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Yes, they were great mates I believe. Also collaborated with him on some stories. So Morel being Borges-y is very understandable, but I meant it's successful in that - doesn't seem like a rip, seems to be synthesising the same stuff well over a different length.

woofwoofwoof, Friday, 24 July 2009 16:23 (thirteen years ago) link

borges wrote an intro to morel, that i believe is included in the NYRB edition

i was disappointed by morel in part because it was recommended to me very highly--it had the borgesian plot mechanics w/out the economy of style that makes borges so gripping; i felt like the man himself could have done the same thing twice as well in half as many pages

max, Friday, 24 July 2009 16:25 (thirteen years ago) link

Well, that is Borges' forte, isn't it?

Le présent se dégrade, d'abord en histoire, puis en (Michael White), Friday, 24 July 2009 16:44 (thirteen years ago) link

i would read all these nyrb books.

seriously, they all look appealing to me. of the ones i've seen.

scott seward, Friday, 24 July 2009 18:39 (thirteen years ago) link

Well, that is Borges' forte, isn't it?

Indeed. He could have done it infinitely better with no pages.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 24 July 2009 18:40 (thirteen years ago) link

Warlock by Oakley Hall

^^^ i think this may be the only one of these i read but it was dope. oh - looking ive also read the stephen leacock nonsense novels, which was okay.

here comes the slug line (Lamp), Friday, 24 July 2009 18:47 (thirteen years ago) link

For those who enjoyed Morel, I also recommend his similarly Wells-ian Plan of Escape. His later stuff I don't like too much.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 24 July 2009 18:55 (thirteen years ago) link

Oh, Michael, I really liked The Dud Avacado -- you recommend the other Dundy as well?

It's true, these things have always looked a cut above, from the get-go.

nabisco, Friday, 24 July 2009 20:33 (thirteen years ago) link

Cesare Pavese - The Moon and the Bonfire

Really on the WILL WILL read: Victor Serge - The Unforgiving Years, and Henry De Montherlant

As for the Gadda - The 'mess' is part of the point and integral, but this seems amplified by the almost impossible job of translation of those linguistic puns! Still it does hold its fascination and the guy has written widely on a range of topics. I really hope that bringing this translation out will mean more novels and writings to come in English, but I do fear it was the wrong book of his to bring out, as much as I liked it.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 24 July 2009 20:36 (thirteen years ago) link

I really liked The Dud Avacado -- you recommend the other Dundy as well?

Yes! Unfortunately it's in England as opposed to France but the plot is neater and the ending far superior to the ending of TDA, which I found a little artlessly abrupt. You can tell that Dundy is more grown-up or something. It's a hoot.

I find Montherlant rather depressing. His prose is rather gorgeous in French but he's such a bitter misogynist.

I seriously, like scott seward, would read almost all of these (except for the translations from the French) but the one that's next for me is probably Zweig's 'The Post-Office Girl'.

It's a posthumous novel, just now translated into English and it's a 2009 PEN Translation Prize Finalist. Also, I just love Zweig.

Le présent se dégrade, d'abord en histoire, puis en (Michael White), Friday, 24 July 2009 20:45 (thirteen years ago) link

yah the zweig u linked sounds fantastic

here comes the slug line (Lamp), Friday, 24 July 2009 20:49 (thirteen years ago) link

turn yr zweig on

max, Friday, 24 July 2009 21:01 (thirteen years ago) link

The Post Office Girl is, indeed, fantastic. I love NYRB--beautiful books, and most of those I've read have been great.

When two tribes go to war, he always gets picked last (James Morrison), Saturday, 25 July 2009 02:40 (thirteen years ago) link

wasn't there a thread on this before?

i have read and enjoyed:

the Joyce Cary trilogy - Herself Surprised/The Horse's Mouth/To be A Pilgrim
Darcy O'Brien - A Way of Life Like Any Other
J.F. Powers - Morte D'Urban
Georges Simenon - Three Bedrooms In Manhattan

velko, Saturday, 25 July 2009 09:14 (thirteen years ago) link

oh yeah, High Wind In Jamaica - Richard Hughes too

and i have The Go-Between on my shelf,bought it a few years ago and forgot it so I will start that in the next couple of weeks

velko, Saturday, 25 July 2009 09:32 (thirteen years ago) link

Darcy O'Brien - A Way of Life Like Any Other

Seconding this. But don't make the same mistake I did and read his true crime books afterward. Which are well written, but will give you unpleasant heebie jeebies for a long time after reading.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 25 July 2009 12:17 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

one month passes...


!!!!! 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 (thirteen years ago) link

That's just up my alley

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 20:48 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

"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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

one month passes...

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

(Thought it wasn't supposed to let me do that.)

the onimo effect (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 10 December 2009 22:03 (thirteen years ago) link

seven months pass...

Are there any shops that deal in books by New Directions in London?

