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Beautifully translated from the Dutch by David Colmer, the IMPAC Award-winning translator of Gerbrand Bakker's The Twin, Hugo Claus's poems are remarkable for their dexterity, intensity of feeling, and acute intelligence. From the richly associative and referential "Oostakker Poems" to the emotional and erotic outpouring of the "mad dog stanzas" in "Morning, You," from his interpretations of Shakespeare's sonnets to a modern adaptation of a Sanskrit masterpiece, this volume reveals the breadth and depth of Claus's stunning output. Perhaps Belgium's leading figure of postwar Dutch literature, Claus has long been associated with the avant-garde: these poems challenge conventional bourgeois mores, religious bigotry, and authoritarianism with visceral passion.From the Trade Paperback edition.roportions. But in discussing Wonder, it would be churlish not to admit to an explorer's exhilaration at discovery." --The National"While fully aware that such an honorable title can only be used in great exceptions in Flemish literature, I would call Wonder a masterpiece." --Paul de Wispelaere, Vlaamse Gids (Belgium)
Set in the cities and islands of the Mediterranean, and linked thematically, the eight stories in The Foxes Come at Night read more like a novel, a meditation on memory, life and death. Their protagonists collect and reconstruct fragments of lives lived intensely, and now lost, crystallized in memory or in the detail of a photograph. And yet the tone of these stories is far from pessimistic: it seems that death is nothing to be afraid of.
It is said that during his abortive campaign to invade Britannia, the infamous Roman emperor Caligula ordered his legions into the surf to attack Poseidon and claim seashells as trophies of war. Cees Nooteboom is considerably more thoughtful in his relationship with the god of the sea. As autumn falls each year, Nooteboom writes Poseidon a letter requesting permission to return to his home in Minorca the following spring.Of course, it would be the height of discourtesy if Nooteboom's letters were no more than a series of demands. So Cees takes the opportunity to seek the wisdom of the trident-wielding deity, and to offer the god updates about his own life and thoughts.At once playful and poignant, beautiful and at times slightly bizarre, this masterful exploration of humankind's relationship with the sea uses the minutiae of everyday life to illuminate the broadest questions of human existence, all couched in the lapidary prose of one of Europe's outstanding stylists.
Roads to Berlin maps the changing landscape of post-World-War-II Germany, from the period before the fall of the Berlin Wall to the present. Written and updated over the course of several decades, an eyewitness account of the pivotal events of 1989 gives way to a perceptive appreciation of its difficult passage to reunification.Nooteboom's writings on politics, people, architecture, and culture are as digressive as they are eloquent; his innate curiosity takes him through the landscapes of Heine and Goethe, steeped in Romanticism and mythology, and to Germany's baroque cities. With an outsider's objectivity he has crafted an intimate portrait of the country to its present day.From the Hardcover edition.
The winner of numerous literary awards including the Anne Frank Prize and Goethe Prize, Cees Nooteboom, novelist, poet and journalist, "is a careful prose stylist of a notably philosophical bent." (J.M. Coetzee, The New York Review of Books) In Roads to Berlin, Nooteboom's reportage, "from a 1963 Khrushchev rally in East Berlin to the tearing down of the Palast der Republik, brilliantly captures the intensity of the capital and its â??associated layers of memory,'" The Economist said. The book maps the changing landscape of post-World-War-II Germany, from the period before the fall of the Berlin Wall to the present. Written and updated over the course of several decades, an eyewitness account of the pivotal events of 1989 gives way to a perceptive appreciation of its difficult passage to reunification. Nooteboom's writings on politics, people, architecture, and culture are as digressive as they are eloquent; his innate curiosity takes him through the landscapes of Heine and Goethe, steeped in Romanticism and mythology, and to Germany's baroque cities. With an outsider's objectivity he has crafted an intimate portrait of the country to its present day.From the Hardcover edition.
"Valeria Luiselli is a writer of formidable talent, destined to be an important voice in Latin American letters. Her vision and language are precise, and the power of her intellect is in evidence on every page."--Daniel Alarcón"I'm completely captivated by the beauty of the paragraphs, the elegance of the prose, the joy in the written word, and the literary sense of this author."--Enrique Vilas-MatasValeria Luiselli is an evening cyclist; a literary tourist in Venice, searching for Joseph Brodsky's tomb; an excavator of her own artifacts, unpacking from a move. In essays that are as companionable as they are ambitious, she uses the city to exercise a roving, meandering intelligence, seeking out the questions embedded in our human landscapes.Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City in 1983 and grew up in South Africa. Her novel and essays have been translated into many languages and her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Granta, and McSweeney's. Some of her recent projects include a ballet performed by the New York City Ballet in Lincoln Center; a pedestrian sound installation for the Serpentine Gallery in London; and a novella in installments for workers in a juice factory in Mexico. She lives in New York City.
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