Language : English
Published : 2015-09-08
Pages : 384
Beauty is a Wound
The epic novel Beauty Is a Wound combines history, satire, family tragedy, legend, humor, and romance in a sweeping polyphony. The beautiful Indo prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters are beset by incest, murder, bestiality, rape, insanity, monstrosity, and the often vengeful undead. Kurniawan’s gleefully grotesque hyperbole functions as a scathing critique of his young nation’s troubled past:the rapacious offhand greed of colonialism; the chaotic struggle for independence; the 1965 mass murders of perhaps a million “Communists,” followed by three decades of Suharto’s despotic rule.
Beauty Is a Wound astonishes from its opening line: One afternoon on a weekend in May, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty-one years…. Drawing on local sources―folk tales and the all-night shadow puppet plays, with their bawdy wit and epic scope―and inspired by Melville and Gogol, Kurniawan’s distinctive voice brings something luscious yet astringent to contemporary literature.
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David Hintons compelling new translation of Chuang Tzus Inner Chapters makes these ancient texts from the Golden Age of Chinese philosophy accessible to contemporary readers. Standing alongside the Tao Te Ching as a founding text in the Taoist tradition, Chuang Tzu is highly readablewith a wild menagerie of characters and passages full of witty and engaging anecdotes. Revered for millennia in the Chinese spiritual tradition, Chuang Tzu stands alongside the Tao Te Ching as a founding classic of Taoism. The Inner Chapters is the only sustained section of this text widely believed to be the work of Chuang Tzu himself, dating to the fourth century B.C. Witty and engaging, spiced with the lyricism of poetry, Chuang Tzus Taoist insights are timely and eternal, profoundly concerned with spiritual ecology. Indeed, the Tao of Chuang Tzu was a wholesale rejection of a human-centered approach. Zen traces its sources back to these Taoist roots–roots at least as deep as those provided by Buddhism. But this is an ancient text that yields a surprisingly modern effect. In bold and startling prose, David Hintons translation captures the zany texture and philosophical abandon of the original. The Inner Chapterss fantastical passages–in which even birds and trees teach us what they know–offer up a wild menagerie of characters, freewheeling play with language, and surreal humor. And interwoven with Chuang Tzus sharp instruction on the Tao are short-short stories that are often rough and ribald, rich with satire and paradox.On their deepest level, The Inner Chapters are a meditation on the mysteries of knowledge itself. Chuang Tzus propositions, the translators introduction reminds us, seem to be in constant transformation, for he deploys words and concepts only to free us of words and concepts. Hintons vital new translation makes this ancient text from the golden age of Chinese philosophy accessible to contemporary readers.
The Time Machine is a novella by H. G. Wells, first published in 1895 and later directly adapted into at least two feature films of the same name, as well as two television versions, and a large number of comic book adaptations. It indirectly inspired many more works of fiction in all media. This 38,000 word novella is generally credited with the popularization of the concept of time travel using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposefully and selectively. The term “time machine”, coined by Wells, is now universally used to refer to such a vehicle. Wells introduces an early example of the Dying Earth subgenre as well.
The Divine Comedy, translated by Allen Mandelbaum, begins in a shadowed forest on Good Friday in the year 1300. It proceeds on a journey that, in its intense recreation of the depths and the heights of human experience, has become the key with which Western civilization has sought to unlock the mystery of its own identity.
Mandelbaum’s astonishingly Dantean translation, which captures so much of the life of the original, renders whole for us the masterpiece of that genius whom our greatest poets have recognized as a central model for all poets.
This Everyman’s edition–containing in one volume all three cantos, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso–includes an introduction by Nobel Prize—winning poet Eugenio Montale, a chronology, notes, and a bibliography. Also included are forty-two drawings selected from Botticelli’s marvelous late-fifteenth-century series of illustrations.
“The Story of the Stone” (c. 1760) is one of the greatest novels of Chinese literature. The first part of the story, The Golden Days, begins the tale of Bao-yu, a gentle young boy who prefers girls to Confucian studies, and his two cousins: Bao-chai, his parents’ choice of a wife for him, and the ethereal beauty Dai-yu. Through the changing fortunes of the Jia family, this rich, magical work sets worldly events – love affairs, sibling rivalries, political intrigues, even murder – within the context of the Buddhist understanding that earthly existence is an illusion and karma determines the shape of our lives.