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 20 July 2010 13:46 (twelve years ago) link

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 (twelve years ago) link

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 (twelve years ago) link

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 (twelve years ago) link

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 (twelve years ago) link

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 (twelve years ago) link

I’ve only read Stoner, so I can’t comment on the other books, but I do think that reviewer is getting at something kind of odd about the interior void and fatalism in the character of Stoner, except I guess I thought it was interesting and they hated it.

o. nate, Friday, 22 February 2019 17:16 (four years ago) link

i mean yes the writer definitely approaches the point of the books and says "i don't like the point of these books"; the interiority hinted at but never quite described bc we're just skating over the surface of stoner's actions, the way it suddenly rears up in the otherwise stiff undecorated prose like we've been sucked backwards into a dream state (the scene where he looks through his office window at the snow-covered campus for instance), the way he only seems to come close to approaching himself in (spoiler but... imo it doesn't matter) death

augustus is probably truly his best book bc it breaks out of that third person swinging between stiff observation and dreamy suspended light configurations to dwell richly in character, in the simultaneous performance of identity and narrative that makes up someone's perspective. but the former approach i rarely encounter in books i guess? the tense bridge they walk between intimacy and distance, between the ordinary and the brutal

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Friday, 22 February 2019 17:26 (four years ago) link

anyway i love that the piece admits that augustus might legitimately be good but it never appears again in the piece as if it might compromise the integrity of the argument somehow

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Friday, 22 February 2019 17:29 (four years ago) link

This guy was the Paul Auster of his generation.

Only a Factory URL (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 22 February 2019 18:15 (four years ago) link


mookieproof, Friday, 22 February 2019 18:19 (four years ago) link

NEW YORK – Monday, February 25, 2019 — Rea Hederman, the publisher of The New York Review of Books, announced today that Emily Greenhouse and Gabriel Winslow-Yost have been named co-editors of the magazine, the leading English-language journal of literary criticism and ideas with a worldwide circulation of approximately 150,000. The editors will be joined by longtime contributor Daniel Mendelsohn in the newly created position of editor at large.

mookieproof, Monday, 25 February 2019 16:52 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

ian buruma, still clueless


mookieproof, Friday, 29 March 2019 19:10 (four years ago) link

if you're paywalled, you may be able to get at that by opening this in an incognito window https://t.co/pzRImMAurH

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Friday, 29 March 2019 19:15 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

I'm reading Nothing But the Night. Another fifty pages to go. Augustus and Stoner are superior but not by much.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 27 May 2019 14:35 (four years ago) link

four months pass...

Great photo of NYRB Classics editor Edwin Frank:


... (Eazy), Tuesday, 15 October 2019 22:46 (three years ago) link


flopson, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 18:45 (three years ago) link

three months pass...

Wonderful achievement for NYRB to bring these out:


xyzzzz__, Friday, 24 January 2020 11:32 (three years ago) link

Definitely! Although I read the less complete but still huge Penguin version years ago and am not strong enough to tackle them a second time.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Friday, 24 January 2020 23:34 (three years ago) link

Yeah that vol (tr. John Glad) was great, and it's good to see his poetry mentioned. There are 20/30 pages on the Penguin Russian Poetry that were a revelation to me. We need a solid edition of those poems.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 25 January 2020 10:03 (three years ago) link

Oh man,just now at the library I longread a very appealing deacription of this, with strong support from quotes (fave went with reviewer comment along the lines of "This blow, late in the book, breaks open the cloistered atmosphere and charges it with danger"--something like that! Good set-up, author):
https://www.nyrb.com/products/abigail?variant=14728981020724 Will link review if can get it past paywall, as occasionally happens.

dow, Saturday, 25 January 2020 19:52 (three years ago) link

It's Szabo, it'll be great.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Monday, 27 January 2020 06:28 (three years ago) link

four weeks pass...


this is a really fun one

na (NA), Tuesday, 25 February 2020 15:09 (three years ago) link

eight months pass...

Asked the question. This is excellent news.

I’ve translated both. The Silentiary will come out from @nyrbclassics in fall 2021, and The Suicides thereafter (no set pub date yet). Thanks for asking! https://t.co/mgqu7qBbpE

— Esther Allen (@estherlallen) November 20, 2020

xyzzzz__, Friday, 20 November 2020 20:15 (two years ago) link

There's a Flash Sale at NYRB publishing right now. 20% off two titles. 30% off three. 40% off four or more.

The Solace of Fortitude (Aimless), Monday, 23 November 2020 04:25 (two years ago) link

i recommend ‘we think the world of you’ by j.r. ackerley off the sale list. ‘inverted world‘ and ‘party going’ are on there too but most ilxors have read those

flopson, Monday, 23 November 2020 06:40 (two years ago) link

Looked at four I wanted however shipping to the UK is pretty much the 40% saving lol

xyzzzz__, Monday, 23 November 2020 10:57 (two years ago) link

five months pass...

Before the pandemic I'd circle my uni library's original printing of Thomas Mann's Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man. Leave it to fucking NYRB to finally release its first paperback edition, like, ever:


I pick up a copy at my local bookstore tomorrow.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 22 May 2021 19:49 (two years ago) link

Is that his ‘Actually, it was me, not Heinrich, who was brave all along? ‘ book?

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Monday, 24 May 2021 01:24 (two years ago) link

lol the og 'actually, I was brave and right to support the invasion of Iraq'

one year passes...

What was that in the sky? A flash? Must be the NYRB Classics Summer Flash Sale! Up to 40% off list price. Free shipping on orders of $50 or more within the US. https://t.co/cMPrY3Wl6c pic.twitter.com/kBisVepIxZ

— NYRB Classics (@nyrbclassics) June 30, 2022

deep luminous trombone (Eazy), Monday, 4 July 2022 19:17 (eleven months ago) link

three months pass...

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