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Literary Studies

  • Sold out
    John Carey

    100 Poets

    $37.00

    A poem seems a fragile thing. Change a word and it is broken. But poems outlive empires and survive the devastation of conquests. Celebrated author John Carey here presents a uniquely valuable anthology of verse based on a simple principle: select the one-hundred greatest poets from across the centuries, and then choose their finest poems. Ranging from Homer and Sappho to Donne and Milton, Plath and Angelou, this is a delightful and accessible introduction to the very best that poetry can off...

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  • Andrew McConnell Stott and Eric Weitz

    A Cultural History Of Comedy

    $850.00

    This book is a print on demand title. Orders of this title are expected to be fulfilled within 4 to 6 weeks upon purchase. Click here to find out more about when your print on demand title will ship. How has our expression, use and reception of comedy developed from antiquity to the present day? What role has it occupied in Western culture, and what can it tell us about how society has changed? The volumes describe various manifestations of comedy, its use in religion, theatre and literature,...

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  • Anne E. Duggan

    A Cultural History Of Fairy Tales

    $755.00

    This book is a print on demand title. Orders of this title are expected to be fulfilled within 4 to 6 weeks upon purchase. Click here to find out more about when your print on demand title will ship. How have the fairy tales of different cultures changed over the centuries? What do they tell us about our fears and hopes? In a work that spans 2,500 years these ambitious questions are addressed by over 50 experts, each contributing their overview of a theme applied to a period in history. With ...

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  • Rebecca Bushnell

    A Cultural History Of Tragedy

    $755.00

    This book is a print on demand title. Orders of this title are expected to be fulfilled within 4 to 6 weeks upon purchase. Click here to find out more about when your print on demand title will ship. How have ideas of the tragic influenced Western culture? How has tragedy been shaped by its social and cultural conditions? In a work that spans 2,500 years, these ambitious questions are addressed by 55 experts, each contributing their overview of a theme applied to a period in history. Extendin...

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    Nawal El Saadawi

    A Daughter Of Isis

    $25.00

    Translated by Sherif Hetata 'Against the white sand, the contours of my father's body were well defined, emphasized its existence in a world where everything was liquid, where the blue of the sea melted into the blue of the sky with nothing between. This independent existence was to become the outer world, the world of my father, of land, country, religion, language, moral codes. It was to become the world around me. A world made of male bodies in which my female body lived.' Nawal El Saadawi...

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    Steven Roger Fischer

    A History Of Reading

    $28.00

    Tracing the complete story of reading from the age when symbol first became sign through to the electronic texts of the present day, Steven Roger Fischer's fascinating A History of Reading offers a sweeping view across time and geography of our evolving relationship with text. Turning to ancient forms of reading, Fischer takes us to Asia and the Americas and discusses the forms and developments of completely divergent writing systems and scripts. With the Middle Ages in Europe and the Middle ...

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  • David Crystal

    A Little Book Of Language

    $26.00

    With a language disappearing every two weeks and neologisms springing up almost daily, an understanding of the origins and currency of language has never seemed more relevant. In this charming volume, a narrative history written explicitly for a young audience, expert linguist David Crystal proves why the story of language deserves retelling. From the first words of an infant to the peculiar modern dialect of text messaging, A Little Book of Language ranges widely, revealing language's myriad...

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    John Carey

    A Little History Of Poetry

    $39.00

    What is poetry? If music is sound organized in a particular way, poetry is a way of organizing language. It is language made special so that it will be remembered and valued. It does not always work—over the centuries countless thousands of poems have been forgotten. This little history is about some that have not. John Carey tells the stories behind the world’s greatest poems, from the oldest surviving one written nearly four thousand years ago to those being written today. Carey looks at po...

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    Roland Barthes

    A Lover's Discourse

    $19.00

    The language we use when we are in love is not a language we speak. It is a language addressed to ourselves and to our imaginary beloved. It is a language of solitude, of mythology, of what Barthes calls an 'image repertoire'. Reviving the notion of the amorous subject beyond psychological or clinical enterprises, Barthes' A Lover's Discourse is a book for everyone who has ever been in love, or indeed, thought themselves to be immune to its power. Paperback: 256 PagesProduct Dimensions: 129 x...

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  • Ernest Hemingway

    A Moveable Feast

    $18.00

    Hemingway's memories of his life as an unknown writer living in Paris in the twenties are deeply personal, warmly affectionate and full of wit. Looking back not only at his own much younger self, but also at the other writers who shared Paris with him - James Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald - he recalls the time when, poor, happy and writing in cafes, he discovered his vocation. Written during the last years of Hemingway's life, his memoir is a lively and powerful reflection ...

