Washington Irving

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This book is part of the TREDITION CLASSICS series. The creators of this series are united by passion for literature and driven by the intention of making all public domain books available in printed format again - worldwide. At tredition we believe that a great book never goes out of style. Several mostly non-profit literature projects provide content to tredition. To support their good work, tredition donates a portion of the proceeds from each sold copy. As a reader of a TREDITION CLASSICS book, you support our mission to save many of the amazing works of world literature from oblivion.
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Publisher
tredition
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Published on
Feb 7, 2012
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Pages
162
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ISBN
9783847204589
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Brilliantly translated by Lydia Davis, here are Proust’s tormented, touching, and often very funny letters to his noisy neighbor.

Marcel Proust’s genius for illuminating pain is on spectacular display in this recently discovered trove of his correspondence, Letters to His Neighbor. Already suffering from noise within his cork-lined walls, his poor soul was not ready for the fresh hell when his neighbor Dr. Williams married a widow with small children.

Chiefly to Mrs. Williams, these ever-polite letters (often accompanied by flowers, compliments, books, even pheasants) are frequently hilarious—Proust couches his fury in a gracious tone. In Lydia Davis’s hands, the digressive brilliance of his sentences shines: “Don't speak of annoying neighbors, but of neighbors so charming (an association of words contradictory in principle since Montesquiou claims that most horrible of all are 1) neighbors 2) the smell of post offices) that they leave the constant tantalizing regret that one cannot take advantage of their neighborliness.”

Proust makes fine distinctions among his auditory torments: “The valet de chambre makes noise and that doesn't matter. But later he knocks with little tiny raps.  And that is worse.”

Lydia Davis has written a generous translator’s note, tracing much of what we can know about Proust’s perpetually dark room; she details the furnishings as well as the life he lived there: burning his powders, talking with friends, hiring musicians, and, most of all, suffering. Letters to His Neighboris richly illustrated with facsimile letters and photographs—catnip for lovers of Proust.

With an Introduction by Jean-Yves Tadié and a translator’s note by Lydia Davis.

Shortly before his death in 1933, John Henry Mackay summed up his life and work in his final book, Summing Up—here in English for the first time with annotations by the translator, Hubert Kennedy. Mackay insisted that this book is not an autobiography or a memoirs—but it is the closest he came to either. In it he looks back on a long life of successes and—alas—mostly failures. But he has no regrets, for he remained true to himself and his early-gained vision of individualist anarchism. Although Mackay deliberately did not name persons here, many of those names and much other valuable information have been supplied by the editor, thus bringing us closer to the times recalled by the aging poet and propagandist. In a book written mostly in aphorisms, he sums up his life and work, his literary and political views, and—one year before the Nazi assumption of power in Germany—predicts the future influence of communism from the Soviet Union.

This volume also includes Dear Tucker, Mackay’s letters to his American anarchist friend Benjamin R. Tucker, written in English since Tucker did not read German. Although one-sided—the letters from Tucker to Mackay were destroyed—the correspondence gives evidence of a life-long, warm friendship between the leading representatives of individualist anarchism in Germany and America respectively. The letters have been supplied with notes that identity the many persons mentioned in them, thus helping to place them historically. Of particular interest is the insight they give into Mackay’s literary struggle, under the pseudonym Sagitta, to promote the cause of love between men and boys. The letters reveal the ruthless opposition of the state in a classic example of the use of raw power to crush individual liberty.

Together, Summing Up and Dear Tucker give us unexpected insights into the life and writings of John Henry Mackay. They help us better appreciate this Scotch-German lyricist, novelist, biographer, and anarchist propagandist whose writings are indeed so various that they escape classification.

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