logo for Amherst College Press
Manfred Macmillan
Book One of the Three Magicians Trilogy
By Jirí Karásek ze Lvovic, translated from the Czech and annotated by Carleton Bulkin with an introduction co-authored by Brian James Baer
Amherst College Press, 2024
Decadence meets gothic in Manfred Macmillan (1907), a carefully constructed tale of doppelgangers, magical intrigue, and the rootless scion of a noble house. This annotated, first-ever English translation presents an early queer novel long unavailable except in the original Czech. Author Jiří Karásek ze Lvovic (1871–1951) was a major cultural figure in his native Bohemia and cultivated ties with fellow artists from across Central Europe. In their extensive scholarly introduction, translator Carleton Bulkin and translation scholar Brian James Baer situate the novel within longer histories of gay literature, fascinations with the occult, and the cultural and linguistic politics of so-called peripheral European nations. They persuasively frame Karásek as a queer author and cultural disruptor in the fin de siècle Habsburg space.

Karasék rejected Czech translations of ancient Greek writers that bowdlerized gay themes, and he personally and vigorously defended Oscar Wilde in print, both on the grounds of artistic freedom and of private morality. He also published a cycle of homoerotic poems under the title Sodom, confiscated by the Austrian authorities but republished in 1905 and repeatedly afterward. A colonized subject, a literary decadent, and a sexual outlaw, Karasék’s complex responses to his own marginalization can be traced through his fantastically strange novel trilogy Three Magicians. As the first volume in that series, Manfred Macmillan is a gorgeous, compelling, and important addition to expanding canons of LGBTQI+ literature.

front cover of No Good without Reward
No Good without Reward
Selected Writings: A Bilingual Edition
Liubov Krichevskaya
Iter Press, 2011
A female contemporary of Alexander Pushkin, Liubov Krichevskaya makes her Anglophone debut in an excellent translation of her fiction, drama, and poetry, which deftly capture women’s estate in the early nineteenth century. Krichevskaya intriguingly combines Sentimentalist preoccupations—sensibility, virtue, and men’s moral reformation through confrontation with exemplary women’s passive piety—with the uncontrollable passions and volatile hero popularized by the Byronic strain of Romanticism. Her gynocentric texts poignantly convey the stringent limitations imposed upon women’s agency by a society that paradoxically credited them with the seemingly limitless capacity to exert a civilizing influence as icons of probity. Readers acquainted with Rousseau, Richardson, and Goethe will discover familiar feminized turf, but cultivated in a Russian vein.
—Helena Goscilo
Chair and Professor of Slavic, The Ohio State University

Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter