My Library

Posted in Uncategorized on April 26, 2010 by kevin

Abe – The Woman in the Dunes
Apuleuis – The Golden Ass
Atwood, Margaret – The Blind Assassin
Auster, Paul – Mr. Vertigo
Auster, Paul – The New York Trilogy
Balzac – Pere Goriot
Barnes, Julian – Flauberts Parrot
Baudelaire – The Flowers of Evil
Beckett, Samuel – Waiting for Godot
Beckett, Samuel – Molloy Trilogy
Bely, Andre – Petersburg
Bolano, Roberto – 2666
Bolano, Roberto – The Savage Detectives
Borges – Dreamtigers
Bronte, Emile – Wuthering Heights
Bulgakov, Mikhail – The Master and Marguerita
Burroughs, Williams S. – Naked Lunch
Calvino, Italo – Cosmicomics
Calvino, Italo – If On a Winters Night a Traveler
Camus, Albert – Exile and Kingdom
Camus, Albert – The Fall
Camus, Albert – The Plague
Camus, Albert – The Stranger
Carrol, Lewis – Alice in Wonderland
Celine – Journey to the End of the Night
Cervantes – Don Quixote
Chekov, Anton – The Short Novels
Chekov, Anton – The Short Stories
Chekov, Anton – Three Plays
Conrad, Joseph – Heart of Darkness
Conrad, Joseph – Lord Jim
Conrad, Joseph – Nostromo
Conrad, Joseph – The Secret Agent
Conrad, Joseph – Under Western Eyes
Conrad, Joseph – Victory
Delillo, Don – Underworld
Delillo, Don – White Noise
Descartes – Discourse on Method
Didierot – Jaque the Fatalist
Dostoevsky – The Brothers Karamazov
Dostoevsky – Crime and Punishment
Dostoevsky – The Idiot
Dostoevsky – Notes From Underground
Dostoevsky – The Possessed
Dunn, Katherine – Geek Love
Duras, Marguerite – The Lover
Duras, Marguerite – The Ravishing of Lol Stein
Eliot, T.S. – The Wasteland
Emerson, Ralph Waldo – Nature and Selected Essays
Erofeev, Venedict – Moscow to the End of the Line
Faulkner, William – As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, WIlliam – The Sound and the Fury
Flaubert, Gustave – Bouvard and Pecouchet
Flaubert, Gustave – Madame Bovary
Flaubert, Gustave – Sentimental Education
Flaubert, Gustave – The Temptation of St. Anthony
Ford Madox Ford – The Good Solider
Forster, E.M. – A Room With a View
Fowles, John – The Collector
Gardner, Leonard – Fat City
Gide, Andre – The Counterfeiters
Gide, Ander – The Immoralist
Gide, Andre – Straight is the Gate
Goethe – The Sorrows of Young Werther
Golding – Lord of the Flies
Gogol, Nikolai – Dead Souls
Gogol, Nikolai – The Collected Tales
Gonchorav – Oblomov
Hamsun, Gnat – Hunger
Hemingway, Ernest – Men Without Women
Hemingway, Ernest – The Old Man and the Sea
Hemingway, Ernest – The Sun Also Rises
Hesse, Herman – Demian
Hoffman, E.T.A. – The Best Tales of Hoffman
Homer – The Iliad
Huxley, Aldous – Brave New World
Ianesco, Euguene – Rhinoceros and Other Plays
James, Henry – Major Stories and Essays
James, Henry – The Golden Bowl
James, Henry – The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry – The WIngs of the Dove
Johnson, Denis – Already Dead
Johnson, Denis – Jesus’ Son
Johnson, Denis – Nobody Move
Johnson, Denis – Tree of Smoke
Joyce, James – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Joyce, James – Dubliners
Joyce, James – Ulysses
Kafka, Franz – The Castle
Kafka, Franz – The Trial
Kingston – The Woman Warrior
