Nature Stories

Author: Jules Renard
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590175689
Format: PDF
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The natural world in all its richness, glimpsed variously in the house, the barnyard, and the garden, in ponds and streams, and at large in the woods and the fields, including old friends like the dog, the cat, the cow, and the pig, along with more unusual and sometimes alarming characters such as the weasel, the dragonfly, snakes of several sorts, and even a whale, not to mention ants in their seeming infinitude and a single humble potato—all these and more are the subjects of what may well be the most deft and delightful book of literary miniatures ever written. In Jules Renard’s world, plants and animals not only feel but speak (one species, the swallow, appears to write Hebrew), and yet, for all the anthropomorphic wit and whimsy the author indulges in, they guard their mystery too. Sly, funny, and touching, Nature Stories, here beautifully rendered into English by Douglas Parmée and accompanied by the wonderful ink-brush images of Pierre Bonnard with which the book was originally published, is a literary classic of inexhaustible freshness.

Nature Stories

Author: Jules Renard
Publisher: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 1590173643
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Jules Renard’s Nature Stories is a deliciously whimsical classic from the era of the great French Postimpressionist painters. Renard mingles wonder and humor in a series of miniature portraits of subjects drawn from the natural world: dogs, cats, pigs, roses, snails, trees and birds of all sorts, humans of course, and even a humble potato. Ranging from a sentence to several pages, Renard’s sketches are masterpieces of compression and description, capturing both appearance and behavior through a choice of details that makes the familiar unfamiliar and yet surprisingly true to life. Renard’s animals not only feel but speak, and one species, the swallow, even writes Hebrew. These creatures fascinate Renard, who in turn makes them fascinating to us, instilling us with the sense that everything that has a life and grows in the hand of nature is to be respected, and that every creature and being is as individual as it is interrelated. In Douglas Parmée’s inspired new translation, Renard’s wonderful evocations of the natural world come to life as never before in English.

The New York Stories of Henry James

Author: Henry James
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590174321
Format: PDF, ePub
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Henry James led a wandering life, which took him far from his native shores, but he continued to think of New York City, where his family had settled for several years during his childhood, as his hometown. Here Colm Tóibín, the author of the Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel The Master, a portrait of Henry James, brings together for the first time all the stories that James set in New York City. Written over the course of James’s career and ranging from the deliciously tart comedy of the early “An International Episode” to the surreal and haunted corridors of “The Jolly Corner,” and including “Washington Square,” the poignant novella considered by many (though not, as it happens, by the author himself) to be one of James’s finest achievements, the nine fictions gathered here reflect James’s varied talents and interests as well as the deep and abiding preoccupations of his imagination. And throughout the book, as Tóibín’s fascinating introduction demonstrates, we see James struggling to make sense of a city in whose rapidly changing outlines he discerned both much that he remembered and held dear as well as everything about America and its future that he dreaded most. Stories included: The Story of a Masterpiece A Most Extraordinary Case Crawford’s Consistency An International Episode The Impressions of a Cousin The Jolly Corner Washington Square Crapy Cornelia A Round of Visits

A Schoolboy s Diary and Other Stories

Author: Robert Walser
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590176928
Format: PDF
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A Schoolboy’s Diary brings together more than seventy of Robert Walser’s strange and wonderful stories, most never before available in English. Opening with a sequence from Walser’s first book, “Fritz Kocher’s Essays,” the complete classroom assignments of a fictional boy who has met a tragically early death, this selection ranges from sketches of uncomprehending editors, overly passionate readers, and dreamy artists to tales of devilish adultery, sexual encounters on a train, and Walser’s service in World War I. Throughout, Walser’s careening, confounding, delicious voice holds the reader transfixed.

The Moth Snowstorm

Author: Michael McCarthy
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1681370417
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The moth snowstorm, a phenomenon Michael McCarthy remembers from his boyhood when moths “would pack a car’s headlight beams like snowflakes in a blizzard,” is a distant memory. Wildlife is being lost, not only in the wholesale extinctions of species but also in the dwindling of those species that still exist. The Moth Snowstorm is unlike any other book about climate change today; combining the personal with the polemical, it is a manifesto rooted in experience, a poignant memoir of the author’s first love: nature. McCarthy traces his adoration of the natural world to when he was seven, when the discovery of butterflies and birds brought sudden joy to a boy whose mother had just been hospitalized and whose family life was deteriorating. He goes on to record in painful detail the rapid dissolution of nature’s abundance in the intervening decades, and he proposes a radical solution to our current problem: that we each recognize in ourselves the capacity to love the natural world. Arguing that neither sustainable development nor ecosystem services have provided adequate defense against pollution, habitat destruction, species degradation, and climate change, McCarthy asks us to consider nature as an intrinsic good and an emotional and spiritual resource, capable of inspiring joy, wonder, and even love. An award-winning environmental journalist, McCarthy presents a clear, well-documented picture of what he calls “the great thinning” around the world, while interweaving the story of his own early discovery of the wilderness and a childhood saved by nature. Drawing on the truths of poets, the studies of scientists, and the author’s long experience in the field, The Moth Snowstorm is part elegy, part ode, and part argument, resulting in a passionate call to action.

