1. Friedrich Reck’s  Diary of a Man in Despair hits the Guardian Bookshop best-seller list. Not bad for a book whose ideas were so dangerous to the Nazis that it had to be stowed away in a hayloft and buried in tin box in the ground.
If you want to hear more about this astonishing war-time diary, written by a “conservative rebel,” listen to this podcast of the talk Richard Evans gave recently at Cambridge University.

    Friedrich Reck’s  Diary of a Man in Despair hits the Guardian Bookshop best-seller list. Not bad for a book whose ideas were so dangerous to the Nazis that it had to be stowed away in a hayloft and buried in tin box in the ground.

    If you want to hear more about this astonishing war-time diary, written by a “conservative rebel,” listen to this podcast of the talk Richard Evans gave recently at Cambridge University.

  2. Lionel Trilling, flanked by flowers, is experiencing some spring fever in this Classics and Coffee Club submission from Kata.
Submit pictures of your copies of NYRB Classics (or books from our Children’s Collection) with coffee or even tea and we’ll post them here.

    Lionel Trilling, flanked by flowers, is experiencing some spring fever in this Classics and Coffee Club submission from Kata.

    Submit pictures of your copies of NYRB Classics (or books from our Children’s Collection) with coffee or even tea and we’ll post them here.

  3. ebookfriendly:

Bookcase in a bus in Hamburg. More such ideas, please!

Shout out to Paul Gallico (perched on the middle shelf), whose moving tale of cat metempsychosis, The Abandoned (aka Jennie), goes on sale today!

    ebookfriendly:

    Bookcase in a bus in Hamburg. More such ideas, please!

    Shout out to Paul Gallico (perched on the middle shelf), whose moving tale of cat metempsychosis, The Abandoned (aka Jennie), goes on sale today!

  4. Don Share on Miguel Hernández →

    Today, at Poet’s House, 7 pm, Don Share, senior editor of Poetry magazine, reads from and discusses the work (and his award-winning translation) of Miguel Hernández, framing this great poet’s life and poetry in the context of his time and the poets around him.

  5. myimaginarybrooklyn:

booksactually:
“Katri was silent. When her silence continued, Anna understood that she’d said something important. She repeated it. ‘One for me and one for you. We’ll share. We’ll share Central Europe.’ It sounded adventurous. She said it again. Katri drew a deep breath and said, with a certain chill, that it was out of the question. But if Anna had no objection, they could assign half the royalty from United Rubber to Mats.‘Do so,’ said Anna. ‘That’s fine. And not another word about United Rubber, ever.’Katri opened the black notebook and, in her own sweeping hand, wrote, ‘Mats 1%’.‘Is there anything else of importance ?’‘No, Anna,’ Katri said. ‘We’ve done what matters most.’”— from The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson

    myimaginarybrooklyn:

    booksactually:

    “Katri was silent. When her silence continued, Anna understood that she’d said something important. She repeated it. ‘One for me and one for you. We’ll share. We’ll share Central Europe.’ It sounded adventurous. She said it again. Katri drew a deep breath and said, with a certain chill, that it was out of the question. But if Anna had no objection, they could assign half the royalty from United Rubber to Mats.

    ‘Do so,’ said Anna. ‘That’s fine. And not another word about United Rubber, ever.’

    Katri opened the black notebook and, in her own sweeping hand, wrote, ‘Mats 1%’.

    ‘Is there anything else of importance ?’

    ‘No, Anna,’ Katri said. ‘We’ve done what matters most.’”

    — from The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson

  6. Renata Adler & David Shields talk tonight at The Strand.  →

    To get in you either have to buy a copy of Speedboat or Pitch Dark or a $15 Strand gift certificate. We think this is pretty fair.

  7. "Everything is filled with you"

    Everything is filled with you,
    and everything is filled with me:
    the towns are full,
    just as the cemeteries are full
    of you, all the houses
    are full of me, all the bodies.

    I wander down streets losing
    things I gather up again:
    parts of my life
    that have turned up from far away.

    I wing myself toward agony,
    I see myself dragging
    through a doorway,
    through creation’s latent depths.

    Everything is filled with me:
    with something yours and memory
    lost, yet found
    again, at some other time.

    A time left behind
    decidedly black,
    indelibly red,
    golden on your body.

    Pierced by your hair,
    everything is filled with you,
    with something I haven’t found,
    but look for among your bones.

    —The poem “Everything Is Filled with You” by Miguel Hernández, translated by Don Share, and included in our new collection of Hernández’s poetry. Below is a bio of Hernández written by our editor Jeffery Yang which featured in the The New York Review of Books.

    The poet and playwright Miguel Hernández (1910–1942) was born into a peasant family in the province of Alicante in southeast Spain and died from tuberculosis in a prison hospital there at age thirty-one. For much of his life he worked, like his father, as a shepherd. As a soldier and cultural ambassador for the Republican Army during the Spanish civil war, Hernández read his poems and plays on the radio and on the front lines. When the war ended in 1939, he was arrested and sentenced to death (commuted to thirty years in prison).

