The story is an update of the Greek myth of Orestes to the family of a Northern general in the American Civil War. Agamemnon is now General Ezra Mannon, Clytemnestra is his second wife Christine, Orestes is his son Orin, and Electra is his daughter Lavinia. As an updated Greek tragedy, the play features murder, adultery, incestuous love and revenge, and even a group of townspeople who function as a kind of Greek chorus. Though fate alone guides characters’ actions in Greek tragedies, O’Neill’s characters have motivations grounded in 1930s-era psychological theory as well. The play can easily be read from a Freudian perspective, paying attention to various characters’ Oedipus complexes and Electra complexes.
Mourning Becomes Electra is divided into three plays with themes corresponding to The Oresteia trilogy by Aeschylus. In order, the three plays are titled Homecoming, The Hunted, and The Haunted. However, these plays are normally not produced individually, but only as part of the larger trilogy. Each of these plays contain four to five acts, and so Mourning Becomes Electra is extraordinarily lengthy for a drama. In production, it is often cut down. Also, because of the large cast size, it is not performed as often as some of O’Neill’s other major plays. (Wikipédia)
Alison Lurie - Foreign Affairs
A Pulitzer Prize-winning story which is both a comedy and a poignant love story about two American academics in London. The separate paths of these two lonely and naive innocents abroad lead them to strikingly similar destinations of new-found passion, and unexpected love.
Charles Bukowski - Mockingbird Wish Me Luck
Mockingbird Wish Me Luck captures glimpses of Charles Bukowski's view on life through his poignant poetry: the pain, the hate, the love, and the beauty. He writes of lechery and pain while finding still being able to find its beauty.
Charles Bukowski - Notes of a Dirty Old Man
'One day after the races, I sat down and wrote the heading NOTES OF A DIRTY OLD MAN, opened a beer, and the writing got done by itself ... Just sit by the window, lift the beer and let it come. Anything that wanted to arrive, arrived.' This collection of Bukowski’s columns for an underground LA newspaper epitomises his style of gritty realism. Writing as himself, or his alter-ego Henry Chinaski, Bukowski delves into America’s lowlife to eulogise life’s losers and antiheroes. Packed with violence, women, gambling and booze, Bukowski’s semi-autobiographical stories veer between hilarity and despair, as he extols the inherent beauty and futility of life. Charles Bukowski was one of America’s best-known and most prolific writers. During his lifetime Bukowski published more than forty-five books of poetry and prose including the novels Post Office (1971), Factotum (1975), Women (1978) and Pulp (1994), all available from Virgin Books.
Charles Bukowski - Women
Low life writer and alcoholic Henry Chinaski was born to survive. Now, at the age of fifty, he is living the life of a rock star, running three hundred hangovers a year and a sex life that would cripple Casanova. "Women" is a riotous and uncompromisingly vivid account of life on the edge.
David Foster Wallace - Infinite Jest
A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America Set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are. Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction without sacrificing for a moment its own entertainment value. It is an exuberant, uniquely American exploration of the passions that make us human - and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can do.
Art Spiegelman - Maus: A Survivor's Tale - And Here My Troubles Began
Acclaimed as a "quiet triumph"* and a "brutally moving work of art,"** the first volume of Art Spiegelman's Maus introduced readers to Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father, his father's terrifying story, and History itself. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), succeeds perfectly in shocking us out of any lingering sense of familiarity with the events described, approaching, as it does, the unspeakable through the diminutive. As the New York Times Book Review commented," [it is] a remarkable feat of documentary detail and novelistic vividness...an unfolding literary event." This long-awaited sequel, subtitled And Here My Troubles Began, moves us from the barracks of Auschwitz to the bungalows of the Catskills. Genuinely tragic and comic by turns, it attains a complexity of theme and a precision of thought new to comics and rare in any medium. Maus ties together two powerful stories: Vladek's harrowing tale of survival against all odds, delineating the paradox of daily life in the death camps, and the author's account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. Vladek's troubled remarriage, minor arguments between father and son, and life's everyday disappointments are all set against a backdrop of history too large to pacify. At every level this is the ultimate survivor's tale -- and that too of the children who somehow survive even the survivors. * Washington Post ** Boston Globe *** "Maus is a book that cannot be put down, truly, even to sleep. When two of the mice speak of love, you are moved, when they suffer, you weep. Slowly through this little tale comprised of suffering, humor and life's daily trials, you are captivated by the language of an old Eastern European family, and drawn into the gentle and mesmerizing rhythm, and when you finish Maus, you are unhappy to have left that magical world and long for the sequel that will return you to it." - Umberto Eco Art Spiegelman is co-founder/editor of _Raw_, the acclaimed magazine of avant-garde comics and graphics. His work has been published in the _New York Times_, _Playboy_, the _Village Voice_ and many other periodicals, and his drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries here and abroad. Honors he has received for _Maus_ include a Guggenheim fellowship and nomination for the National Books Critics Circle Award. Mr. Spiegelman lives in New York City with his wife, Françoise Mouly and their daughter, Nadja.