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  • Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

    A Shakespeare Motley

    $24.00

    A Shakespearean Motley is a delightful cabinet of Shakespearean curiosities, arranged in a straightforward alphabetical order, that will inform, enthuse, intrigue and amuse anyone who would like to know more about the richly varied and versatile life and work of the world's best-known author. Drawing unusual connections, this ingenious guide will show you what Hamlet's Ophelia has to do with The Tempest, Twelfth Night and Ships; how a stage direction speaks to Elizabethan treatment of bears. ...

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    George Saunders

    A Swim In A Pond In The Rain

    $36.00

    For the last twenty years, George Saunders has been teaching a class on the Russian short story to his MFA students at Syracuse University. In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, he shares a version of that class with us, offering some of what he and his students have discovered together over the years. Paired with iconic short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, the seven essays in this book are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it’s more relevant than ever ...

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  • Blake Bailey

    A Tragic Honesty

    $35.00

    Celebrated in his prime, forgotten in his final years, only to be championed anew by our greatest contemporary authors, Richard Yates has always exposed readers to the unsettling hypocrisies of our modern age. In Blake Bailey's masterful and entertaining biography, Yates himself serves as the fascinating lens into mid-century America, a world of would-be artists, depressed housewives, addled businessmen, high living, wistful striving, and self-deception. The story of Richard Yates here stands...

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  • Joshua Sperling

    A Writer Of Our Time

    $25.00

    John Berger was one of the most influential thinkers and writers of postwar Europe. As a novelist, he won the Booker Prize in 1972, donating half his prize money to the Black Panthers; as a TV presenter he changed the way we looked at art in Ways of Seeing; as a storyteller and political activist he defended the rights and dignity of workers, migrants and the oppressed around the world. In 1953 he wrote: "Far from dragging politics into art, art has dragged me into politics." He remained a re...

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    Jo Wimpenny

    Aesop's Animals

    $39.00

    Despite originating over than two-and-a-half thousand years ago, Aesop's Fables are still passed on from parent to child, and are embedded in our collective consciousness. The morals we have learned from these tales continue to inform our judgements, but have the stories also informed how we regard their animal protagonists? If so, is there any truth behind the stereotypes? Are wolves deceptive villains? Are crows insightful geniuses? And could a tortoise really beat a hare in a race? In Aeso...

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    Susan Sontag

    Against Interpretation

    $29.90

    Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag's first collection of essays and made her name as one of the most incisive thinkers of our time. Sontag was among the first critics to write about the intersection between 'high' and 'low' art forms, and to give them equal value as valid topics, shown here in her epoch-making pieces 'Notes on Camp' and 'Against Interpretation'. Here too are impassioned discussions of Sartre, Camus, Simone Weil, Godard, Beckett, Levi-Strauss, science-fiction movies, psyc...

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  • Frank Chin, Jeffrey Paul Chan, Lawson fusao Inada and Shawn Wong

    Aiiieeeee!: An Anthology Of Asian American Writers

    $39.00

    In the eyes of mid-twentieth-century white America, "Aiiieeeee!" was the one-dimensional cry from Asian Americans, their singular expression of all emotions-it signified and perpetuated the idea of Asian Americans as inscrutable, foreign, self-hating, undesirable, and obedient. In this anthology first published in 1974, Frank Chin, Jeffery Chan, Lawson Inada, and Shawn Wong reclaimed that shout, outlining the history of Asian American literature and boldly drawing the boundaries for what was ...

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  • Iain Sinclair

    Alchemy

    $30.00

    Reality versus fiction is at the heart of the current literary debate. We live in a world of docu-drama, the ‘real life’ story. Works of art, novels, films, are frequently bolstered by reference to the autobiography of the creator, or to underlying ‘fact.’ Where does that leave the imagination? And who gets to define the parameters of ‘reality’ and ‘fiction’ anyway? Five writers debate the limits of materialism and realism, in art and literature – and offer a passionate defence of the alchemi...

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  • Louise Glück

    American Originality

    $26.00

    Five decades after her debut poetry collection, Firstborn, Louise Glück is a towering figure in American letters. Written with the same probing, analytic control that has long distinguished her poetry, American Originality is Glück's second book of essays--her first, Proofs and Theories, won the 1993 PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. Glück's moving and disabusing lyricism is on full display in this decisive new collection. From its opening pages, American Originality forces reade...

