“O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown!”
Probably the most famous play in the English language, Hamlet transcends the revenge tradition and explores the nature of man.
Learning that his father has been killed by Claudius, his uncle, Hamlet’s only honorable course of action is revenge. But Hamlet’S nature tends not towards action but reflection and in his incapacity to act lies the seed of his own destruction.
The text of this edition is edited by G. B. Harrison and contains notes, a glossary and an introduction.
William Nicholson - The Society of Others
He has nowhere to go. So he goes there. An alienated young man can see no meaning in life. He doesn't even see the point of getting out of bed in the morning. To escape from his family he decides to set off on a hitchhiking adventure around Europe and is picked up by a friendly lorry driver with an unusual interest in philosophy. But the journey soon becomes a violent and kafkaesque nightmare...
Kenzaburō Ōe - The Silent Cry
Two brothers, Takashi and Mitsu, return from Tokyo to the village of their childhood. Selling their family home leads them to an inescapable confrontation with their family history. Their attempt to escape the influence of the city ends in failure as they realize that its tentacles extend to everything in the countryside, including their own relationship. In 1994, Kenzaburo Oe was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Singling out The Silent Cry, the Nobel Committee stated that 'his poetic force creates an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament'. Kenzaburo Oe is one of the great writers of the century andThe Silent Cry is his masterpiece.
A. S. Byatt - The Children's Book
A spellbinding novel, at once sweeping and intimate, from the Booker Prize–winning author of Possession, that spans the Victorian era through the World War I years, and centers around a famous children’s book author and the passions, betrayals, and secrets that tear apart the people she loves. When Olive Wellwood’s oldest son discovers a runaway named Philip sketching in the basement of the new Victoria and Albert Museum—a talented working-class boy who could be a character out of one of Olive’s magical tales—she takes him into the storybook world of her family and friends. But the joyful bacchanals Olive hosts at her rambling country house—and the separate, private books she writes for each of her seven children—conceal more treachery and darkness than Philip has ever imagined. As these lives—of adults and children alike—unfold, lies are revealed, hearts are broken, and the damaging truth about the Wellwoods slowly emerges. But their personal struggles, their hidden desires, will soon be eclipsed by far greater forces, as the tides turn across Europe and a golden era comes to an end. Taking us from the cliff-lined shores of England to Paris, Munich, and the trenches of the Somme, The Children’s Book is a deeply affecting story of a singular family, played out against the great, rippling tides of the day. It is a masterly literary achievement by one of our most essential writers.
Daniel Wallace - The Watermelon King
An endearing, often outrageous blend of fable, tall tale, and page-turner, The Watermelon King brings readers to Ashland, Alabama -- the fictional town immortalized in Daniel Wallace's Big Fish -- whose reputation is based on the long-ago abundance of watermelons. Thomas Rider knows almost nothing about his parents, only that his mother died the day he was born in Ashland. He travels there in search of his past, learning of the town's bizarre history. Gradually with the help of an offbeat, utterly unforgettable cast of characters, Thomas finds himself immersed in a series of events that turns everything he knows upside down. Comic, poignant, and wholly original, The Watermelon King is a magical novel steeped in the power of identity, myth, and good old-fashioned southern storytelling. About the Author Daniel Wallace is the author of the novels Big Fish and Ray in Reverse and is also an illustrator. His books have been translated into eight languages. The film version of Big Fish, directed by Tim Burton, will be released later this year.
Choderlos de Laclos - Les Liaisons Dangereuses (angol)
Les Liasons Dangereuses, by Choderlos De Laclos is an erotic tale of deceit, betrayal, and seduction that has existed through time as one of the most controversial novels in European history. The Vicomte de Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil are two wealthy individuals in high society who take great pleasure in showing their power over their lovers, and who choose cruelty and deceit over the passion of true love. Valmont, a suave and charming man, takes aims to seduce the virtuous Madame de Tourvel, the wife of a prominent judge. His goal is not to shake her foundations of religious faith, but to use that faith, and her own virtues, to ensure her complete demise. Merteuil, on the other hand, seeks revenge against the Comte de Gercourt, and devises a plan to corrupt his.....
William Wordsworth - The Prelude
First published in July 1850, shortly after Wordsworth's death, The Prelude was the culmination of over fifty years of creative work. The great Romantic poem of human consciousness, it takes as its theme 'the growth of a poet's mind': leading the reader back to Wordsworth's formative moments of childhood and youth, and detailing his experiences as a radical undergraduate in France at the time of the Revolution. Initially inspired by Coleridge's exhortation that Wordsworth write a work upon the French Revolution, The Prelude has ultimately become one of the finest examples of poetic autobiography ever written; a fascinating examination of the self that also presents a comprehensive view of the poet's own creative vision.
