Darcy O'Brien - A Way of Life Like Any Other
― Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 25 July 2009 12:17 (3 years ago) Permalink
Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick Seconding this one too. Will take this opportunity to recommend Great Granny Webster by Caroline Blackwood. I think they've got another one by her as well.
― Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 25 July 2009 12:24 (3 years ago) Permalink
i really like the thing mentioned upthread, where the typesetting is a slightly wonky copy of the previous edition's. it's nice to have that reminder of er the history of the book you're reading as a series of previous physical objects
their children's books are occasionally quite gorgeous; i bought this for my nephew and never actually gave it to him
― thomp, Saturday, 25 July 2009 15:22 (3 years ago) Permalink
Didn't Buzzati write 'The Tartar Steppe'?
― Le présent se dégrade, d'abord en histoire, puis en (Michael White), Saturday, 25 July 2009 17:19 (3 years ago) Permalink
Think it was called The Desert of The Tartars but yeah, that's the same guy.
Found another one to recommend: The Waste Books by George Chistoph Lichtenberg. Perhaps will post some cherce nuggets in the near future.
Found a bunch more I've purchased but never gotten round to reading. It's a little depressing. Ah, M. White! Ah, humanity!
― Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 25 July 2009 22:41 (3 years ago) Permalink
!!!!! these dudes have been str8 killing it w/east european translation l8ly
also nice that they put out that mavis gallant collection - penguin canada had a slim and pretty collection of eight stories that i have but this one seems tighter and better chosen also bought memoirs of an anti-semite, vladimir sorkin's ice and the chrysalids (lol)
― as the hart pants after the water brooks even so my blashphemous soul (Lamp), Wednesday, 23 September 2009 09:34 (3 years ago) Permalink
That's just up my alley
― xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 20:48 (3 years ago) Permalink
Memoirs of an Anti-Semite and The Chrysalids are arse-kickingly good. Must read Memories of the Future!
― When two tribes go to war, he always gets picked last (James Morrison), Wednesday, 23 September 2009 23:43 (3 years ago) Permalink
i would like to read memoirs of an anti-semite. i have a couple of these on my shelf that i haven't read (because they're on my shelf...). they're very pretty!
― steamed hams (harbl), Wednesday, 23 September 2009 23:46 (3 years ago) Permalink
I have been enjoying some of those mid-century novels of the American left, which I barely knew existed: "Clark Gifford's Body" by Kenneth Fearing; "The Unposessed" by Tess Schlesinger; "What's For Dinner" by James Schuyler, that Lionel Trilling novel, all variously fine, I'm sure there were one or two more.
I love publishing houses I can trust when I'm not sure whether to take a punt or not. I recently took a punt on "The Ten Thousand Things" by Maria Dermout, and I was pleased I did. It ended up reminding me of "Sleepless Nights" by E. Hardwick herself, which is somewhere near where we came in.
It's costing me money, though: now I want the nice NYRB editions not inferior editions from elsewhere. Time was I'd have been very pleased to pick up the Virago copy of "The Old Man And Me" available for pennies off Amazon...
― Tim, Thursday, 24 September 2009 13:19 (3 years ago) Permalink
After reading Stephen Vizinczey's review of The Death of My Brother Abel I don't plan to read anything by von Rezzori.
― alimosina, Thursday, 24 September 2009 19:20 (3 years ago) Permalink
haha that's funny because i got memoirs out today. but it was the viking edition :(
― steamed hams (harbl), Thursday, 24 September 2009 19:39 (3 years ago) Permalink
Really good turn for these guys to give away some of the essays for free -- really enjoyed reading Toni Morrison on Camara Laye.
Right now I really want to have a look at the Walser short story collection. Really.
One slight negative => Let me suggest the way its bound/the design of the books doesn't quite suit anything over 250 pages. But I speak as someone who has not given an awful lot of thought to the way books are designed.
― xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 7 October 2009 21:28 (3 years ago) Permalink
vladimir sorokin's ice
this was weird its not "good" but it was surprisingly tense and creepy. i missed my subway stop one night - sunday maybe? - reading part I and i wish that hed kept up with that. the socialist realist parody section was grating i mean i guess it was supposed to be? and the level of contempt is hard to forgive - it feels like a book that has everything figured out and doesnt really want to know its world any better just to heap derision on its many failings. also it was really violent...
im going to try some of the tatyana tolstaya stuff they have next
― h3len k. (Lamp), Wednesday, 21 October 2009 03:35 (3 years ago) Permalink
Anyone checked out Andrey Platonov? Read an intro to one of the books on the NYRB page, the translator does compare him to Musil/Proust elsewhere but those comparisons always come across as more like blind enthusiasm.
― xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 10:00 (3 years ago) Permalink
I picked up the NYRB edition of the Opies' Lore and Language of Schoolschildren yesterday (which my Amazon reseller seems to have liberated from Newton le Willows library) which looks fantastic on first glance (includes an extensive etymology and mapping of the use of "fainites"!).
― Stevie T, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 10:09 (3 years ago) Permalink
Really on the WILL WILL read: Victor Serge - The Unforgiving Years
oh man this is so good, check out his Memoirs of a Revolutionary too.
I've read one Platonov for a class - The Foundation Pit. It's weird as hell and terribly sad. I think I liked it, I was probably the only person in class to finish it. I checked out one of his books of stories which I never really gave a chance to; about 20 pages in it was getting so over-the-top in Russian misery that I was having trouble not laughing, and then I had to return it to the library.
― clotpoll, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 10:37 (3 years ago) Permalink
I try to get these for the library whenever I see them. Lately we've gotten No Tomorrow by Vivant Denon, The Cost of Living by Mavis Gallant, and Hard Rain Falling by Don Carpenter.
Other paperback publishers who consistently make me happy: New Directions, Editions Gallimard.
― Virginia Plain, Thursday, 22 October 2009 02:51 (3 years ago) Permalink
I've read one Platonov for a class - The Foundation Pit. It's weird as hell and terribly sad. I think I liked it,
Read, not for a class, but for "fun" -- very sad, very odd, sometimes hard-going, I _think_ I liked it as well.
Summary: a bunch of Soviet workers are digging the foundations for a massive utopian communist self-contained city thing, but it may actually be a Stalinist mass grave
― When two tribes go to war, he always gets picked last (James Morrison), Thursday, 22 October 2009 03:42 (3 years ago) Permalink
i think Foundation Pit is one of Platonov weakest stories (actually, it's a novella) maybe cause it's super realistic,dry,too political and with too much dialouge while Platonov merits are in creating a poetic,lyrical,closed to surreal, but very gentle atmosphere, which is closer to Kafka, Schultz, Gombrowicz and a little Cortazar than anything else
― Zeno, Thursday, 22 October 2009 08:33 (3 years ago) Permalink
Well I do have a taste for political fiction -- I read the intro to Soul (the short story collection also bought out NYRB) and what did draw my attention was the politics (with one eye on the craft of writing; 'dry' and 'political' needn't necessarily go together), and that he wrote the majority of his works (which includes essays on many subjects, writers that do write really widely is a good sign to me) in that 1917-1929 period in Russian history, as I'm really interested in Russian fiction from that period.
It would probably be disappointing to me if it was some kind of Kafka knock-off.
― xyzzzz__, Thursday, 22 October 2009 09:31 (3 years ago) Permalink
it isn't a Kafka knock-off - it's very unique,though it resemble Kafka .in a way,all of Platonov's writing is political, but the genius of his writing,imo,is when the political issues are the subtext of the story,not the story itself: isnt that (among other things) what makes a great art - the beauty of the transformation from "message" to "imagery"?he did it not only because he was a talented writer but also because of the censorship and fear of the goverment,but sometimes,ironically those restaints produce great art..
― Zeno, Thursday, 22 October 2009 11:39 (3 years ago) Permalink
"Soul" is fantastic, Jules. Summary: geezer goes to be Soviet rep dude to some dwindling, semi-migratory tribe, goes fairly native. You can have a lend of my copy if you want (it's a Harvill not an NYRB, soz). It didn't feel like Kafka, to me. I liked "The Foundation Pit" too, and have read the stories in "The Return" and the feeling I came away with wasn't really gentleness but a slightly panicky inability to move.
