|IndyWatch Writing, Journalism, etc Feed Archiver|
IndyWatch Writing, Journalism, etc Feed was generated at Community Resources IndyWatch.
This week marks the publication in English of Uwe Johnsons Anniversaries: From a Year in the Life of Gesine Cresspahl. This is the second of three essays by the translator, Damion Searls, a Paris Review contributor and former translation correspondent for The Daily.
There are 367 chapters of Anniversaries. It spans a year, from 1967 to 1968, with two August 20s, and 1968 had a leap day. This adds up to a long book, almost seventeen hundred pages in the new translation. It is nothing short of incredible how much of a page-turner the book manages to be, because of the three different levels (German past, New York present, current-events news) and Johnsons ability to set up a different way of bouncing between them in every chapter.
A chapter might open with a Times report on the traffic, shift to the weather in Riverside Park outside the Cresspahls window, then move to the playground in the park where Gesine, a recently arrived German immigrant, and her daughter, Marie, made their first friends in America. Since this is the Upper West Side in the sixties, these are, naturally, a Holocaust survivor and her daughter. The chapter shows us Gesines guilt when they first meet, covers their shifting relationship over the years, and ends with Marie in the present running errands for her friends Orthodox family on the Sabbath, because this is a Saturday chapter. Four or five short pages, another jigsaw piece of the Cresspahls life and its anniversaries, and then on to the next chapter, which opens in 1931. I find that when Im reading about Germany, Im eager to get back to the New York story; when Im reading about New York I want to find out whats happening with Gesines family in Germany, on and on and on. Every few hundred pages, the Holocaust survivor and her daughter show up in the neighborhood.
All this, while dense and rich, is easy to read but not easy to translate. My joke to friends during the years I was working on...
Flock of Sheep with Shepherdess on a Rainy Day, Adolf Kaufmann (1848-1916)
New Principles of Linear Perspective: or, The Art of Designing on a Plane the Representation of All Sorts of Objects, in a More General and Simple Method Than Has Been Done Before (London: R. Knaplock, 1719) (page images in Germany)
Linearperspectiven, Anvendt paa Malerkunsten: En Raekke af Perspectiviske Studier (in Danish; Copenhagen: C. A. Reitzel, 1841), by C. W. Eckersberg, contrib. by G. F. Ursin (page images in Germany)
Humpty Dumpty and Some Other Funny People from Mother Goose (New York: Macmillan, 1934), by George M. Richards (page images at childrensbooksonline.org)
The Bank Director's Son: A Real and Intensely Interesting Revelation of City Life (Philadelphia: E.E. Barclay and A.R. Orton, 1852), by George Lippard (multiple formats at archive.org)
The History of Venice (with The Wars of Cyprus; London: A. Roper and H. Herringman, 1658), by Paolo Paruta, trans. by Henry Carey Monmouth (stable link)
Of Credulity and Incredulity, in Things Natural, Civil, and Divine (London: Printed for T. Garthwait, 1668), by Meric Casaubon (stable link)
Paul Ardenheim, the Monk of Wissahikon (Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson, 1848), by George Lippard (multiple formats at archive.org)
The Poison Fiend! Life, Crimes, and Conviction of Lydia Sherman (the Modern Lucretia Borgia), Recently Tried in New Haven, Conn., for Poisoning Three Husbands and Eight of Her Children (Barclay) New Online Books
The Poison Fiend! Life, Crimes, and Conviction of Lydia Sherman (the Modern Lucretia Borgia), Recently Tried in New Haven, Conn., for Poisoning Three Husbands and Eight of Her Children: Her Life in Full! Exciting Account of Her Trial; The Fearful Evidence; The Most Startling and Sensational Series of Crimes Ever Committed in This Country; Her Conviction (Philadelphia: Barclay and Co. 1873), by George L. Barclay (multiple formats at archive.org)
Politick Discourses: Written in Italian by Paolo Paruta, A Noble Venetian, Cavalier and Procurator of St. Mark; Whereunto is added, A Short Soliloquy, in Which the Author Briefly Examines the Whole Course of His Life (London: Printed for H. Moseley, 1657), by Paolo Paruta, trans. by Henry Carey Monmouth (stable link)
Told in the Huts: The Y.M.C.A. Gift Book Contributed by Soldiers and War Workers (London: Jarrold and Sons, 1916), contrib. by Arthur K. Yapp, illust. by Cyrus Cuneo (stable link)
A Treatise Concerning Enthusiasme, As it is an Effect of Nature, But is Mistaken by Many for Either Divine Inspiration, or Diabolical Possession (London: Printed by R.D. for T. Johnson, 1655), by Meric Casaubon (stable link)
