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
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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.

Compulsory Games

Author: Robert Aickman
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1681371898
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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"Aickman's superbly written tales terrify not with standard thrills and gore but through a radical overturning of the laws of nature and everyday life. His territory of the strange, of the 'void behind the face of order,' is a surreal region that grotesquely mimics the quotidian: Is that river the Thames, or is it even a river? What does it mean when a prospective lover removes one dress, and then another--and then another? Do a herd of cows in a peaceful churchyard contain the souls of jilted women preparing to trample a cruel lover to death?" --

The New York Stories of Henry James

Author: Henry James
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590174321
Format: PDF, Docs
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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 Summer Book

Author: Tove Jansson
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590176820
Format: PDF
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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.

Berlin Stories

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

Rock Crystal

Author: Adalbert Stifter
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1681370530
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Seemingly the simplest of stories—a passing anecdote of village life— Rock Crystal opens up into a tale of almost unendurable suspense. This jewel-like novella by the writer that Thomas Mann praised as "one of the most extraordinary, the most enigmatic, the most secretly daring and the most strangely gripping narrators in world literature" is among the most unusual, moving, and memorable of Christmas stories. Two children—Conrad and his little sister, Sanna—set out from their village high up in the Alps to visit their grandparents in the neighboring valley. It is the day before Christmas but the weather is mild, though of course night falls early in December and the children are warned not to linger. The grandparents welcome the children with presents and pack them off with kisses. Then snow begins to fall, ever more thickly and steadily. Undaunted, the children press on, only to take a wrong turn. The snow rises higher and higher, time passes: it is deep night when the sky clears and Conrad and Sanna discover themselves out on a glacier, terrifying and beautiful, the heart of the void. Adalbert Stifter's rapt and enigmatic tale, beautifully translated by Elizabeth Mayer and Marianne Moore, explores what can be found between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day—or on any night of the year.

Novels in Three Lines

Author: Felix Feneon
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590174194
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

Fair Play

Author: Tove Jansson
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590176855
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Fair Play is the type of love story that is rarely told, a revelatory depiction of contentment, hard-won and exhilarating. Mari is a writer and Jonna is an artist, and they live at opposite ends of a big apartment building, their studios connected by a long attic passageway. They have argued, worked, and laughed together for decades. Yet they’ve never really stopped taking each other by surprise. Fair Play shows us Mari and Jona’s intertwined lives as they watch Fassbinder films and Westerns, critique each other’s work, spend time on a solitary island (recognizable to readers of Jansson’s The Summer Book), travel through the American Southwest, and turn life into nothing less than art.