Bill Watterson - Scientific Progress Goes "Boink"
Calvin and Hobbes touched the hearts (and funny bones) of the millions who read the award-winning strip. One look at this Calvin and Hobbes collection and it is immediately evident that Bill Watterson's imagination, wit, and sense of adventure were unmatched. In this collection, Calvin and his tiger-striped sidekick Hobbes are hilarious whether the two are simply lounging around philosophizing about the future of mankind or plotting their latest money-making scheme. Chock-full of the familiar adventures of Spaceman Spiff, findings of Dad's popularity poll, and time travel to the Jurrassic Age, Scientific Progress Goes "Boink" is guaranteed to set scientific inquiry back an ean--and advance the reading pleasure of all Calvin and Hobbes fans.
Bill Watterson - Yukon Ho!
The spirit of childhood leaps to life again with boundless energy and magic in Yukon Ho!, the newest collection of adventures featuring rambunctious six-year-old Calvin and his co-conspirator tiger-chum, Hobbes. Picking up where The Essential Calvin and Hobbes left off, Yukon Ho! is sure to begin an immediate reign at the top of bestseller lists everywhere!
Sylvia Plath - Selected Poems
Sylvia Plath is one of the defining voices in twentieth-century poetry. This classic selection of her work, made by her former husband Ted Hughes, provides the perfect introduction to this most influential of poets. The poems are taken from Sylvia Plath's four collections Ariel, The Colossus, Crossing the Water and Winter Trees, and include many of her most celebrated works, such as 'Daddy', 'Lady Lazarus' and 'Wuthering Heights'.
Tennessee Williams - Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof first heated up Broadway in 1955 with its gothic American story of brothers vying for their dying father's inheritance amid a whirlwind of sexuality, untethered in the person of Maggie the Cat. The play also daringly showcased the burden of sexuality repressed in the agony of her husband, Brick Pollitt. In spite of the public controversy Cat stirred up, it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Drama Critics Circle Award for that year. Williams, as he so often did with his plays, rewrote Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for many years—the present version was originally produced at the American Shakespeare Festival in 1974 with all the changes that made Williams finally declare the text to be definitive, and was most recently produced on Broadway in the 2003-04 season. This definitive edition also includes Williams' essay "Person-to-Person," Williams' notes on the various endings, and a short chronology of the author's life. One of America's greatest living playwrights, as well as a friend and colleague of Williams, Edward Albee has written a concise introduction to the play from a playwright's perspective, examining the candor, sensuality, power, and impact of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof then and now.
Saul Bellow - The Victim
Leventhal is a natural victim; a man uncertain of himself, never free from the nagging suspicion that the other guy may be right. So when he meets a down-at-heel stranger in the park one day and finds himself being accused of ruining the man's life, he half believes it.
F. Scott Fitzgerald - Flappers and Philosophers
Flappers and Philosophers was F. Scott Fitzgerald's initial encore - his first collection of short fiction, published in 1920 to capitalize on the success of This Side of Paradise, the novel that had made him famous at the age of twenty-three. Flappers and Philosophers contains some of Fitzgerald's best early stories: 'The Offshore Pirate' 'Bernice Bobs Her Hair', 'The Ice Palace', and 'Benediction'. In these narratives Fitzgerald presented his prototypical Jazz-Age heroines, beautiful and willful young women who later became trademarks of his fiction.
Tennessee Williams - The Glass Menagerie
Set in St. Louis during the Depression of the 1930s, this work is a personal account of the author's family and its gradual disintegration as it succumbed to external and internal pressures. It provides the author's favoured text along with a selection of notes and commentary.
Raymond Carver - Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?
With this, his first collection of stories, Raymond Carver breathed new life into the American short story. Carver shows us the humor and tragedy that dwell in the hearts of ordinary people; his stories are the classics of our time.