The Unseen Universe: or, Physical Speculations on a Future State (third edition; New York: Macmillan and Co., 1875), by Balfour Stewart and Peter Guthrie Tait (multiple formats at archive.org)
New Principles of Linear Perspective: or, The Art of Designing on a Plane the Representation of All Sorts of Objects, in a More General and Simple Method Than Has Been Done Before (third edition; London: J. Ward, 1749), by Brook Taylor and John Colson (multiple formats at Google)
State Employment Policy in Hard Times (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1983), ed. by Michael 1951- Barker, contrib. by David M. Gordon and Roger J. Vaughan (page images at HathiTrust)
Blanche of Brandywine, or, September the Eighth to Eleventh, 1777: A Romance of the American Revolution; The Scenes Are Laid on the Battle-Ground of Brandywine (Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson, c1876), by George Lippard (page images at HathiTrust)
Living Spaces (New York: Whitney Publications, 1952), ed. by George Nelson (page images at HathiTrust)
Dora Livingstone, the Adulteress: or, The Quaker City (London: G. Purkess, 1848), by George Lippard (page images at HathiTrust)
Soviet Jewry in the Decisive Decade, 1971-1980 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1984), ed. by Robert Owen Freedman, contrib. by Jerome M. Gilison, Jerry Goodman, William Korey, Theodore H. Friedgut, Fabian Kolker, Zvi Y. Gitelman, Steve Feinstein, and Ilya Levkov (page images at HathiTrust)
Soviet-American Relations After the Cold War (Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 1991), ed. by Robert Jervis and Seweryn Bialer, contrib. by Ole R. Holsti, Robert Dallek, Colin S. Gray, William Zimmerman, Harold H. Saunders, George H. Quester, Charles Gati, Donald S. Zagoria, Alexander J. Motyl, Toby Trister Gati, Glenn E. Schweitzer, Eric A. Nordlinger, John Mueller, and Jack L. Snyder (page images at HathiTrust)
The Empire City: or, New York by Night and Day, Its Aristocracy and Its Dollars (Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson and Bros., c1864), by George Lippard (page images at HathiTrust)
The Rose of Wissahikon, or, The Fourth of July, 1776: A Romance Embracing the Secret History of the Declaration of Independence (Philadelphia: G. B. Zieber and Co., 1847), by George Lippard (page images at HathiTrust)
Paradoxical Philosophy: A Sequel to The Unseen Universe (second edition; London: Macmillan and Co., 1879), by Balfour Stewart and Peter Guthrie Tait (stable link)
Life, Adventures, Strange Career and Assassination of Col. James Fisk, Jr.:The Fisk-Stokes Tragedy: All About Miss Mansfield (Philadelphia: Barclay and Co., c1872), by George L. Barclay (page images at HathiTrust)
Abriss der Strmungslehre (second edition, in German; Gottingen: Gottingen University Press, 2017), by Ludwig Prandtl (PDF at Gottingen University Press)
Transaction Based Economics: What Small Business Experience Teaches About Economic Theory (third edition, 1986), by Michael Phillips (HTML at well.com)
A Citizen Legislature (1985), by Ernest Callenbach and Michael Phillips (HTML at well.com)
Gods of Commerce: The Big World View of Business (c1995), by Michael Phillips (HTML at well.com)
Grotesque Architecture, Or, Rural Amusement: Consisting of Plans, Elevations, and Sections, for Huts, Retreats, Summer and Winter Hermitages, Terminaries, Chinese, Gothic, and Natural Grottos, Cascades, Baths, Mosques, Moresque Pavilions, Grotesque and Rustic Seats, Green-houses, &c., Many of Which May Be Executed with Flints, Irregular Stones, Rude Branches, and Roots of Trees; The Whole Containing Twenty-eight New Designs, with Scales to Each: To Which is Added, an Explanation, with the Method of Executing Them (London: Printed for I. and J. Taylor, 1790), by William Wrighte (stable link)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Today launched an anthology of ~30 horror stories from multiple authors in a collection called Dark Visions, the second in the Box Under the Bed volume. Although it was edited / Arranged by Dan Alatorre, I was given a heads up by a blogger who I follow named Robbie Cheadle. Robbie and her son write childrens books for the Sir Chocolate series, which Ive read and reviewed, as well as promoted on my blog they are fantastic and deserve a lot of praise and attention. When Robbie mentioned shed written a few darker stories, I jumped on it. I knew shed written other works, but I wasnt familiar with them. Now I am as she has two in this wonderful collection. As I skimmed the table of contents, I found 4 other authors who blog that Ive followed over the last year. How fun is that!
