In 1903, a student at a military academy sent some of his verses to a well-known Austrian poet, requesting an assessment of their value. The older artist, Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), replied to the novice in this series of letters -- an amazing archive of remarkable insights into the ideas behind Rilke's greatest poetry. The ten letters reproduced here were written during an important stage in Rilke's artistic development, and they contain many of the themes that later appeared in his best works. The poet himself afterwards stated that his letters contained part of his creative genius, making this volume essential reading for scholars, poetry lovers, and anyone with an interest in Rilke, German poetry, or the creative impulse.
In the spring of 1983 Terry Tempest Williams learned that her mother was dying of cancer. That same season, The Great Salt Lake began to rise to record heights, threatening the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and the herons, owls, and snowy egrets that Williams, a poet and naturalist, had come to gauge her life by. One event was nature at its most random, the other a by-product of rogue technology: Terry's mother, and Terry herself, had been exposed to the fallout of atomic bomb tests in the 1950s. As it interweaves these narratives of dying and accommodation, Refuge transforms tragedy into a document of renewal and spiritual grace, resulting in a work that has become a classic.
Most of the fairy tales that we grew up with we know thanks to the Brothers Grimm. Jack Zipes, one of our surest guides through the world of fairy tales and their criticism, takes behind the romantics mythology of the wandering brothers. Bringing to bear his own critical expertise, as well as new biographical information, Zipes examines the interaction between the Grimms' lives and their work. He reveals the Grimms' personal struggle to overcome social prejudice and poverty, as well as their political efforts - as scholars and civil servant - toward unifying the German states. By deftly interweaving the social, political, and personal elements of the lives of the Brothers Grimm, Zipes rescues them from sentimental obscurity. No longer figures in fairy tale, the Brothers Grimm emerge as powerful creators, real men who established the fairy tale as one of our great literary institutions. Part biography, part critical assessment, part social history, the Brothers Grimm provides a complex and very real story about fairy tales and the modern world.
These poem-stories are a strange retelling of seventeen Grimms fairy tales, including "Snow White," "Rumpelstiltskin," "Rapunzel," "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," "The Frog Prince," and "Red Riding Hood." Astonishingly, they are as wholly personal as Anne Sexton's most intimate poems. "Her metaphoric strength has never been greater -- really funny, among other things, a dark, dark laughter" (C.K. Williams).
From the theme resorts of Dubai to the jungles of Papua New Guinea, a disturbing but hilarious tour of the exotic east--and of the tour itself
Sick of producing the bromides of the professional travel writer, Lawrence Osborne decided to explore the psychological underpinnings of tourism itself. He took a six-month journey across the so-called Asian Highway--a swathe of Southeast Asia that, since the Victorian era, has seduced generations of tourists with its manufactured dreams of the exotic Orient. And like many a lost soul on this same route, he ended up in the harrowing forests of Papua, searching for a people who have never seen a tourist.
What, Osborne asks, are millions of affluent itinerants looking for in these endless resorts, hotels, cosmetic-surgery packages, spas, spiritual retreats, sex clubs, and "back to nature" trips? What does tourism, the world's single largest business, have to sell? A travelogue into that heart of darkness known as the Western
mind, The Naked Tourist is the most mordant and ambitious work to date from the author of The Accidental Connoisseur, praised by The New York Times Book Review as "smart, generous, perceptive, funny, sensible."
Based on a series of letters Mark Twain wrote from Europe to newspapers in San Francisco and New York as a roving correspondent, The Innocents Abroad (1869) is a burlesque of the sentimental travel books popular in the mid-nineteenth century. Twain's fresh and humorous perspective on hallowed European landmarks lacked reverence for the past-the ancient statues of saints on the Cathedral of Notre Dame are battered and broken-nosed old fellows and tour guides interrupt every dream, every pleasant train of thought, with their tiresome cackling. Equally irreverent about American manners (including his own) as he is about European attitudes, Twain ultimately concludes that, for better or worse, human nature is very much the same all over the world.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
With a poet's clear eye and a journalist's curiosity about how a city works, Dan Barry shows us New York as no other writer has seen it.
Evocative, intimate, piercing, and often funny, the essays in City Lights capture everyday life in the city at its most ordinary and extraordinary. Wandering the city as a columnist for The New York Times, Barry visits the denizens of the Fulton Fish Market on the eve of its closing; journeys with an obsessed guide through the secret underground of abandoned subway stops, tunnels, and aqueducts; touches down in bars, hospitals, churches, diners, pools, zoos, memorabilia-stuffed apartments, at births and funerals, the places where people gather, are welcomed, or depart; talks to the ex-athlete who caught the falling baby, the performance artist who works as a mermaid, the octogenarian dancers who find quiet joy in their partnership, and the guy who waves flags over the Cross-Bronx Expressway to wish drivers safe passage.
Along the way, Barry offers glimpses of New York's distant and recent past. He explains why the dust-coated wishbones hanging above the bar at McSorley's Old Ale House belong to the doughboy ghosts of World War I. He recalls a century of grandeur at the Plaza Hotel through the tales of longtime doormen who will soon be out of a job. He finds that an old man's quiet death opens back into a past that the man had spent his life denying. And, from the vantage of the Circle Line cruise around Manhattan, he joins tourists as they try to make sense of still-smoldering ruins in Lower Manhattan three weeks after September 11, 2001.
Each story in City Lights illuminates New York, as it was and as it is: always changing, always losing and renewing parts of itself, every street corner an opportunity for surprise and revelation.
A distinguished novelist and critic inspires readers and writers with this inside look at how the professionals read--and write
Long before there were creative writing workshops and degrees, how did aspiring writers learn to write? By reading the work of their predecessors and contemporaries, says Francine Prose.
As she takes us on a guided tour of the tools and the tricks of the masters--Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, Kafka, Austen, Dickens, Woolf, Chekhov--Prose discovers why these writers endure. She takes pleasure in the signature elements of such outsatanding writers as Philip Roth, Isaac Babel, John Le Carr , James Joyce, and Katherine Mansfield. Throughout, she cautions readers to slow down and pay attention to words, the raw material out of which literature is crafted. Written with passion, humor, and wisdom, Reading Like a Writer will inspire readers to return to literature with a fresh eye and an eager heart.
The Poet's Companion presents brief essays on the elements of poetry, technique, and suggested subjects for writing, each followed by distinctive writing exercises. The ups and downs of writing life--including self-doubt and writer's block--are here, along with tips about getting published and writing in the electronic age. On your own, this book can be your "teacher," while groups, in or out of the classroom, can profit from sharing weekly assignments.
For more than four hundred years, the personal essay has been one of the richest and most vibrant of all literary forms. Distinguished from the detached formal essay by its friendly, conversational tone, its loose structure, and its drive toward candor and self-disclosure, the personal essay seizes on the minutiae of daily life-vanities, fashions, foibles, oddballs, seasonal rituals, love and disappointment, the pleasures of solitude, reading, taking a walk -- to offer insight into the human condition and the great social and political issues of the day. The Art of the Personal Essay is the first anthology to celebrate this fertile genre. By presenting more than seventy-five personal essays, including influential forerunners from ancient Greece, Rome, and the Far East, masterpieces from the dawn of the personal essay in the sixteenth century, and a wealth of the finest personal essays from the last four centuries, editor Phillip Lopate, himself an acclaimed essayist, displays the tradition of the personal essay in all its historical grandeur, depth, and diversity.