1. On Monday, Throw back a pint with Kingsley Amis

    Half King

    On Monday, May 6th at 7 PM, writers Lev Grossman, Nathaniel Adams, and Jen Vafidis will discuss Kingsley Amis’ newly reissued novels, the alternate history The Alteration and the ghost story The Green Man at the Half King. Co-sponsored with Vol. 1 Brooklyn.

    Full details here.

  2. Tonight! Martin Amis, Edwin Frank, Jochen Hellbeck, Agata Tuszynska discuss the legacy of Vasily Grossman, author of Life and Fate →

    part of the 2013 Pen World Voices Festival

  3. Did you know that Elaine Dundy's sister, Shirley Clarke, was a pathbreaking filmmaker? (If not, you haven't been paying attention!) 
nprfreshair:

John Powers on Shirley Clarke’s seminal 1967 film Portrait of Jason that has been recently restored and re-released:

Clarke knew she had a mesmerizing subject in Jason, whose stories are punctuated by a laugh whose mercurial meaning — from delight to pain to impacted fury — could keep a psychology class busy for a semester. Still, she and her colleagues keep goading him to give more, to bare himself more deeply, until he eventually breaks down, offering us the naked truth of his soul — if, that is, you believe we all have a single, secret, unified self hidden by myriad social masks. But is the drunken, weeping Jason really a more authentic Jason than the laughing storyteller?

    Did you know that Elaine Dundy's sister, Shirley Clarke, was a pathbreaking filmmaker? (If not, you haven't been paying attention!)

    nprfreshair:

    John Powers on Shirley Clarke’s seminal 1967 film Portrait of Jason that has been recently restored and re-released:

    Clarke knew she had a mesmerizing subject in Jason, whose stories are punctuated by a laugh whose mercurial meaning — from delight to pain to impacted fury — could keep a psychology class busy for a semester. Still, she and her colleagues keep goading him to give more, to bare himself more deeply, until he eventually breaks down, offering us the naked truth of his soul — if, that is, you believe we all have a single, secret, unified self hidden by myriad social masks. But is the drunken, weeping Jason really a more authentic Jason than the laughing storyteller?

  4. “Victor was a blue-point Siamese, a neutered tom-cat now in the third year of his age. He entered, as usual, in vague semi-flight, as from something that was probably not a menace, but which it was as well to be on the safe side about. Becoming aware of me, he approached, again as usual, with an air of uncertainty not so much about who I was as about what I was, and of keeping a very open mind on the range of possible answers. Was I potassium nitrate, or next October twelvemonth, or Christianity, or a chess problem—perhaps involving a variation on the Falkbeer counter-gambit? When he reached me, he gave up the problem and toppled on to my feet like an elephant pierced by a bullet in some vital spot. Victor was, among other things, the reason why no dogs were allowed at the Green Man. The effort of categorizing them might have proved too much for him.”

    — 

    Kingsley Amis knew his cats.
    This is from his ghost-story The Green Man (which is also the name of the narrator’s inn, from which dogs are banned in deference to the feline Victor Hugo).

    and here’s Amis’s poem “Cat English.”

  5. How an “ordinary Missouri English professor” Became an International Sensation

    image

    'Stoner is magic,’ said Oscar van Gelderen, publisher of Lebowski, which published the Dutch edition in 2012 and now has over 100,000 copies in print. Currently, it’s the #1 bestseller in the Netherlands, where it’s been near the top of the charts for weeks. It was one of Israel’s bestselling books of 2012. And it’s moving units in France, Spain, and Italy; over 50,000 copies have been sold in the latter since it was published there in February 2012. ‘So far the book has kept selling without signs of receding,’ said Cristina Marino from Fazi, the novel’s Italian publisher.

    Publishers Weekly on the phenomenal success John Williams’s Stoner has been experiencing around the world. We have our own theories about why it’s doing so well in the Netherlands …

  6. mcnallyjackson:

slaughterhouse90210:

“Whatever. Being neurotic seemed to be a kind of wild card, an all-purpose explanation.” —Renata Adler, Speedboat

1. lol
2. Renata Adler will be speaking at your friendly (Park Slope) neighborhood bookshop, Community, tonight at 7pm. I’ll see you there, k?
3. Do you subscribe to our newsletter? Yes? You’re awesome. No? You should! Because if you did, you would have received, in your inbox this morning, “Our Choral Ode to Renata Adler”: 

That bemused countenance, that horsewhip braid, that penchant for looking awry. Yep, we’re aswoon for Renata. Re-na-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Re. Na. Ta. We sketch her likeness in our spiral notebooks, adopt her patterns of speech, attempt her confident stance, wear belt-less jeans. We’d launch a 1,000 speedboats in her honor, if we had them. We don’t. 

