another great book in the extremely excellent series of nyrb classics. they are probably my favorite publisher...i own 120 of them. i know because i j...moreanother great book in the extremely excellent series of nyrb classics. they are probably my favorite publisher...i own 120 of them. i know because i just counted them. i basically now buy every new one as soon as they release them. everybody on goodreads should be buying at least some of their books to support them, as usually publishers who try and release the kind of books that they do, foreign books in translation and obscure and out of print books in english, have a habit of going under shortly thereafter. nyrb has been doing this for 10 years now though, so hopefully they will continue to amaze and delight.
this one is about a narrator (who is never named in the book) who is born in a small town in italy, goes to live in the usa, and then moves back to his place of birth after the second world war. i can't say too much more about it without giving away some of the plot, as it is a very short book (154 pages). suffice it to say then, that the writing is uniformly brilliant, and his description of landscapes is absolutely sublime.
this is the first book i have read by pavese, who unfortunately committed suicide at the age of 42. luckily however, i own his selected works (also published by nyrb) which includes 4 more short novels. i also own his letters, his diaries, a book of his short stories and a biography of him entitled cesare pavese and america, all of which i will be reading soon.(less)
this is an absolutely fantastic book of seven supernatural stories by theophile gautier. kudos to nyrb for putting this book out, along with the dozen...morethis is an absolutely fantastic book of seven supernatural stories by theophile gautier. kudos to nyrb for putting this book out, along with the dozens of other fabulous titles they have published, many of them quite obscure.
while these aren't really ghost stories; demons , devils and spirits abound. and one of the stories, the priest, must surely be one of the first stories to mention vampires, as it was written in 1836. bram stoker's dracula, by comparison, didn't come out until 1897.
the writing is uniformly brilliant, thanks in large part to the fabulous translation by richard holmes. every sentence flows beuatifully.
if you like stories that lean toward the supernatural, or just really great writing in general, i can't recommend this book highly enough.
i also own two other books by gautier. one is a novel, and the other a memoir of his travels in italy. i can't wait to read them.