IN WINTER, and SELECTED POEMS. He was a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980.

 

 

 

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Los Angeles Stories by Ry Cooder. San Francisco. 2011. City Lights Books. 232 pages. paperback. 9780872865198. 

 

 

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   ‘Cooder writes with Chandler-esque pepper and an eye for character.’ — Rolling Stone. Los Angeles Stories is a collection of loosely linked, noir-ish tales that evoke a bygone era in one of America's most iconic cities. In post-World War II Los Angeles, as power was concentrating and fortunes were being made, a do-it-yourself culture of cool cats, outsiders, and oddballs populated the old downtown neighborhoods of Bunker Hill and Chavez Ravine. Ordinary working folks rubbed elbows with petty criminals, grifters, and all sorts of women at foggy end-of-the-line outposts in Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Rich with the essence and character of the times, suffused with the patois of the city's underclass, these are stories about the common people of Los Angeles, ‘a sunny place for shady people,’ and the strange things that happen to them. Musicians, gun shop owners, streetwalkers, tailors, door-to-door salesmen, drifters, housewives, dentists, pornographers, new arrivals, and hard-bitten denizens all intersect in cleverly plotted stories that center around some kind of shadowy activity. This quirky love Cooder Ryletter to a lost way of life will appeal to fans of hard-boiled fiction and anyone interested in the city itself.

 

 

Ry Cooder is a world-famous guitarist, singer, and composer known for his slide guitar work, interest in roots music, and more recently for his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries, including The Buena Vista Social Club. He has composed soundtracks for more than twenty films, including Paris, Texas. Two recent albums were accompanied by stories Cooder wrote to accompany the music. This is his first published collection of stories.

 

 

 

 

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Another English: Anglophone Poems from Around the World by Catherine Barnett and Tiphanie Yanique (editors). New Adams. 2014. Tupelo Press. 368 pages. April 2014. paperback. 9781936797400. Cover design by Josef Beery. 

 

 

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   Poetry Foundation's Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute. POETS IN THE WORLD Series, Ilya Kaminsky, Series Editor. In this unprecedented anthology, acclaimed poets from around the world select poems from their countries of origin, poems all in English but springing from widely varied voices, histories, and geographies. Readers will find eloquence, urgency, and enchantment. These poems confirm English to be vital and evolving, deployed by revered and emerging poets in Aotearoa/New Zealand (selected by Hinemoana Baker) and Australia (by Les Murray), Canada (by Todd Swift), the Caribbean (by Ishion Hutchinson and five other Caribbean poets), Ghana (by Kwame Dawes), India (by Sudeep Sen), and South Africa (by Rustum Kozain).

 

Catherine Barnett is author of two books of poems: The Game of Boxes (Graywolf, 2012), winner of the James Laughlin Award, and Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced (Alice James, 2004). Her honors include a Whiting Writer's Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She teaches at Barnard College, the New School, and New York University, and is currently visiting professor in the Hunter College MFA Program.

 

Tiphanie Yanique is author of How to Escape from a Leper Colony (Graywolf, 2010). Her writing won the 2011 BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Fiction, a Boston Review Prize in Fiction, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, a Fulbright, and an Academy of American Poets Prize. Her novel Land of Drowning will be published by Riverhead/Penguin in 2014. She is from the Virgin Islands and is a professor in the MFA program at the New School.

 

 

 

 

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The Hanging: A Thriller by Lotte Hammer and Soren Hammer. New York. 2013. Minotaur Books. 298 pages. June 2013. hardcover. 9780312656645. Cover design by David Baldeosingh Rotstein. Translated from the Danish by Ebba Segerberg. 

 

 

9780312656645FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   One morning before school, two children find the naked bodies of five men hanging from the gym ceiling. The case leads detective Konrad Simonsen and his murder squad to the school janitor, who may know more about the killings than he is telling. Soon, Simonsen realizes that each of the five murdered men had a dark and terrible secret in common. And when Simonsen's own daughter is targeted, he must race to find the culprit before his whole world is destroyed. Published in twenty countries around the world, with more than 150,000 copies sold in Denmark alone, this book introduces a brother and sister duo who have taken the thriller world by storm. Fast-paced, suspenseful, and brilliantly written, The Hanging is a stunning crime novel from Lotte and Soren Hammer, two Danish authors whose international fame is exploding.

 

 

Hammer Lotte and Hammer SorenLotte Hammer (born 1955) finished her training as a nurse in 1977. She has since worked and lived many places, such as Greece, Germany, the North Sea’s oil rigs and the American air force bases in Greenland. From 1995 to 2010 she was head of the Public Eldercare in Halsnaes, Denmark. From 2006 to 2010 she was actively involved in local politics and has been writing full time since 2010. Søren Hammer (born 1952) holds a teaching degree, but has primarily been working as a programmer and a lecturer at Copenhagen University College of Engineering. Like his sister Søren is also politically active and has been writing full time since 2010.. 

 

 

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Echo's Bones by Samuel Beckett. New York. 2014. Grove Press. 121 pages. July 2014. hardcover. 9780802120458. Jacket design by Charles Rue Woods. Edited by Mark Nixon. 

 

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   In 1933, Chatto & Windus agreed to publish Samuel Beckett's More Pricks Than Kicks, a collection of ten interrelated stories—his first published work of fiction. At his editor's request, Beckett penned an additional story, ‘Echo's Bones’, to serve as the final piece. However, he’d already killed off several of the characters—including the protagonist, Belacqua—throughout the book, and had to resurrect them from the dead. The story was politely rejected by his editor, as it was considered too imaginatively playful, too allusive, and too undisciplined—qualities now recognized as quintessentially Beckett. As a result, ‘Echo's Bones’ (not to be confused with the poem and collection of poems of the same title) remained unpublished—until now, nearly eight decades later. This little-known text is introduced by the preeminent Beckett scholar, Dr. Mark Nixon, who situates the work in terms of its biographical context and textual references, examining how it is a vital link in the evolution of Beckett's early work. Beckett confessed that he included ‘all I knew’ in the story. It harnesses an immense range of subjects: science, philosophy, religion, literature; combining fairy tales, gothic dreams, and classical myth. This posthumous publication marks the unexpected and highly exciting return of a literary legend.

 

 

Beckett SamuelSamuel Barclay Beckett (13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour. Beckett is widely regarded as among the most influential writers of the 20th century. Strongly influenced by James Joyce, he is considered one of the last modernists. As an inspiration to many later writers, he is also sometimes considered one of the first postmodernists. He is one of the key writers in what Martin Esslin called the ‘Theatre of the Absurd‘. His work became increasingly minimalist in his later career. Beckett was awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature ‘for his writing, which—in new forms for the novel and drama—in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation’. He was elected Saoi of Aosdána in 1984..

 

 

   

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The Temple of Iconoclasts by Juan Rodolfo Wilcock. San Francisco. 2000. Mercury House. 190 pages. paperback. 1562791192. Cover design by Kirsten Janese-Nelson. Cover art: 'The School of Athens,' (1510-1512) by Raphael (1483-1520). Translated from the Italian by Lawrence Venuti. 

 

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   ‘Compellingly whimsical, alienated, pseudo-scientific, bizarre: all these adjectives describe this fiction in the form of a short reference work, the first book by admired Argentinian-Italian novelist Wilcock to be published in English. This book (his best-known in Italy) consists of short essays describing the lives of obsessive eccentrics, some real and some imaginary. Venuti renders Wilcock’s Italian into lucid, captivating English, and offers a biographical introduction. [Perfect for] lovers of postmodern mind games.’ —Publishers Weekly. ‘This collection of biographical stories, mostly imagined, a few somewhat factual, is both deliciously eccentric and wonderfully entertaining. Taken together, these false lives, at turns surreal, absurd, poignant, or campy, present a wise and timely commentary.’ —Booklist. Italian author Wilcock (1919-78) wrote many fascinating works -- including poetry, short fiction, novels, literary criticism, drama in verse and prose, and cultural journalism -- but this outstanding translation is the first to appear in English. Using short, encyclopaedic/biographical entries, Wilcock profiles people who are definitely iconoclasts. They tear down traditional beliefs and scientific notions on many different topics, from utopias to biology, offering a riveting array of ideas. Some real people with iconoclastic bents are included along with some bizarre fictional characters.

 

 

Wilcock Juan RodolfoBorn in Buenos Aires, JUAN RODOLFO WILCOCK (1919-78) was a member of the circle of innovative writers that included Jorge Luis Borges, Adolfo Bioy Casares, and Silvina Ocampo. Later self-exiled in Rome, Wilcock became a leading Italian writer, publishing numerous books of poetry, drama, journalism, fiction, and translation.

 

 

LAWRENCE VENUTI is a distinguished translator of Italian literature as well as an internationally known translation theorist and historian. Recent translations include I.U. Tarchetti’s Fantastic Tales and Passion: A Novel, both for Mercury House. His translations have received awards and grants from PEN American Center, the NEA, and the NEH.

 

 

 

   

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Hemingway, Cuba, and the Cuban Works by Larry Grimes and Bickford Sylvester (editors). Kent. 2014. Kent State University Press. 376 pages. hardcover. 9781606351819. 