How good would that have made your morning? Sign up for our mailing list here here here here.

    mcnallyjackson:

    slaughterhouse90210:

    “Whatever. Being neurotic seemed to be a kind of wild card, an all-purpose explanation.”
    —Renata Adler, Speedboat

    1. lol

    2. Renata Adler will be speaking at your friendly (Park Slope) neighborhood bookshop, Communitytonight at 7pm. I’ll see you there, k?

    3. Do you subscribe to our newsletter? Yes? You’re awesome. No? You should! Because if you did, you would have received, in your inbox this morning, “Our Choral Ode to Renata Adler”: 

    That bemused countenance, that horsewhip braid, that penchant for looking awry. Yep, we’re aswoon for Renata. Re-na-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Re. Na. Ta. We sketch her likeness in our spiral notebooks, adopt her patterns of speech, attempt her confident stance, wear belt-less jeans. We’d launch a 1,000 speedboats in her honor, if we had them. We don’t. 

    How good would that have made your morning? Sign up for our mailing list here here here here.

  7. The Conversation of the Hours

    The first hour says to the second,
          I am a hermit.
    The second hour says to the third,
          I am an abyss.
    The third hour says to the fourth,
          put on morning.
    The fourth hour says to the fifth,
          stars rush down.
    The fifth hour says to the sixth,
          we are late.
    The sixth hour says to the seventh,
          animals are clocks also.
    The seventh hour says to the eighth,
          you are friends with the grove.
    The eighth hour says to the ninth,
          the coursing starts.
    The ninth hour says to the tenth,
          we are time’s bones.
    The tenth hour says to the eleventh,
          it may be we are couriers.
    The eleventh hour says to the twelfth,
          let us consider the roads.
    The twelfth hour says to the first,
          I’ll catch up with you in our endless race.
    The first hour says to the second,
          have some human sedative, friend.
    The second hour says to the third,
          at what point can we concur.
    The third hour says to the fourth,
          I bow to you as if you were a corpse.
    The fourth hour says to the fifth,
          we too are darkened treasures of the earth.
    The fifth hour says to the sixth,
          I worship the hollow world.
    The sixth hour says, seventh hour,
          it’s dinner time, come home.
    The seventh hour says to the eighth,
          I would have wanted to count another way.
    The eighth hour says to the ninth,
          you are like Enoch snatched up to the skies.
    The ninth hour says to the tenth hour,
          you are like unto an angel engulfed in flame.
    The tenth hour says, eleventh hour,
          for some reason you lost your moving power.
    The eleventh hour says to the twelfth,
          and still we are incomprehensible.

    —Poetry month is coming to a close, a month where we launched our new poetry series, NYRB Poets, and we wanted to end it with a somewhat circular poem. This is from Alexander Vvedensky’s An Invitation for Me to Think; it’s a poem within a poem, part of the script that makes up “God May be Around,” translated by Eugene Ostashevsky

  8. “Good God am I glad someone started a topic about NYRB.” →

    People are talkin’ (about our books on Reddit)

  9. "The funniest novel I have ever read"

    Are you a rereader? What books do you find yourself returning to again and again?

    I don’t do much rereading anymore because I’ve been ill and feel that I’m running out of time. But recently I did reread all of Evelyn Waugh’s novels, and was pleased to find that he was almost as thoughtful as, say, Olivia Manning, although his snobbery sometimes grates. Also, I enjoyed Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis, all over again: the funniest novel I have ever read. Is there some Bulgarian equivalent, languishing untranslated? Probably not.

    —Clive James, novelist, critic, poet and recent translator of Dante’s Divine Comedy, was in the The New York Times Book Review answering questions in their "By the Book" column. We’re thrilled he enjoyed rereading Lucky Jim, and will make it easier to return to Olivia Manning as we are publishing the second trilogy in the Fortunes of War series, The Levant Trilogy, in Spring 2014 (we published The Balkan Trilogy in 2010).