I read all of the stories / poems. They range from 2 pages to about 20 pages, and the entire collection is probably around the 250 page mark. From light spooky stories to much darker, its range is strong and inviting. Nothing is so scary that youll run in fear, but theres a lot beyond subtle to find tantalizing. I do like this type of fiction, so it was a good fit for me. Theres also hardly any gore (none I can actually remember, but taste in this subject can be subjective and personal). Its more about pushing the envelope with the air of mystery, the hint of suspense, and the suggestion of something very bad or impacting occurring.
I wont point out any favorites since theres a lot to cover, but I will highlight Robbies pieces because I do think she deserves the attention. The first is called The Haunting of William Cheadle which makes you wonder which family member is she trying to spook? An early line: its sticky, like blood. Theres a housekeeper I pictured as a certain character from Daphne du Mauriers Rebecca who keeps someone in line. Its all covered in a fine dose of murky and sinister fog which makes for a very eerie and cool story. The other, The Willow Tree, my favorite kind, involves a doctor some...
Glass intaglio of a member of the Julio-Claudian imperial family. Artist unknown; 1st or 2nd cent. CE. Now in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. Photo credit: Walters Art Museum.
Author: W. J. Burley
Hardcover; Paperback; Mass Market Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #: 978038515169; 9780752849713; 9780752849713
Gollacz Publishing (Orion)
Various Prices Amazon
Original Publish Date 1978
Diane Williams has spent her long, prolific career concocting fictions of perfect strangeness, most of them no more than a page long. Shes a hero of the form: the sudden fiction, the flash fiction, whatever its being called these days. The stories are short. They defy logic. They thumb their nose at conventional sense, or even unconventional sense. But if sense is in short supply in these texts, that leaves more room for splendor and sorrow. These stories upend expectations and prize enigma and the uncanny above all else. The Williams epiphany should be patented, or bottledon the other hand, it should also be regulated and maybe rationed, because its severe. Its a rare feeling her stories trigger, but its a keen and deep and welcome one, the sort of feeling that wakes us up to complication and beauty and dissonance and fragility. Its a sensation we can get only by reading (thats the only place Ive ever found it), and once youve had it, you want to keep having it again and again. This feeling avows the complexity of life; it does not flinch from our harder suspicions about how vulnerable and brutal our enterprise is. Such work feelsI dont know how else to say itbrave. It is difficult to encounter the world as it is experienced by Diane Williams, but this difficulty seems necessary.
So how does she do it? What is this literary approach? What is her trick?
Williamss unusual literary method reveals the thin rigging of most narrative, and then deploys that rigging to make spectacular shapesabstract, maybe, or realistic. Who can say? Every shape is abstract in the end, and every shape is familiar and intimate in the right context. Yes, shes using the tools of narrative, and her language often is plain in that it sounds spoken rather than labored over and page bound. Theres a Dick and Jane quality to the prose, if Dick and Jane had been forcibly drowned and then brought back to life, maybe starved for a while, induced with madness but warned, at pain of death, to conceal it.
The conventional narrative tools Williams uses to bring her fiction to life are disfigured here. It would seem that shes melted them down and made them into new weapons. Sharper, weirder, more brutal. They get the job done, and they make a kind of blood sport out of the domestic scenes she so often creates. We recogni...