 

 

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   The profound impact of Cuba on Ernest Hemingway's life and work Ernest Hemingway resided in Cuba longer than he lived anywhere else in the world, yet no book has been devoted to how his life in Cuba influenced his writing. Hemingway, Cuba, and the Cuban Works corrects this omission by presenting contributions by scholars and journalists from the United States, Russia, Japan, and Cuba, who explore how Hemingway absorbed and wrote from the culture and place around him. The volume opens with an examination of Hemingway s place in Cuban history and culture, evaluations of the man and his work, and studies of Hemingway's life as an American in Cuba. These essays look directly at Hemingway s Cuban experience, and they range from the academic to the journalistic, allowing different voices to speak and different tones to be heard. The first section includes reflections from Gladys Rodriguez Ferrero, former director of the Museo Finco Vigía, who describes the deep affection Cubans hold for Hemingway; and recollections from the now-adult members of Gigi's All Stars, the boys baseball team that Hemingway organized in the 1940s. In the second part of the collection, Hemingway scholars among them, Kim Moreland, James Nagel, Ann Putnam, and H. R. Stoneback employ a variety of critical perspectives to analyze specific works set in Cuba or on its Gulf Stream and written during the years that Hemingway actually lived in Cuba. Also included are a long letter by Richard Armstrong describing the Machado revolution in Cuba and Hemingway's photographs of fishermen at Cojimar, which provide vivid visual commentary on The Old Man and the Sea. Appended to the collection are Kelli Larson's bibliography of scholarly writing on Hemingway's Cuban works and Ned Quevedo Arnaiz s sample of Cuban writing on those works. A chronology placing Hemingway s life in Cuba beside historical events is also provided. This important volume illuminates Hemingway's life and work during the Cuban years, and it will appeal to Hemingway fans and scholars alike.

 

 

Larry Grimes is emeritus professor of English in the Perry and Aleese Gresham Chair in Humanities at Bethany College. He is the author of The Religious Design of Hemingway's Early Fiction. His essays and reviews have appeared in several anthologies and journals, including The Hemingway Review, Modern Fiction Studies, and Studies in Short Fiction.

Bickford Sylvester, emeritus professor, University of British Columbia, has organized conferences and published widely on the work of Ernest Hemingway. He has served on the board of the Hemingway Foundation and the editorial board of the Hemingway Review.

 

 

   

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The Long Shadow: A Novel by Liza Marklund. New York. 2014. Washington Square Press/Emily Bestler Books. 530 pages. April 2014. paperback. 9781451607031. Cover design by Anna Dorfman. Translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith.  
 

 

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   In this follow-up to Liza Marklund's 'stunningly great' (BookReporter.com) thriller Lifetime, newspaper reporter Annika Bengtzon is left to pick up the pieces after a shocking and complex murder case turns her world upside down and leaves her personal life in shambles. Meanwhile, an intruder brutally murders an entire family on Spain's Costa del Sol, and Annika must fly to the glitzy locale to report on the case. Upon arrival she discovers that a fifth family member is unaccounted for. Soon, the killers are found, but they too have met their demise-in the same grisly manner they killed the Söderström family. Amid a culture weighed down by drug smuggling and money laundering, Annika must try to find the missing girl before it's too late.

 

 

Marklund LizaEva Elisabeth ‘Liza’ Marklund (born 9 September 1962) is a Swedish journalist and crime writer. She was born in Pålmark near Piteå, Norrbotten. Her novels, most of which feature the fictional character Annika Bengtzon, a newspaper journalist, have been published in thirty languages. Marklund is the co-owner of Sweden's third largest publishing house, Piratförlaget and a columnist in the Swedish tabloid Expressen. She is also a Unicef ambassador. The Postcard Killers, a crime thriller written in collaboration with American bestselling author James Patterson, is Marklund's twelfth book. It was published on January 27, 2010, in Sweden, and became number one on the Swedish bestseller list in February 2010. It was published on 16 August 2010 in the United States. At the end of August, it reached number one in the New York Times best-seller list, making Liza Marklund the second Swedish author (the first one being Stieg Larsson with the Millennium Trilogy) ever to reach the number one spot. Marklund lives in Spain with her husband Mikael. Since her debut in 1995, Liza Marklund has written eight crime novels and co-authored two documentary novels with Maria Eriksson and one non-fiction book about female leadership with Lotta Snickare. Marklund's crime novels featuring crime reporter Annika Bengtzon have become international bestsellers. She won the ‘Poloni Prize’ (Polonipriset) 1998 for ‘Best Swedish Crime Novel by a Female Writer’ and ‘The Debutant Prize’, (Debutantpriset) 1998 for ‘Best First Novel of the Year’ with the crime novel Sprängaren (The Bomber), published in 1998. Marklund was named Author of the Year in Sweden 1999 by the Swedish trade union SKTF, won the radio network RixFM's Swedish Literary Prize in 2007, and was selected the fifteenth most popular woman in Sweden of 2003 and the fourth most popular woman in Sweden of 2004 in a yearly survey with 1,000 participants, conducted by ICA-kuriren, a publication published by a Swedish supermarket chain. Her books have been number one bestsellers in all five Nordic countries. In 2002 and 2003, two of Liza Marklund's crime novels were listed on the international bestseller lists by the online magazine Publishing Trends, Prime Time ranking #13 and The Red Wolf ranking #12. In Scandinavia and Germany, her non-fiction novels have become the center of a heated controversy.

   

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The Collected Poems of Odysseus Elytis by Odysseus Elytis. Baltimore. 1997. Johns Hopkins University Press. 596 pages. hardcover. 0801849241. Jacket design by Glen Burris. Jacket Illustration: 'The Clear Truth,' collage by Odysseus Elytis. Translated from the Greek by Jeffrey Carson and Nikos Sarris. Introduction and Notes by Jeffrey Carson. 

 

 

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   ‘Jeffrey Carson--a poet himself with a kindred sensibility to Elytis's--has admirably succeeded in bringing across the Greek poet's lyrical voice and the richness of his diction. This first translation of Elytis's complete works is accurate and elegant, a work of diligence and love that affords the English-speaking reader a picture of the evolution of the poet's work.’--Dorothy M-T. Gregory, The Ionian University, Corfu. In awarding Odysseus Elytis the 1979 Nobel Prize in literature, the Swedish Academy declared that he had been selected ‘for his poetry, which, against the background of Greek tradition, depicts with sensuous strength and intellectual clearsightedness modern man's struggle for freedom and creativeness.’ Elytis was largely unknown outside his native Greece before winning literature's highest honor, and much of his work has not been widely available in English. The Collected Poems is the first collection in any language, including Greek, of Elytis's complete poetry, a body of work marked by a profound love of hope, freedom, beauty, and Greek tradition. Twenty years in preparation, this volume includes his early poems, influenced in equal parts by surrealism and the landscape and climate of Greece and the Aegean Sea; his long, epic poem connecting Greece's--and his own--Second World War experience to the myth of the eternal Greek hero, Song Heroic and Mourning for the Lost Second Lieutenant of the Albanian Campaign; his most ambitious work, The Axion Esti, which the Swedish Academy praised as ‘one of 20th-century literature's most concentrated and ritually faceted poems’; and his mature poetry, from Maria Nephele, a poem in two voices, to his last collection, West of Sorrow, written the summer before his death in 1996 at age 84. Throughout his long career as a poet, Elytis remained true to his vision of a poetry that addresses the power of language and links Greece's two thousand years of myth and history with the social and psychological demands of the modern age. Renowned for their astonishing lyricism and profound optimism, Elytis's poems employ surreal imagery and a remarkable variety of forms to capture the natural, sun-soaked beauty of Greece and to give voice to the contemporary Greek--and to a more universally human--consciousness. PRAISE FOR ODYSSEUS ELYTIS: ‘Perhaps the most pervasive presence throughout his work. is the physical experience of Greece: the sun's intense illumination, the seas strewn with jewel-like islands, the life of its proud people beneath the invasion of 20th-century culture and politics. From these Elytis crafts powerful and sparkling lyrics, sometimes bitter, often full of wonder and celebration.’ -- Christian Science Monitor. ‘Elytis is a paragon of enthusiasm, of protean moods, multiple forms; his purpose, in essence: the deification of the sun and the body of man.’ -- Hudson Review. ‘A poet of large achievement. His work. has a kind of passionate optimism about the possibilities of his small Aegean world.’ -- New York Review of Books.

 

 

Elytis OdysseusODYSSEUS ELYTIS (November 2, 1911, Heraklion, Greece - March 18, 1996, Athens, Greece) was born in Heraklion, Crete, in 1911. He studied law at the University of Athens. His poems began to appear in periodicals in 1935; since the publication of his first book of poems in 1940, ten further volumes of his poetry have appeared. He has also published three collections of essays, and translations from a wide range of modern writers including Rimbaud, Genet, Mayakovsky, Lorca, Ungaretti and Brecht. In 1940-1 he took part in the campaign against the Italian fascists in Albania. During the Nazi occupation he was one of the most prominent poets of the Greek resistance. He lived in Paris from 1948-52; since then his home has been in Athens. The Nobel Prize was awarded to him 'for his poetry which against the background of Greek tradition depicts with sensuous strength and intellectual clearsightedness modern man's struggle for freedom and creativeness.’

 

 

 

 

   

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The Deadly Percheron by John Franklin Bardin. New York. 1988. Penguin Books. 191 pages. paperback. 0140107339. Cover illustration by Peter Maynard. 

 

 

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   Jacob Blunt seems perfectly sane to psychiatrist George Matthews, except for the hibiscus flower in his hair. But Jacob himself is not so sure. After all, he is, in the employ of certain ‘leprechauns’ who are paying him to whistle at Carnegie Hall and to give away money. George, none the less, begins to trust Jacob. Even when the young man is suspected of committing a brutal murder. From then on, George becomes embroiled in a nightmare world that may or may not be of his own making. Truth and fiction, memory and reality blur as the psychiatrist is systematically robbed of his freedom, his identity and his past. Somewhere in the back of his mind he must know something critical, a secret that someone is doing their best to make him forget. ‘There is a visionary lucidity about Bardin’s nightmares that makes his surrealist logic both convincing and disturbing’ - Julian Symons. Between 1946 and 1948 John Franklin Bardin produced 3 quite extraordinary novels, all distinguished by a hallucinatory intensity of feeling and an absorption in morbid psychology remarkable for the period. The Deadly Percheron, The Last of Philip Banter and Devil Take The Blue-Tail Fly are unlike anything else in modern crime literature.