Robertson Davies - Fifth Business
Ramsay is a man born twice, a man who has returned from the hell of the battle-grave at Passchendaele in World War I decorated with the Victoria Cross, and destined to be caught in a no-man's land where memory, history, and myths collide. As Ramsay tells his story, it begins to seem that from boyhood he has exerted a perhaps mystical, perhaps pernicious influence on those around him. His apparently innocent involvement in such innocuous events as the throwing of a snowball or the teaching of card tricks to a small boy proves, in the end, neither innocent or innocuous.
Martin Amis - Time's Arrow
_Time's Arrow_ tells the story, backwards, of the life of Nazi war criminal, Doctor Tod T Friendly. He dies and then feels markedly better, breaks up with his lovers as a prelude to seducing them and mangles his patients before he sends them home... Escaping from the body of the dying doctor who had worked in Nazi concentration camps, the doctor's consciousness begins living the doctor's life backwards, aware only that he is living the life of a horrible man at a horrible place in time.
J. G. Ballard - The Atrocity Exhibition
When “The Atrocity Exhibition” was published in 1970 it went on to become a cult book and is now seen as one of JG Ballard’s key works. It features many of the obsessions that recur in his later books such as “Empire of the Sun”, “High-Rise” and “Super-Cannes”, as well as the seed of his most controversial work, “Crash”. In this revised addition, Ballard has added extensive annotations that help to unlock many of the mysteries of one of the most prophetic, enigmatic and original works of fiction of the late twentieth century.
Winifred Watson - Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Miss Pettigrew is a down-on-her-luck, middle-aged governess sent by her employment agency to work for a nightclub singer rather than a household of unruly children. Over a period of 24 hours her life is changed - forever. This charming, funny, light-hearted 1938 novel was a bestseller on its first appearance and has been reprinted many times since Persephone Books first reissued it, complete with its original illustrations, for a new generation of readers. _Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day_ was read on BBC Radio 4 by Maureen Lipman. The film, starring Frances McDormand, Amy Adams and Ciaran Hinds, will be released in 2008.
Alan Warner - Morvern Callar
Morvern Callar, a low-paid employee in the local supermarket of a desolate and beautiful port town in the west of Scotland, wakes one morning in late December to find that her boyfriend has committed suicide and is lying dead on the kitchen floor. Morvern's reaction is both intriguing and immoral, and what she does next is appalling. Moving across a blurred European landscape - from the rural poverty and drunken mayhem of the Scottish port to the Mediterranean rave scene - we experience everything from Morvern's stark, unflinching perspective. She rarely goes anywhere without the Walkman left behind as a Christmas present by her dead boyfriend, and as she narrates this strange story, she takes care to tell the reader exactly what music she is listening to, creating the stunning effect of a soundtrack running behind her voice throughout the novel. Alan Warner probes the vast internal emptiness of a generation by using the cool, haunting voice of a female narrator lost in the profound anomie of the rave scene. Hers is a chilling, hardcore perspective, entirely different from the cliched whiny angst of Generation X.
J. M. Coetzee - Age of Iron
In Cape Town, South Africa, an old woman is dying of cancer. A classics professor, Mrs. Curren has been opposed to the lies and brutality of apartheid all her life, but has lived insulated from its true horrors. Now she is suddenly forced to come to terms with the iron-hearted rage that the system has wrought. In an extended letter addressed to her daughter, who has long since fled to America, Mrs. Curren recounts the strange events of her dying days. She witnesses the burning of a nearby black township and discovers the bullet-riddled body of her servant's son. A teenage black activist hiding in her house is killed by security forces. And through it all, her only companion, the only person to whom she can confess her mounting anger and despair, is a homeless man, an alcoholic, who one day appears on her doorstep. Brilliantly crafted and resonant with metaphor, Age of Iron is "a superbly realized novel whose truths cut to the bone." (The New York Times Book Review)
Muriel Spark - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Romantic, heroic, comic and tragic, unconventional schoolmistress Jean Brodie has become an iconic figure in post-war fiction. Her glamour, freethinking ideas and manipulative charm hold dangerous sway over her girls at the Marcia Blaine Academy - the 'crème de la crème' - who become the Brodie Set, introduced to a privileged world of adult games that they will never forget.
