The Kraus Project
Essays by Karl Kraus
Karl Kraus (1874-1936) was an Austrian satirist, the editor of the influential magazine Die Fackel (The Torch) and a central figure in the intellectual life of fin-de-siecle Vienna. For Franzen, he was a prophet whose writings, though notoriously difficult, speak to 'our own media-saturated, technology-crazed, apocalypse-haunted historical moment'. In this book, he presents the first English translation of Kraus' Heine and the Consequences (1911) and elucidates its context and meaning in copious footnotes.
Reflections on the Intensity of Language
Both a critic and an acclaimed practitioner, Clive James (b.1939) has devoted a lifetime to poetry. In this collection of essays he distils all he has learnt about the art form to explain the formal structures and choice of words that give poetry its unique power. Blending erudition, insight and wit, he ranges across the panorama of 20th-century poetry, from Hart Crane to Ezra Pound and Anne Sexton to Ted Hughes, paying close attention to his favourites: Yeats, Frost, Auden, Wilbur and Larkin.
The World of Raymond Chandler
In His Own Words
Despite his fame as an author of superlative crime fiction, Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) never wrote an autobiography. This volume fills the gap, setting passages of the novels and short stories alongside excerpts from Chandler's letters to friends, publishers and fellow authors. They reveal his insights on writing, language and style; his views on women, Los Angeles and his private eye Philip Marlowe; and his experiences in Hollywood working with such directors as Hitchcock and Billy Wilder. American-cut pages.
In Her Own Words
Her warm humour, sympathy, curiosity about human nature and eye for detail make the novels of Maeve Binchy (1940-2012) hugely appealing. These virtues are all shared by this selection of articles from The Irish Times, which chart her life from her early career as a waitress to the pains of old age. Whether meeting Samuel Beckett, reporting tragedies or recounting an amusing anecdote of small-town life, they are as compelling as her fiction. American-cut pages and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
When she died in 1996, Marguerite Duras left four notebooks in a cupboard at her country home. Only now have their contents been published, including her account of her upbringing in Indochina, her gripping diaries of the war years in Paris, and a first draft of her novel The Lover. Written with unflinching clarity, they shed new light on the life and work of one of the great literary figures of the 20th century. Off-mint.
A Trifle, a Coddle, a Fry
An Irish Literary Cookbook
From the magnificent breakfast for four described in Ulysses to the custard puddings made to aid Samuel Beckett's convalescence following a near-fatal stabbing, this literary cookbook introduces 67 recipes inspired by or referred to in the works and lives of twelve Irish writers, and brought into being by Irish cooks Veronica Jane O'Mara and Fionnuala O'Reilly.
To Be Or Not To Be ...
...and everything else you should know from Shakespeare
As well as chapters on everyday words and phrases we owe to Shakespeare (eg. good-riddance and bedazzled), common quotes and misquotations such as 'gild the lily', this little volume provides a refresher course on the Bard, with an outline of his life, synopses of all the plays, a glossary of major characters, a chapter on the sonnets and a handy guide to iambic pentameter.
La Folie Baudelaire
The mid-19th century metropolis was a new and, for many, a terrifying phenomenon. Like no poet before him, Charles Baudelaire captured its ephemeral, fleeting essence. In this extraordinary, genre-defying book, Roberto Calasso ranges through the poet's life and work, focusing on two painters - Ingres and Delacroix - about whom he wrote acutely. In a dazzling mosaic of stories, insights, dreams and analysis, Calasso explores Baudelaire's phantasmagorical vision of Paris - and the nature of modernity.
Ethics and Power in Medieval English Reformist Writing
In an in-depth study of the late medieval practice of fraternal correction of sin, Craun examines how it was constructed in pastoral writing and, looking particularly at Piers Plowman and The Book of Margery Kempe, how it was used by writers intent on reform.
The Country Diaries
A Year in the British Countryside
Described by the Daily Mail as 'a delightfully addictive treasury', this anthology features many of the great diarists who wrote about life in the countryside, among them Gilbert White, Beatrix Potter, John Evelyn and Roger Deakin. The book is arranged as a year, from 1 January 1779, when 'a most dreadful Storm of Wind and Hail & Snow' awoke James Woodforde, to Richard Jeffries counting 2000 peewits in a field in Surbiton on 31 December 1881.