 

 

Bardin John FranklinJohn Franklin Bardin (November 30, 1916 - July 9, 1981) was an American crime writer, best known for three novels he wrote between 1946 and 1948. Bardin was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, where his father was a well-to-do coal merchant and his mother an office worker. Nearly all of his immediate family died of various illnesses, however, with an elder sister dying of septicaemia, and, a year later, his father succumbing to a coronary and leaving little money. Bardin, who by then had graduated from Walnut High School, was studying engineering at the University of Cincinnati, and had to leave in his first year in order to work full-time as a ticket-taker and bouncer at a roller-skating rink, and later as a night clerk at a bookstore, where he would educate himself by reading. ‘Mother had become a paranoid schizophrenic by then,’ Bardin said. ‘It was on visits to her that I first had an insight into the 'going home' hallucinations’ that would later form the core of his third novel, Devil Take the Blue-Tail Fly. Other jobs, held in some combination of Cincinnati and New York City, to which he moved before turning 30, including working as a bench hand in a valve foundry; in the advertising department of a bank; in the production department of an advertising agency; and doing freelance market research for Barron Collier. In New York, he began working in 1944 for the ad agency Edwin Bird Wilson, Inc., and from 1946 to 1948 completed the three novels for which he would be best known: The Deadly Percheron, The Last of Philip Banter, and Devil Take the Blue-Tail Fly, published over the course of 18 months, though that last not in the United States until the 1960s. Bardin would eventually write 10 novels over the course of his lifetime. His magazine articles include ‘The Disadvantages of Respectability’, a review of the book Father of the Man: How Your Child Gets His Personality, by W. Allison Davis and Robert J. Havighurst, in The Nation, May 3, 1947. After gradually rising to become vice president and director of Edwin Bird Wilson, Bardin left that agency in 1963. Two years earlier he had begun teaching creative writing and advertising at the New School for Social Research, which he would continue to do through 1966. That year he worked as associate publicity director for the United Negro College Fund, and from 1967 to 1968, he wrote for the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York. Turning to magazines, he then served as an editor at Coronet through 1972. For the next two years at least, Bardin lived in Chicago, Illinois, where he served as managing editor of the American Medical Association magazine Today's Health through 1973; and through 1974 originated, and served as managing editor of, two American Bar Association Press magazines, Learning and the Law and Barrister. While his official site states he returned to New York in 1974, one source places him in Chicago still in 1978. He resided in New York City's East Village until his death on July 9, 1981. In 1946, Bardin entered a period of intense creativity during which he wrote three crime novels that were relatively unsuccessful at first, one of them not even being published in America until the late 1960s, but which have since become well-regarded cult novels. He went on to write four more novels under the pen names Gregory Tree or Douglas Ashe; the writer Julian Symons, in his introduction to an omnibus collection of Bardin's first three works, called those later novels ‘slick, readable, unadventurous crime stories’. Under his own name, Bardin also wrote three more novels, the first two of which Symons called, respectively, ‘an interesting but unsuccessful experiment’ and ‘disastrously sentimental’. His best-regarded works, The Deadly Percheron, The Last of Philip Banter and Devil Take the Blue-Tail Fly experienced renewed interest in the 1970s when they were discovered by British readers. Symons, who compiled the omnibus, had difficulty tracking down information on Bardin. He was unable to find any American critic who had heard of him and even his original publishers and agents did not know how to contact him or even whether he was still alive. Symons wrote that Third Degree, the journal of Mystery Writers of America, found Bardin in Chicago, editing an American Bar Association magazine, and willing and eager to see his work republished. The Deadly Percheron tells the story of a psychiatrist who encounters a patient with apparent delusions and a strange story to tell, but who does not otherwise exhibit signs of mental instability. His story turns out to have at least some connection to reality, drawing the psychiatrist into a complicated alternate identity that changes his life. The Last of Philip Banter sees a man receiving (or apparently writing) disturbing predictions about his life. The predictions partly become true, the effect of the predictions themselves being destructive and mind-altering. Devil Take the Blue-Tail Fly, perhaps his most acclaimed work, is a complicated story told almost entirely in terms of the psychology of the protagonist Ellen, a mental patient who experiences mental disintegration. Bardin gave his literary influences as Graham Greene, Henry Green and Henry James. In the film Mona Lisa one of the characters is reading The Deadly Percheron and makes several conversational references to it.

   

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Comedy of Vanity and Life-Terms by Elias Canetti. New York. PAJ Publications. 160 pages. paperback. 0933826311. Cover design by steven Hoffman. Translated from the German by Gitta Henegger. Introduction by Klaus Volker. 

 

 

0933826311FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Appearing for the first time in English, two plays by Elias Canetti who was awarded the 1981 Nobel Prize for Literature. COMEDY OF VANITY, a dark satire on mass movements and narcissism, is a prophetic vision of fascism; in LIFE TERMS everybody in a new society is assigned the number of years he or she may live. Canetti’s plays provide a missing link in the European dramatic heritage. Klaus Volker has written an introduction to the plays. Among the many books of Elias Canetti are Canetti EliasCROWDS AND POWER, AUTO-DA-FÉ, THE CONSCIENCE OF WORDS, THE TORCH IN MY EAR, and THE HUMAN PROVINCE. ‘Canetti’s exacting presence honors literature’ - George Steiner. ‘Canetti is a writer of unusual dramatic power’ - New York Times.

 

 

Elias Canetti (1905-1994), Bulgarian-born author of the novel Auto-da-Fé, the sociological study Crowds and Power, and three previously published memoir volumes (The Tongue Set Free, The Torch in my Ear, and The Play of the Eyes), won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981.

 

 

 

   

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Hunting Season: A Novel by Andrea Camilleri. New York. Penguin Books. 152 pages. paperback. 9780143126539. Cover design by Kristen Haff and John Hendrix. Cover illustration by John Hendrix. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 

 

 

9780143126539FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   From internationally bestselling author Andrea Camilleri, a brilliant, bawdy comedy that will surprise even the most die-hard Montalbano fans. In 1880s Vigàta, a stranger comes to town to open a pharmacy. Fofò turns out to be the son of a man legendary for having a magic garden stocked with plants, fruits, and vegetables that could cure any ailment-a man who was found murdered years ago. Fofò escaped, but now has reappeared looking to make his fortune and soon finds himself mixed up in the dealings of a philandering local marchese set on producing an heir. An absurd, quirky murder mystery that recalls the most hilarious and farcical scenes of Shakespeare and The Canterbury Tales, Hunting Season will introduce American readers to a refreshing new aspect of one of our best-loved writers.

 

 

Camilleri AndreaAndrea Calogero Camilleri (6 September 1925 – 17 July 2019) was an Italian writer. Originally from Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Camilleri began university studies in the Faculty of Literature at the University of Palermo, but did not complete his degree. meanwhile publishing poems and short stories. From 1948 to 1950 he studied stage and film direction at the Silvio D'Amico Academy of Dramatic Arts (Accademia Nazionale d'Arte Drammatica) and began to take on work as a director and screenwriter, directing especially plays by Pirandello and Beckett. His parents knew, and were, reportedly, "distant friends" of, Pirandello, as he tells in his essay on Pirandello, Biography of the Changed Son. His most famous works, the Montalbano series, show many Pirandellian elements: for example, the wild olive tree that helps Montalbano think is on stage in his late work The Giants of the Mountain. With RAI, Camilleri worked on several TV productions, such as Le inchieste del commissario Maigret with Gino Cervi. In 1977 he returned to the Academy of Dramatic Arts, holding the chair of Film Direction and occupying it for 20 years. In 1978 Camilleri wrote his first novel Il Corso Delle Cose ("The Way Things Go"). This was followed by Un Filo di Fumo ("A Thread of Smoke") in 1980. Neither of these works enjoyed any significant amount of popularity. In 1992, after a long pause of 12 years, Camilleri once more took up novel writing. A new book, La Stagione della Caccia ("The Hunting Season") turned out to be a best-seller. In 1994 Camilleri published the first in a long series of novels: La forma dell'Acqua (The Shape of Water) featured the character of Inspector Montalbano, a fractious Sicilian detective in the police force of Vigàta, an imaginary Sicilian town. The series is written in Italian but with a substantial sprinkling of Sicilian phrases and grammar. The name Montalbano is a homage to the Spanish writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán; the similarities between Montalban's Pepe Carvalho and Camilleri's fictional detective are noteworthy. Both writers make use of their protagonists' gastronomic preferences. This feature provides an interesting quirk which has become something of a fad among his readership even in mainland Italy. The TV adaptation of Montalbano's adventures, starring Luca Zingaretti, further increased Camilleri's popularity to such a point that in 2003 Camilleri's home town, Porto Empedocle – on which Vigàta is modelled – took the extraordinary step of changing its official name to that of Porto Empedocle Vigàta, no doubt with an eye to capitalising on the tourism possibilities thrown up by the author's work. On his website, Camilleri refers to the engaging and multi-faceted character of Montalbano as a "serial killer of characters," meaning that he has developed a life of his own and demands great attention from his author, to the demise of other potential books and different personages. Camilleri added that he writes a Montalbano novel every so often just so that the character will be appeased and allow him to work on other stories. In 2012, Camilleri's The Potter's Field (translated by Stephen Sartarelli) was announced as the winner of the 2012 Crime Writers' Association International Dagger. The announcement was made on 5 July 2012 at the awards ceremony held at One Birdcage Walk in London. In his last years Camilleri lived in Rome where he worked as a TV and theatre director. About 10 million copies of his novels have been sold to date and are becoming increasingly popular in the UK (where BBC Four broadcast the Montalbano TV series from mid-2011), Australia and North America. In addition to the degree of popularity brought him by the novels, Andrea Camilleri became even more of a media icon thanks to the parodies aired on an RAI radio show, where popular comedian, TV host and impressionist Fiorello presents him as a raspy voiced, caustic character, madly in love with cigarettes and smoking, since in Italy, Camilleri was well known for being a heavy smoker of cigarettes. He considered himself a "non-militant atheist". On 17 June 2019, Camilleri suffered a heart attack. He was admitted to hospital in a critical condition. He died on 17 July 2019. He has been buried in the Protestant Cemetery of Rome. Stephen Sartarelli is a poet and translator.ndrea Camilleri, a mega-bestseller in Italy and Germany, is the author of the New York Times-bestselling Inspector Montalbano mystery series, as well as historical novels which take place in nineteenth-century Siciliy, including Hunting Season. The Montalbano series has been translated into thirty-two languages and was adapted for Italian television. The Potter's Field, the thirteenth book in the series, was awarded the Crime Writers Association's International Dagger Award for the best crime novel translated into English, and was longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

 

 

Stephen Sartarelli is an award-winning translator and the author of three books of poetry.