(I note that in his Wikipedia page Andrey is being played by Denholm Elliott: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrei_Platonov.)
"The political issues are the subtext of the story, not the story itself" - yes, this, but (in "Soul" and "TFP" I think) it's a subtext which makes the story wrench and scream.
― Tim, Thursday, 22 October 2009 11:51 (3 years ago) Permalink
lolz I spent a good five mins trying to work the Denholm Elliott 'thing'. Thanks for the offer, Tim, I'll take.
I see that the translator himself 'comments' on the Amazon page for the book.
― xyzzzz__, Thursday, 22 October 2009 16:51 (3 years ago) Permalink
Book Court in Cobble/Boerum Hill has a whole shelf just of NYRB books.
― the onimo effect (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 10 December 2009 21:54 (3 years ago) Permalink
hey--does anyone know a place in brooklyn, say, in the cobble hill or boerum hill area, where i can find these books?
― max, Thursday, 10 December 2009 21:56 (3 years ago) Permalink
I think somebody might have posted about that way up thread.
― the onimo effect (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 10 December 2009 22:03 (3 years ago) Permalink
(Thought it wasn't supposed to let me do that.)
Are there any shops that deal in books by New Directions in London?
― xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 20 July 2010 13:46 (2 years ago) Permalink
I think I've seen some of their stuff in Charing X Foyles. But maybe a while ago - have a half-sense that Foyles have made their stock-buying a bit less idiosyncratic - others might know more.
― tetrahedron of space (woof), Tuesday, 20 July 2010 13:53 (2 years ago) Permalink
Other thing is I don't see (unlike Dalkey and NYRB) a lot of New directions stuff 2nd hand. Maybe it just hasn't registered..
― xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 20 July 2010 14:21 (2 years ago) Permalink
have a half-sense that Foyles have made their stock-buying a bit less idiosyncratic
Been a while since I worked there, but even at the time it was part of the remit to move from the old (admittedly ludicrously haphazard and expensive) habits to the new ones. We were still encouraged to take a punt on eccentric hunches (my favourite was getting in a load of Anatomy of Melancholy when NYRB republished it - nowhere else in London got it in, and I took loads - bonanza) but, even if that doesn't go on any more (and after all the misses were greater than the hits), I think there's still a general attempt to take a more left-field approach to things. As much as anything this makes sound business sense, separating you out from competitors. Like anywhere else tho, it's the computer books and medical stuff that brings home the bacon. (Plus true crime and big big blockbusters). Any largish bookshop would be a fool to miss out on that.
Don't know about New Directions, mind, haven't been in for a while, but worth asking, as given a sympathetic ear, they might start getting them in to see how they sell, even if they haven't already.
― GamalielRatsey, Tuesday, 20 July 2010 14:28 (2 years ago) Permalink
That NYRB shelf at Book Court is so enticing. It makes me feel like there's this entire alternate universe of great literature I've never read.
― surfer blood for oil (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 20 July 2010 16:19 (2 years ago) Permalink
Thinking some more, it might have been Borders where I saw them - back in their UK heyday when they had lots of American books unavailable elsewhere (didn't use Amazon back then). The only things I know I've seen, though, are the Ezra Pound editions.
So that isn't very helpful.
― tetrahedron of space (woof), Tuesday, 20 July 2010 16:37 (2 years ago) Permalink
That's ok. So much of what's on their Latin American and Asian lists interests me.
I guess I'll eventually have to start buying things on amazon.
― xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 21 July 2010 11:01 (2 years ago) Permalink
they really are like the criterion collection of book publishers. the jg farrell ones are my favorite i've read thus far, particularly 'troubles'.
― ('_') (omar little), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 16:14 (2 years ago) Permalink
That's an interesting comparison.
― Un peu d'Eire, ça fait toujours Dublin (Michael White), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 16:17 (2 years ago) Permalink
Thinking about getting Anatomy of Melancholy soon.
― Generation Blecch (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 18:00 (2 years ago) Permalink
they really are like the criterion collection of book publishers.
