1. Dreaming of a Spring Sun with Louise Labé

    image

    —Louise Labé, “Sonnet 15”

    As the clouds clear on a drizzly, chilly day here in New York, let’s turn to Labé as a reminder that spring, despite all appearances, is nigh. The above poem is included in Love Sonnets and Elegies, which hits shelves today and is translated by Richard Sieburth, with a preface by Karin Lessing.

  2. pigeonbits:

My friend Dylan was telling me the other day about how woefully under-populated the Hot Gay Scientists tag is on tumblr, so here’s my humble contribution to that noble cause: Louise Pearce and S. Josephine Baker, who were both queer lady scientists and physicians working in the public health field in the early 20th century, and who lived together for over a decade (along with Baker’s other lady-partner, novelist Ida Alexa Ross Wylie.) 

For more on Louise Pearce read the rest of the blog post here.
For more S. Josephine Baker, see her memoir, Fighting for Life.

    pigeonbits:

    My friend Dylan was telling me the other day about how woefully under-populated the Hot Gay Scientists tag is on tumblr, so here’s my humble contribution to that noble cause: Louise Pearce and S. Josephine Baker, who were both queer lady scientists and physicians working in the public health field in the early 20th century, and who lived together for over a decade (along with Baker’s other lady-partner, novelist Ida Alexa Ross Wylie.) 

    For more on Louise Pearce read the rest of the blog post here.

    For more S. Josephine Baker, see her memoir, Fighting for Life.

  3. silibrumportes:

Pretty sure The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne is the female Irish Catholic Stoner. In that it’s sad & beautiful & you should read it.

    silibrumportes:

    Pretty sure The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne is the female Irish Catholic Stoner. In that it’s sad & beautiful & you should read it.

  4. image
    East Side Babies c. 1910–15, The Library of Congress

    The notion that parenting is something that could be, and ought to be, taught is rooted in the history of progressivism. This idea serves as the centerpiece of “Fighting for Life, ” the memoir of S. Josephine Baker, first published in 1939 and recently reissued by the New York Review of Books. Dr. Baker was an early feminist, a graduate of Vassar and the Women’s Medical College in Manhattan who in 1908 began to run the city’s new Bureau of Child Hygiene.

    At The New York Times, Ginia Bellafante looks at the history of early-child healthcare in the US and wonders if the current push for pre-kindergarten gets to the neediest children early enough. She suggests that New York City’s new mayor take a page out of S. Josephine Baker’s memoir Fighting for Life:

    It is easy to envision someone like Mayor Bill de Blasio, who made compassion so thematic in his campaign, spearheading parenting initiatives that might find national resonance (as Dr. Baker’s did) — prompting mothers and fathers to read to their children as babies, to use everyday experiences to teach small children new words, new ideas, addition and subtraction and so on.

    (Source: The New York Times)

  5. April 2014 Events: from Blue Gass to Shakespeare’s Montaigne

      
    On Being Blue, Still
    Wednesday, April 9, 7 pm
    The New York Institute for the Humanities, New York
    Writers and critics reconsider William H. Gass’s sex- and sadness-imbued On Being Blue and discuss its relevance today.

     
    Shakespeare’s Montaigne: Performance & Commentary
    Friday, April 11, 6:30 pm
    Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn
    Stephen Greenblatt and leading actors look at the deep resonances and relationship between Shakespeare’s plays and Montaigne’s Essays.

     
    A Reading and Discussion of Balzac’s Stories
    Tuesday, April 15, 6 pm
    Labyrinth Books, Princeton, New Jersey
    Peter Brooks and Linda Asher will read and discuss Balzac’s short stories, nine of which have been translated in The Human Comedy: Selected Stories.

     
    Sōseki’s Diversity: A Conference
    Friday, April 18 – Sunday, April 20
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Scholars will gather at the University of Michigan to reflect on the legacy of Japan’s most widely read modern novelist, author of The Gate.

     
    Stephen Greenblatt on Shakespeare’s Montaigne
    Wednesday, April 23, 7 pm
    Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    National Book Award winner Greenblatt will discuss the influence of Montaigne’s Essays on Shakespeare.

     
    Literature of the Great War
    Wednesday, April 30, 7 pm
    PEN World Voices Festival, New York
    Authors highlight recently re-discovered classics, including Gabriel Chevallier’s Fear, and explore the influence of WWI literature.

     
    “From Translation All Science Had Its Offspring”
    Wednesday, April 30, 6:30 pm
    Barnard College, New York
    Peter Platt and Philip John Usher discuss the revised and annotated edition of John Florio’s 1603 translation of Montaigne’s Essays.

  6. nprbooks:

    In Wes Anderson’s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, a writer relates the long and twisting life story of a hotel owner. It’s about youthful love and lifelong obsession, and while the story is original, there’s a credit at the end that reads: “Inspired by the Writings of Stefan Zweig.”

    Last month, Anderson told Fresh Air's Terry Gross that until a few years ago, he had never heard of Zweig — and he's not alone. Many moviegoers share Anderson's past ignorance of the man who was once one of the world's most famous and most translated authors.

    George Prochnik is out to change that. His forthcoming book is called The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World. Check out his conversation with NPR’s Robert Siegel here.

