Fiction

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Items 1 to 10 of 72 total

  • Doppelganger, A

    £11.95
    Fifth and last of Denis Jackson's definitive selections of the novellas of one of the greatest German writers of the 19th century, author of Der Schimmelreiter (The Dykemaster), Immensee, etc Contains the first and only English translation of Ein Doppelganger, a moving exploration of the problem of the rehabilitation of ex-prisoners. Learn More
  • Ice Virgin, The

    £8.95

    translated with an afterword by Paul Binding

    Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales have always overshadowed his other works, among them The Ice Virgin. Paul Binding’s new translation is the first to present this very special story on its own for full appreciation.

    Previous English translations have placed The Ice Virgin among fairy tales and classified it as one. But while Andersen uses the terrifying figure of the Ice Virgin and her eerie minions to personify the hostile forces of nature, the tale is a novella for a mature readership, among the most ambitious and searching of all Andersen’s narratives and set firmly in the real world.

    That world is Switzerland, which Andersen visited in 1861. He sees the country as something of a paradigm of the human condition. The relationship between a daring young chamois hunter, his earliest years spent in the Bernese Oberland, and a prosperous miller’s daughter living in the comfortable and progressive French-speaking Swiss canton of Vaud plays out a complex of themes. In the context of contrasted Swiss communities within the mighty Swiss landscape, we witness the role of early experience in shaping identity, the irreconcilability of ambition and security, instinctive life versus rational civilisation. At the ‘tragic’ denouement, Andersen invites the reader to answer his question: ‘Would you call that a sorrowful story?’
    After many readings of the original over the years, Paul Binding felt a compulsion to undertake his own translation; it happily captures Andersen’s unique style, combining a fresh, informal directness with profound penetration. In his Afterword he explains why he places this novella in the first rank of world literature.

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  • Cecile

    £9.95

    Translated from the German by Stanley Radcliffe

    Theodor Fontane, chronicler of post-1871 Berlin in its new role as capital of a Germany unifed for the first time in modern history, lifted the German nineteenth-century novel from provincialism to the European mainstream, and is now regarded as one of the outstanding German novelists. English translations of several of his works have appeared, but none hitherto of Cécile (1887), first of a brilliant trio of female portraits culminating in Effi Briest (1895).

    The Baroness von St Arnaud, a delicate beauty married to a retired army officer who neglects her, is a tantalising mystery to the much-travelled civil engineer von Gordon who makes her acquaintance at the fashionable spa of Thale in the Harz Mountains. The reader’s curiosity, too, is more and more strongly aroused as a story of mutual sexual attraction unfolds. When the scene shifts to the bustling world of the capital and the sharply caricatured reactionary high society in which the St Arnauds move, Cécile’s admirer’s discovery of her past precipitates a grim climax.

    Fontane was in love with his female characters ‘for their human qualities, that is, for their weaknesses and sins’, as he put it. His commitment to female values in a changing but still starkly male-dominated society is conveyed in virtuoso handling of conversation and endlessly subtle and ironic depiction of Prussian attitudes.

    ‘Written with the concision and directness of a short story, this novel nonetheless conveys an astonishingly full picture of German society in rapid and often costly change.’ – The Times

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  • Red Spectres: Russian 20th-Century Gothic-fantastic tales

    £12.95

    Selected and translated from the Russian by Muireann Maguire

    Russian writers from Pushkin to Bulgakov and beyond have produced outstanding ghost stories, supernatural thrillers, and other tales of the uncanny. In the first decades of the 20th century the Gothic-fantastic genre flourished in Russia, despite official efforts to stamp it out. Few of these stories have been translated or published outside Russia. This collection includes eleven vintage tales by seven writers of the period: Valery Bryusov, Mikhail Bulgakov, Aleksandr Grin and Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky; the lesser known but important figure Aleksandr Chayanov, whose story ‘Venediktov’ influenced Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita; and the émigrés Georgy Peskov and Pavel Perov. All but two of the stories appear for the first time in English.

    At a time of revolution and civil war, hardship and deprivation, the supernatural genres provided means for a number of Russian writers to explore the dark underside of the machine age and the new political order. Through the traditional Gothic repertoire of ghosts, insanity, obsession, retribution and terror, they convey the turbulence and dissonance of life in Russia in these years.

    ‘This collection of Gothic, uncanny and supernatural tales from revolutionary Russia is a remarkable find. Who in the West knew that during and after the birth of the Soviet Union, phantoms, doubles and apparitions swept through the feverish imaginations of its major writers, from Bulgakov to Krzhizhanovsky? The tormented minds of their heroes reframe the trauma of change and war as hauntings and possessions.’ – Boyd Tonkin, The Independent

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  • Hugo Von Hofmannsthal: Selected Tales

    £9.95

    Translated from the German by J. M. Q. Davies

    The restless, alienated spirit of turn-of-the-century Vienna is brilliantly caught in these tales – hitherto not readily available together in English translation – by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, one of the major writers of the Early Modernist period and Richard Strauss’s librettist.

