Written when he was forty, Safe Conduct puzzled many readers in Russia and when it appeared in English, because its isolated sharp impressions and juxtapositions seem to deny chronology, but at least one critic recognized it as "the most original of autobiographies, employing a new technique of great important."
Also included is a group of remarkable short stories, translated by Robert Payne, dealing with the mysteries of life and art, and a selection of the poems that have made Pasternak known, to the few at last, as the "outstanding Russian poet of the century." these are translated by the British Critic and poet C. M. Bowra, and by Miss Deutsch.
Kathy Acker was a high-wire writer. She took risks. She experimented for the sake of it. She made mistakes. She fell. She never wanted a modest success, and so her books, all of them, swing from passages of topflight bravura, where you think, "How did she do that?" to a sawdust-in-your-mouth kind of feeling that you just want to spit out. She is an exhilarating, exasperating writer who wants you in the ring with her, through the highs and the lows. There was always something touching and trusting about Acker's belief that her audience would not want a smooth finished product of the kind they could buy at any dime store, but would prefer to be in on the process -- flying when she did, falling when she did, nothing leveled out or homogenized.She was ahead of her time. There is no doubt about that. Acker really was interactive art. It's why she fronted bands -- most famously The Mekons on the CD of Pussy, King of the Pirates -- if you haven't heard it, buy it now. It's why her readings were more like stage shows than those creepy literary events where some dude mumbles in a monotone for half an hour. To see Kathy in her leopard-skin leotard, slash of red lipstick, gym-honed muscles, maybe a dildo, usually a backing track, seduce a packed crowd with that gorgeous voice and knowing childlike look was to discover how exciting art could be. Not rarefied, not back-dated, not dull, just something you suddenly wanted -- the way you suddenly want to be kissed by someone you hadn't even looked at before. Okay, so Acker was art as performance and language as desire, but was she an important writer? Yes. Important work always has risk in it. That doesn't mean that all risky work is important, but it does mean that safety gets us nowhere. In science this is self-evident. In the arts, and particularly literature, we still moan and groan at experiment. Just gimme a good story, we say, with a beginning, middle, and end. Well, Acker won't do that for you, but she will help you get high.
Following the death of her son, Mieko Toganō takes an increasing interest in the personal affairs of her widowed daughter-in-law, Yasuko. Devastated by her loss, she skillfully manipulates the relationships between Yasuko and the two men who are in love with her, encouraging a dalliance that will have terrible consequences. Meanwhile, hidden in the shadows, is Mieko's mentally-handicapped daughter, who has her own role to play in her mother's bizarre schemes. In Masks, Enchi has crafted a stunning and understated novel of seduction and infidelity.
Although Pieter Bruegel's pictures have been celebrated throughout the past four hundred years, the artist himself remains a shadowy and misunderstood figure. In a volume which will widen the understanding and enhance the enjoyment of Bruegel's many admirers, Walter Gibson illuminates the sixteenth-century world in which the artist lived. He analyzes the different strands of Bruegel's inspiration, examines his works, and considers his influence on later artists. Dispelling the notion of Bruegel the simpleton peasant, the author shows us Bruegel the cultivated artist, satisfying an urban society's pleasure in moralizing tales and proverbs, rooted in the rich, bourgeois, brilliant Antwerp of the Flemish Renaissance.
With a preface written by the author especially for this edition, this is the complete collection of stories by Eudora Welty.
Including the earlier collections A Curtain of Green, The Wide Net, The Golden Apples, and The Bride of the Innisfallen, as well as previously uncollected ones, these forty-one stories demonstrate Eudora Welty's talent for writing from diverse points-of-view with "vision that is sweet by nature, always humanizing, uncannily objective, but never angry" (Washington Post).
William Blake's innovations in engraving techniques brought about his brilliant synthesis of visual and poetic art and signaled the beginning of his famous "Illuminated Books," of which the Songs of Innocence was the first and most popular. Unfortunately, Blake's vision is generally known to the world in amputated form: because of the difficulty and expense of reproducing his original conception, most editions of Blake's work offer only the printed text, with no trace of the visual counterpart so essential to his "System."
This new, facsimile edition of the Songs of Innocence reproduces Blake's color plates in a fashion which the artist himself would have approved. The 31 plates -- printed on facing pages which are the same size of Blake's own first edition -- offer one of the more brightly colored versions of this significant volume, no two copies of which are the same. As a special aid to readers, a typographical reprint of the text of poems follows the plates. Such classic "songs" as "The Lamb" and "The Chimney Sweeper" are now accessible to all in the symbiotic union of poem and picture that is crucial to a total understating of Blake's mind and art.
Our most eloquent champion of individualism, Emerson acknowledges at the same time the countervailing pressures of society in American life. Even as he extols what he called "the great and crescive self," he dramatizes and records its vicissitudes.Here are all the indispensable and most renowned works, including "The American Scholar" ("our intellectual Declaration of Independence," as Oliver Wendell Holmes called it), "The Divinity School Address," considered atheistic by many of his listeners, the summons to "Self-Reliance," along with the more embattled realizations of "Circles" and, especially, "Experience." Here, too, are his wide-ranging portraits of Montaigne, Shakespeare, and other "representative men," and his astute observations on the habits, lives, and prospects of the English and American people. This volume includes Emerson's well-known Nature; Addresses, and Lectures (1849), his Essays: First Series (1841) and Essays: Second Series (1844), plus Representative Men (1850), English Traits (1856), and his later book of essays, The Conduct of Life (1860). These are the works that established Emerson's colossal reputation in America and found him admirers abroad as diverse as Carlyle, Nietzsche, and Proust. The reasons for Emerson's influence and durability will be obvious to any reader who follows the exhilarating, exploratory movements of his mind in this uniquely full gathering of his work. Not merely another selection of his essays, this volume includes all his major books in their rich entirety. No other volume conveys so comprehensively the exhilaration and exploratory energy of perhaps America's greatest writer. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.