 

 

   

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Historians Across Borders: Location and American History in a Global Age by Nicolas Barreyre /Michael Heale / Stephen Tuck / Cécile Vidal (editors). Berkeley. 2014. University of California Press. 343 pages. paperback. 9780520279292. 6 x 9. 

 

 

9780520279292FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   In this stimulating and highly original study of the writing of American history, twenty-four scholars from eleven European countries explore the impact of writing history from abroad. Six distinguished scholars from around the world add their commentaries. Arguing that historical writing is conditioned, crucially, by the place from which it is written, this volume identifies the formative impact of a wide variety of institutional and cultural factors that are commonly overlooked. Examining how American history is written from Europe, the contributors shed light on how history is written in the United States and, indeed, on the way history is written anywhere. The innovative perspectives included in Historians across Borders are designed to reinvigorate American historiography as the rise of global and transnational history is creating a critical need to understand the impact of place on the writing and teaching of history. This book is designed for students in historiography, global and transnational history, and related courses in the United States and abroad, for US historians, and for anyone interested in how historians work.

 

 

 

Nicolas Barreyre is Associate Professor at the École des hautes études en sociales (EHESS) in Paris.

Michael Heale is Emeritus Professor at Lancaster University.

Stephen Tuck is University Lecturer at the University of Oxford.

Cécile Vidal is Associate Professor of History at the École des hautes études en sociales (EHESS).

 

 

   

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Autoepitaph: Selected Poems by Reinaldo Arenas. Gainesville. 2014. University Press of Florida. 364 pages. hardcover. 9780813049731. Front: Portrait of Reinaldo Arenas in Caracas, Venezuela, by Vasco Szinetar. Translated from the Spanish by Kelly Washbourne. Edited by Camelly Cruz-Martes. 

9780813049731FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘In Autoepitaph, Reinaldo Arenas soars above death, conquers terror, and sees himself reflected in the face of his lover, the Cuban sea.’--Flora González Mandri, coeditor and cotranslator of In the Vortex of the Cyclone: Selected Poems by Excilia Saldaña. ‘A powerful tribute to Arenas, a poet who explores the meaning of our ethical standing in the world as well as the transient nature of our souls. In this collection, we journey with Arenas into his struggles and victories, accompanied by his voice, filled with fortitude and hope. The English translation pays tribute to the original Spanish text.’--Marjorie Agosín, author of Of Earth and Sea: A Chilean Memoir.

 

 

Arenas ReinaldoReinaldo Arenas (1943-1990) remains one of the most famous Cuban writers in exile. His work constitutes a monument of resistance literature, but much of the focus has been on his novels and his autobiobiography, Before Night Falls, chosen as one of the ten best books of 1993 by the New York Times. Because his poetic output has not been widely translated, Autoepitaph will be the only volume currently in print of Arenas's poetry in translation in any language. This bilingual volume includes narrative poems, sonnets, excerpts from Arenas's prose poems, and previously unpublished works from his papers at Princeton University. Both the Spanish originals as well as English translations seamlessly capture the poet's sarcasm, humor, and powerful rhythms. Camelly Cruz-Martes provides an outline for Arenas's major poetic strategies, as well as context for the themes that unite his poems: resistance against colonialism, political and personal repression, existential alienation, and the desire for transcendence through art. Reinaldo Arenas was a Cuban poet, novelist, and playwright.

 

 

Camelly Cruz-Martes is associate professor of Spanish at Walsh University. Kelly Washbourne is associate professor of Spanish translation at Kent State University. He has translated six books from Spanish to English and is the author of Manual of Spanish-English Translation.

 

   

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The End of the Poem: Oxford Lectures by Paul Muldoon. New York. 2006. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 406 pages. hardcover. . Jacket design by Gretchen Achilles. 

 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   In The End of the Poem, Paul Muldoon, 'the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War' (The Times Literary Supplement), presents engaging, rigorous, and insightful explorations of a diverse group of poems, from Yeats's 'All Souls' Night' to Stevie Smith's 'I Remember' to Fernando Pessoa's 'Autopsychography.' Here Muldoon reminds us that the word 'poem' comes, via French, from the Latin and Greek: 'a thing made or created.' He asks: Can a poem ever be a freestanding, discrete structure, or must it always interface with the whole of its author's bibliography--and biography? Muldoon explores the boundlessness, the illimitability, created by influence, what Robert Frost meant when he insisted that 'the way to read a poem in prose or verse is in the light of all the other poems ever written.' And he writes of the boundaries or borders between writer and reader and the extent to which one determines the role of the other. At the end, Muldoon returns to the most fruitful, and fraught, aspect of the phrase 'the end of the poem': the interpretation that centers on the 'aim' or 'function' of a poem, and the question of whether or not the end of Muldoon Paulthe poem is the beginning of criticism. Irreverent, deeply learned, often funny, and always stimulating, The End of the Poem is a vigorous and accessible approach to looking at poetry anew.

 

 

PAUL MULDOON is the author of eight previous books of poetry, recently collected in Poems 1968-1998 (FSG, 2001). He teaches at Princeton University and is Professor of Poetry at Oxford University.

 

 

   

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Savage Dreams: A Journey into the Hidden Wars of the American West by Rebecca Solnit. Berkeley. 2014. University of California Press. 408 pages. paperback. 9780520282285. Cover design by Sandy Drooker. 

 

 

9780520282285FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   'A beautiful, absorbing, tragic book.'-Larry McMurtry. In 1851, a war began in what would become Yosemite National Park, a war against the indigenous inhabitants. A century later - in 1951 - and a hundred and fifty miles away, another war began when the U.S. government started setting off nuclear bombs at the Nevada Test Site. It was called a nuclear testing program, but functioned as a war against the land and people of the Great Basin. In this foundational book of landscape theory and environmental thinking, Rebecca Solnit explores our national Eden and Armageddon and offers a pathbreaking history of the west, focusing on the relationship between culture and its implementation as politics. In a new preface, she considers the continuities and changes of these invisible wars in the context of our current climate change crisis, and reveals how the long arm of these histories continue to inspire her writing and hope. 'A beautiful, absorbing, tragic book. Rebecca Solnit tells this story with the passion and clarity it deserves.'-Larry McMurtry. 'The product of a stunningly original and expansive imagination. Savage Dreams ties together the histories of Yosemite National Park and the Nevada Test Site. to illuminate the political stakes of how we think about, and act upon, the landscape.' -SF Weekly. 'Savage Dreams summons us to the campfires of resistance.'-Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz. 'Savage Dreams is about many things: despoliation and restoration, finding a voice between contemporary noise and silence, making friends and enemies. Solnit RebeccaMost of all, though, it may be about a journey into history: about how understanding history and making it are not really very different.'-Greil Marcus, author of Lipstick Traces. 'A wonderful and important book, weaving past and present, politics and spirituality, land and history, pleasure and outrage, esthetics and activism, into a map where we as Americans find ourselves today. Intellectually challenging but beautifully written and eminently readable, Savage Dreams has both heart and teeth.' -Lucy Lippard, author of Overlay: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory.

 

 

Rebecca Solnit is the author of many books, including Storming the Gates of Paradise, Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, and Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas.

 

 

 

   

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The Hunter: Parker Volume 1 by Richard Stark. San Diego. 2014. IDW Publishers. 206 pages. hardcover. 9781613776599. With a Foreword and Illustrations by Darwin Cooke. Edited by Scott Dunbier. 

 

 

9781613776599FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   In 1962, Donald E. Westlake, writing under the pseudonym Richard Stark, created what would become one of the most important and enduring crime fiction series ever produced — Parker. Westlake wrote more than 20 Parker novels, many considered classics of the genre, and a number of which have transitioned to the big screen. Most notable of these is Point Blank, directed by John Boorman and starring Lee Marvin, released in 1967. Westlake received many accolades during his distinguished career, including being named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writer's of America, that prestigious organization's highest honor. Darwyn Cooke has adapted four Parker books as graphic novels so far. The first three, The Hunter, The Outfit, and The Score have all won Eisner and Harvey Awards. He will be providing all-new color illustrations for The Hunter, the first in a series of hardcover prose novels released in chronological order and featuring Cooke's art. The Hunter, the first book in the Parker series, is the story of a man who hits New York head-on like a shotgun blast to the chest. Betrayed by the woman he loves and double-crossed by his partner in crime, Westlake DonaldParker makes his way cross-country with only one thought burning in his mind — to coldly exact his revenge and reclaim what was taken from him!

 

 

Richard Stark was one of the many pseudonyms of Donald E. Westlake (1933-2008), a prolific author of noir crime fiction. In 1993 the Mystery Writers of America bestowed the society’s highest honor on Westlake, naming him a Grand Master.

 

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The Fall of Saints: A Novel by Wanjiku wa Ngugi. New York. Atria Books. 277 pages. February 2014. hardcover. 9781476714912. Cover design by Alan Dingman. 

