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The people of Coven Tree are no strangers to magic. In fact, the town's very name comes from a gnarled old tree where covens of witches used to gather. Even now, imps and fiends continue to appear, frightening the townsfolk with their devilish pranks.
Usually these creatures are easy to spot. They have a particular smell, or sound, or way of moving, that betrays their dark nature.
But Thaddeus Blinn showed none of these signs when he came to Coven Tree. He was just a funny little man who drifted into town with a strange tale about being able to give people whatever they wished—for only fifty cents.
There was nothing scary about him. At least, not until the wishing began...
Throughout his working life in Paris Daudet never lost his almost umbilical attachment to Provence. These tales of that region are characterised by a tenderness and delicacy, a wistfulness and wry humour, which give moving substance to his claim that to invent, for him, was to remember.
Père Goriot — one of the outstanding novels in The Human Comedy, Balzac's panoramic study of Parisian life — features richly detailed settings, a skillfully related plot, and a vibrant cast of characters. Young Rastignac's acquaintance with the elderly widower Goriot, a formerly wealthy merchant impoverished by the demands of his fashionable daughters, lies at the heart of this story of love and greed. Acclaimed by critic Leslie Stephen as "the modern King Lear," Père Goriot offers a timeless view of the tragedies behind the prosaic details of everyday life.
Patrick Modiano opens Dora Bruder by telling how in 1988 he stumbled across an ad in the personal columns of the New Year's Eve 1941 edition of Paris Soir. Placed by the parents of a 15-year-old Jewish girl, Dora Bruder, who had run away from her Catholic boarding school, the ad sets Modiano off on a quest to find out everything he can about Dora and why, at the height of German reprisals, she ran away on a bitterly cold day from the people hiding her. He finds only one other official mention of her name on a list of Jews deported from Paris to Auschwitz in September 1942.
With no knowledge of Dora Bruder aside from these two records, Modiano continues to dig for fragments from Dora's past. What little he discovers in official records and through remaining family members, becomes a meditation on the immense losses of the peroid—lost people, lost stories, and lost history. Modiano delivers a moving account of the ten-year investigation that took him back to the sights and sounds of Paris under the Nazi Occupation and the paranoia of the Pétain regime as he tries to find connections to Dora. In his efforts to exhume her from the past, Modiano realizes that he must come to terms with the specters of his own troubled adolescence. The result, a montage of creative and historical material, is Modiano's personal rumination on loss, both memoir and memorial.
Many people (among them Henry James) have considered Honoré de Balzac to be the greatest of all novelists. Eugénie Grandet, his spare, classical story of a girl whose life is blighted by her father’s hysterical greed, goes a long way to justifying that opinion. One of the most magnificent of his tales of early nineteenth-century French provincial life, this novel is the work of a writer on whom nothing was lost, and who represents most fully the ability of the human animal to understand and illuminate its own condition.
In a gloomy house in provincial Saumur, the miser Grandet lives with his wife and daughter, Eugénie, whose lives are stifled and overshadowed by his obsession with gold. Guarding his piles of glittering treasures and his only child equally closely, he will let no one near them. But when the arrival of her handsome cousin, Charles, awakens Eugénie’s own desires, her passion brings her into a violent collision with her father that results in tragedy for all.
The Charterhouse of Parma chronicles the exploits of Fabrizio del Dongo, an ardent young aristocrat who joins Napoleon's army just before the Battle of Waterloo. Yet perhaps the novel's most unforgettable characters are the hero's beautiful aunt, the alluring Duchess of Sanseverina, and her lover, Count Mosca, who plot to further Fabrizio's political career at the treacherous court of Parma in a sweeping story that illuminates an entire epoch of European history.
"Stendhal has written The Prince up to date, the novel that Machiavelli would write if he were living banished from Italy in the nineteenth century," noted Balzac in his famous review of The Charterhouse of Parma. "Never before have the hearts of princes, ministers, courtiers, and women been depicted like this. . . . One sees perfection in every detail. . . . [It] has the magnitude of a canvas fifty feet by thirty, and at the same time the manner, the execution, is Dutch in its minuteness. . . . The Charterhouse of Parma often contains a whole book in a single page. . . . It is a masterpiece."
