jadis composee par l'abstracteur de quinte essence

Beuveurs tresillustres, & vous Verolés tresprecieux (car à vous, non à autres sont dédiés mes escriptz)


[woman of the dunes] - kobo abe
a bug collector trapped in a villiage overwhelmed by sand
le chef-d'oeuvre inconnu - honoré de balzac
an introduction to modern art. mr. frenhofer paints la belle noiseuse. you can see rivette's movie with michel piccoli and emmanuelle béart, but it's a short story anyways, so you might as well track it down.
decameron - giovanni boccaccio
ten of the young idle rich escape plague-ridden florence to pass a highly structured retreat touring their parents country villas during the plague. each must tell ten stories along the way. most stories are funny. husbands made cuckolds by clever monks or students. nuns make sure they get some too.
the three-penny novel - bertold brecht
modern update of gay's three-penny opera
wuthering heights - emily brontë
you know
master i margarita [the master and margarita] - mikhail bulgakov
satan pays a visit to moscow. lots about jesus and pontius pilate.
[path to the nest of spiders] - italo calvino
growing up in italy during world war ii
difficult loves (short stories) - italo calvino
all good short stories from post-war italy
histoire de ma vie [story of my life] - giacomo casanova de seignault
12 volumes, but you should at least read the first two to get a detailed description of life in eighteenth-century italy, with quarantines at the border of every city-state, aristocratic students rioting against attempts by newly-founded police forces to control their behavior. later volumes discuss court life in paris, and some of the best parts relate to a prison sentence in the doge's palace handed down by a secret council, and casanova's escape attempts.
make sure you read the trask translation, based on the original texts. it was first released in the u.s. in 1968. earlier publications are based on a boring rewrite by a 19th century french author. i read the trask version up to volume 8 or something, where the original texts are missing, and the published version had to be used. couldn't take it, so i gave up.
voyage au bout de la nuit [journey to the end of the night] - louis-ferdinand, céline
bleak life story with parts about world war one, new york, detroit.
canterbury tales - geoffrey chaucer
stories told on a pilgrimage to canterbury. some are long and tedious, others are short and mighty funny. i have the modern library edition, and some excerpts in norton anthologies. if i can find a better edition, i'll let you know. i thought it was worth working with the original language, but you may have other ideas.
english and scottish popular ballads - f.j. childs
all your favorite songs about death and betrayal - sir patrick spens, edward, the three ravens, lord randall. finally available again as of january 2001 thanks to loomis house press.
the secret agent - joseph conrad
a less than heroic anarchist plots to bomb the clock at greenwich station.
bleak house - charles dickens
creepy long book with lots of suffering poor and annoying philanthropic people
moskva petrushki [moscow to petrushki] - benedict erofeyev
inspirational drunken monologue
capital punishment and criminal prosecution of animals - e.p. evans
summary of european legal cases brought against animals, most involving damage to crops, many in religious courts, seeking a sentence of excommunication.
madame bovary - gustave flaubert
i like the part after she leaves home
notre dame des fleurs [our lady of the flowers] - jean genet
life histories of a queen and the thieves and murderers who share her loft
querelle - jean genet
written with a love for men and their potential for cruelty and condescention
[dead souls] - nikolai gogol
a man creates his own path to bourgeois respectability
the iliad - homer
detailed descriptions of battle wounds and arguments
the odyssey - homer
sailing in flat-bottomed boats and all the ladies you meet.
kiss kiss, bang bang (1968) - pauline kael
yes, this is something to read. interesting thoughts on so many movies. i was especially interested in the capsule reviews on hundreds of films, and the part about how old-film fanboys are idiots.
[the trial] - franz kafka
the horrors of bourgeois bureaucracy
[the castle] - franz kafka
more amazing tales of bureaucracy out of control
[a hero for our time] - lermontov
something about a man, in the military, right?
[death in venice] - thomas mann
a writer's obsession with a young beauty. i don't know why i thought this would be boring. i got stuck in the first chapter a few times, but once i made it past, i was really engrossed.
mann ohne eigenschaften [the man without qualities] - robert musil
a man with things to think about, but nothing much to do, takes a ridiculous position as organizer of a centennial celebration for the decaying austria-hungarian empire. a man in the bushes.
[the young törless] - robert musil
a more accessible (and shorter) novel about growing up in the elite schools of germany, or is it austria-hugary?
ragazzi di vita - pier paolo pasolini
young men in friuli (around trieste) in the communist party, in yugoslavia, in trouble
una vita violenta - pier paolo pasolini
growing up a refugee on the streets of rome, with some hustling, some theft, whatever.
à la recherche du temps perdu [in search of lost time] - marcel proust
a sick boy grows old in as many book as you can bear, with sentances almost as long
gargantua - françois rabelais
renaissance attack on the old traditions, with a utopian ending
pantagruel - françois rabelais
a giant, a friar, and a fool explore the new humanist thought of the renaissance
shame - salman rushdie
have to go back and read this one
the daring young man on the flying trapeze (~1935) william saroyan
i picked up the book after reading in one of pauline kael's books (maybe i lost it at the movies?) that saroyan was one of the most vital writers in the u.s.. i had no idea what his writing was like. the few people i asked who had read his books said they hadn't since high school. read them again.
la nausee - jean-paul sartre
i recently tried to read this in french, so i can't remember it at all, except for the bar, the sign made of rats, the evening promenade, the waves at the breakwater, a dark alley, writing in a library, the chantry across the street.
frankenstein, or, the modern prometheus - mary wollstonecraft shelley
the monster reads milton
[as a man grows older] - italo svevo [ettore schmidt]
depressing story of a man realizing his age. read it every few years to scare yourself.
fathers and sons - ivan turgenev
new ideas making their way from the schools into the country manors of russia
conversations in sicily (2000) elio vittorini tr. alane salierno
from conversazione in sicilia (1945)
new directions
last year i saw the movie sicilia!, based on this story. a new translation came out recently, so i thought i'd take a look. i liked it. the movie is stark, presenting a sample of the conversations, straight from the book, but without the narration. it seems to be more about vittorini's fascination with the rhythms of speech rather than the stories of life, poverty, and facism the book presents.
uomini e no [men and not men] - elio vittorini
communist resistance in italy in world war ii
mrs. dalloway - virginia woolf
clarissa's throwing a party later. richard is off at lady bruton's. septimus reveals the real problem with dogs. peter's just arrived from india.
i bring this book with me often and i've read the first forty pages so many times, and then i want to start over. it's been years since i've seen the end. i didn't read the hours, but reading this book is so much more interesting then watching that movie.
orlando (1918) virginia woolf
i enjoyed this book a lot. i liked the whole thing, but i really liked the twentieth century orlando. amazing. i'm not sure if you could just read that part and still enjoy it, but maybe. i had a lot of problems with sally potter's film back when it came out, but somehow i still think about tilde swinton addressing the audience. i hated that, and i spent most of the movie worrying that it was going to happen again. i still have the image, but not the feeling.
short stories of...
bertold brecht
anton chekov
nicolai gogol
franz kafka
alexander pushkin
cesare pavese
library of congress catalog