 

 

9781476714912FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In this stunning debut novel, a Kenyan expat living the American dream with her husband and adopted son soon finds it marred by child trafficking, scandal, and a problematic past. Mugure and Zack seem to have the picture-perfect family: a young, healthy son, a beautiful home in Riverdale, New York, and a bright future. But one night, as Mugure is rummaging through an old drawer, she comes across a piece of paper with a note scrawled on it-a note that calls into question everything she's ever believed about her husband. A wandering curiosity may have gotten the best of Mugure this time as she heads down a dan­gerous road that takes her back to Kenya, where new discoveries threaten to undo her idyllic life. She wonders if she ever really knew the man she married and begins to piece together the signs that were there since the beginning. Who was that suspicious man who trailed Zack and Mugure on their first date at a New York nightclub? What about the closing of the agency that facilitated the adoption of their son? The Fall of Saints tackles real-life political and ethical issues through a striking, beautifully rendered story. This extraordinary novel will tug at your heart and keep it racing until the end.Ngugi Wanjiku wa

 

 

Wanjiku wa Ngugi is a writer and director of the Helsinki African Film Festival (HAFF) in Finland. She is also a member of the editorial board of Matatu: Journal for African Literature and Culture and Society, and was a columnist for the Finnish development magazine Maailman Kuvalehti, writing about political and cultural issues. She has also been a jury member of the CinemAfrica Film Festival, Sweden, in 2012 & 2013. Wanjiku wa Ngugi is a writer and director of the Helsinki African Film Festival (HAFF) in Finland. She is also a member of the editorial board of Matatu: Journal for African Literature and Culture and Society, and was a columnist for the Finnish development magazine Maailman Kuvalehti, writing about political and cultural issues. She has also been a jury member of the CinemAfrica Film Festival, Sweden, in 2012 & 2013. Her work has been published in The Herald (Zimbabwe), The Daily Nation, Business Daily, The East African (Kenya), Pambazuka News, Chimurenga, and The New Black Magazine among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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Vanishing Lung Syndrome by Miroslav Holub. Oberlin. 1990. Oberlin College Press. 84 pages. paperback. 0932440525. Cover: Painting by Paul Klee, 'Flora on the Rocks,' 1940. Design by Stephen J. Farkas, Jr. Translated from the Czech by David Young and Dana Habova. FIELD Translation Series 16. 

 

 

0932440525FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Vanishing Lung Syndrome confirms Holub's special status as one of Europe's leading poets and as a rare mediator between scientific and literary modes of discourse. This book is darkly witty and mordantly accurate; it documents, among other things, the ignorance, folly and brutality abroad in our world. But it also brims with tenderness, humor, and occasional gleams of hope.

 

 

 

Holub MiroslavMiroslav Holub (13 September 1923 – 14 July 1998) was a Czech poet and immunologist. Miroslav Holub's work was heavily influenced by his experiences as an Immunologist, writing many poems using his scientific knowledge to poetic effect. His work is almost always unrhymed, so lends itself easily to translation. It has been translated into more than 30 languages and is especially popular in the English-speaking world. Although one of the most internationally well-known Czech poets, his reputation continues to languish at home. Holub was born in Plzen. His first book in Czech was Denní služba (1958), which abandoned the somewhat Stalinist bent of poems earlier in the decade (published in magazines). In English, he was first published in the Observer in 1962, and five years later a Selected Poems appeared in the Penguin Modern European Poets imprint, with an introduction by Al Alvarez and translations by Ian Milner and George Theiner. Holub's work was lauded by many, including Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney, and his influence is visible in Hughes' collection Crow (1970). In addition to poetry, Holub wrote many short essays on various aspects of science, particularly biology and medicine (specifically immunology) and life. A collection of these, titled The Dimension of the Present Moment, is still in print. In the 1960s, he published two books of what he called 'semi-reportage' about extended visits to the United States. He has been described by Ted Hughes as ‘one of the half dozen most important poets writing anywhere.’

 

 

   

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Rambling On: An Apprentice's Guide to the Gift of the Gab by Bohumil Hrabal. Prague. 2014. Karolinum Press/Charles University. 352 pages. hardcover. 9788024623160. Translated from the Czech by David Short. 

 

 

9788024623160FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Rambling On is a collection of stories set in Hrabal's Kersko. Several of the stories were written before the 1968 Soviet invasion of Prague but had to be reworked when they were rejected by Communist censorship during the 1970s. This edition features the original, uncensored versions of those stories. 'Hrabal embodies as no other the fascinating Prague. He couples people's humor to baroque imagination.' (Milan Kundera).

 

 

 

Hrabal BohumilNovelist Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997) was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, and spent decades working at a variety of laboring jobs before turning to writing in his late forties. From that point, he quickly made his mark on the Czech literary scene; by the time of his death he was ranked with Jaroslav Hašek, Karel Capek, and Milan Kundera as among the nation's greatest twentieth-century writers. Hrabal's fiction blends tragedy with humor and explores the anguish of intellectuals and ordinary people alike from a slightly surreal perspective. His work ranges from novels and poems to film scripts and essays.

 

 

 

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The Downfall Of The Gods by Villy Sorensen. Lincoln. 1989. University Of Nebraska Press. Translated From The Danish By Paula Hostrup-Jessen. Illustrated By Michael McCurdy. 123 pages. Cover illustation by Michael McCurdy. 0803242018.

 

An imaginative retelling of the downfall of the Norse gods. Villy Sorensen has such a completely fresh take on these stories that they feel amazingly contemporary.

 

0803242018FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   In the Eddas, ragnarok, or the downfall of the gods, is the end of the world, a time of wolves, serpents, fire, earthquake, and colossal war. Villy Sorensen has rewritten the mythology of an ancient Nordic world from the perspective of our century, highlighting the personalities and symbolization of the Norse gods to reflect our own crisis of value and belief. His novel, originally published as RAGNAROK in 1982 in Denmark, will win new acclaim in its English translation by Paula Hostrup-Jessen. THE DOWNFALL OF THE GODS begins with stories of charm and enchantment that introduce the major characters. At first they are ingenuous and amusing; then their relationships heat up. Odin, the chief of the gods, who rules by a system of surveillance and ambiguous decrees, is preoccupied with preparing a massive army to aid the gods in a final battle for the control of the world. Opposing him in the gods' council is Balder, who argues that the very preparation for war - with its bloody exercises, deceits, and betrayals - hastens the catastrophe. There are Loki the shape-changer, half god and half giant, who alone may travel between Asgard, home of the gods, and Utgard, home of the frost giants, Freyja, goddess of love, who criticizes Odin for his war-mongering; and others. On the other side are the giants, ready for revenge but never quite able to figure out why the gods insist on enmity; and caught between are human beings, generally forgotten in the quarrels on high. Far more than a striking literary exercise, this book has the dark wit to make us realize that the apocalyptic vision of ragnarok looms before us.

 

 

Sorensen VillyVilly Sorensen was a Danish short-story writer, philosopher and literary critic of the Modernist tradition. His fiction was heavily influenced by his philosophical ideas, and he has been compared to Franz Kafka in this regard. He is the most influential and important Danish philosopher since Soren Kierkegaard. Born in Copenhagen, Sorensen graduated from the Vestre Borgerdydskole in 1947, and then attended the University of Copenhagen and the University of Freiburg studying philosophy. Although he did not graduate, he later received an honorary degree from the University of Copenhagen. Sorensen published his first collection of short stories, Strange Stories in 1953, which many critics have identified as being the start of Danish literary Modernism. He published additional collections of short stories in 1955 and 1964, all winning various awards in Denmark. These stories generally explored the absurd and hidden parts of the human psyche. Sorensen began editing the journal Vindrosen in 1959. Afterward, he became a member of the Danish Academy in 1965, and then edited several other Modernist journals and periodicals. Sorensen, though he continued to produce short fiction throughout his life, was also deeply engaged in philosophy, about which he wrote many essays and several books including Seneca: The Humanist at the Court of Nero and his response to Soren Kierkegaard's Either/Or, Hverken-eller He also published books and essays about Nietzsche, Kafka, Marx, Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard, and was a notable translator of over 20 books. He was awarded The Nordic Council's Literature Prize in 1974, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1983, along with many other awards and recognitions. He died in Copenhagen in 2001.

Paula Hostrup-Jessen, born in London, and now a citizen of Denmark, has also translated into English another work by Villy Sorensen, TUTELARY TALES, published in 1988 by the University of Nebraska Press.

 

 

 

 

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Interludes by Miguel de Cervantes. New York. 1964. Signet/New American Library. 160 pages. January 1964. CT209. paperback.  Cover: Lambert.  Translated From The Spanish & With A Foreword By Edwin Honig. 

 

 

sc interludes ct209FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Published the year before the author's death, and long unavailable to American readers, these short plays represent a pure, untrammeled expression of Cervantes' literary genius. Freed from the complicated mechanics of plot, he concentrates his powers on the area of his greatest mastery - the creation 'of living, breathing, and, above all, magnificently vocal characters. Deceived husbands and straying wives, ambitious politicians and ingenious frauds, garrulous prostitutes and respectable pimps.. It crowds his stage with unforgettable characters who, combined, present a superbly barbed depiction of manners and morals in early - sixteenth - century Spain and a timeless portrayal of the never - ending human comedy. 'These eight short plays are among the most beguiling things Cervantes ever wrote,' comments Edwin Honig, who goes on to say that 'what he achieves in the interludes is something very close to the concentrative spirit of poetry and something characteristically dramatic as well..  dramatic in the way that Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are dramatic.'

 

 

Cervantes Miguel deMiguel de Cervantes Saavedra (29 September 1547 (assumed) – 22 April 1616) was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered to be the first modern European novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. His influence on the Spanish language has been so great that the language is often called la lengua de Cervantes (‘the language of Cervantes’). He was dubbed El Príncipe de los Ingenios (‘The Prince of Wits’). In 1569, Cervantes moved to Rome where he worked as chamber assistant of Giulio Acquaviva, a wealthy priest who became a cardinal during the following year. By then, Cervantes had enlisted as a soldier in a Spanish Navy infantry regiment and continued his military life until 1575, when he was captured by Algerian corsairs. After five years of slavery he was released on ransom from his captors by his parents and the Trinitarians, a Catholic religious order. He subsequently returned to his family in Madrid. In 1585, Cervantes published a pastoral novel named La Galatea. Because of financial problems, Cervantes worked as a purveyor for the Spanish Armada, and later as a tax collector. In 1597, discrepancies in his accounts of three years previous landed him in the Crown Jail of Seville. In 1605, he was in Valladolid, just when the immediate success of the first part of his Don Quixote, published in Madrid, signaled his return to the literary world. In 1607, he settled in Madrid, where he lived and worked until his death. During the last nine years of his life, Cervantes solidified his reputation as a writer; he published the Novelas ejemplares (Exemplary Novels) in 1613, the Journey to Parnassus (Viaje al Parnaso) in 1614, and in 1615, the Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses and the second part of Don Quixote. Carlos Fuentes noted that, ‘Cervantes leaves open the pages of a book where the reader knows himself to be written.’