The Summer Book

Author: Tove Jansson
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590176820
Format: PDF, ePub
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In The Summer Book Tove Jansson distills the essence of the summer—its sunlight and storms—into twenty-two crystalline vignettes. This brief novel tells the story of Sophia, a six-year-old girl awakening to existence, and Sophia’s grandmother, nearing the end of hers, as they spend the summer on a tiny unspoiled island in the Gulf of Finland. The grandmother is unsentimental and wise, if a little cranky; Sophia is impetuous and volatile, but she tends to her grandmother with the care of a new parent. Together they amble over coastline and forest in easy companionship, build boats from bark, create a miniature Venice, write a fanciful study of local bugs. They discuss things that matter to young and old alike: life, death, the nature of God and of love. “On an island,” thinks the grandmother, “everything is complete.” In The Summer Book, Jansson creates her own complete world, full of the varied joys and sorrows of life. Tove Jansson, whose Moomintroll comic strip and books brought her international acclaim, lived for much of her life on an island like the one described in The Summer Book, and the work can be enjoyed as her closely observed journal of the sounds, sights, and feel of a summer spent in intimate contact with the natural world.

Hill

Author: Jean Giono
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590179196
Format: PDF, Mobi
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An NYRB Classics Original Deep in Provence, a century ago, four stone houses perch on a hillside. Wildness presses in from all sides. Beyond a patchwork of fields, a mass of green threatens to overwhelm the village. The animal world—a miming cat, a malevolent boar—displays a mind of its own. The four houses have a dozen residents—and then there is Gagou, a mute drifter. Janet, the eldest of the men, is bedridden; he feels snakes writhing in his fingers and speaks in tongues. Even so, all is well until the village fountain suddenly stops running. From this point on, humans and the natural world are locked in a life-and-death struggle. All the elements—fire, water, earth, and air—come into play. From an early age, Jean Giono roamed the hills of his native Provence. He absorbed oral traditions and, at the same time, devoured the Greek and Roman classics. Hill, his first novel and the first winner of the Prix Brentano, comes fully back to life in Paul Eprile’s poetic translation.

Berlin Stories

Author: Robert Walser
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590174542
Format: PDF, ePub
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"New York Review Books original"--P. [4] of cover.

Novels in Three Lines

Author: Felix Feneon
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590174194
Format: PDF
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A NEW YORK REVIEW BOOKS ORIGINAL Novels in Three Lines collects more than a thousand items that appeared anonymously in the French newspaper Le Matin in 1906—true stories of murder, mayhem, and everyday life presented with a ruthless economy that provokes laughter even as it shocks. This extraordinary trove, undiscovered until the 1940s and here translated for the first time into English, is the work of the mysterious Félix Fénéon. Dandy, anarchist, and critic of genius, the discoverer of Georges Seurat and the first French publisher of James Joyce, Fénéon carefully maintained his own anonymity, toiling for years as an obscure clerk in the French War Department. Novels in Three Lines is his secret chef-d’oeuvre, a work of strange and singular art that brings back the long-ago year of 1906 with the haunting immediacy of a photograph while looking forward to such disparate works as Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project and the Death and Disaster series of Andy Warhol.

My Fantoms

Author: Théophile Gautier
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 159017271X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Romantic provocateur, flamboyant bohemian, precocious novelist, perfect poet—not to mention an inexhaustible journalist, critic, and man-about-town—Théophile Gautier is one of the major figures, and great characters, of French literature. In My Fantoms Richard Holmes, the celebrated biographer of Shelley and Coleridge, has found a brilliantly effective new way to bring this great bu too-little-known writer into English. My Fantoms assembles seven stories spanning the whole of Gautier’s career into a unified work that captures the essence of his adventurous life and subtle art. From the erotic awakening of “The Adolescent” through “The Poet,” a piercing recollection of the mad genius Gérard de Nerval, the great friend of Gautier’s youth, My Fantoms celebrates the senses and illuminates the strange disguises of the spirit, while taking readers on a tour of modernity at its most mysterious. ”What ever would the Devil find to do in Paris?” Gautier wonders. “He would meet people just as diabolical as he, and find himself taken for some naïve provincial…” Tapestries, statues, and corpses come to life; young men dream their way into ruin; and Gautier keeps his faith in the power of imagination: “No one is truly dead, until they are no longer loved.”