books

Solzhenitsyn’s Posthumous Output

Admirably, Solzhenitsyn’s death in 2008 has not stopped him from publishing more books over the last few years. In October 2009 we had the new and radically altered edition of In the First Circle (previously published as The First Circle) and now this autumn Apricot Jam and Other Stories, a collection of nine short stories, … Continue reading

books

Sunflower by Gyula Krúdy

“Let crazy life rush headlong on the highway for others; we shall contemplate the sunflowers, watch them sprout, blossom, fade away. Yesterday they were still giants, but now, in autumn, they are thatch on the roof.” So says Álmos-Dreamer at the end of Gyula Krúdy’s Sunflower, one of the oddest and most entirely unique books … Continue reading

books

The Doll

I’ve just read The Doll by Bolesław Prus, an agoraphobic Pole who is often thought of as similar to Chekhov, but isn’t really. It’s a remarkable book, well-loved in Poland and typically unheard-of here. It’s a good, weighty, chewy read, full of thoughts and character; a masterpiece by anyone’s standards. Though set largely in late nineteenth-century Warsaw, … Continue reading