Autobiography Of A Corpse

Author: Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590176960
Size: 13.98 MB
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An NYRB Classics Original Winner of the 2014 PEN Translation Prize Winner of the 2014 Read Russia Prize The stakes are wildly high in Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky’s fantastic and blackly comic philosophical fables, which abound in nested narratives and wild paradoxes. 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.

The Palgrave Handbook Of Literature And The City

Author: Jeremy Tambling
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137549114
Size: 51.84 MB
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This book is about the impact of literature upon cities world-wide, and cities upon literature. It examines why the city matters so much to contemporary critical theory, and why it has inspired so many forms of writing which have attempted to deal with its challenges to think about it and to represent it. Gathering together 40 contributors who look at different modes of writing and film-making in throughout the world, this handbook asks how the modern city has engendered so much theoretical consideration, and looks at cities and their literature from China to Peru, from New York to Paris, from London to Kinshasa. It looks at some of the ways in which modern cities – whether capitals, shanty-towns, industrial or ‘rust-belt’ – have forced themselves on people’s ways of thinking and writing.

Russian Writers And The Fin De Si Cle

Author: Katherine Bowers
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 131638117X
Size: 72.30 MB
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Russian literature has a reputation for gloomy texts, especially during the late nineteenth century. This volume argues that a 'fin-de-siècle' mood informed Russian literature long before the chronological end of the nineteenth century, in ways that had significant impact on the development of Russian realism. Some chapters consider ideas more readily associated with fin-de-siècle Europe such as degeneration theory, biodeterminism, Freudian psychoanalysis or apocalypticism, alongside earlier Russian realist texts by writers such as Turgenev, Dostoevsky or Tolstoy. Other chapters explore the changes that realism underwent as modernism emerged, examining later nineteenth-century or early twentieth-century texts in the context of the earlier realist tradition or their own cultural moment. Overall, a team of emerging and established scholars of Russian literature and culture present a wide range of creative and insightful readings that shed new light on later realism in all its manifestations.

The Return Of Munchausen

Author: Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1681370298
Size: 54.52 MB
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Baron Munchausen’s hold on the European imagination dates back to the late eighteenth century when he first pulled himself (and his horse) out of a swamp by his own upturned pigtail. Inspired by the extravagant yarns of a straight-faced former cavalry officer, Hieronymus von Münchhausen, the best-selling legend quickly eclipsed the real-life baron who helped the Russians fight the Turks. Galloping across continents and centuries, the mythical Munchausen’s Travels went through hundreds of editions of increasing length and luxuriance. Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, the Russian modernist master of the unsettling and the uncanny, also took certain liberties with the mythical baron. In this phantasmagoric roman à clef set in 1920s Berlin, London, and Moscow, Munchausen dauntlessly upholds his old motto “Truth in lies,” while remaining a fierce champion of his own imagination. At the same time, the two-hundred-year-old baron and self-taught philosopher has agreed to return to Russia, Lenin’s Russia, undercover. This reluctant secret agent has come out of retirement to engage with the real world.

Memories Of The Future

Author: Sigizmund Krzhizhanovskiĭ
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 9781590173190
Size: 37.86 MB
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Written in Soviet Moscow in the 1920s—but considered too subversive even to show to a publisher—the seven tales included here attest to Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky’s boundless imagination, black humor, and breathtaking irony: a man loses his way in the vast black waste of his own small room; the Eiffel Tower runs amok; a kind soul dreams of selling “everything you need for suicide”; an absentminded passenger boards the wrong train, winding up in a place where night is day, nightmares are the reality, and the backs of all facts have been broken; a man out looking for work comes across a line for logic but doesn’t join it as there’s no guarantee the logic will last; a sociable corpse misses his own funeral; an inventor gets a glimpse of the far-from-radiant communist future.

The Stalin Front

Author: Gert Ledig
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590178157
Size: 44.91 MB
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1942, at the Eastern Front. Soldiers crouch in horrible holes in the ground, mingling with corpses. Tunneled beneath a radio mast, German soldiers await the order to blow themselves up. Russian tanks, struggling to break through enemy lines, bog down in a swamp, while a German runner, bearing messages from headquarters to the front, scrambles desperately from shelter to shelter as he tries to avoid getting caught in the action. Through it all, Russian artillery—the crude but devastatingly effective multiple rocket launcher known to the Germans as the Stalin Organ and to the Russians as Katyusha—rains death upon the struggling troops. Comparable to such masterpieces of war literature as Ernst Jünger's Storm of Steel and Erich Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, The Stalin Front is a harrowing, almost photographic, description of violence and devastation, one that brings home the unforgiving reality of total war.

Reveille In Washington

Author: Margaret Leech
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590174674
Size: 16.50 MB
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1860: The American capital is sprawling, fractured, squalid, colored by patriotism and treason, and deeply divided along the political lines that will soon embroil the nation in bloody conflict. Chaotic and corrupt, the young city is populated by bellicose congressmen, Confederate conspirators, and enterprising prostitutes. Soldiers of a volunteer army swing from the dome of the Capitol, assassins stalk the avenues, and Abraham Lincoln struggles to justify his presidency as the Union heads to war. Reveille in Washington focuses on the everyday politics and preoccupations of Washington during the Civil War. From the stench of corpse-littered streets to the plunging lace on Mary Lincoln’s evening gowns, Margaret Leech illuminates the city and its familiar figures—among them Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, William Seward, and Mary Surratt—in intimate and fascinating detail. Leech’s book remains widely recognized as both an impressive feat of scholarship and an uncommonly engrossing work of history.

Ren Leys

Author: Victor Segalen
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 9781590170410
Size: 24.10 MB
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In this entrancing story of spiritual adventure, a Westerner in Peking seeks the mystery at the heart of the Forbidden City. He takes as a tutor in Chinese the young Belgian René Leys, who claims to be in the know about strange goings-on in the Imperial Palace: love affairs, family quarrels, conspiracies that threaten the very existence of the empire. But whether truth-teller or trickster, the elusive and ever-charming René presents his increasingly dazzled disciple with a visionary glimpse of "an essential palace built upon the most magnificent foundations."