An accessible, irreverent guide to one of the most admired--and entertaining--novels of the past century: Rememberance of Things Past. There is no other guide like this; a user-friendly and enticing entry into the marvelously enjoyable world of Proust.At seven volumes, three thousand pages, and more than four hundred characters, as well as a towering reputation as a literary classic, Proust's novel can seem daunting. But though begun a century ago, in 1909, it is in fact as engaging and relevant to our times as ever. Patrick Alexander is passionate about Proust's genius and appeal--he calls the work "outrageously bawdy and extremely funny"--and in his guide he makes it more accessible to the general reader through detailed plot summaries, historical and cultural background, a guide to the fifty most important characters, maps, family trees, illustrations, and a brief biography of Proust. Essential for readers and book groups currently reading Proust and who want help keeping track of the huge cast and intricate plot, this Reader's Guide is also a wonderful introduction for students and new readers and a memory-refresher for long-time fans.
The London Library is the world's largest independent library. Founded in 1841 by Thomas Carlyle (in reaction to the "museum headache" brought on by the crowds in the British Museum Reading Room), it has become a haven for readers, writers and all who draw strength, solace or inspiration from the presence of books. Some of the most illustrious figures of the last two centuries have written, thought and walked there: George Eliot, Charles Dickens, E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf and many more were members.And over time, some of these celebrated members have shared--with each other, or with an interested public--their views on the delights, challenges and joys of reading, writing and living with books. The books in "Found on the Shelves" have been chosen to give a fascinating insight into the treasures that can be found while browsing in The London Library. Now celebrating its 175th anniversary, with over seventeen miles of shelving and more than a million books, The London Library has become an unrivalled archive of the modes, manners and thoughts of each generation which has helped to form it. From essays on dieting in the 1860s to instructions for gentlewomen on trout-fishing, from advice on the ill health caused by the "modern" craze of bicycling to travelogues from Norway, they are as readable and relevant today as they were more than a century ago.
Much of Russian literature is St. Petersburg literature: set in the city, about the city, or written by writers who lived there. For each of the fifteen profiled writers, there is a biographical sketch focusing on his or her relationship to the city and a sense of his or her work, along with a list of St. Petersburg sites associated with the writer and the literary works.Travelers can wander through the museum where a teenage Vladimir Nabokov romanced his girlfriend and see the prison where Anna Akhmatova was inspired to write her poem about the Great Terror. They can find the statue that comes to life in Pushkin's poem The Bronze Horseman and visit the square where Crime and Punishment's murderer/hero kneels to ask God's forgiveness. The images included are particularly striking: a photo taken in the courtroom where the young Joseph Brodsky made his electrifying defense of his credentials as a poet; a portrait of Akhmatova, a symbol of artistic integrity in the face of the most severe persecution; and documentary photographs spanning the upheavals of twentieth century Russia. Authors included are: Anna Akhmatova, Andrei Bely, Aleksandr Blok, Joseph Brodsky, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nikolai Gogol, Daniil Kharms, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Osip Mandelstam, Vladimir Nabokov, Alexander Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Turgenev, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Mikhail Zoshchenko.
FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
AND THE PEN ART OF THE ESSAY AWARD
A selection of essays on writing and reading by the master short-fiction writer Lydia DavisLydia Davis is a writer whose originality, influence, and wit are beyond compare. Jonathan Franzen has called her "a magician of self-consciousness," while Rick Moody hails her as the best prose stylist in America. And for Claire Messud, "Davis's signal gift is to make us feel alive." Best known for her masterful short stories and translations, Davis's gifts extend equally to her nonfiction. In Essays One, Davis has, for the first time, gathered a selection of essays, commentaries, and lectures composed over the past five decades. In this first of two volumes, her subjects range from her earliest influences to her favorite short stories, from John Ashbery's translation of Rimbaud to Alan Cote's painting, and from the Shepherd's Psalm to early tourist photographs. On display is the development and range of one of the sharpest, most capacious minds writing today.
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019
One of Poets & Writers' Best Books for Writers
"How lovely to discover a book on the craft of writing that is also fun to read. . . Alison asserts that the best stories follow patterns in nature, and by defining these new styles she offers writers the freedom to explore but with enough guidance to thrive." --Maris Kreizman, Vulture
As Jane Alison writes in the introduction to her insightful and appealing book about the craft of writing: "For centuries there's been one path through fiction we're most likely to travel-- one we're actually told to follow--and that's the dramatic arc: a situation arises, grows tense, reaches a peak, subsides . . . But something that swells and tautens until climax, then collapses? Bit masculosexual, no? So many other patterns run through nature, tracing other deep motions in life. Why not draw on them, too?"
W. G. Sebald's Emigrants was the first novel to show Alison how forward momentum can be created by way of pattern, rather than the traditional arc-- or, in nature, wave. Other writers of nonlinear prose considered in her "museum of specimens" include Nicholson Baker, Anne Carson, Marguerite Duras, Gabriel Garc a M rquez, Jamaica Kincaid, Clarice Lispector, Susan Minot, David Mitchell, Caryl Phillips, and Mary Robison.
Meander, Spiral, Explode is a singular and brilliant elucidation of literary strategies that also brings high spirits and wit to its original conclusions. It is a liberating manifesto that says, Let's leave the outdated modes behind and, in thinking of new modes, bring feeling back to experimentation. It will appeal to serious readers and writers alike.
Are you bursting with literary knowledge that you'd like to put to the test? Or do you just want a moment's distraction filling in a Harry Potter- or Lord of the Rings-themed crossword puzzle, looking up the names of Charles Dickens's characters in a word search, or completing a Jane Austen sudoku puzzle? Literary Puzzle Book, now in a large format, offers puzzles of varying difficulty levels and literary themes that will amuse, excite, and inform. This handy book features 120 craft conundrums that will keep you scratching your head over famous author pen names and obscure literary terms as you exercise your knowledge on Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Marcel Proust, Henry James, and James Joyce. These puzzles include:
- Anagrams and cryptograms
- Crosswords and word searches
- Riddles and quizzes
- And many more
For all book-loving puzzle solvers or puzzle-loving book readers, Literary Puzzle Book is the perfect avenue to unwind, or be challenged.