 

 

 

 

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Route 66: A Road to America's Landscape, History, and Culture (Plains Histories) by Markku Henriksson. Lubbock. 2014. Texas Tech University Press. 269 pages. paperback. 9780896728257. Cover design by Ashley Beck. Foreword by Susan A. Miller. Plains Histories. 

 

 

9780896728257FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   When Markku Henriksson was growing up in Finland, the song '(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66' was one of only two he could recognize--in English or Finnish. It was not until 1989 that Henriksson would catch his first glimpse of the legendary highway. It was enough to lure Henriksson four years later to the second international Route 66 festival in Flagstaff. There he realized that Route 66 was the perfect basis for a multidisciplinary American Studies course, one that he has been teaching at the University of Helsinki ever since. Forming the soul of this work--and yielding a more holistic and complex picture than any previous study--are Henriksson's 1996 (east to west) and 2002 (west to east) journeys along the full length of the Route and his mastery of the literature and film that illuminate the Route's place in Americana. Not a history of the road itself and the towns along the way, Henriksson's perspective offers insight into America and its culture as revealed in its peoples, their histories, cultures, and music as displayed along the Mother Road. Editorial Reviews Review Route 66 is a love letter to Henriksson MarkkuAmerica's Main Street. For all its historical and cultural context, this is, ultimately, a Finn's celebration of that fantasy of the American Road. --Susan A. Miller, from the foreword.

 

McDonnell Douglass Chair of American Studies at the University of Helsinki, Markku Henriksson has lectured on Route 66 in Estonia, Sweden, and Canada, as well as Finland and the United States.

 

 

 

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The Empire's Old Clothes by Ariel Dorfman. New York. 1983. Pantheon Books. Translations From The Spanish By Clark Hansen. 225 pages. Cover: Jeffrey J. Smith. 0394527232. May 1983.

 

 

The intersection of popular culture and politics provides fertile ground for Ariel Dorfman's exploration of some of our cultural icons... And why does the Lone Ranger wear that mask anyway?

 

 

 

0394527232FROM THE PUBLISHER -

Nothing could seem more innocent than Babar the Elephant, the Lone Ranger, Donald Duck, or the Reader's Digest. Yet, in this daring book, Ariel Dorfman explores the hidden political and social messages behind the smiling faces that inhabit these familiar books, comics, and magazines. In so doing, he provides a stunning map to the secret world inside the most successful cultural symbols of our time. Dorfman first examines the meteoric rise of Babar the Elephant from orphan to king of the jungle and the way stories like his teach the young a rosy version of underdevelopment and colonialism. He then turns to purely American comic-book figures and shows how Donald Duck, the Lone Ranger, Superman, and other heroes offer a set of simple, disarming answers to the deepest dilemmas of our time without ever calling an established value into question. Along the way, with wit and a wily style, he raises a series of always provocative questions: Why does the Lone Ranger really have that mask? Why do Disney comics teem with uncles and nephews but no mothers and fathers? How could a comic book help overthrow a government? How does an adult's' magazine like the Reader's Digest continually transform us into children? Here is a book that will appeal to those who want to understand the connection between politics and culture, between Ronald Reagan and Mickey Mouse, between economic theories of development and children's literature. It is for those who are fascinated by the mass media, for parents and teachers who are worried about what their children are watching and reading, for anyone who wants to understand the way ideas are produced and manipulated in the twentieth century.

 

 

Dorfman ArielBorn in 1942, Ariel Dorfman was a professor of journalism and literature in Chile during the Allende period, where he also produced popular television shows, new comic books, a magazine for adolescents, his own novels, essays, and poetry, and co-authored the popular HOW TO READ DONALD DUCK, which has now appeared in thirteen languages around the world. Since the 1973 coup against Allende, he has been in exile and now lives in the Washington, D. C. area. He contributes regularly to the leading newspapers of Latin America and Europe as well as to the Village Voice and other publications here. Pantheon is also publishing Widows, his novel about disappeared' people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Sunday Woman by Carlo Fruttero & Franco Lucentini. New York. 1973. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Translated From The Italian By William Weaver. 408 pages. 0151867208.

 

 

Both an elegant mystery, a love story, and a novel of manners and class, THE SUNDAY WOMAN is a neglected classic.

 

 

 

0151867208FROM THE PUBLISHER -


   A thoroughly unpalatable character is found murdered with a weapon so unspeakable that the police will not reveal what it is to the press, By an extraordinary web of circumstance suspicion falls on a scion of Turin's high society and his woman friend, much to the embarrassment of the local police. The investigator, a suave Sicilian, matches the subtlety of the charmingly snobbish suspects, for whom a man of his type is a beguiling novelty, as they are for him. It would be a mistake to label this book a murder mystery. It is a marvelously rich novel with fully rounded, indeed, unforgettable characters, structured around a murder case. The visceral curiosity about 'who done it' furnishes the suspense on the surface level, At the same time, however, the reader is constantly delighted by the wit and charm with which the two authors handle the inquiry. Two love stories, one escalating, the other disintegrating, are brought to beginning and end in the wake of the murder, generating their own suspense. This may well be the most delightful and sophisticated entertainment of this and many seasons. A pair of remarkably acute Italian writers have written a joyful book around a grim happening, and in the process given us the portrait of an Italian city--Turin--and its society, high, low, and dubious. Here, at long last, is a true novel whose scenes and people have real, continuing life, a novel that one reads with avidity and hates to put down.

 

 

 

Fruttero Carlo and Lucentini FrancoCarlo Fruttero and Franco Lucentini, who lived in Turin, were literary collaborators for fifteen years, editing, among other works, anthologies of American literature and science fiction. For their first supersleuth novel, THE SUNDAY WOMAN, they were awarded Italy's 'Book-of-the-Year' prize.

 

 

 

  

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 The Politics Of Heroin In Southeast Asia by Alfred W. McCoy. New York. 1972. Harper & Row. 464 pages. Jacket design by Apteryx Studio. 0060129018.

 

 

politics of heroin in southeast asiaFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   An exhaustive history that traces the growing, processing, transporting, and distribution of narcotics since the end of World War II. A landmark book of investigative reporting and history. The fabled Golden Triangle, where Laos, Thailand, and Burma meet, long a traditional opium-growing area, now provides 70 percent of the world's illicit supply of heroin. And many elements in the governments of these countries, and in the government of South Vietnam - most of which are supported by U. S. military and financial aid - are deeply (and lucratively) involved in the growing, processing, transport, and distribution of narcotics. How has this situation come about? Basing their narrative on firsthand research in Asia and Europe, the authors trace the whole story since the end of World War II. They demonstrate that during the First Indochina War (1946-1954) the security of Saigon and its environs and the loyalty of the hill tribes depended on profits from and some protection for the opium traffic. Similarly, it became necessary for the United States, when it took over the French commitment in 1954, to look the other way in the matter of the involvement in the drug traffic of succeeding Vietnamese regimes. After Diem's downfall in 1963 it became apparent that money from the rackets--especially narcotics--was vital to any regime's survival.    The authors found that in Laos, opium crops found their way from the hill villages into a secret base at Long Tieng; in Burma, the CIA financed remnants of Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Army, which later became self-supporting by taking over 90 pecent of the opium shipments from the rebel Shan States of Burma; that in Thailand, shaky regimes relied on American support and opium money to help bolster their stability. They also found that the Mafia, working through Corsican criminal syndicates from Marseille, had established outposts in Southeast Asia for its international narcotics smuggling operations during the French occupation. In spite of recent well-publicized seizures of massive shipments of heroin from Southeast Asia, heroin continues to flood the country, spreading into every level of this society and shredding the fabric of everyday life. U. S. government estimates of the number of addicts has leaped from 315,000 in 1969 to over 560,000 in 1972. This book puts all the pieces of this ghastly puzzle together, and then maps the possible avenues out of the horror, suggesting that America may have to choose between our commitments in Southeast Asia and getting heroin out of our high schools. In 1971, at the age of twenty-five, Alfred W. McCoy set out on an eighteen-month trip to Europe and Asia to investigate the global heroin trade. The resultant book, THE POLITICS OF HERON IN SOUTHEAST ASIA, brought him international recognition as a groundbreaking theorist of the politics and economics of drug trafficking. Its publication also embroiled him in a controversy with the Central Intelligence Agency Incensed by McCoy's charges that the agency had covered up the involvement of our Indochinese allies in heroin trafficking and had itself participated in aspects of the drug trade, the CIA tried to suppress the book before its release. Twenty years of research have led to this revised and updated edition of McCoy's classic. In it, he concludes that, with global production and consumption of narcotics at record levels and heroin use in America on the rise, it is time to confront the failure of the U. S. government's drug policy. 'Driven by a myopic moralism' since the legal sale of narcotics was banned in the early 1920s, U. S. policymakers, McCoy observes, have refused to recognize that their repression of the drug trade has only served to make it grow. Now dispersed across continents as a result of prohibition, the illicit drug trade is more resistant to suppression than ever before. The heroin problem will worsen, according to McCoy, until the U. S. government also puts an end to the CIA's involvement in the narcotics trade, which since World War II has been an integral part of the agency's efforts to maintain U. S. power abroad. If Congress had imposed restraints on CIA covert operations two decades ago, McCoy argues, it 'might have prevented the agency's complicity in the disastrous cocaine and heroin epidemics of the 1980s. This remarkable expose of official U. S. hypocrisy in its approaches to one of the world's greatest social problems offers an analysis that is destined to influence the public debate on drugs for years to come.

