A hundred years ago French novelist Marcel Proust (1871-1922) lost money in the stock market, too. And as he would in the epic In Search of Lost Time, he converted the stuff of life into art.Robert Hilferty explains the origin of Pastiches et melanges, translated for the first time into English as The Lemoine Affair. Is this really the first review of the book?
If Proust's pastiches are late into English, then what about Dante's Canzoniere? In January, Oneworld Classics is publishing Dante's Rime which, it claims, is the first time the collection has been translated in its entirety into English. The book "charts his poetic evolution and displays the ground on which his Vita Nova [sic] and Divine Comedy developed". Elsewhere and online, you can read translations of Dante's Lyric Poems.
Last week, the offline TLS had a diverting review of Ingrid Rowland's Giordano Bruno: Philosopher/Heretic. Here's The New Republic's instead. Both contain one memorable detail; an almost literal punctum. I knew that Bruno was burned at the stake but not that "his tongue [was] spiked to prevent him from speaking or crying out".
One thing that has puzzled me over the years has been my unwillingness or inability to write about certain favoured authors. Peter Handke's name has appeared here often enough yet not once have I begun to examine in detail why The Afternoon of a Writer and, in particular, Repetition had such an impact on me nearly twenty years ago. I have read the latter novel at least six times. In this case, re-reading was not a self-deceiving comfort read but another raid on inarticulacy. I have been relaxed about my failure, with agitation rising only when I discovered that those responsible for publishing Sebald's works in translation had not included in Campo Santo his essay on Die Wiederholung. But now Edmond Caldwell has stepped into the breach with The Handke-Effekt II, the second of his eye-wideningly close readings.