Koestler, Arthur – Darkness at Noon
Kundera, Milan – The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Kundera, Milan – The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
Kushner, Tony – Angels in America
Lawrence, D.H. – Selected Short Stories
Lawrence, D.H. – Sons and Lovers
Lermontov, Mikhail – A Hero of Our Time
Lethem, Jonathan – The Fortress of Solitude
Lispector, Clarice – The Hour of the Star
Lowry, Malcom – Under the Volcano
Mann, Thomas – Death in Venice
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia – One Hundred Years of Solitude
McCullers, Carson – The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Melville, Herman – Melville’s Short Novels
Melville, Herman – Moby Dick
Miller, Arthur – Death of a Salesman
Miller, Henry – Tropic of Cancer
Milton – Paradise Lost
Morrison, Tony – Jazz
Murakami, Haruki – Norwegian Wood
Murakami, Haruki – Sputnik Sweetheart
Murakami, Haruki – The Elephant Vanishes
Nabokov – Lolita
Nabokov – Pale Fire
Nabokov – The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
O’ Brien, Tim – The Things They Carried
O’Connor, Flannery – A Good Man is Hard to Find
Olesha, Yuri – Envy
O’Hara, Frank – Lunch Poems
O’Neill, Joseph – Netherlands
Orwell, George – 1984
Ovid – Metamorphoses
Petterson, Per – Out Stealing Horses
Plato – The Republic
Percy, Walker – The Moviegoer
Plath, Sylvia – The Bell Jar
Platonov, Andrey – The Foundation Pit
Pushkin – The Collected Stories
Pushkin – Eugene Onegin
Pynchon, Thomas – Gravities Rainbow
Pynchon, Thomas – Inherent Vice
Rankin, Ian – Knots and Crosses
Rilke, Reiner Maria – Letters to a Young Poet
Roth, Philip – American Pastoral
Roth, Philip – Goodbye, Columbus
Roth, Philip – Exit Ghost
Roth, Philip – The Human Stain
Roth, Philip – I Married a Communist
Roth, Philip – The Human Stain
Roth, Philip – Portnoy’s Complaint
Rousseau – The Essential Rousseau
Rowlandson, Mary – The Sovereignty and Goodness of God
Salinger, J.D. – The Catcher in the Rye
Salinger, J.D. – Franny and Zooey
Salinger, J.D. – Raise High theĀ  Beam Carpenters
Shaw, Bernard – Heartbreak House
Shelley, Mary – Frankenstein
Stevens, Wallace – The Collected Poems
Stoppard, Tom – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Thompson, Hunter S. – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Tolstoy, Leo – Anna Karenina
Tolstoy, Leo – The Life and Death of Ivan Illyich
Tolstoy, Leo – War and Peace
Turgenev – Fathers and Sons
Turgenev – First Love
Turgenev – Rudin
Turgenev – Spring Torrents
Twain, Mark – Huckleberrry Finn
Voinivich, Vladimir – The Fur Hat
Voinivich, Vladimir – The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin
Vonnegut, Kurt – Cat’s Cradle
Vonnegut, Kurt – Slaughterhouse Five
Voltaire – Candide
Wharton, Edith – The Age of Innocence
Wharton, Edith – The House of Mirth
Wharton, Edith – Ethan Fromme
Whitehead, Colson – The Intuitionist
Wilder, Thornton – Our Town
Woolf, Virginia – Mrs. Dalloway
Woolf, Virginia – To the Lighthouse
Woolf, Virginia – The Waves
Yeats, W.B. – The Collected Poems
Zamyatin, Yevgeny – We
Zoschenko, Mikhail – Scenes From the Bathhouse