Its release day for Academic Curveball, the first book in the Braxton Campus Mystery series. Download for Kindle or Kindle Unlimited today via Amazon. Physical books will be available at the end of the month. And stay tuned Broken Heart Attack, the 2nd in the series, will be launched before December 31st! Check out some amazing reviews on the book for todays launch via Goodreads.
If youve been following my blog for the last two years, you
probably know I like to try new things and have a little fun with
my posts. As an author, I also want to find new avenues to share my
books and writing. Although I love regular Q&A interviews where
I can share who I am and what my books are about, I thought it was
time to combine together a few disparate things. Im not exactly
sure how this is going to work, but me being a creative guy, and
being fun guinea...
The Drawbridge (No. 7 from the series Carceri dinvenzione [Imaginary Prisons]), Giovanni Battista Piranesi, 1745
As an undergraduate, I gave up trying to write fiction (my only completed story bore the decidedly unpromising title Growing Marijuana) and realized I wanted to write literary criticism instead. Troubled by the cavernous gaps in my reading, I sent a fan letter to James Wood, whom I didnt know personally but whom I admired deeply, and asked him what he thought an aspiring young critic ought to read. He generously recommended the Complete Collected Essays of V.S. Pritchett. Try to find this big book, he wrote, it has hundreds of essays in it, covering essentially the history of the novel. I learned a lot from it.
Without online retailers, however, finding the book would not have been easy. Though published as recently as 1991, when its author was ninety-one, the Complete Collected Essays has since gone out of print, and seems unlikely now to be reissued. Its a massive tome, over thirteen hundred pages, and weighs about the same as a cast-iron skillet. It is impossible to bring anywhere. It is also, admittedly, a rather hideous object: my Random House edition, with its faded teal and lilac hues, suggests not so much a literary work as an elaborate cookbook.
When I was an undergraduate, a cursory glance at the table of contents filled me with despairI hadnt read even a third of the writers Pritchett reviewedand so for months the book gathered dust on a groaning and increasingly concave shelf above my desk. When I eventually had to remove it for safety reasons, I opened the book to an essay on Samuel Beckett, whose novels I was then pretending to understand:
[Becketts novels] are lawsuits that never end, vexations, litigations joined with the tedium, the greyness, the grief, the fear, the rage, the clownishness, the physical miseries of old age where life is on the ebb, and nature stands by smiling idiotically. Why was I born, get me out of this, let me live on less and less, get me to the grave, the womb, the last door, dragging this ludicrous, feeble, windy broken old bag of pipes with me.
This was not just a radical departure from the standard Beckett criticism I was then reading (which usually went something like, One of the constitutive ele...
This week marks the publication in English of one of the great novels of New York City, and of the twentieth century: Anniversaries: From a Year in the Life of Gesine Cresspahl, by the German writer Uwe Johnson. This is the first of three essays by the translator, Damion Searls, a Paris Review contributor and former translation correspondent for the Daily, on the book, its author, and what it means to translate a foreign book about your hometown.
In 1961, the heads of six leading publishersFrench, German, Italian, Spanish, English, and Americancreated the International Publishers Prize, meant to single out writers who were actively transforming the world literary landscape, and to rival the Nobel Prize in prestige, in the words of J.M. Coetzee. That inaugural year, the prize was shared by two writers everyone has heard of: Jorge Luis Borges, whose international career it launched, and Samuel Beckett. In its second year it went to a twenty-seven-year-old German named Uwe Johnson.
Speculations About Jakob had been published when Johnson was twenty-five, in 1959the same year as the other canonical postwar pre-sixties German novel, Gnter Grasss The Tin Drum. It wasnt Johnsons first novel: he had started another in his teens, and in 1956 sent it to the legendary Peter Suhrkamp, publisher of Brecht and Hesse and so many others. The readers report read, in part: Well, Theodor Fontane [the German realist master, comparable to Flaubert] is alive, hes 23 years old, and he lives on the other side! The East. Suhrkamp met with Johnson, encouraged him, but turned down his first effort as being too regional, too firmly locked in to the experience of Mecklenburg, northeast Germany: there was too much Plattdeutsch dialect, too much local color. Limited scope was not a problem Johnson would ever have again.