 

 

 

McCoy Alfred W Alfred W. McCoy is professor of Southeast Asian history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Educated at Columbia, the University of California at Berkeley, and Yale, he has spent the past twenty years writing about the politics and history of Southeast Asia. He is the author of several books on the Philippines, one of which won the country's National Book Award, and the editor of Southeast Asia Under Japanese Occupation. An internationally recognized expert on drug trafficking and organized crime, he is also the author of DRUG TRAFFIC: NARCOTICS AND ORGANIZED CRIME IN AUSTRALIA.

Cathleen B. Read is studying for a Ph. D. in ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University.

Leonard P. Adams II has published several scholarly articles and is a Ph. D. candidate in Chinese history at Yale University. A landmark book of investigative reporting and history.

 

 

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 Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. Garden City. 1954. Doubleday. 256 pages. Jacket art by Edward Gorey.

 

Jim is barely hanging on to his job at a small English university, and if he can't successfully suck up to the head of his department, he has no chance at all of staying employed. It doesn't help that he gets drunk, speaks his mind, and antagonizes all of the wrong people. One of the funniest books I have ever read!

 

 

lucky jimFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Jim Dixon was one of those hapless individuals who bumble through life tripping over their own good intentions, As he caromed from fiasco to triumph to cataclysm, he was sustamed only by his rare talent for creating a Face to suit every occasion. grimaces like his Mad- Peasant face or the Shot-in-the-Back face, smirks like the Evelyn Waugh or Sex-Life-in-Ancient-Rome. Jim held tenuously to a probationary instructorship at a small English university and his hopes for reappointment lay solely in his ability to butter up Professor Welch, the odious and vapid head of his department. Lurking like a neurotic thundercloud on Jim's already hazy horizon was Margaret Peel, a young woman of scant charm and suicidal tendencies, who was being harbored at the home of Professor Welch while convalescing from a surfeit of sleeping tablets taken in pique. As part of his hysterical campaign of apple polishing Jim accepted an invitation to one of Professor Welch's artistic week ends, After a French-play-reading, recorder-playing, madrigal-singing evening with a group of local intellectuals that included the professor's painter son, Bertrand, poor Jim sought sanctuary at a nearby pub. Closing time found him launched on a monumental binge, the results of which were an inconclusive but spirited attack on Margaret's virtue, an incendiary episode with his bedclothes, the formation of a new and delightfully surprising alliance with Christine Callaghan, the bearded Bertrand's current inamorata. From this point on the plot begins to congeal, with Jim caught like a shrimp in the aspic. Kingsley Amis, who wrote LUCKY JIM, has a rare wit that teeters between the hilariously nonsensical and the deeply serious, This delightful-if often quite mad-novel is his first.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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Animal Farm by George Orwell. New York. 1946. Harcourt Brace & Company. 118 pages.

 

 

 

animal farmFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   The animals on Mr. Jones's farm stage a successful revolution, and take the place over. Their hopes, their plans, and their achievements, form the subject of ANIMAL FARM. In the first flush of enthusiasm there is set up a great commandment, 'All animals are equal', but unfortunately leadership devolves almost automatically on the pigs, who are on a higher intellectual level than the rest. The revolution begins to go wrong - yet at every step excellent excuses are always forthcoming for each perversion of the original doctrine. Mr. Orwell has a wonderful sympathy for most of his animal characters, and they are all very much alive. It is not only the fight between the two pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, as to who shall run things - what equally stirs the reader and brings tears is what happens to the devoted work-horse, Boxer, and even to that less admirable but very deftly pictured character, the mare Mollie, who loved ribbons. About this little book there is the same kind of reality one concedes to ALICE IN WONDERLAND. It lives in the heart as a direct story, as a story for its own sake, and yet, although the author never intrudes or points a moral, it also takes on meanings from what we have all noticed in the affairs of the world. To read it is an experience out of the ordinary, for it goes at a bounce into that region where the heart and the head join together in enjoyment.

 

 