Laura Ingalls Wilder - Little House on the Prairie
Pa Ingalls decides to sell the little log house, and the family sets out for Indian country! They travel from Wisconsin to Kansas, and there, finally, Pa builds their little house on the prairie. Sometimes farm life is difficult, even dangerous, but Laura and her family are kept busy and happy with the promise of their new life on the prairie. Little House on the Prairie is the second book in the Laura Years series. About the Author Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867 in the log cabin described in Little House in the Big Woods. She and her family traveled by covered wagon across the Midwest. Later, Laura and her husband, Almanzo Wilder, made their own covered-wagon trip with their daughter, Rose, to Mansfield, Missouri. There, believing in the importance of knowing where you began in order to appreciate how far you've come, Laura wrote about her childhood growing up on the American frontier. For millions of readers Laura lives on forever as the little pioneer girl in the beloved Little House books.
Allen Ginsberg - Howl and Other Poems
The epigraph for Howl is from Walt Whitman: "Unscrew the locks from the doors!/Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!" Announcing his intentions with this ringing motto, Allen Ginsberg published a volume of poetry which broke so many social taboos that copies were impounded as obscene, and the publisher, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, was arrested. The court case that followed found for Ginsberg and his publisher, and the publicity made both the poet and the book famous. Ginsberg went on from this beginning to become a cultural icon of sixties radicalism. This works seminal place in the culture is indicated in Czeslaw Milosz's poetic tribute to Ginsberg: "Your blasphemous howl still resounds in a neon desert where the human tribe wanders, sentenced to unreality".
T. S. Eliot - The Waste Land / A kopár föld
Éppen száztíz esztendővel ezelőtt, 1888 szeptemberében született a nagy angol költő, T. S. Eliot, és 1997 decemberében volt hetvenöt éve, hogy korszakalkotó költeménye, a _The_ _Waste_ _Land_ megjelent. A magyarban nincsen e költemény kétnyelvű (angol-magyar) kiadása (amilyen például németben van: T. S. Eliot, _Das_ _wüste_ _Land_ - Englisch und deutsch.) Emellett úgy vélem, hogy újrafordításom hűebben adja vissza az eredeti szöveget, mint az eddigi magyarul megjelentek. A költeményben sok angol és más nyelvű idézet van és sok _allusio_ régi és újabb irodalmi művekre. Ezek a magyar olvasóknak nem mindig ismertek, és Eliot a költeményhez írt jegyzeteiben viszonylag ritkán közli az idézetek és az _allusio_-k forrásainak akár csak rövidre fogott tartalmát. Rendszerint csak forráshelyeiket jelöli meg, amelyek ma már csak hosszabb-rövidebb keresés, utánanézés után lelhetők fel. Ezért a fordításomhoz _kibővítettem_ Eliot jegyzeteit a forrásművek rövid ismertetésével eredeti nyelven és magyar fordításban. ___ A fordító
John Grisham - The Chamber
Sam, az öreg fegyenc kilenc éve tengeti nyomorúságos napjait a siralomház egyik cellájában. Szörnyű bűnökért, fajvédőként elkövetett gyilkosságokért ítélték halálra, de ügyvédei ügyessége hosszú esztendőkön át megmentette a kivégzéstől. Most azonban nincs már sok hátra: Mississippi Állam Legfelsőbb Bírósága úgy döntött, hogy négy héten belül Samet rászíjazzák a gázkamra kivégzőszékére. Ekkor lép a színre Adam Hall, a fiatal ügyvéd, aki minden tehetségét, furfangját latba veti, hogy megmentse Samet. Ráadásul rokoni kapcsolatok is fűzik a fegyenchez: az ügyvéd az öreg gyilkos álnéven élő unokája. Egyik fellebbezés követi a másikat, hol felcsillan a remény, hol minden veszni látszik, egyre közeleg a baljós óra...
John Burnham Schwartz - The Commoner
John Burnham Schwartz bases his fourth novel on the Empress Michiko and Crown Princess Masako of Japan. Though Japanese imperial life remains shrouded in mystery, Schwartz teases out the details through extensive research. Much to the astonishment and pleasure of the critics, he gives Haruko an authentic and completely convincing voice. While his vivid depictions of postwar Japan are stunning, it is Haruko’s vibrant inner life that propels the narrative and resounds with readers. Though not as intense as Reservation Road (1998), Schwartz’s unflinching portrayal of the aftermath of a child’s death, and though slightly marred by an implausible ending, The Commoner will captivate readers by providing a haunting look into the 2,000 years of secrets surrounding the Chrysanthemum Throne.