Serendipities is a careful unraveling of the fabulous and the false, a brilliant exposition of how unanticipated truths often spring from false ideas. From Leibniz's belief that the I Ching illustrated the principles of calculus to Marco Polo's mistaking a rhinoceros for a u
From the internationally acclaimed author of some of this century's most original fiction comes this posthumous collection of 36 literary essays that encourages readers to view old classics in a new light. Calvino writes on why Lara, not Zhivago, is the center of Pasternak's masterpiece Dr. Zhivago, and explains how many odysseys are in The Odyssey.
This collection is a magnificent confirmation of Lowell's prediction. From several thousand letters, written over fifty years - from 1928 when she was seventeen (and already a poet) to the day of her death, in Boston in 1979 - Robert Giroux, her editor during her lifetime, has selected over 500 and has written a detailed and informative introduction. In one sense, Elizabeth Bishop's letters constitute her autobiography, including the story of her love for Lota Soares in Brazil, which ended with Lota's tragic suicide fifteen years later. They also record her intense relationships with her early mentor Marianne Moore and later with Robert Lowell. For Bishop, letter-writing was a joy and a necessity, an embodiment of the links between people, but also a facet of her art, conjuring the world in words. Some letters are carefully composed, elegant in style; some are spontaneous and witty, alive with unexpected detail; some contain poems sent as gifts; others are cries from the heart. Sometimes she ponders on her childhood, on her struggle to create, or to resist drink, but more often she responds fully and vividly to the immediate moment, the color of the sky, the books she has been reading, the friend she misses, the meal she is cooking, the toucan or cat she is observing, the room she is painting in a Harlequinade pattern of big colored diamonds. One Art takes us behind Bishop's formal sophistication and reserve, displaying to the full the gift for friendship, the striving for perfection, and the passionate, questing, rigorous spirit that made her a great poet.
A collection of meditations like polished stones -- painstakingly worded, tough-minded, yet partial to mystery, and peerless when it comes to injecting larger resonances into the natural world. -- Kirkus Reviews
Here, in this compelling assembly of writings, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard explores the world of natural facts and human meanings.
Veering away from the long, meditative studies of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek or Holy the Firm, Annie Dillard explores and celebrates moments of spirituality, dipping into descriptions of encounters with flora and fauna, stars, and more, from Ecuador to Miami.
Letters chronicle a century of life in the United States, from Mark Twain's humorous letter to the head of Western Union to Einstein's warning to Roosevelt about atomic warfare and a young Bill Gates begging hobbyists not to share software.
"Here is a rich new biographical perspective on the brilliant storyteller whose sophisticated romantic fiction . . . made her an international success and perpetual candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature. . . . These letters] contain the raw material that was later transformed into her classic memoir "Out of Africa" (1937). They also reveal her as a highly intelligent and sensitive analyst of a strange new world." Bruce Allen, "Christian Science Monitor"
""Letters from Africa" is literary gold, 24 karat." Alden Whitman, "Boston Globe""
This charming classic love story, first published in 1970, brings together twenty years of correspondence between Helene Hanff, at the time, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used-book dealer in London at 84, Charing Cross Road. Through the years, though never meeting and separated both geographically and culturally, they share a winsome, sentimental friendship based on their common love for books. Their relationship, captured so acutely in these letters, is one that has touched the hearts of thousands of readers around the world.84, Charing Cross Road will beguile and put you in tune with mankind... It will provide an emollient for the spirit and sheath for the exposed nerve. -- The New York Times A unique, throat-lumping, side-splitting treasure. -- San Francisco Examiner