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  • Brian Aldiss

    And The Lurid Glare Of The Comet

    $21.00

    Science fiction is everywhere. Every day fantasy is made fact by new technologies, advancements in science and by connection and communication. Imaginings of the future allow us to reshape our understanding of all that we experience - and through classic science fiction we are better able to understand the hopes and ambitions of the past. With precision and humour Aldiss uses science fiction as a lens with which to examine some of his favourite authors and their work, the role of art and lite...

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    Vivian Gornick

    Approaching Eye Level

    $21.00

    Vivian Gornick’s writing has always explored the hard truths of existence: the nature of human loneliness, and the struggle to love, work, and connect. In these seven seminal essays Gornick chronicles the New York streets that energise her, and looks back on the dangerously charged atmosphere of the Catskills where she waitressed as a student in the late fifties. She describes her introduction to feminism and the lessons it taught her, reflects on a friendship with an older female writer that...

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  • Christopher Hitchens

    Arguably

    $32.00

    Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was a matchless writer, debater and humanist. Throughout his life he shone the light of reason and truth into the eyes of charlatans and hucksters, exposing falsehood and decrying hypocrisy wherever he found it. With his passing, the world lost a great soul, the written word one of its finest advocates and those who stand for freedom everywhere have lost one of their clearest voices. Arguably collects Hitchens' writing on politics, literature and religion when...

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  • David Damrosch

    Around The World In 80 Books

    $48.00

    We are currently accepting pre-orders for this title. Orders of this title are expected to be fulfilled by mid-November 2021. Click here to find out more about when your pre-order will ship. Inspired by Jules Verne's hero Phileas Fogg, David Damrosch, chair of Harvard's Department of Comparative Literature and founder of Harvard's Institute for World Literature, set out to counter a pandemic's restrictions on travel by exploring eighty exceptional books from around the globe. Following a lite...

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    Alec Nevala-Lee

    Astounding

    $35.00

    Astounding is the landmark account of the extraordinary partnership between four controversial writers--John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, and L. Ron Hubbard--who set off a revolution in science fiction and forever changed our world. This remarkable cultural narrative centers on the figure of John W. Campbell, Jr., whom Asimov called "the most powerful force in science fiction ever." Campbell, who has never been the subject of a biography until now, was both a visionary autho...

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  • Oscar Wilde

    Beautiful And Impossible Things

    $30.00

    This new selection of essays by Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) demonstrate the varied aspects of his genius. The selection shows the surprise and contradiction of Wilde s extraordinary character: wit, romancer, talker, lecturer and scholar. The ideas expressed remain remarkably relevant to modern readers, and his popularity remains undiminished. Hardback: 192 PagesProduct Dimensions: 120 x 190 mmISBN: 9781910749067 Published by Notting Hill Editions

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    Gretchen Mcculloch

    Because Internet

    $17.00

    Language is humanity’s most spectacular open-source project, and the internet is making our language change faster and in more interesting ways than ever before. Internet conversations are structured by the shape of our apps and platforms, from the grammar of status updates to the protocols of comments and @replies. Linguistically inventive online communities spread new slang and jargon with dizzying speed. What’s more, social media is a vast laboratory of unedited, unfiltered words where we ...

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  • Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

    Begin Again

    $36.00

    The struggles of Black Lives Matter and the attempt to achieve a new America have been challenged by the presidency of Donald Trump, a president whose time in the White House represents the latest failure of America to face the lies it tells itself about race. For James Baldwin, a similar attempt to force a confrontation with the truth of America's racism came in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement, and was answered with the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. In ...

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    Mary Norris

    Between You & Me

    $27.00

    Mary Norris has spent more than three decades guarding The New Yorker's grand traditions of grammar and usage. Now she brings her vast experience and sharpened pencil to help the rest of us in a charming language book as full of life as it is of practical advice. Between You & Me features Norris's laugh-out-loud exhortations about exclamation marks and emoticons, comma faults and swear words; her memorable exchanges about usage with writers such as Ian Frazier, Pauline Kael, Philip Roth a...

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  • Sold out
    Anne Lamott

    Bird By Bird

    $22.00

    Bird by Bird is the Bible of writing guides--a wry, honest, down-to-earth book that has never stopped selling since it was first published in the United States in the 1990s. Bestselling novelist and memoirist Anne Lamott distils what she's learned over years of trial and error. Beautifully written, wise and immensely helpful, this is the book for all serious writers and writers-to-be.Paperback: 304 PagesProduct Dimensions: 129 x 198 mmISBN: 9781786898555Published by Canongate

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  • Heather Cass White

    Books Promiscuously Read

    $40.00

    Heather Cass White's Books Promiscuously Read is about the pleasures of reading and its power in shaping our internal lives. It advocates for a life of constant, disorderly, time-consuming reading, and encourages readers to trust in the value of the exhilaration and fascination such reading entails. Rather than arguing for the moral value of reading or the preeminence of literature as an aesthetic form, Books Promiscuously Read illustrates the irreplaceable experience of the self that reading...