Tropic of Cancer (Miller, 1934)

Posted in 20th century, american, Henry Miller with tags , on September 26, 2009 by kevin

The experience one gets when reading Miller’s far from lapidary prose is akin to the vivifying abandon of driving at top speed on an unpaved road with no destination. If this seems at odds with the callous disregard Miller has for the filth that is, in his view, the world, it absolutely is. The genius of Miller is that of life itself; willingly acquiescing to the veritable shit that have become our environs and living symbiotically with them as if it were god-sent. “I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.”

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Principles that make for a good story

Posted in 19th century, Anton Chekhov, russian with tags , , on September 2, 2009 by kevin

1. Absence of lengthy verbiage of a political-social-economic nature

2. Total Objectivity

3. Truthful descriptions of persons and objects

4. Extreme brevity

5. Audacity and originality: flee the stereotype

6. Compassion

Dutifully transcribed by yours truly from the Pevear/Volokhonsky…

The Huntsman (Chekhov, 1885)

A sultry and stifling day. Not a cloud in the sky…The sun-scorched grass looks bleak, hopeless: there may be rain, but it will never be green again…The forest stands silent, motionless, as if its treetops were looking off somewhere or waiting for something.

A tall, narrow-shouldered man of about forty, in a red shirt, patched gentleman’s trousers, and big books, lazily saunters along the edge of the clearing. He saunters down the road. To his right are green trees, to his left, all the way to the horizon, stretches a golden sea of ripe rye…His face is red and sweaty. A white cap with a straight jockey’s visor, apparently the gift of some generous squire, sits dashingly on his handsome blond head. Over his shoulder hangs a game back with crumpled black grouse in it. The man is carrying a cocked double-barreled shotgun and squinting his eyes at his old, skinny dog, who runs ahead, sniffing about in the bushes. It is quiet, not a sound anywhere…Everything alive is hiding from the heat.

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The Best Tales of Hoffman (Hoffman, 1810’s)

Posted in 19th century, E.T.A. Hoffmann, German with tags , , , on August 16, 2009 by kevin

The Best Tales of Hoffmann is a mixed lot in terms of both content and quality. Hoffman is at his best, I feel, when his prose is almost seamlessly in cohort with the fantastic. He comes closest to this in “The Golden Flower Pot”, “Nutcracker and the King of Mice” and, at his darkest, in the truly strange “The Sand Man.” His stories fall their flattest when he is unable to reconcile his concept of the fantastic with that of reality. Rath Krespel, Automata and The Mines of Falun are prime examples of this.

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Moscow to the End of the Line (Erofeev, 1969)

Posted in 20th century, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Gnut Hamson, russian, Soviet Lit, Venedikit Erofeev with tags , , , on August 1, 2009 by kevin

Moscow to the End of the Line is a harrowing look at the link between addiction and madness with a sense of desperation akin to that of Hamson’s Hunger or, indeed, Dostoevsky’s Notes From Under the Carpet (as my Russian speaking professor use to insist was the actual title). The physical and mental slavery of addiction, in this case to spirits, is presented to the reader in ways that are both humorous (with a heavy dosage of the pitch-black) and horrifying.

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The Life and Extraordinary Adventure of Private Ivan Chonkin (Voinovich, 1969)

Posted in 20th century, russian, Soviet Lit, Vladimir Voinovich with tags , , on July 30, 2009 by kevin

There is, for me, something about Russian literature that is culturally insular in all the right ways. One almost always feels that their authors are deeply in touch with not only their country, but its artistic heritage as well. This, naturally, often comes at the expense of Russia itself. Such is the case with The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin, a soviet era novel brazen enough to mock all the cornerstones of political hierarchy.

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The Fur Hat (Voinovich, 1989)

Posted in 20th century, russian, Soviet Lit, Vladimir Voinovich with tags , , on July 18, 2009 by kevin

Vladimir Voinovich’s The Fur Hat is a charmingly hilarious satire that spares none of its characters, save perhaps the narrator, the indignation they all deserve. Voinovich, banished from Russian in 1980 for “defaming the motherland,” writes prose that is crisp, modern and frequently laugh out loud (or chuckle quietly) funny. The premise of the book is an absurd one. One of Russia’s authors, Yefim Rakhlin, a terrible writer and a Jew who only writes about “decent men,” is given a hat made of tomcat by The Writers Union. The trouble is, Yefim and his inflated ego feel that he at least deserves a hat made of rabbit (as some other writers were given). His quest for the hat drives him to madness and culminates in and act of comical violence Mike Tyson would be proud of.

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