Category: Literature

Dec 06 2017

Premature Evaluation: Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman

I first came to Vasily Grossman via excerpts in Ivan’s War, Catherine Merridale‘s amazing book about how ordinary Soviet soldiers experienced the Second World War. That prompted me to pick up A Writer at War, dispatches and stories that he wrote while working as a journalist near the front. I thought it was one of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/12/06/premature-evaluation-life-and-fate-by-vasily-grossman/

Nov 16 2017

Wilhelm Tell by Friedrich Schiller

Wilhelm Tell, a five-act drama in verse, was Friedrich Schiller’s last major work. It tells the story of the start of the Swiss Confederation as the people of four inner cantons — Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden and Luzern — joined forces, swearing an oath to drive out a Habsburg ruler who is intent on limiting traditional …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/11/16/wilhelm-tell-by-friedrich-schiller/

Oct 22 2017

Sonnets from the Crimea by Adam Mickiewicz

When Tsar the Polish poet southward sent For stirring trouble and renewed dissent He took his pen — described the lands he crossed The steppes so vast, the palaces long lost Exiles who before Adam M. had gone And Muslims who so well had served their Khan Crimean shores, the mounts above them ranged The …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/10/22/sonnets-from-the-crimea-by-adam-mickiewicz/

Aug 07 2017

A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman (translated by Jessica Cohen)

Today I learned that there’s a difference between the Man Booker and the Man Booker International Prizes, doh. As with other Man Booker winners, this was eminently readable. But as also with far too many other Man Booker winners, this wasn’t as great as I’d expected. Maybe it’s just because I’ve spent so much time …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/08/07/a-horse-walks-into-a-bar-by-david-grossman-translated-by-jessica-cohen/

May 24 2017

Traveler of Worlds by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

The important information on this book’s cover is the subtitle, Conversations with Robert Silverberg. Traveler of Worlds is entirely a set of interviews with Silverberg, who recently passed 80 years of age. He’s one of the grand old men of science fiction; he has attended every Hugo award ceremony; he was incredibly prolific back in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/24/traveler-of-worlds-by-alvaro-zinos-amaro/

Apr 23 2017

The Foundation Pit by Andrey Platonov

Where to even begin with The Foundation Pit? The author, Andrey Platonov was born in Russia in 1899, the son of a railway worker, and later worked as a land reclamation expert. He was a fervent supporter of the Russian Revolution; during the 1920s he supervised the digging of wells, construction of ponds, and draining …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/04/23/the-foundation-pit-by-andrey-platonov/

Feb 25 2017

Wallenstein II by Friedrich Schiller

“Schiller’s Wallenstein is so great that there is nothing else like it.” — Goethe How’s that for a blurb? Goethe didn’t just offer praise, he directed the premiere of all three parts of Schiller’s Wallenstein trilogy. The third, Wallenstein’s Death (published as Wallenstein II, as the two previous plays comprise the first volume), comes from …

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Feb 04 2017

Wallenstein I by Friedrich Schiller

The best thing about zipping through Wikipedia’s entry on these two plays by Friedrich Schiller — the first volume of Schiller’s Wallenstein plays comprises Wallensteins Lager (Wallenstein’s Camp) and Die Piccolomini (The Piccolomini) — was learning that Goethe directed both premieres. (He also directed the premiere of the trilogy’s third part, but I am still …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/02/04/wallenstein-i-by-friedrich-schiller/

Jan 02 2017

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice (The Austen Project #4) by Curtis Sittenfeld

Quite charming, and for the most part a note-perfect retelling of the classic for modern times. There were really only two false notes for me: the first was the laughable idea that, as a writer-at-large, Lizzy Bennett earns $105k a year, and the second was the last marriage proposal of the book, which I thought …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/01/02/eligible-a-modern-retelling-of-pride-and-prejudice-the-austen-project-4-by-curtis-sittenfeld/

Dec 31 2016

Fables: The Deluxe Edition Vol 10 by Bill Willingham et. al.

While I’m going to review the rest of the series as a whole, I thought this book merited its own review, as it contains the entirety of the crossover with Jack Of Fables and has a distinctly different tone from the preceding books, being very much more a metaphysical caper and thus closer in theme …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/12/31/fables-the-deluxe-edition-vol-10-by-bill-willingham-et-al/