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  • John O'Connell

    Bowie's Books

    $23.00

    Three years before he died, David Bowie made a list of the one hundred books that had transformed his life - a list that formed something akin to an autobiography. From Madame Bovary to A Clockwork Orange, the Iliad to the Beano, these were the publications that had fuelled his creativity and shaped who he was. In Bowie's Books, John O'Connell explores this list in the form of one hundred short essays, each offering a perspective on the man, performer and creator that is Bowie, his work as an...

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  • Aldous Huxley

    Brave New World Revisited

    $22.00

    BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISITEDby Aldous Huxleypublished by Vintage * In his 1932 classic dystopian novel, Brave New World, Aldous Huxley depicted a future society in thrall to science and regulated by sophisticated methods of social control. Nearly thirty years later in Brave New World Revisited, Huxley checked the progress of his prophecies against reality and argued that many of his fictional fantasies had grown uncomfortably close to the truth. Brave New World Revisited includes Huxley's views ...

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  • Richard Ovenden

    Burning The Books

    $24.00

    An unforgettable 3,000-year-old journey - from Mesopotamian clay tablets trying to predict the future, to Tudor book-hunters and Nazi bonfires, and on into the dangers of our increasingly digital existence, Burning the Books shows how the preservation of knowledge is vital for the survival of civilization itself. Paperback: 320 PagesProduct Dimensions: 129 x 198 mmISBN: 9781529378771 Published by John Murray Press

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    Zadie Smith

    Changing My Mind

    $24.00

    Split into five sections--Reading, Being, Seeing, Feeling, and Remembering--Changing My Mind finds Zadie Smith casting an acute eye over material both personal and cultural. This engaging collection of essays, some published here for the first time, reveals Smith as a passionate and precise essayist, equally at home in the world of great books and bad movies, family and philosophy, British comedians and Italian divas. Whether writing on Katherine Hepburn, Kafka, Anna Magnani, or Zora Neale Hu...

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  • Lan Yang

    Chinese Fiction Of The Cultural Revolution

    $42.00

    As the first comprehensive study of Chinese fiction of the Cultural Revolution, this pioneering work explores the position of the literature of this turbulent period in the context of contemporary China. The book covers the choice of subject matter, authorship and readership of Cultural Revolution fiction. It analyses the characterization of heroes promoted in the literary and artistic field during this period. By comparing Cultural Revolution fiction with the fiction of the preceding period,...

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  • Richard Jenkyns

    Classical Literature

    $22.00

    What makes Greek and Roman literature great? How has classical literature influenced Western culture? What did Greek and Roman authors learn from each other? Richard Jenkyns is emeritus Professor of the Classical Tradition and the Public Orator at the University of Oxford. His books include Virgil's Experience and The Victorians and Ancient Greece, acclaimed as 'masterly' by History Today. Paperback: 352 PagesProduct Dimensions: 111 x 181 mmISBN: 9780141977355 Published by Pelican Books

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  • Arthur Miller

    Collected Essays

    $64.00

    Arthur Miller was not only one of America's most important twentieth-century playwrights, but he was also one of its most influential literary, cultural, and intellectual voices. Throughout his career, he consistently remained one of the country's leading public intellectuals, advocating tirelessly for social justice, global democracy, and the arts. Theater scholar Susan C. W. Abbotson introduces this volume as a selection of Miller's finest essays, organized in three thematic parts: essays o...

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  • Chuck Palahniuk

    Consider This

    $18.00

    In this spellbinding blend of memoir and insight, bestselling author Chuck Palahniuk shares stories and generous advice on what makes writing powerful and what makes for powerful writing. With advice grounded in years of careful study and a keenly observed life, Palahniuk combines practical advice and concrete examples from beloved classics, his own books, and a "kitchen-table MFA" culled from an evolving circle of beloved authors and artists, with anecdotes, postcards from the road, and much...