  7. Time is a flat circle…

    …which is why we are resurrecting an old cosmic terror anthology in ebook form: Shadows of Carcosa: Tales of Cosmic Horror by Lovecraft, Chambers, Machen, Poe, and Other Masters of the Weirdyes, like True Detective Carcosa. The name is taken from an Ambrose Bierce story in the collection about an inhabitant of that mysterious (imaginary? real? anyone?) land. Suffice it to say, our production department could not resist the temptation to modify the original cover (by Charles Burns) just slightly (and just for fun, not for real):

    image

    To all you non-True Detective watchers, we’re sorry. To everyone else: you’re welcome. Long live horrific space grub Rust Cohle!

    (Find more of Charles Burns’s work right here and work by our production manager, Evan Johnston, who made the Rust Cohle bug version of the cover, here.)

  8. An Excerpt from Last Words from Montmartre by Qiu Miaojin

    Letter Twenty
    June 17
    Bunny was tiny, maybe only fifteen centimeters long. Although Bunny’s coat was pure white, the fur on Bunny’s body, feet, paws, nose, ears, and tail was flecked with gray. Xu spotted Bunny immediately as we strolled past the row of pet shops along the Seine near Pont Neuf. We looked in several other shops and laughed at the horrifying sight of rabbits so big that on their hind legs they reached our waist. We spun joking tales of what would happen if we tried to keep one of these rabbits in Clichy, how they might put on bibs and sit with us at the dinner table, or how they could leap across the thirty five-square-meter apartment from kitchen to bedroom in a single bound, crash through the dividing wall….

    Read a chapter from Last Words from Montmartre by Qiu Miaojin, translated by Ari Larissa Heinrich, published in the latest issue of Guernica.

    Last Words from Montmartre goes on sale in the US June 3, 2014.

    (Source: guernicamag.com)

  9. WORD Bookstore Jersey City has blue on the mind. Which is pretty perfect for William Gass’s On Being Blue

  10. powells:

Which women in translation will you read in 2014?

Buy Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book, translated by Thomas Teal, or Colette’s Pure and the Impure, translated by Herma Briffault, from Powells and get 30% off the cover price (for a limited time)!

    powells:

    Which women in translation will you read in 2014?

    Buy Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book, translated by Thomas Teal, or Colette’s Pure and the Impure, translated by Herma Briffault, from Powells and get 30% off the cover price (for a limited time)!

  11. “It’s shameful that such an influential writer is still largely unknown. Penelope Mortimer deserves to be a household name. On top of her contributions to fiction and journalism, the memoirs are a chronicle of a woman struggling, above all, to create.”

    — "The Neglected Penelope Mortimer Was a Novelist Ahead of Her Time" by Jessica Ferri at The Daily Beast

    Tired of reading Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and Betty Friedan? Maybe it’s about time you picked up some Penelope Mortimer.

  12. 
What Cornell sought in his walks in the city, the fortune-tellers already practiced in their parlors. Faces bent over cards, coffee dregs, crystals; divination by contemplation of surfaces which stimulate inner visions and poetic faculties.De Chirico says: “One can deduce and conclude that every object has two aspects: one current one, which we see nearly always and which is seen by men in general; and the other, which is spectral and metaphysical and seen only by rare individuals in moments of clairvoyance …”He’s right. Here comes the bruja, dressed in black, her lips and fingernails painted blood-red. She saw into the murderer’s lovesick heart, and now it’s your turn, mister.—Charles Simic, “I Went to the Gypsy,” from Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell
Nice photobomb, btw.
Do you have a picture of an NYRB Classic with coffee or tea? Send it to this address and we’ll post it here (making you an honorary member of the Classics and Coffee Club).

    What Cornell sought in his walks in the city, the fortune-tellers already practiced in their parlors. Faces bent over cards, coffee dregs, crystals; divination by contemplation of surfaces which stimulate inner visions and poetic faculties.

    De Chirico says: “One can deduce and conclude that every object has two aspects: one current one, which we see nearly always and which is seen by men in general; and the other, which is spectral and metaphysical and seen only by rare individuals in moments of clairvoyance …”

    He’s right. Here comes the bruja, dressed in black, her lips and fingernails painted blood-red. She saw into the murderer’s lovesick heart, and now it’s your turn, mister.

    —Charles Simic, “I Went to the Gypsy,” from Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell

    Nice photobomb, btw.

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

  13. An evening of Catalan literature

    Tonight, New York resident, come to McNally Jackson at 7pm, where The Bridge is putting on a night of Catalan literature (in translation). Speaking will be Mary Ann Newman, Director of the Catalan Center at NYU and translator of Quim Monzó, published by Open Letter Books; poet, essayist and critic Rowan Ricardo Phillips who translated Salvador Espiru’s Ariadne in the Grotesque Landscape (Dalkey Archive); and Peter Bush who has translated the upcoming The Gray Notebook by Josep Pla. Should be fun for the Catalan experts or amateurs, and after Barcelona’s amazing victory over arch-rivals Real Madrid, one may want to explore more of what that city has to offer, at least in words. And Lionel Messi wants you to read more Catalan literature. 

  14. “…I longed to enter upon an existence of virtue; not that I had any great regard for virtue itself, but because I valued my own happiness.”

    — Sheppard Lee, Written by Himself by Robert Montgomery Bird (via straymessages)

  15. Edgar Allan Poe applauds this choice.