Where Grass was Rabelaisian, Johnson turned his realist prose more trendily modern, using camera-eye descriptions like those of the French nouveau roman and adding scrambled tim...
The priestly words the priest intoned,
Computing nothing to my ears,
For they were tendered null by stimuli
My eyes were forced to see,
Beginning with my mother's face
So tranquil so long,
Transformed into a face of grief,
Flooded with her tears,
As we somehow stood before
A wide expanse of tended grass
Upholding on its breast
Crosses white in perfect rows,
Each one above a grave.
And, as gratuity from Hell
An open grave, too near, too near,
Eager for to hold the dear
And unflawed form of Charlotte
Sans breath of life and flow of blood,
Yet lovely in her youth.
In every dismal hour that night
The skies exuded rain,
And in the very dark of them
Her lonely spirit rose
And, through the path of love we shared,
Each to the other known,
Found her way back home.
Spirits have no way to speak
And lack substantial form,
But, as the leaves of Autumn dance
Ghosts by R.B.C. Walters
If there are ghosts and when I'm dead
The house enfold in love
What becomes of what was me;
The family then in tenure apprehend
That though they own the house and have the deed,
My claim is not entirely moot.
The lady in the garden in the afternoon
Feels her slight hand as my own hand with hers
Tending to the flowers grown
From seedlings several generations past
Of flowers in the garden
While I was alive; and looking upward
We as ever see the trees, and clouds and sky above,
And hear together how the birds
Whose paths there cross
Each to the others call while on the wing.
Subdued and muffled if they are,
Are the sounds a ghost may make,
And little but a mist is what they form,
Not much perceived by those who dwell
In the comfort where my comfort was.
Judith and Holofernes, Orazio Samacchini (1532-1577)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Merry Wilkinson left NYC about a year ago after a disastrous break-up and returned to her hometown of Rudolph in upstate NY. Rudolph is a town where its always Christmas. In this third caper of the A Year-Round Christmas Mystery series by Vicki Delany, Merrys ex-bf comes to tell her he wants her back, but then he ends up strangled to death in her office. Hark the Herald Angels Slay was a really fun read I devoured in about three hours, and its earned a solid four stars. I probably should have saved the read for closer to Christmas, but if its year-round, and Im trying to catch up on all the series I love, why would I wait!? LOL
Delany always delivers whether its humor or characters standing out, fantastic settings or overall mystery, I am embroiled in her cozy plots. This one offered lots of suspects when the entire magazine crew where Merry used to work tags along with her ex-bf as part of a spotlight on Rudolph. There were also a few surprising connections to other folks who lived in Rudolph to the magazine which made for great red herrings and potential danger.
I like that its told in first-person because we can feel a stronger connection to Merry. Her parents are fun and quirky. The store / shop setting is very fun to have people in and out as good side stories that move the plot along and offer interesting moments where as readers we wonder how might this connect to the story?
Im moving on next to another of Delanys series about Sherlock Holmes bookshop!!!
For those new to me or my reviews heres the scoop: Im Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, writ...
Inscribed block statue (black granite) of Irj-aa, a priest of Amun. Artist unknown; ca. 750-664 BCE (25th [Kushite] Dynasty, Third Intermediate Period). From Karnak; now in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. Photo credit: Walters Art Museum.
Madonna and Child with Angels, Giovanni dal Ponte (Giovanni di Marco), ca. 1410-19
The voters have spoken our winning book series to read in November 2018 is the Renaissance Faire cozy mysteries by Joyce and Jim Lavene. Many thanks to everyone who participated in the last month to choose the category for the readathon, the authors and books series to vote on, and the suggestions to make this as fun as it will be. Since there are 8 books in the series, we cannot easily read them all in one month. We probably could, but there are many of us with other ARCs or pre-scheduled reads, so I think we should do 50% essentially the first 4 books. Below is our schedule and the books:...
|IndyWatch Writing, Journalism, etc Feed Archiver|
IndyWatch Writing, Journalism, etc Feed was generated at Community Resources IndyWatch.
Resource generated at IndyWatch using aliasfeed and rawdog