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  • Matthew Salesses

    Craft In The Real World

    $29.00

    The traditional writing workshop was established with white male writers in mind; what we call craft is informed by their cultural values. In this bold and original examination of elements of writing—including plot, character, conflict, structure, and believability—and aspects of workshop—including the silenced writer and the imagined reader—Matthew Salesses asks questions to invigorate these familiar concepts. He upends Western notions of how a story must progress. How can we rethink craft, ...

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    Amanda Montell

    Cultish

    $48.00

    What makes "cults" so intriguing and frightening? What makes them powerful? The reason why so many of us binge Manson documentaries by the dozen and fall down rabbit holes researching suburban moms gone QAnon is because we're looking for a satisfying explanation for what causes people to join-and more importantly, stay in-extreme groups. We secretly want to know: could it happen to me? Amanda Montell's argument is that, on some level, it already has... Our culture tends to provide pretty flim...

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  • Christopher Caudwell and David Margolies

    Culture As Politics

    $50.00

    Considered by many to be the most innovative British Marxist writer of the twentieth century, Christopher Caudwell was killed in the Spanish Civil War at the age of 29. Although already a published writer of aeronautic texts and crime fiction, he was practically unknown to the public until reviews appeared of Illusion and Reality, which was published just after his death. A strikingly original study of poetry's role, it explained in clear language how the organising of emotion in society play...

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    Philip Pullman

    Daemon Voices

    $32.00

    From the internationally best-selling author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, a spellbinding journey into the secrets of his art--the narratives that have shaped his vision, his experience of writing, and the keys to mastering the art of storytelling. One of the most highly acclaimed and best-selling authors of our time now gives us a book that charts the history of his own enchantment with story--from his own books to those of Blake, Milton, Dickens, and the Brothers Grimm, among others--a...

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  • Ian Thomson

    Dante's Divine Comedy

    $29.00

    Dante has no equal as he sings of other-worldly horror and celestial beatitude alike. Yet for all our distance from medieval theology, the Florentine poet's allegorical journey through hell, purgatory and paradise remains one of the essential works of world literature. At least fifty English language versions of the Inferno - the first part of Dante's poem - appeared in the twentieth century alone. If Dante's Divine Comedy speaks to our present condition, it is because it tells the story of E...

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  • Patti Smith

    Devotion

    $26.00

    A work of creative brilliance may seem like magic-its source a mystery, its impact unexpectedly stirring. How does an artist accomplish such an achievement, connecting deeply with an audience never met? In this groundbreaking book, one of our culture's beloved artists offers a detailed account of her own creative process, inspirations, and unexpected connections. Patti Smith, a National Book Award-winning author, first presents an original and beautifully crafted tale of obsession-a young ska...

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  • Daniel Kalder

    Dictator Literature

    $25.00

    ‘The writer is the engineer of the human soul,' claimed Stalin. Although one wonders how many found nourishment in Turkmenbashi's Book of the Soul (once required reading for driving tests in Turkmenistan), not to mention Stalin's own poetry. Certainly, to be considered great, a dictator must write, and write lots. Mao had his Little Red Book, Mussolini and Saddam Hussein their romance novels, Kim Jong-il his treatise on the art of film, Hitler his hate-filled tracts. What do they reveal about...

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  • Alex Christofi

    Dostoevsky In Love

    $44.00

    Dostoevsky's life was marked by brilliance and brutality. Sentenced to death as a young revolutionary, he survived mock execution and Siberian exile to live through a time of seismic change in Russia, eventually being accepted into the Tsar's inner circle. He had three great love affairs, each overshadowed by debilitating epilepsy and addiction to gambling. Somehow, amidst all this, he found time to write short stories, journalism and novels such as Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Bro...

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    Volker Weidermann

    Dreamers

    $21.00

    At the end of the First World War in Germany, the journalist and theatre critic Kurt Eisner organised a revolution which overthrew the monarchy, and declared a Free State of Bavaria. In February 1919, he was assassinated, and the revolution failed. But while the dream lived, it was the writers, the poets, the playwrights and the intellectuals who led the way. As well as Eisner, Thomas Mann, Rainer Maria Rilke, and many other prominent figures in German cultural history were involved. In his c...

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    Daniel Mendelsohn

    Ectasy And Terror

    $35.00

    “The role of the critic,” Daniel Mendelsohn writes, “is to mediate intelligently and stylishly between a work and its audience; to educate and edify in an engaging and, preferably, entertaining way.” His latest collection exemplifies the range, depth, and erudition that have made him “required reading for anyone interested in dissecting culture” (The Daily Beast). In Ecstasy and Terror, Mendelsohn once again casts an eye at literature, film, television, and the personal essay, filtering his i...

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