Paul Auster - Moon Palace
Spanning three generations, Moon Palace is the story of Marco Stanley Fogg and his quest for identity in the modern world. Moving from the concrete canyons of Manhattan to the cruelly beautiful landscape of the American West, it is a meditation on and re-examination of America, art and the self, by one of America's foremost authors.
Ismeretlen szerző - The Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India. It is of immense importance to the culture of the Indian subcontinent, and is a major text of Hinduism. Its discussion of human goals _artha_ or 'purpose', _kama_ or 'pleasure', _dharma_ or 'duty', and _moksha_ or 'liberation' takes place in a long-standing tradition, attempting to explain the relationship of the individual to society and the world, the nature of the 'Self', and the workings of karma.
J. M. Coetzee - Foe (angol)
With the same electrical intensity of language and insight that he brought to Waiting for the Barbarians and The Master of Petersburg, J.M. Coetzee reinvents the story of Robinson Crusoe - and in so doing, directs our attention to the seduction and tyranny of storytelling itself. In 1720 the eminent man of letters Daniel Foe is approached by Susan Barton, lately a castaway on a desert island. She wants him to tell her story, and that of the enigmatic man who has become her rescuer, companion, master and sometime lover: Cruso. Cruso is dead, and his manservant, Friday, is incapable of speech. As she tries to relate the truth about him, the ambitious Barton cannot help turning Cruso into her invention. For as narrated by Foe - as by Coetzee himself - the stories we thought we know acquire depths that are at once treacherous, elegant, and unexpectedly moving.
Samuel Butler - The Way of All Flesh
The Way of All Flesh is one of the time-bombs of literature," said V. S. Pritchett. "One thinks of it lying in Samuel Butler's desk for thirty years, waiting to blow up the Victorian family and with it the whole great pillared and balustraded edifice of the Victorian novel." Written between 1873 and 1884 but not published until 1903, a year after Butler's death, his marvelously uninhibited satire savages Victorian bourgeois values as personified by multiple generations of the Pontifex family. A thinly veiled account of his own upbringing in the bosom of a God-fearing Christian family, Butler's scathingly funny depiction of the self-righteous hypocrisy underlying nineteenth-century domestic life was hailed by George Bernard Shaw as "one of the summits of human achievement." "If the house caught on fire, the Victorian novel I would rescue from the flames would be The Way of All Flesh," wrote William Maxwell in The New Yorker. "It is read, I believe, mostly by the young, bent on making out a case against their elders, but Butler was fifty when he stopped working on it, and no reader much under that age is likely to appreciate the full beauty of its horrors. . . . Every contemporary novelist with a developed sense of irony is probably in some measure, directly or indirectly, indebted to Butler, who had the misfortune to be a twentieth-century man born in the year 1835."
J. M. Coetzee - Waiting for the Barbarians
A novel in which, for decades, the Magistrate has run the affairs of a tiny frontier settlement, ignoring the impending war between the barbarians and the Empire, but a quixotic act of rebellion lands him in jail, branded an enemy of the state. From the author of DUSKLANDS.
Jack London - The Call of the Wild
In this quintessential adventure story, Jack London takes readers on an arduous journey through the forbidding Alaskan landscape during the gold rush of the 1890s. Buck, a rangy mixed breed used to a comfortable, sun-filled life as a family dog, is stolen by a greedy opportunist and sold to dog traffickers. In no time, Buck finds himself on a team of sled dogs run ragged in the harsh winter of the Klondike. In a climate where every day is a savage struggle for survival, the last traces of Buck's soft, pampered existence are erased as his dormant primordial urges — deeply embedded for generations — are brutally awakened. The superb detail, taken from London's firsthand knowledge of Alaskan frontier life, makes this classic tale as gripping today as it was almost a hundred years ago. No other novel has so clearly shown the fragile separation between tame and wild, between man and beast. Now, paired with master illustrator Wendell Minor's exquisite paintings, this timeless story is available in a handsome new addition to the Scribner Illustrated Classics collection.
Patricia Duncker - Hallucinating Foucault
The love between a writer and a reader is never celebrated. It cannot be proven to exist. Hallucinating Foucault is a love story, a mystery and a quest. It is a gripping tale of a mad writer, the glamorous, scandalous Paul Michel, enfant terrible of French letters and the reader who sets out to find him. The search begins in the archives of university libraries, enters the forbidden spaces of a French asylum, moves onwards into the storms of late summer in Provence and ever deeper into the labyrinth of memory. Passionate and controversial, hallucinating Foucault crosses the frontiers of gender and sexuality, explores the limits of madness and desire and affirms the boundless loyalty of a reader's love - it is a remarkable book that goes to the very heart of the creative act.