The Digested Read of the Twentieth Century
A literary parodist whose weekly Digested Read column in the Guardian enjoys a cult following, John Crace has compiled his own list of 100 classic novels, from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) to JM Coetzee's Disgrace (1999). The whole western literary canon is fair game for Crace's short, but mercilessly accurate parodies - not even EM Forster, Proust, James Joyce and William Faulkner escape.
The Ode Less Travelled
Unlocking the Poet Within
Stephen Fry believes that if you can write English, you can write poetry. But it's no fun if you've been led to believe that anything goes. His typically amusing and light-hearted book unlocks the delights of rhyme, metre and form, explaining how to compose a sonnet, a villanelle or an epithalamion. Its enjoyable exercises, witty insights and step-by-step instructions will guide any would-be poet towards a mastery of verse.
In Pursuit of the English
Doris Lessing (1919-2013) left southern Africa in 1949 to make a new life in England. In this 'documentary' she gives a compelling account of her arrival in London, the working-class boarding house she lived in, her fellow residents and the joys and terrors of everyday life. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Shakespeare: Staging the World
Staging the World
Shakespeare's plays still enthral us four centuries after they were written, but what fed his imagination? Beautifully illustrated with more than 200 paintings, sculptures, artefacts and documents, this catalogue of a joint British Museum-Royal Shakespeare Company exhibition explores the London of 1612, the Gunpowder Plot, English views of Venice, of Moors and of Jews, and the 'brave new world' beyond the Atlantic, bringing to life not just the texture of Shakespeare's times, but the ideas that were in the air.
Shakespeare's Restless World
At the beginning of Henry V Shakespeare asked his audience to 'Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts': but what mental world did the Elizabethans draw on to fill out the 'vasty fields of France', Cleopatra's barge or Julius Caesar's forum? In this book, Neil MacGregor attempts to revisit the world of Elizabethan experience through discussions of objects including a communion cup, a rapier, a pedlar's trunk and a holy relic - travelling 'through the charisma of things, to a past world'.Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge. Slightly off-mint.
WH Auden Prose
Volume Three: 1949-1955
The poet WH Auden was also a prolific and accomplished writer of prose. This volume includes every piece he wrote between 1949 and 1955 - more than 100 essays, reviews, introductions and lectures. Their variety of style and subject is almost inexhaustible, covering opera, ballet, cinema, poetry, cartoons, religion and politics, and writers as diverse as Virginia Woolf, Graham Greene and JRR Tolkien. Mendelson's introduction and notes place the pieces in their biographical and historical context.
Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby
A former Sunday Times Book of the Week, Careless People takes us back to the jazz age of the 1920s and tells the true story behind F Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, The Great Gatsby. Churchwell explores in detail the novel's relation to Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's extravagant and chaotic lives in New York; but also to the gruesome Hall-Mills double murder of 1922 and the farcical police investigation into what was billed as 'the crime of the decade'. Off-mint.
Selected Writings 1993-2013
Amit Chaudhuri is one of India's finest novelists writing in English today. This collection of his non-fiction, written for publications such as Granta and the Times Literary Supplement, displays all his characteristic elegance and quirky humour. Endlessly curious, he ranges over topics from a plane hijack to playing 'Cowboys and Indians' as a child in Bombay, and from Leonard Cohen to the strange resemblance between Walter Benjamin and a familiar type of Bengali intellectual.
The Golden Age of Crime Fiction
From 'cold-blooded killers and hot penny bloods', crime fighters, private investigators and the mean streets of crime noir to cold war spies, Peter Haining traces the evolution of every element of crime fiction and tells the stories of the authors of the fiendish plots, the fictional detectives who became household names, and the artists who created the often lurid covers of crime novels and magazines between the 1920s and 1950s.
The Dyer's Hand
In the early 1950s, WH Auden began planning a prose volume that would bring together published essays, lectures and reviews, together with some new material. The Dyer's Hand, which eventually appeared in 1962, is his only cohesive book of prose, and one of his most original works. Wide-ranging, informal yet erudite, it contains his thoughts on music in Shakespeare, DH Lawrence, Robert Frost, Marianne Moore, 'translating opera libretti', and 'all the autobiography I am willing to make public'.
The Seven Deadly Sins
A Celebration of Virtue and Vice
In this lively and provocative collection of new writing, seven writers and philosophers tackle the seven deadly sins as formulated by Pope Gregory I: sloth, wrath, envy, gluttony, greed, lust and vanity. Among the essayists, John Sutherland takes on wrath; novelist Nicola Barker entitles her piece on vanity 'Young versus Old'; and political cartoonist Martin Rowson offers a graphic strip cartoon on gluttony.