― pies. (gbx), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 18:01 (2 years ago) Permalink
A few NYRB favourites, pulled out of my head at random...
Any and all Tove Jansson and JG Farrell, as you said, plus Stefan Zweig
LJ Davis: A Meaningful Life -- black suburbanite comedy, very uncomfortably funnyAdolfo Bioy Cesares: The Invention of Morel -- clever, mind-twisting sci-fiChristopher Priest: Even cleverer, more mind-twisting sci-fiHarvey Swados: At Night in the Gardens of Brooklyn -- wonderful short story collectionJR Ackerley: My Dog Tulip, My Father and Myself, We Think the WOrld of You -- the first two are memoirs, the 3rd a novel, all greatWilliam Attaway: Blood on the Forge -- savage, bleak, amazing story about two black brothers in the 1930sFrigyes Karinthy: A Journey Round my Skull -- funny and fascinating memoir of brain injuryDezső Kosztolányi: Skylark -- beautiful short book about doting parents whose daughter goes away on a holiday, causing them to break out as gamblers, drinkers, eaters, etc etc
Man, so many other gems, cant list them all. Am also especially looking forward to:
The Three Christs of Ypsilanti: "On July 1, 1959, at Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan, the social psychologist Milton Rokeach brought together three paranoid schizophrenics: Clyde Benson, an elderly farmer and alcoholic; Joseph Cassel, a failed writer who was institutionalized after increasingly violent behavior toward his family; and Leon Gabor, a college dropout and veteran of World War II.
The men had one thing in common: each believed himself to be Jesus Christ. Their extraordinary meeting and the two years they spent living together serves as the basis for this poignant and often hilarious investigation into the nature of human identity, belief, and delusion. With novelistic momentum and insight, Rokeach takes us into the lives of these three incredible and, despite their common claim, altogether singular personalities who find themselves “confronted with the ultimate contradiction conceivable for human beings: more than one person claiming the same identity.”
In scenes of remarkable power and vividness (“I'm telling you I'm God!” “You're not!” “I'm God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost! I know what I am. . .”) we see the three Christs argue, proclaim, and soliloquize about the nature of their contentious divinity, and are given a window onto one of the most remarkable psychological case studies on record. "
― The great big red thing, for those who like a surprise (James Morrison), Thursday, 5 August 2010 01:04 (2 years ago) Permalink
Harvey Swados: At Night in the Gardens of Brooklyn -- wonderful short story collection
this is really terrific & its kinda so good that i think anything i cld say wld do it a disservice? its fantastic imo
if i were doing a pov i think id choose:
vladimir sorokin: ice - 'flat' kinda minimal russian horror + socialist realist parody + ad-speak parody don carpenter: hard rain falling - impressionistic 50s crime novel really beautiful mavis gallant short story collection - i just like her voice stark and knowing and terriblestefan zweig: post-office girl - idk... unrelenting? really wonderful tho gregor von rizzi: memoirs of an anti-semite - five interconnected stories abt a central european aristocrat 'dark and funny'
― ☼ (Lamp), Thursday, 5 August 2010 04:33 (2 years ago) Permalink
hey lamp we were talking sorokin on the shakey hates books thread--if i read sacred book of the werewolf and found it readble and engaging but haaaaaated the buddhist theologizing, would i like ice
― max, Thursday, 5 August 2010 04:38 (2 years ago) Permalink
i like the opies' 'lore and language of schoolchildren' (mentioned above), it's got an amazing ethnographic touch. i only wish it were more about american children (or slightly latter-day ones).
their recent selection of thoreau's journals (chosen by damion searls, of the recent melville redaction) is very nice too.
― j., Thursday, 5 August 2010 04:39 (2 years ago) Permalink
i read like a quarter of 'the long ships' in the bookstore the other day it was so rad
― max, Thursday, 5 August 2010 04:39 (2 years ago) Permalink
ice is really readable and for the first third really riveting but he does sacrifice story/character/language for the sake of explicating the thematic/structural ideas hes interested in - i think maybe if you dont care much about post-stalin russian lit the middle section in particular might be a slog. i mean the arguments hes making arent as repetitive/textual as the ones in werewolf but they infect the very form hes using.
― ☼ (Lamp), Thursday, 5 August 2010 04:50 (2 years ago) Permalink
im a lot more interested in post-stalin russian lit than a werewolf explaining buddhism 102
― max, Thursday, 5 August 2010 05:48 (2 years ago) Permalink
max werent you guys talking abt victor pelevin on the other thread, rather than sorokin? or are you just comparing the two
― just sayin, Thursday, 5 August 2010 07:21 (2 years ago) Permalink
― max, Thursday, 5 August 2010 07:27 (2 years ago) Permalink
anyone read Hav, the Jan Morris travel fiction thing that they have forthcoming. Usually enjoy morris, am tempted.
― you don't exist in the database (woof), Wednesday, August 24, 2011 11:00 AM (8 months ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink
just read this, really enjoyed it. its actually two books in one -- one set in 1985 and one in 2005 -- the first is better but the second works fine as a companion piece
― max, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 02:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
Oh yeah, I gotta have Hav. The travel non-fiction I've read was rich, dense but very clear, very careful, with no hesitation.Comes from climbing all those mountains, incl the ones w streets. Also liked Conundrum, re the sex change. Haven't read the pre-op, Desmond era adventures, but I better.
― dow, Monday, 14 May 2012 21:19 (1 year ago) Permalink
Lethem praises Patrick Hamilton's NYRB editions in current Rolling Stone, mentions that Hamilton provided the basis of Hitchcock's Gaslight and Rope (the latter with a little help from Leopold and Loeb, or so I assumed)
― dow, Friday, 25 May 2012 19:59 (1 year ago) Permalink
reading the sheckley story collection right now, very fun
― congratulations (n/a), Friday, 25 May 2012 20:13 (1 year ago) Permalink
Patrick Hamilton is so much one of my favourite writers
― seven league bootie (James Morrison), Sunday, 27 May 2012 04:21 (11 months ago) Permalink
I also discovered that, starting this fall, N.Y.R.B. is launching a new e-book-only imprint, made up of literary novels and books in translation singled out by the writer Sue Halpern. “Our logic is very simple,” Halpern writes. “Since, as the argument goes, it is too risky and expensive to bring out these sorts of books, we will take advantage of digital’s lower costs to expand the reading universe.” The first three offerings will be Lindsay Clarke’s “The Water Theatre” (September); Zena el Khalil’s “Beirut, I Love You: A Memoir” (October), and Yoram Kaniuk’s “1948” (November). The project is one answer to the lament about print’s demise; think of what’s now possible in the cheaper e-book form.
― congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 7 June 2012 18:19 (11 months ago) Permalink
Me too, and I think I first heard of him on ILB.
That ebook thing sounds excellent.
― franny glass, Friday, 8 June 2012 15:50 (11 months ago) Permalink
Anybody get Ride a Cockhorse? The original novel was published in '91.
― a regina spektor is haunting europe (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 8 July 2012 23:36 (10 months ago) Permalink
I've ordered it, but it hasn't come in yet--looks good, though
― an inevitable disappointment (James Morrison), Monday, 9 July 2012 00:12 (10 months ago) Permalink
struggling with the wedgwood
I keep reading sentences but they're not going in; she has an imperceptibly queer style. lots of sentences seem straightforward but don't seem to make a lot of sense. maybe I'm just in the wrong headspace rn
― skrill xx (cozen), Wednesday, 18 July 2012 12:11 (10 months ago) Permalink
finished reading 'the mountain lion' which i liked a lot and thought felt kinda sui generis like it wasnt really a story about childhood or coming-of-age but it also wasnt a fable, really, although it has strong elements of both?
i think of Molly as a character that defies any attempt at readerly sentimental identification, but i don't know if she's a villain, exactly. she's terrifying.
she is terrifying! i didnt hate her and they way stafford slopes in and out of her pov, mixing her and her brother up makes it hard to get a real sense of her somehow? idk i almost felt like despite everything she was still a mystery to me, nothing she did would surprise but everything seemed uncertain and unpredictable too.
― Lamp, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 04:08 (10 months ago) Permalink