Internationally acclaimed as one of the most innovative writers today, Eliot Weinberger has taken the essay into unexplored territories on the borders of poetry and narrative where the only rule, according to the author, is that all the information must be verifiable. With An Elemental Thing, Weinberger turns from his celebrated political chronicles to the timelessness of the subjects of his literary essays. With the wisdom of a literary archaeologist-astronomer-anthropologist-zookeeper, he leads us through histories, fables, and meditations about the ten thousand things in the universe: the wind and the rhinoceros, Catholic saints and people named Chang, the Mandaeans on the Iran-Iraq border and the Kaluli in the mountains of New Guinea. Among the thirty-five essays included are a poetic biography of the prophet Muhammad, which was praised by the London Times for its "great beauty and grace," and "The Stars," a reverie on what's up there that has already been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, and Maori.
In the 1920s, the young J. R. Ackerley spent several months in India as the personal secretary to the maharajah of a small Indian principality. In his journals, Ackerley recorded the Maharajah's fantastically eccentric habits and riddling conversations, and the odd shambling day-to-day life of his court. Hindoo Holiday is an intimate and very funny account of an exceedingly strange place, and one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century travel literature.
"Starts off as a manifesto but becomes richer and more suggestive as it develops."--The New York Sun With exacting rigor and wit, Howe pulls Dickinson free of all the sterile and stuffy belle-of-Amherst cotton wool and shows the poet in touch with elemental forces of nature, and as a prophet in all her radical zealotry and poetic glory. Her Emily Dickinson is a unique American genius, a demon lover of poetry--no neurasthenic spider artist. Howe draws into her discussion Browning, Wuthering Heights, the Civil War, "Master," the great Puritan preachers, captivity narratives, Shakespeare, and phantom lovers. As she chases away narrow and reductive feminist readings of the poet, Howe finds instead a radically powerful and true feminism at work in Dickinson, focusing the whole on that heart-stopping poem "My Life had stood--a Loaded Gun." A remarkable and passionate poet-on-poet engagement, My Emily Dickinson frees a great poet from the fetters of being read as a special female neurotic, and sets her against a fiery open sky where "Perception of an object means loosing and losing it...only Mutability certain." My Emily Dickinson won The Before Columbus Foundation Book Award.
Presented at the PEN World Voices Festival as a "post-national" writer, Eliot Weinberger is "a sparkling essayist" (Confrontation), and his writings "a boundary-crossing, shape-shifting cabinet of curiosities" (The Bloomsbury Review). Many of the twenty-eight essays in Oranges & Peanuts for Sale have appeared in translation in seventeen countries; some have never been published in English before. They include introductions for books of avant-garde poets; collaborations with visual artists, and articles for publications such as The New York Review of Books, The London Review of Books, and October. One section focuses on writers and literary works: strange tales from classical and modern China; the Psalms in translation: a skeptical look at E. B. White's New York. Another section is a continuation of Weinberger's celebrated political articles collected in What Happened Here: Bush Chronicles (a finalist for the National Books Critics Circle Award), including a sequel to "What I Heard About Iraq," which the Guardian called the only antiwar "classic" of the Iraq War. A new installment of his magnificent linked "serial essay," An Elemental Thing, takes us on a journey down the Yangtze River during the Sung Dynasty. The reader will also find the unlikely convergences between Samuel Beckett and Octavio Paz, photography and anthropology, and, of course, oranges and peanuts, as well as an encomium for Obama, a manifesto on translation, a brief appearance by Shiva, and reflections on the color blue, death, exoticism, Susan Sontag, and the arts and war.
"Nothing stands still in this poetry: the wind blows the trees, the lake water ripples and the ever-present road runs in and out of the hills."--American Poetry Review Moss covered paths between scarlet peonies, Pale jade mountains fill your rustic windows. I envy you, drunk with flowers, Butterflies swirling in your dreams. --Ch'ien Ch'i This exquisite gift book offers a wide sampling of Chinese verse, from the first century to our own time, beginning with the lyric poetry of Tu Fu, moving to the folk songs of the Six Dynasties Period, on to the Sung Dynasty, and to the present. Also represented are some of the best-known women of Chinese poetry, including Li Ching-chao and Chu Shu-chen. These simple, accessible but profound poems come through to us with a breathtaking immediacy in Kenneth Rexroth's English versions--a wonderful gift for any lover of poetry.
"Rexroth's readings from the Japanese master poets are breathtaking in their simplicity and clarity."--The New York Times I go out of the darkness Onto a road of darkness Lit only by the far off Moon on the edge of the mountains. --Izumi Shikobu Over the years, thousands of readers have discovered the beauty of classic Japanese poetry through the superb English versions by the great American poet Kenneth Rexroth. Mostly haiku, these poems range from the classical and medieval to modern poetry, with an emphasis on folk songs and love lyrics. Because women played such an outstanding role in Japanese literature, included here are selections from their work, including the contemporary, deeply sensuous Marichiko. This elegant, beautifully designed gift book of poems spanning many centuries presents the original texts in romanji, the transliteration into the Western alphabet.
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