Calendar of Regrets
Lance Olsen University of Alabama Press, 2010 Library of Congress PS3565.L777C36 2010 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Calendar of Regrets is a wildly inventive and visually rich collage of twelve interconnected narratives, one for each month of the year, all pertaining to notions of travel—through time, space, narrative, and death.
The poisoning of the painter Hieronymus Bosch; anchorman Dan Rather’s mysterious mugging on Park Avenue as he strolls home alone one October evening; a series of postcard meditations on the idea of travel from a young American journalist visiting Burma; a husband-and-wife team of fundamentalist Christian suicide bombers; the myth of Iphigenia from Agamemnon’s daughter’s point of view—these and other stories form a mosaic, connected through a pattern of musical motifs, transposed scenes, and recurring characters. It is a narrative about narrativity itself, the human obsession with telling ourselves and our worlds over and over again in an attempt to stabilize a truth that, as Nabokov once said, should only exist within quotation marks.
I enjoyed success too early, married the wrong man, and hung out with the wrong people; too many men have liked me, and I’ve liked too many men.
Frank and refreshing, Brigitte Reimann’s collected diaries provide a candid account of life in socialist Germany. With an upbeat tempo and amusing tone, I Have No Regrets contains detailed accounts of the author’s love affairs, daily life, writing, and reflections. Like the heroines in her stories, Reimann was impetuous and outspoken, addressing issues and sensibilities otherwise repressed in the era of the German Democratic Republic. She followed the state’s call for artists to leave their ivory towers and engage with the people, moving to the new town of Hoyerswerda to work part-time at a nearby industrial plant and run writing classes for the workers. Her diaries and letters provide a fascinating parallel to her fictional writing. By turns shocking, passionate, unflinching, and bitter—but above all life-affirming—they offer an unparalleled insight into what life was like during the first decades of the GDR.
Joachim du Bellay Northwestern University Press, 2004 Library of Congress PQ1668.R4E5 2004 | Dewey Decimal 841.3
A bilingual edition of one of the finest sonnet sequences of the Renaissance
As a member of the mid-sixteenth-century literary group La Pléiade, Joachim du Bellay sought to elevate his native French to the level of the classical languages-a goal pursued with great spirit, elegance, irony, and wit in the poems that comprise The Regrets. Widely viewed as one of the finest sonnet sequences in all of French literature, this Renaissance masterpiece wryly echoes the homesickness and longing of Ovid's poetry written in exile--because du Bellay finds himself lost in Rome, the very home Ovid longed for. In this translation by David R. Slavitt, these brilliant performances retain their original formal playfulness as well as their gracefully rendered but nonetheless moving melancholy. In decadent Rome, among hypocrites, thieves, and snobs, du Bellay uses his poetry as an opportunity for social satire and caustic self-criticism-it becomes a salvation of sorts, an approach peculiarly modern in its blending of the classical, the social, and the personal.