Orwell GeorgeEric Arthur Blair, better known by the pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. Noted as a novelist and critic as well as a political and cultural commentator, Orwell is among the most widely admired English-language essayists of the 20th century. He is best known for two novels critical of totalitarianism in general, and Stalinism in particular: Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Both were written and published towards the end of his life. Eric Arthur Blair was born on 25 June 1903 to British parents in Motihari, Bengal Presidency, British India. There, Blair's father, Richard Walmesley Blair, worked for the Opium Department of the Civil Service. His mother, Ida Mabel Blair, brought him to England at the age of one. He did not see his father again until 1907, when Richard visited England for three months before leaving again. Eric had an older sister named Marjorie, and a younger sister named Avril. He would later describe his family's background as 'lower-upper-middle class'. At the age of six, Blair was sent to a small Anglican parish school in Henley-on-Thames, which his sister had attended before him. He never wrote of his recollections of it, but he must have impressed the teachers very favourably, for two years later, he was recommended to the headmaster of one of the most successful preparatory schools in England at the time: St Cyprian's School, in Eastbourne, Sussex. Blair attended St Cyprian's by a private financial arrangement that allowed his parents to pay only half of the usual fees. At the school, he formed a lifelong friendship with Cyril Connolly, future editor of the magazine Horizon, in which many of his most famous essays were originally published. Many years later, Blair would recall his time at St Cyprian's with biting resentment in the essay 'Such, Such Were the Joys'. However, in his time at St. Cyprian's, the young Blair successfully earned scholarships to both Wellington and Eton. After one term at Wellington, Blair moved to Eton, where he was a King's Scholar from 1917 to 1921. Aldous Huxley was his French teacher for one term early in his time at Eton. Later in life he wrote that he had been 'relatively happy' at Eton, which allowed its students considerable independence, but also that he ceased doing serious work after arriving there. Reports of his academic performance at Eton vary; some assert that he was a poor student, while others claim the contrary. He was clearly disliked by some of his teachers, who resented what they perceived as disrespect for their authority. After Blair finished his studies at Eton, his family could not pay for university and his father felt that he had no prospect of winning a scholarship, so in 1922 he joined the Indian Imperial Police, serving at Katha and Moulmein in Burma. He came to hate imperialism, and when he returned to England on leave in 1927 he decided to resign and become a writer. He later used his Burmese experiences for the novel Burmese Days and in such essays as 'A Hanging' and 'Shooting an Elephant' Back in England he wrote to Ruth Pitter, a family acquaintance, and she and a friend found him a room in London, on the Portobello Road, where he started to write. It was from here that he sallied out one evening to Limehouse Causeway - following in the footsteps of Jack London - and spent his first night in a common lodging house, probably George Levy's 'kip'. For a while he 'went native' in his own country, dressing like other tramps and making no concessions, and recording his experiences of low life in his first published essay, 'The Spike', and the latter half of Down and Out in Paris and London In the spring of 1928, he moved to Paris, where his Aunt Nellie lived and died, hoping to make a living as a freelance writer. In the autumn of 1929, his lack of success reduced Blair to taking menial jobs as a dishwasher for a few weeks, principally in a fashionable hotel on the rue de Rivoli, which he later described in his first book, Down and Out in Paris and London, although there is no indication that he had the book in mind at the time. Ill and penniless, he moved back to England in 1929, using his parents' house in Southwold, Suffolk, as a base. Writing what became Burmese Days, he made frequent forays into tramping as part of what had by now become a book project on the life of the poorest people in society. Meanwhile, he became a regular contributor to John Middleton Murry's New Adelphi magazine. Blair completed Down and Out in 1932, and it was published early the next year while he was working briefly as a schoolteacher at a private school called Frays College near Hayes, Middlesex. He took the job as an escape from dire poverty and it was during this period that he managed to obtain a literary agent called Leonard Moore. Blair also adopted the pen name George Orwell just before Down and Out was published. In a November 15 letter to Leonard Moore, his agent, he left the choice of a pseudonym to Moore and to Victor Gollancz, the publisher. Four days later, Blair wrote Moore and suggested P. S. Burton, a name he used 'when tramping,' adding three other possibilities: Kenneth Miles, George Orwell, and H. Lewis Allways. Orwell drew on his work as a teacher and on his life in Southwold for the novel A Clergyman's Daughter, which he wrote at his parents' house in 1934 after ill-health - and the urgings of his parents - forced him to give up teaching. From late 1934 to early 1936 he worked part-time as an assistant in a second-hand bookshop, Booklover's Corner, in Hampstead. Having led a lonely and very solitary existence, he wanted to enjoy the company of other young writers, and Hampstead was a place for intellectuals, as well as having many houses with cheap bedsitters. He worked his experiences into the novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying In early 1936, Orwell was commissioned by Victor Gollancz of the Left Book Club to write an account of poverty among the working class in the depressed areas of northern England, which appeared in 1937 as The Road to Wigan Pier. He was taken into many houses, simply saying that he wanted to see how people lived. He made systematic notes on housing conditions and wages and spent several days in the local public library consulting reports on public health and conditions in the mines. He did his homework as a social investigator. The first half of the book is a social documentary of his investigative touring in Lancashire and Yorkshire, beginning with an evocative description of work in the coal mines. The second half of the book, a long essay in which Orwell recounts his personal upbringing and development of political conscience, includes a very strong denunciation of what he saw as irresponsible elements of the left. Gollancz feared that the second half would offend Left Book Club readers, and inserted a mollifying preface to the book while Orwell was in Spain. Soon after completing his research for the book, Orwell married Eileen O'Shaughnessy. In December 1936, Orwell travelled to Spain primarily to fight, not to write, for the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War against Francisco Franco's Fascist uprising. In a conversation with Philip Mairet, the editor of the New English Weekly, Orwell said: 'This fascism. somebody's got to stop it. ' To Orwell, liberty and democracy went together and, among other things, guaranteed the freedom of the artist; the present capitalist civilization was corrupt, but fascism would be morally calamitous. John McNair is also quoted as saying in a conversation with Orwell: 'He then said that this was quite secondary and his main reason for coming was to fight against Fascism. ' He went alone, and his wife joined him later. He joined the Independent Labour Party contingent, a group of some twenty-five Britons who joined the militia of the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification, a revolutionary Spanish communist political party with which the ILP was allied. The POUM, along with the radical wing of the anarcho-syndicalist CNT, believed that Franco could be defeated only if the working class in the Republic overthrew capitalism - a position fundamentally at odds with that of the Spanish Communist Party and its allies, which argued for a coalition with bourgeois parties to defeat the Nationalists. In the months after July 1936 there was a profound social revolution in Catalonia, Aragon and other areas where the CNT was particularly strong. Orwell sympathetically describes the egalitarian spirit of revolutionary Barcelona when he arrived in Homage to Catalonia. According to his own account, Orwell joined the POUM rather than the Communist-run International Brigades by chance - but his experiences, in particular his and his wife's narrow escape from the Communist purges in Barcelona in June 1937, greatly increased his sympathy for POUM and made him a life-long anti-Stalinist and a firm believer in what he termed Democratic Socialism, that is to say, in socialism combined with free debate and free elections. During his military service, Orwell was shot through the neck and nearly killed. At first it was feared that his voice would be permanently reduced to nothing more than a painful whisper. This wasn't so, although the injury did affect his voice, giving it what was described as, 'a strange, compelling quietness. ' He wrote in Homage to Catalonia that people frequently told him he was lucky to survive, but that he personally thought 'it would be even luckier not to be hit at all. ' The Orwells then spent six months in Morocco in order to recover from his wound, and during this period, he wrote his last pre-World War II novel, Coming Up For Air. As the most English of all his novels, the alarms of war mingle with idyllic images of a Thames-side Edwardian childhood enjoyed by its protagonist, George Bowling. Much of the novel is pessimistic; industrialism and capitalism have killed the best of old England. There were also massive new external threats and George Bowling puts the totalitarian hypothesis of Borkenau, Orwell, Silone and Koestler in homely terms: 'Old Hitler's something different. So's Joe Stalin. They aren't like these chaps in the old days who crucified people and chopped their heads off and so forth, just for the fun of it. They're something quite new - something that's never been heard of before. ' After the ordeals of Spain and writing the book about it, most of Orwell's formative experiences were over. His finest writing, his best essays and his great fame lay ahead. In 1940, Orwell closed up his house in Wallington and he and Eileen moved into 18 Dorset Chambers, Chagford Street, in the genteel neighbourhood of Marylebone, very close to Regent's Park in central London. He supported himself by writing freelance reviews, mainly for the New English Weekly but also for Time and Tide and the New Statesman. He joined the Home Guard soon after the war began In 1941 Orwell took a job at the BBC Eastern Service, supervising broadcasts to India aimed at stimulating Indian interest in the war effort, at a time when the Japanese army was at India's doorstep. He was well aware that he was engaged in propaganda, and wrote that he felt like 'an orange that's been trodden on by a very dirty boot'. The wartime Ministry of Information, which was based at Senate House, University of London, was the inspiration for the Ministry of Truth in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Nonetheless, Orwell devoted a good deal of effort to his BBC work, which gave him an opportunity to work closely with people like T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster, Mulk Raj Anand and William Empson. Orwell's decision to resign from the BBC followed a report confirming his fears about the broadcasts: very few Indians were listening. He wanted to become a war correspondent and also seems to have been impatient to begin work on Animal Farm. Despite the good salary, he resigned in September 1943 and in November became the literary editor of Tribune, the left-wing weekly then edited by Aneurin Bevan and Jon Kimche Orwell was on the staff until early 1945, contributing a regular column titled 'As I Please. ' Anthony Powell and Malcolm Muggeridge had returned from overseas to finish the war in London. All three took to lunching regularly, usually at the Bodega just off the Strand or the Bourgogne in Soho, sometimes joined by Julian Symons, and David Astor, editor/owner of The Observer. In 1944, Orwell finished his anti-Stalinist allegory Animal Farm, which was first published in Britain on 17 August 1945 and in the U. S. A on the 26 August 1946 with great critical and popular success. Frank Morley, an editor Harcourt Brace, had come to Britain as soon as he could at the end of the War to see what readers were currently interested in. He asked to serve a week or so in Bowes and Bowes, a Cambridge bookshop. On his first day there customers kept asking for a book that had sold out - the second impression of Animal Farm. He left the counter, read the single copy left in the postal order department, went to London and bought the American rights. The royalties from Animal Farm were to provide Orwell with a comfortable income for the first time in his adult life. While Animal Farm was at the printer, and with the end of the War in sight, Orwell felt his old desire growing to be somehow in the thick of the action. David Astor asked him to act as a war correspondent for the Observer to cover the liberation of France and the early occupation of Germany, so Orwell left Tribune to do so. He was a close friend of Astor, and his ideas had a strong influence on Astor's editorial policies. Astor, who died in 2001, is buried in the grave next to Orwell. Orwell and his wife adopted a baby boy, Richard Horatio Blair, born in May 1944. Orwell was taken ill again in Cologne in spring 1945. While he was sick there, his wife died during an operation in Newcastle to remove a tumour. She had not told him about this operation due to concerns about the cost and the fact that she thought she would make a speedy recovery. For the next four years Orwell mixed journalistic work - mainly for Tribune, the Observer and the Manchester Evening News, though he also contributed to many small-circulation political and literary magazines - with writing his best-known work, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which was published in 1949. Originally, Orwell was undecided between titling the book The Last Man in Europe and Nineteen Eighty-Four but his publisher, Fredric Warburg, helped him choose. The title was not the year Orwell had initially intended. He first set his story in 1980, but, as the time taken to write the book dragged on, that was changed to 1982 and, later, to 1984. He wrote much of the novel while living at Barnhill, a remote farmhouse on the island of Jura, which lies in the Gulf stream off the west coast of Scotland. It was an abandoned farmhouse with outbuildings near to the northern end of the island, lying at the end of a five-mile heavily rutted track from Ardlussa, where the laird or landowner, Margaret Fletcher, lived and where the paved road, the only road on the island, came to an end. In 1948, he co-edited a collection entitled British Pamphleteers with Reginald Reynolds. In 1949, Orwell was approached by a friend, Celia Kirwan, who had just started working for a Foreign Office unit, the Information Research Department, which the Labour government had set up to publish anti-communist propaganda. He gave her a list of 37 writers and artists he considered to be unsuitable as IRD authors because of their pro-communist leanings. The list, not published until 2003, consists mainly of journalists but also includes the actors Michael Redgrave and Charlie Chaplin. Orwell's motives for handing over the list are unclear, but the most likely explanation is the simplest: that he was helping a friend in a cause - anti-Stalinism - that they both supported. There is no indication that Orwell abandoned the democratic socialism that he consistently promoted in his later writings - or that he believed the writers he named should be suppressed. Orwell's list was also accurate: the people on it had all made pro-Soviet or pro-communist public pronouncements. In fact, one of the people on the list, Peter Smollett, the head of the Soviet section in the Ministry of Information, was later proven to be a Soviet agent, recruited by Kim Philby, and 'almost certainly the person on whose advice the publisher Jonathan Cape turned down Animal Farm as an unhealthily anti-Soviet text', although Orwell was unaware of this. In October 1949, shortly before his death, he married Sonia Brownell. Orwell died in London at the age of 46 from tuberculosis. He was in and out of hospitals for the last three years of his life. Having requested burial in accordance with the Anglican rite, he was interred in All Saints' Churchyard, Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire with the simple epitaph: 'Here lies Eric Arthur Blair, born June 25, 1903, died January 21, 1950'; no mention is made on the gravestone of his more famous pen-name. He had wanted to be buried in the graveyard of the closest church to wherever he happened to die, but the graveyards in central London had no space. Fearing that he might have to be cremated, against his wishes, his widow appealed to his friends to see if any of them knew of a church with space in its graveyard. Orwell's friend David Astor lived in Sutton Courtenay and negotiated with the vicar for Orwell to be buried there, although he had no connection with the village. Orwell's son, Richard Blair, was raised by an aunt after his father's death. He maintains a low public profile, though he has occasionally given interviews about the few memories he has of his father. Blair worked for many years as an agricultural agent for the British government.

 

 

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  • Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship Of Reason In The West by John Ralston Saul

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    Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship Of Reason In The West by John Ralston Saul Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship Of Reason In The West by John Ralston Saul. New York. 1992. Free Press. 640 pages. Cover design by Michael Langenstein. 0029277256.   The pitfalls of rationalism and and the rise of bureaucracy.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        In a wide-ranging, provocative anatomy of modern society and its origins, novelist and historian John Ralston Saul explores the reason for our deepening sense of crisis and confusion. Throughout the Western world we talk endlessly[…]

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Words Without Borders

New York Review of Books

  • Night Terrors

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

    Night Terrors If, like me, you’re a baby boomer who pleaded as a child to stay up with the big kids to watch The Twilight Zone, you might remember daring yourself to make it all the way through without taking cover behind[…]

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  • Grand Illusions

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

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  • The Revival of Church Sanctuary

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

    The Revival of Church Sanctuary Midway through last year, half a dozen Latin American immigrants scattered across the United States received “notices of intent to fine” from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for failing to leave the country. ICE has long had the authority[…]

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  • Where Health Care Is a Human Right

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

    Where Health Care Is a Human Right In 2004 the CBC—Canada’s publicly funded broadcaster—produced a TV competition called The Greatest Canadian, which sought to crown a national figure, living or dead, with the title. (The BBC had produced a similar program in the UK two years earlier.)[…]

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  • Things as They Are

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

    Things as They Are In 1966 the Museum of Modern Art held a retrospective devoted to Dorothea Lange—its first-ever solo exhibition of work by a female photographer. Lange’s photographs have now become part of our collective memory of the Great Depression. Migrant Mother (1936)—a[…]

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  • An Incandescent Inanity

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

    An Incandescent Inanity Nikolai Gogol (1809–1852), Russia’s greatest comic writer, thoroughly baffled his contemporaries. Strange, peculiar, wacky, weird, bizarre, and other words indicating enigmatic oddity recur in descriptions of him. “What an intelligent, queer, and sick creature!” remarked Turgenev; another major prose writer,[…]

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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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