    In various jails, Hernández wrote many poems that were included in letters to his friends and family, particularly his wife, Josefina Manresa—a seamstress from his hometown Orihuela, with whom he had two sons. “Everything Is Filled with You” was written during this time of imprisonment and was published in 1958 in his final collection of poems, Cancionero y romancero de ausencias (Songs and Ballads of Absence).

  8. Did you read Renata Adler's interview in The Believer? →

    Our favorite part? “I’ve always been somewhat leery of editing and publication. But the editors at New York Review Classics have been great.” A very, very rare compliment from Ms. Adler.

  9. “If we experience wild non-understanding, we will know that no one shall counter it with clarity. Woe to us pondering time. But then, with the expansion of this non-understanding, it will become clear to you and me that there is no woe, no us, no pondering, and no time.”

    — 

    From “The Gray Notebook,” by Alexander Vvedensky (trans. Eugene Ostashevsky)


    Today is publication day for Alexander Vvedensky’s An Invitation for Me To Think.

  10. Zakir—The Reluctant Fundamentalist


    image

    READING I’m often reading multiple books at the same time. They are for different moods. It’s kind of like surfing the Web and having multiple windows open at the same time, only in a much slower fashion. I’ve just begun “Basti,” a novel by one of the great Urdu-language fiction writers, Intizar Husain. “Basti” means village, so I suspect it will have to do with a village as a microcosm for India and Pakistan’s partition and the different religions that used to coexist within them.

    —Moshin Hamid, whose recent book How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia just came out and whose earlier book The Reluctant Fundamentalist is being made into a movie, was interviewed for the The New York Times Sunday Review while reading Initzar Husain’s Basti. He hadn’t finished it yet but was on the right track, the book is a (fictionalized) story of the partition of India through the eyes of Zakir as he grows up, first in a village in the Uttar Pradesh region of India, then in a city outside of Delhi, and finally, after partition, in Lahore. A must read.

  11. Richard Griffiths, Olivia Manning’s Husband, and The History Boys

    Flipping through the recently released biography of Olivia Manning (Olivia Manning: A Writer at War), we were surprised to see the name of Richard Griffiths, who died last week, jump out. If you’ve read The Balkan Trilogy (and are anticipating our publication of The Levant Trilogy next year) and are infuriated by the character Guy (based on Manning’s husband Reggie Smith) you might enjoy this:

    It was around this time [1970] that Richard Griffiths … met Reggie, and Griffiths’ memory of their friendship, shared with me in a long conversation backstage at the National Theatre, helped shape his performance as Hector in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys … In an Associated Press interview just before opening in the American production of Bennett’s play in the spring of 2006, Griffiths described Reggie as “very roly-poly”—a big fat guy, very amiable, and “an absolute god of memory of English verse and poetry.”

  12. "Now the Green Blade Riseth" (a carol for Easter Monday)

    image

    Getting together a reprint of J.F. Powers’s novel Wheat That Springeth Green, we were struck by the beauty of its epigraph (which appears in the form of sheet music, taken from The Oxford Book of Carols). Digging a bit, it becomes clear that the carol is in fact an Easter song. Even so, it can be appreciated even by a non-believer on this early spring day.

    Now the Green Blade Riseth

    Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain,
    Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
    love lives again, that with the dead has been:
    love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

    In the grave they laid him, love whom men had slain,
    thinking that never he would wake again,
    laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
    love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

    Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain,
    he that for three days in the grave had lain,
    quick from the dead my risen Lord is seen:
    love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

    When our hearts are wintry, grieving in pain,
    thy touch can call us back to life again,
    fields of hearts that dead and bare have been:
    love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

    John M.C. Crum, 1928

    [repost of a 2009 entry]

  13. "I’m loving Eileen Chang, even if she’s reducing me to tears in public places.” 
—Photo of Love in a Fallen City, taken on the Beijing subway, sent in by a reader.
And an essay on Chang, in The Quarterly Conversation.

    "I’m loving Eileen Chang, even if she’s reducing me to tears in public places.”

    —Photo of Love in a Fallen City, taken on the Beijing subway, sent in by a reader.

    And an essay on Chang, in The Quarterly Conversation.

  14. Happy Good Friday! And what better way to celebrate than with Cheerful and a sugar-spun egg. Just be careful you don’t get caught inside, you never know where the egg might take you.

    Happy Good Friday! And what better way to celebrate than with Cheerful and a sugar-spun egg. Just be careful you don’t get caught inside, you never know where the egg might take you.

  15. Before we’d even conceived of the Classics and Coffee Club, the Fool on the Planet blog had started one of his (her?) own. Above are entries for After Claude and Hard Rain Falling, and here are two more:

    The Ermine of Czernopol
    Butcher’s Crossing

    Submit pictures of your copies of NYRB Classics (or books from our Children’s Collection) with coffee or even tea and we’ll post them here.