This edition includes original illustrations by Robert Andrew Parker and Notes and a Translator's Afterword by Richard Howard.
In a battle against the Turks, Viscount Medardo of Terralba is bisected lengthwise by a cannonball. One half of him returns to his feudal estate and takes up a lavishly evil life. Soon the other, virtuous half appears. When the two halves become rivals for the love of the same woman, there’s no telling the lengths each will go to win.
Now available in an independent volume for the first time, this deliciously bizarre novella is Calvino at his most devious and winning.
Gide's protagonist is the frail, scholarly Michel, who shortly after his wedding nearly dies of tuberculosis. He recovers only through the ministrations of his wife, Marceline, and his sudden, ruthless determination to live a life unencumbered by God or values. What ensues is a wild flight into the realm of the senses that culminates in a reomote outpost in the Sahara--where Michel's hunger for new experiences at any cost bears lethal consequences. The Immoralist is a book with the power of an erotic fever dream--lush, prophetic, and eerily seductive.
This rich selection of four short stories by the great 19th-century Russian author of Dead Souls includes "The Nose," a savage satire of incompetent bureaucrats and the snobbery and complacency of the Russian upper classes; "Old-Fashioned Farmers," a sketch depicting an elderly couple who live a happy but simple life in rustic seclusion; "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarrelled with Ivan Nikiforovich," and of Gogol's most famous comic stories; and "The Overcoat," an exceptionally moving tale — considered a masterpiece of the form — about a poor and much-ridiculed St. Petersburg official. Includes a selection from the Common Core State Standards Initiative: "The Nose."
Doctor Ox's Experiment,
A Drama in the Air,
A Winter Amid the Ice,
Ascent of Mont Blanc.
Jules Gabriel Verne was a French novelist, poet, and playwright best known for his adventure novels and his profound influence on the literary genre of science fiction. He was trained to follow in his father's footsteps as a lawyer, but quit the profession early to write for magazines and the stage. His collaboration with the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel led to the creation of the Voyages Extraordinaires, a widely popular series of scrupulously researched adventure novels including A Journey to the Interior of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and Around the World in Eighty Days.
Raymond N. MacKenzie's new translation of Thérèse Desqueyroux, the first since 1947, captures the poetic lyricism of Mauriac's prose as well as the intensity of his stream-of-consciousness narrative. MacKenzie also provides notes and a biographical and interpretive introduction to help readers better appreciate the mastery of François Mauriac, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1952. This volume also includes a translation of "Conscience, The Divine Instinct," Mauriac's first draft of the story, never before available in English.
Told in an elegant style, Jean de la Fontaine's (1621-95) charming animal fables depict sly foxes and scheming cats, vain birds and greedy wolves, all of which subtly express his penetrating insights into French society and the beasts found in all of us. Norman R. Shapiro has been translating La Fontaine's fables for over twenty years, capturing the original work's lively mix of plain and archaic language. This newly complete translation is destined to set the English standard for this work.
Awarded the Lewis Galantière Prize by the American Translators Association, 2008.
Sensational, engrossing, and heartbreaking, The Mysteries of Paris is doubtless one of the most entertaining and influential works to emerge from the nineteenth century. It was one of France’s first serial novels, and for sixteen months, Parisians rushed in droves to the newsstands each week for the latest installment. Eugène Sue’s intricate melodrama unfolds around a Paris where, despite the gulf between them, the fortunes of the rich and poor are inextricably tangled. The suspenseful story of Rodolphe, a magnetic hero of noble heart and shadowy origins, was spun out over 150 issues—garnering wild popularity, influencing political change, and inspiring a raft of successors, including Les Misérables and The Count of Monte Cristo. At long last, this lively translation makes the riveting drama of Sue’s classic available to a new century of readers.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
'Scott Moncrieff's [volumes] belong to that special category of translations which are themselves literary masterpieces ... his book is one of those translations, such as the Authorized Version of the Bible itself, which can never be displaced' - A. N. Wilson
'For the reader wishing to tackle Proust your guide must be C K Scott Moncrieff ... There are some who believe his headily perfumed translation of À la recherche du temps perdu conjures Belle Époque France more vividly even than the original' - Telegraph
'I was more interested and fascinated by your rendering than by Proust's creation' - Joseph Conrad to Scott Moncrieff