Written in a prose of almost biblical simplicity and beauty, it is the story of a soul's long quest in search of he ultimate answer to the enigma of man's role on this earth. As a youth, the young Indian Siddhartha meets the Buddha but cannot be content with a disciple's role: he must work out his own destiny and solve his own doubt--a tortuous road that carries him through the sensuality of a love affair with the beautiful courtesan Kamala, the temptation of success and riches, the heartache of struggle with his own son, to final renunciation and self-knowledge.
The name "Siddhartha" is one often given to the Buddha himself--perhaps a clue to Hesse's aims in contrasting the traditional legendary figure with his own conception, as a European (Hesse was Swiss), of a spiritual explorer.
The assumptions and obsessions that control our daily lives are explored in tantalizing detail by master novelist John Updike in this wise, witty, and sexy story. Harry Angstrom--known to all as Rabbit, one of America's most famous literary characters--finds his dreary life shattered by the infidelity of his wife, Janice. How he resolves or further complicates his problems makes for a novel of the first order.
"From the Paperback edition."
Gordon Comstock is a poor young man who works in a grubby London bookstore and spends his evenings shivering in a rented room, trying to write. He is determined to stay free of the "money world" of lucrative jobs, family responsibilities, and the kind of security symbolized by the homely aspidistra plant that sits in every middle-class British window.
Enchanting stories about the evolution of the universe, with characters that are fashioned from mathematical formulae and cellular structures. "Naturally, we were all there, - old Qfwfq said, - where else could we have been? Nobody knew then that there could be space. Or time either: what use did we have for time, packed in there like sardines?" Translated by William Weaver. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
One of the most original American writers, Edgar Allan Poe shaped the development of both the detectvie story and the science-fiction story. Some of his poems--"The Raven," "The Bells," "Annabel Lee"--remain among the most popular in American literature. Poe's tales of the macabre still thrill readers of all ages. Here are familiar favorites like "The Purloined Letter," "The Fall of the House of Usher," and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," together with less-known masterpieces like "The Imp of the Perverse," "The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym," and "Ligeia," which is now recognized as one of the first science-fiction stories, a total of seventy-three tales in all, plus fifty-three poems and a generous sampling of Poe's essays, criticism and journalistic writings.
George Bowling, the hero of this comic novel, is a middle-aged insurance salesman who lives in an average English suburban row house with a wife and two children. One day, after winning some money from a bet, he goes back to the village where he grew up, to fish for carp in a pool he remembers from thirty years before. The pool, alas, is gone, the village has changed beyond recognition, and the principal event of his holiday is an accidental bombing by the RAF.
O Pioneers!, Willa Cather's first great novel, is the classic American story of pioneer life as embodied by one remarkable woman and her singular devotion to the land. Alexandra Bergson arrives on the wind-blasted prairie of Nebraska as a young girl and grows up to turn it into a prosperous farm. In this unforgettable story,Cather conveys both the physical realities of the landscape, as well as the mythic sweep of the transformation of the frontier, more faithfully and perhaps more fully than any other work of fiction.
First published in 1959, this touching fable tells of Auguste, a famous clown who could make people laugh but who sought to impart to his audiences a lasting joy. Originally inspired by a series of circus and clown drawings by the cubist painter Femand L ger, Miller eventually used his own decorations to accompany the text in their stead. "Undoubtedly," he says in his explanatory epilogue, 'it is the strangest story I have yet written. . . . No, more even than all the stories which I based on fact and experience is this one the truth. My whole aim in writing has been to tell the truth, as I know it. Heretofore all my characters have been real, taken from life, my own life. Auguste is unique in that he came from the blue. But what is this blue which surrounds and envelopes us if not reality itself? . . . We have only to open our eyes and hearts, to become one with that which is."
Ranging from macabre fantasies to fairy tales and tales of crime, these stories from the author of The Nutcracker create a rich fictional world. Hoffman paints a complex vision of humanity, where people struggle to establish identities in a hostile, absurd world.The editors have made an excellent selection, and the result is a book of great distinction.--Denis Donoghue, New York Review of Books The translators have proved fully equal to all the challenges of Hoffmann's romantic irony and his richly allusive prose, giving us an accurate and idiomatic rendering that also retains much of the original flavor.--Harry Zohn, Saturday Review