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The Complete Works by Urmuz
Mircea Cărtărescu - 1989
This translation of his 1989 novel Nostalgia, writes Andrei Codrescu, "introduces to English a writer who has always had a place reserved for him in a constellation that includes the Brothers Grimm, Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, Bruno Schulz, Julio Cortazar, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Milan Kundera, and Milorad Pavic, to mention just a few." Like most of his literary contemporaries of the avant-garde Eighties Generation, his major work has been translated into several European languages, with the notable exception, until now, of English.Readers opening the pages of Nostalgia should brace themselves for a verbal tidal wave of the imagination that will wash away previous ideas of what a novel is or ought to be. Although each of its five chapters is separate and stands alone, a thematic, even mesmeric harmony finds itself in children's games, the music of the spheres, humankind's primordial myth-making, the origins of the universe, and in the dilapidated tenement blocks of an apocalyptic Bucharest during the years of communist dictatorship.
The Complete Butcher's Tales
Rikki Ducornet - 1980
P. Lovecraft, here are nearly sixty unforgettable stories that ignore the confines of space and time to offer, among other times and places: a cabinet of curiosities in contemporary Cairo, an alchemical ceiling in 18th-century Naples, the hallucinatory inner worlds of psychotics, anthropomorphic planets, and an Old West ruled by necromancy.This expanded, revised edition collects the complete short stories of one of the most immaginative writers of our time.
Alfred Jarry: A Pataphysical Life
Alastair Brotchie - 2011
A century later, Jarry is firmly established as one of the leading figures of the artistic avant-garde. Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, Gilles Deleuze, Jean Baudrillard, Philip K. Dick, Paul McCartney, DJ Spooky, Peter Greenaway, and J. G. Ballard are among his many admirers. A community of scholars and artists maintain a posthumous dialogue with Jarry's ideas through the Collège de 'Pataphysique in Paris (named after the "science of imaginary solutions" he conceived), while a steady stream of books on twentieth-century drama pay tribute to his absurd and grotesque play, Ubu Roi. Even so, most people today tend to think of Jarry only as the author of that play, and of his life as a string of outlandish "ubuesque" anecdotes, often recounted with wild inaccuracy. In this first full-length critical biography of Jarry in English, Alastair Brotchie reconstructs the life of a man intent on inventing (and destroying) himself, not to mention his world, and the "philosophy" that defined their relation. In short, Brotchie gives us the narrative version of what Jarry himself produced: a pataphysical life. Drawing on a wealth of new material, Brotchie alternates chapters of biographical narrative with chapters that connect themes, obsessions, and undercurrents that relate to the life.The anecdotes remain, and are even augmented: Jarry's assumption of the "ubuesque," his inversions of everyday behavior (such as eating backwards, from cheese to soup), his exploits with gun and bicycle, and his herculean feats of drinking. But Brotchie distinguishes between Jarry's purposely playing the fool and deeper nonconformities that appear essential to his writing and his thought, both of which remain a vital subterranean influence to this day.
Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass
Bruno Schulz - 1937
In the words of Isaac Bashevis Singer, "What he did in his short life was enough to make him one of the most remarkable writers who ever lived." Weaving myth, fantasy, and reality, Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass, is, to quote Schulz, "an attempt at eliciting the history of a certain family . . . by a search for the mythical sense, the essential core of that history."
Rudolph Wurlitzer - 1972
Quake, now in development as a film by Repo Man director Alex Cox, is a deadpan, nihilistic look at how fear unravels people?s emotions, how terror can liberate, and how people manage to survive?even panhandler drifters, Hollywood Cretins, and hippies. A true underground classic.
Autobiography of a Corpse
Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky - 2013
This new collection of eleven mind-bending and spellbinding tales includes some of Krzhizhanovsky's most dazzling conceits: a provincial journalist who moves to Moscow finds his existence consumed by the autobiography of his room's previous occupant; the fingers of a celebrated pianist's right hand run away to spend a night alone on the city streets; a man's lifelong quest to bite his own elbow inspires both a hugely popular circus act and a new refutation of Kant. Ordinary reality cracks open before our eyes in the pages of Autobiography of a Corpse, and the extraordinary spills out.An NYRB Classics Original
Kenneth Patchen - 1946
A work of extraordinary imaginative invention, it might be described as “novelistic fantasy”—a pioneering new direction in fiction which created its own protean form as it was written. Patchen mingled narrative with dream visions, surrealism with satire, poetry with statements of principle, and explored the then almost uncharted territory of visual word structures twenty years before “Concrete Poetry” became a popular international movement.Sleepers Awake is a rallying cry to young and old, as Patchen advances his long struggle against inhumanity, oppression, war and hypocrisy. Now brutal, now lyrical, he gives us life and the world as we must take these if they are to have full meaning; the horror and the beauty, the joy and the suffering together.