    (illustration by Jillian Tamaki)

  10. thebooksmith:

OH YES OH YES

In honor of the release of Kingsley Amis’s ghost story, The Green Man and his alt-history, The Alteration, we have a slew of SF, fantasy, and horror books on sale (for a limited time).
SALE!
And, for Anglophile eyes only, a bonus sentence from The Green Man that uses the terms “birds” (to mean women) and “steak-and-kidney pie.”

    thebooksmith:

    OH YES OH YES

    In honor of the release of Kingsley Amis’s ghost story, The Green Man and his alt-history, The Alteration, we have a slew of SF, fantasy, and horror books on sale (for a limited time).

    SALE!

    And, for Anglophile eyes only, a bonus sentence from The Green Man that uses the terms “birds” (to mean women) and “steak-and-kidney pie.”

  11. Wouldn't you like to help kickstart an Uncle revival? Just 1 more day to go →

    We publish Uncle and Uncle Cleans Up in our Children’s Collection—but there’s more Uncle to be had.

  12. thedizzies:

Coming in June—NYRB Classics’ reissue of Russell Hoban’s TURTLE DIARY! Introduction by “Ed Park.”

    thedizzies:

    Coming in June—NYRB Classics’ reissue of Russell Hoban’s TURTLE DIARY! Introduction by “Ed Park.”

  13. Renata Adler/Issue Project Room/Greenpoint/tomorrow


    This gentleman was reading Renata Adler’s Speedboat on the Q train to work this morning. You can hear Renata live in the flesh tomorrow at 155 Freeman St., between Manhattan & Franklin Aves in Greenpoint, as part of the Issue Project Room “Littoral” event series, tomorrow at 8 p.m. She’ll be reading from her novels Speedboat and Pitch Dark, and talking with our editor Edwin Frank. If you’ve already read Renata’s books, you’ll know the talk could go something like this:

        ‘I shouldn’t have come,’ the Englishman said, waving his drink and breathing so heavily at me that I could feel my bangs shift. ‘I have a terrible cold.’
        ‘He would probably have married her,’ a voice across the room said, ‘with the exception that he died.’
        ‘Well, I am a personality that prefers not to be annoyed.’
        ‘We should all prepare ourselves for this eventuality.’
        A six-year-old was passing the hors d’oeuvres. The baby, not quite steady on his feet, was hurtling about the room.
        ‘He’s following me,’ the six-year-old said, in despair.
        ‘Then lock yourself in the bathroom, dear,’ Inez replied.
        ‘He always waits outside the door.’
        ‘He loves you, dear.’
        ‘Well, I don’t like it.’
        ‘How I envy you,’ the minister’s wife was saying to a courteous, bearded boy, ‘reading Magic Mountain for the first time.’

  14. “And an invented person makes the greatest impression, naturally, on the seemingly not-invented, real person who, upon finding his reflection in a book, feels replaced and redoubled. This person cannot forgive his feeling of double insult: here I, a real, not-invented person, shall go to my grave and nothingness in ten or twenty years, whereas this fabricated, not-real “almost I” shall go on living and living as though it were the most natural thing in the world; more unforgivable still is the awareness that someone, some author, made you up like an arithmetic problem, what’s more he figured you out, arrived at an answer over which you struggled your entire life in vain, he divined your existence without ever having met you, he penned his way into your innermost thoughts, which you tried so hard to hide from yourself. One must refute the author and vindicate oneself. At once!”

    — 

    From Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky’s short story “Someone Else’s Theme,” collected in Memories of the Future.

    Thanks to biblioklept.org for alerting us to this excellent excerpt.

  15. literalab:

Literary roundup: Polish writers, Thor Garcia and Erich Kästner
An interview with Prague expat writer Thor Garcia, a profile of German author Erich Kästner and a podcast on a wide range of 20th century Polish writers.
Continue Reading

    literalab:

    Literary roundup: Polish writers, Thor Garcia and Erich Kästner

    An interview with Prague expat writer Thor Garcia, a profile of German author Erich Kästner and a podcast on a wide range of 20th century Polish writers.

    Continue Reading