Translator: Ruth L. C. Simms Original Language: Spanish Year of First Publication: 1940 Year of Publication for This Edition: 2003 Number of Pages: 103 Publisher: The New York Review of Books Genre: Fiction Sub-genre: Fantasy Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. While reading things by and about Jorge Luis Borges, the name Adolfo Bioy CasaresContinue reading “Book Review: The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares”
Translators: James E. Irby, Donald A. Yates, John Fine, Harriet de Onís, Julian Palley, Dudley Fitts, L. A. Murillo, and Anthony Kerrigan Original Language: Spanish Year of First Publication: 1962 Year of Publication for This Edition: 2007 Number of Pages: 256 Publisher: New Directions Genre: Fiction and nonfiction Sub-genre: Fantasy, short stories, essays Disclosure: thisContinue reading “Book Review: Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges”
I glanced round the bus. Though the windows were closed, and soon muffed, the bus was full of light. It was a cruel light. I shrank from the faces and forms by which I was surrounded. They were all fixed faces, full not of possibilities but of impossibilities, some gaunt, some bloated, some glaring with idiotic ferocity, some drowned beyond recovery in dreams; but all, in one way or another, distorted and faded. One had a feeling that they might fall to pieces at any moment if the light grew much stronger. Then—there was a mirror on the end wall of the bus—I caught sight of my own.
And still the light grew.
And still the light grew.
It appears that my interest in Russia is starting to come full-circle. First it was their literature, then their language, and now their history. Olive, one of the most enthusiastic Russophile bloggers I’ve seen yet, highly recommended the work of Robert Massie—and this book in particular—to anyone who is just beginning to study Russian history.
Year of First Publication: 1944 Year of Publication for This Edition: 2003 Number of Pages: 314 Publisher: Vintage International Genre: Fiction Disclosure: this post contains an affiliate link. The man I am writing about is not famous. It may be that he never will be. It may be that when his life at last comesContinue reading “Book Review: The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham”
Translator: Constance Garnett Original Language: Russian Year of First Publication: 1917 Year of Publication for This Edition: 2004 Number of Pages: N/A Publisher: Project Gutenberg Genre: Fiction A few weeks ago, I read my first Chekhov play, Uncle Vanya. I liked it so much, that I decided to read some of Chekhov’s short stories asContinue reading “Book Review: The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov”
I’m on a bit of Russian literature kick lately. Maybe you noticed. After sampling a bit from Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov, I next set my sights on Turgenev, having heard him described as one of the greatest Russian novelists who ever lived. The first thing I read from him, though, was not a novel but a novella. There’s apparently some division among book bloggers as to the worth of the novella as a form: while many people prefer the shorter format that eats up less time than novels do, others find novellas too brief to allow the reader to form an attachment to the characters. I for one love novellas, and especially ones like this, that, for all their brevity, still have you feeling with, and hurting for, the characters.
Translator: Constance Garnett Original Language: Russian Year of First Publication: 1876 Year of Publication for This Edition: 2014 Number of Pages: N/A Publisher: The University of Adelaide Genre: Fiction Subjects: Greed, love, selfishness, suicide Find the ebook here and the paperback here. (Disclosure: that last one is an affiliate link.) So, remember a few monthsContinue reading “Book Review: “A Gentle Spirit” by Fyodor Dostoevsky”
Year of Publication: 2004 Number of Pages: 56 Publisher: Tupelo Press Genre: Poetry Note: this post contains an affiliate link. The first thing to strike me about Ilya Kaminsky: that he could be so well-known after publishing only one book. Dancing in Odessa is Kaminsky’s first and, to date, only full-length poetry collection, with hisContinue reading “Book Review: Dancing in Odessa by Ilya Kaminsky”
One of the side effects of my reading Dennis O’Driscoll’s Stepping Stones was a desire to read more by and about Czesław Miłosz. Heaney spoke glowingly of Miłosz in those interviews, calling him a genius and saying that, from the very first time he read him, “I was in thrall,” an experience I can certainly relate to. Though I had known about Miłosz and his poetry for I can’t remember how long, I didn’t know very much at all about the man himself or the historical background against which many of his poems are set. So it was a lucky coincidence that, just as I was finishing Stepping Stones, I learned about this book, the first full-length biography of Miłosz in English.
As far as I know, there exists no full-length biography of Seamus Heaney. I thought that was an odd omission for the world’s biographers to make, until I heard about this book, a marathon series of interviews covering the entirety of Heaney’s life and career, from early childhood to the publication of what was then his latest book, District and Circle.
I think it was the C. S. Lewis scholar William O’Flaherty who called The Four Loves one of Lewis’s least-read books. I call that a crying shame. Not only is it a great book, it’s also an important one, I think. Especially now, when it’s easier than ever for our ideas about love to run awry, books like this are especially helpful in eliminating some of those misconceptions and teaching us to love in a more God-honoring way.