The Seventh Horse And Other Tales
Leonora Carrington - 1988
All these tales take place in fantastic, eerie landscapes and are narrated in surreal, stylized voices. Carrington (House of Fear, etc.) creates not characters and situations, but abstract concepts, which often result in stories that lack warmth and the power to engage. The effect is intellectually impressive but emotionally unsatisfying. In the pieces that do come to life, though, the abstract merges with reality in a chillingly mesmerizing blend. In "White Rabbits," after a first visit to her mysterious, leprous neighbors in New York, the narrator concludes her frightful tale: "I stumbled and ran, choking with horror; some unholy curiosity made me look over my shoulder... and I saw her waving... and as she waved... her fingers fell off and dropped to the ground like shooting stars." The novella "The Stone Door" is the highlight of the volume. The magically unfolding fable tells of Zacharias, a 20th century Hungarian Jew who is destined to voyage beyond the boundaries of time to the shores of ancient Mesopotamia, and open the great stone door of the mountain Kescke to release his true love. This modern fairy tale burns with the passion and purpose that is often missing in the shorter, intellectualized works. Illustrated.
Liberty or Love!
Robert Desnos - 1927
Mystery, the marvellous, a city transmuted by love, Sanglot's pursuit of the siren Louise Lame, such are the essential ingredients of this the last masterpiece of early Surrealism to remain untranslated into English. It was originally published in 1924 to immediate and lasting acclaim - except from the public authorities who immediately censored whole sections (here restored). Impossible to describe a novel of such virtuosity and bravura, and one which consistently refuses to behave as one expects, characters appear and vanish according to whim or desire, they walk underwater, nonchalantly accept astounding coincidences. It's a hymn to the erotic, an adventure story darkly illumined by the shades of Sade, Lautreamont and Jack the Ripper, a dream both violent and tender, an obsession, in fact the perfect embodiment of the Surrealist spirit: at once joyful, despairing, and effortlessly scandalous.
Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings
Daniil Kharms - 2007
In this brilliant translation by Matvei Yankelevich, English-language readers now have a comprehensive collection of the prose and poetry that secured Kharms s literary reputation a reputation that grew in Russia even as the Soviet establishment worked to suppress it.A master of formally inventive poetry and what today would be called micro-fiction, Kharms built off the legacy of Russian Futurist writers to create a uniquely deadpan style written out of and in spite of the absurdities of life in Stalinist Russia. Featuring the acclaimed novella The Old Woman and darkly humorous short prose sequence Events (Sluchai), Today I Wrote Nothing also includes dozens of short prose pieces, plays, and poems long admired in Russia, but never before available in English. A major contribution for American readers and students of Russian literature and an exciting discovery for fans of contemporary writers as eclectic as George Saunders, John Ashbery, and Martin McDonagh, Today I Wrote Nothing is an invaluable collection for readers of innovative writing everywhere.About the EditorMATVEI YANKELEVICH is also a co-translator of Oberiu: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism (2006). His translation of the Vladimir Mayakovsky's poem "Cloud in Pants" appears in Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and About Mayakovsky. He is the author of a long poem, The Present Work, and his writing has appeared in Fence, Open City, and many other literary journals. He teaches Russian Literature at Hunter College in New York City and edits the Eastern European Poets Series at Ugly Duckling Press in Brooklyn.
Thus Were Their Faces
Silvina Ocampo - 1988
Italo Calvino once said about her, “I don’t know another writer who better captures the magic inside everyday rituals, the forbidden or hidden face that our mirrors don’t show us.” Thus Were Their Faces collects a wide range of Ocampo’s best short fiction and novella-length stories from her whole writing life. Stories about creepy doubles, a marble statue of a winged horse that speaks to a girl, a house of sugar that is the site of an eerie possession, children who lock their perverse mothers in a room and burn it, a lapdog who records the dreams of an old woman.Jorge Luis Borges wrote that the cruelty of Ocampo’s stories was the result of her nobility of soul, a judgment as paradoxical as much of her own writing. For her whole life Ocampo avoided the public eye, though since her death in 1993 her reputation has only continued to grow, like a magical forest. Dark, gothic, fantastic, and grotesque, these haunting stories are among the world’s finest.
For Two Thousand Years
Mihail Sebastian - 1934
Spending his days walking the streets and his nights drinking and gambling, meeting revolutionaries, zealots, lovers and libertines, he adjusts his eyes to the darkness that falls over Europe, and threatens to destroy him. Mihail Sebastian's 1934 masterpiece, now translated into English for the first time, was written amid the anti-Semitism which would, by the end of the decade, force him out of his career and turn his friends and colleagues against him. For Two Thousand Years is a prescient, heart-wrenching chronicle of resilience and despair, broken layers of memory and the terrible forces of history.