1. Joan Chase’s During the Reign of the Queen of Persia (with an introduction by Megan O’Rourke) goes on sale April 15, 2014

  2. Top: Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Pink Palace) ca. 1948, San Francisco MoMA
    Middle: Charles Simic, from Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell
    Bottom: Still from Grand Budapest Hotel, opening March 7 in NYC and LA and March 14 elsewhere.

    At his talk at the New York Public Library, Wes Anderson cited photochrom prints collection at the Library of Congress as inspiration for his hotel—but we couldn’t help but notice an uncanny resemblance between it and Joseph Cornell’s own “oneiric playhouse. A phantom palace in a forest of bare trees, hoar frost and night,” Pink Palace.

  3. 
I turned toward Rockefeller Plaza. There were crowds heavily leaning over the stone rampart looking down at the skaters in the skating rink. There was a rather stout man, in a checkered cap, clowning on the ice, and a little girl, completely costumed, doing astonishing figure eights and leaps, and a couple, she in a mink coat, he in a tuxedo, arm in arm, who must have thought it would be fun skating before dinner. I went down through the people watching into the English Grill to have a drink, and there was Vivian, in a short black velvet skating skirt, having a hot toddy at the bar. Lover, she said, how nice to see you. The hot toddy, steaming in its thick glass, looking medicinal as hell, was wonderful on a cold night, and she really went skating because half the fun was sitting at the bar in the short flaring costume, ordering a toddy; besides, she loved the trouble it put the bartender to.
—Alfred Hayes, In Love

This Classics and Coffee club entry is more boozy than usual, which seems right, given the setting for much of Hayes’s book …
Do you have a picture of an NYRB Classic with coffee or tea (or a beer or toddy)? Send it to this address and we’ll post it here (making you an honorary member of the Classics and Coffee Club).

    I turned toward Rockefeller Plaza. There were crowds heavily leaning over the stone rampart looking down at the skaters in the skating rink. There was a rather stout man, in a checkered cap, clowning on the ice, and a little girl, completely costumed, doing astonishing figure eights and leaps, and a couple, she in a mink coat, he in a tuxedo, arm in arm, who must have thought it would be fun skating before dinner. I went down through the people watching into the English Grill to have a drink, and there was Vivian, in a short black velvet skating skirt, having a hot toddy at the bar. Lover, she said, how nice to see you. The hot toddy, steaming in its thick glass, looking medicinal as hell, was wonderful on a cold night, and she really went skating because half the fun was sitting at the bar in the short flaring costume, ordering a toddy; besides, she loved the trouble it put the bartender to.

    Alfred Hayes, In Love

    This Classics and Coffee club entry is more boozy than usual, which seems right, given the setting for much of Hayes’s book …

    Do you have a picture of an NYRB Classic with coffee or tea (or a beer or toddy)? Send it to this address and we’ll post it here (making you an honorary member of the Classics and Coffee Club).

  4. —Sylvia Townsend Warner, Summer Will Show
via elanormcinerney

    —Sylvia Townsend Warner, Summer Will Show

    via elanormcinerney

  5. Indie Press Mingle @ Elliott Bay Books

                            

    If you’re in or around Seattle—for AWP or for other reasons—stop by Elliott Bay Books for their Indie Press Mingle at 4 PM tomorrow afternoon. Publicists, editors, and other staff members from Archipelago Books, New Directions, and New York Review Books will be on site and ready to gush about upcoming titles to anyone interested. It’s a rare opportunity, and sure to be lots of fun. Drinks + eats guaranteed.

    For more information about the mingle, visit the Elliott Bay books page here and/or RSVP at the NYRB Classics Facebook event page here.

  6. Fonts in Use Best of 2013

    The jacket design for Slavko Goldstein’s 1941, which is published by the non-classics wing of New York Review Books, was chosen by Fonts in Use as one of the best uses of a typeface in 2013. Congratulations to Rumors Studio who designed that knock-out of a jacket.

  7. Patrick Leigh Fermor on Hashish

    The slightest word or gesture was enough to send us off into fresh paroxysms until we fought for breath and our cheeks were wet with tears. Bulgaria, it appeared, was one of the richest natural hashish gardens in the world. Cannabis indica thrives in embarrassing abundance. Its cultivation, which is scarcely necessary, and its smoking, my companions explained between puffs, were strictly forbidden: “Mnogo zabraneno. Ha! Ha! Ha!’ But the ban seemed about as effective as legislation against cow parsley or nettles. Regular smokers were few. It only came into play as an occasional lark. I longed for the opportunity to say ‘the party went with a bhang!’ The lack of opportunity to say so, however, didn’t stop me saying it, and dissolving in transports of hilarity at my own wit.

    —Patrick Leigh Fermor on smoking Bulgarian hashish in The Broken Road. This third and final volume chronicling Leigh Fermor’s youthful walk across Europe comes out IN FIVE DAYS. Get excited.

    Also, this passage confirms two things: (1) Leigh Fermor could be a total (but still charming) cheeseball at times (‘the party went with a bhang’?) and (2) he rarely turned down the opportunity to partake in the “occasional” local “lark” throughout his travels.

  8. Wes Anderson @ NYPL Live Tonight

    Tonight, NYPL Live's Paul Holdengräber will be speaking to Wes Anderson about that new flick of his, The Grand Budapest Hotel—and, we expect, a little bit about one of the main inspirations for the film, Stefan Zweig. Just a guess, but a good guess.

    The event itself is sold out, but you can watch the live stream tonight from 7-8pm and learn more about the event here.

  9. When I am dead, I hope it may be said:

    'His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.'

               —Hilaire Belloc., “On his Books,” collected in W. H. Auden’s Book of Light Verse.

  10. “There are a number of difficulties with dirty words, the first of which is that there aren’t nearly enough of them; the second is that the people who use them are normally numskulls and prudes; the third is that in general they’re not at all sexy, and the main reason for this is that no one loves them enough.”

    — 

    William Gass, On Being Blue
    on sale March 11, 2014


    You can read Michael Gorra’s introduction to this new edition at the NYRBlog.

  11. librairiedrawnandquarterly:

D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths - by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire

Children of Montreal, watch out for one-eyed gods throwing spears!

    librairiedrawnandquarterly:

    D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths - by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire

    Children of Montreal, watch out for one-eyed gods throwing spears!

  12. “There was a feeling almost of knowing, or being on the edge of knowing, what had been hidden from you, a deceptive simplification, and later, when I thought about it, I realized it was just a feeling, and that whatever it was that was on the verge of being understood disappeared as soon as you turned away..”

    — Alfred Hayes In Love,  (via inwonderment)

  13. When and how do works by women writers gain entry into the “classic” club? →

    At the VIDA blog, Diane Mehta looks at the tricky question of canon formulation.

  14. "Canadians, do not vomit on me!"

    image

    Our favorite copyeditor just mentioned that this was her favorite line from her favorite NYRB classic, Elizabeth Hardwick’s Sleepless Nights—and we knew we had to share it with you.

  15. Later, Jack said the walk with Netta back across the Place Masséna was the happiest event of his life. Having no reliable counter-event to put in its place, she let the memory stand.

    —the last paragraph of Mavis Gallant’s story “The Moslem Wife,” in the collection Paris Stories.