    Powerful issues and emotions lie below the surface of these narratives – of a young aesthete’s crack-up as he wanders through a terrifying psychic landscape (The Tale of the 672nd Night); of an insubordinate soldier’s brutal nemesis during Field Marshal Radetzky’s 1848 campaign against Italian insurgents (A Cavalry Tale); of love and death in time of plague in seventeenth-century France (Marshal de Bassompierre’s Adventure). The celebrated Letter from Lord Chandos, a fictional epistle addressed to Francis Bacon, records a young writer’s crisis over the mismatch between words and truth. Finally, in the delightful comedic gender-reversal story Lucidor, the nucleus of the later libretto of Strauss’s Arabella, the cloud of sexual repression and violence hanging over the characters in the other tales is lifted.

    Hofmannsthal’s elusive personality and the finer points of these exquisitely styled narratives are illuminated in an absorbing and wide-ranging introduction by the translator.

    ‘Crafted with subtlety … fresh and a joy to read.’

    – Steven Kippax, The London Miscellany

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  • Ratcatcher, The

    £10.95
    This narrative poem is an extended satire on philistinism - including the Bolshevik revolution - uncompromisingly Russian, a bubbling cauldron of styles, voices and targets Learn More
  • Silver Dove, The

    £10.95

    Translated from the Russian by John Elsworth

    Bely’s The Silver Dove, published four years before its author’s celebrated Petersburg (ranked by Nabokov with Proust, Kafka and Joyce), is the first modern Russian novel. Breaking with Russian Realist tradition, a pioneering Symbolist work, it reaches subconscious layers of experience through images of the surface world, capturing ‘the living rhythm of the soul’. At the same time, its vividly drawn characters, elemental landscapes, and richly wrought, Gogolian style are immediately accessible to the Western reader. This brilliantly faithful new translation makes the complete work available in English for the first time.Dissatisfied with the life of the intelligensia, the Moscow poet Daryalsky joins a rural mystic sect, The Silver Doves, whose leader, the carpenter Kudeyarov – later claimed by Bely to have anticipated something of Rasputin – makes ruthless use of him in a bid to produce offspring from a sectarian ‘Mother of God’. The story reverberates with concerns that seethed in the aftermath of the 1905 Revolution – the identity of Russia, torn between East and West, theosophy, the religious nature of art and its potential for creating a new organic community. ‘The Silver Dove,’ writes the translator in his introduction, ‘depicts a culture on the brink: aware that it can no longer survive without incorporating the formless strivings and undisciplined imaginings of the common people, which it has hitherto repressed, but simultaneously aware that the attempt to do so may spell disaster.

    ‘This translation was shortlisted for the Weidenfeld Translation Prize 2001.‘… magnificent in its sweep, taking in the whole expanse of Russian life … Modern Russian literature has produced nothing greater.’ – Nikolay Berdyayev, review, 1910

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  • Dykemaster, The (Der Schimmelreiter)

    £9.95

    Translated from the German by Denis Jackson; afterword by David. A. Jackson

    Der Schimmelreiter (1888), here translated as The Dykemaster, is one of the most celebrated works of classic German fiction. Denis Jackson’s new translation, the first for many years, sets out to recreate the full impact of Theodor Storm’s masterpiece – a task in which no previous English version has succeeded. The Dykemaster is the tale of a visionary young north Frisian Deichgraf of the eighteenth century, creator of a new form of dyke. The short-sighted and self-seeking community with which he is at odds turns him into a phantom, seen riding his grey along the dyke whenever the sea threatens to break through. The rationalistic storyteller, in a sophisticated narrative structure, belongs to a later age, and what he relates is a veiled critique of the dyke officials of his own day.

    The eerie west Schleswig-Holstein coast, with its vast hallucinatory tidal flats, hushed polders and terrifying North Sea, is the setting for a tale which grips from first page to last with its dynamic tensions and shifts of focus, mood and pace. Storm’s dense narrative further invites the reader to ask whether progress is possible, how the historical record is established, what parts are played by the rational and the irrational in human existence.

    ‘this tremendous tale, with which Storm took his conception of the Novelle, as epic sister of drama, to unprecedented heights …’ – Thomas Mann

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  • Deutschland [HEINE]

    £10.95

    Translated from the German and edited by T. J. Reed

    Dual text

    T. J. Reed’s translation – first published in 1986 – of Heine’s satiric masterpiece is the only English version to shape up to its outrageous rhymes and rhythms with anything like matching vigour and conviction. It is reissued with facing German text and updated further reading, with the introduction and notes of the first edition succinctly and entertainingly summarising the issue of Heine’s time and his comic achievement, and with added comment on his place in a new united Germany.

    Written four years before the 1848 Revolution, Heine’s Deutschland can be enjoyed today just as it was by its first readers – as a brilliantly funny read. In this ‘verse travelogue’ Heine comments on the homeland he sees again after years of exile. Bull’s-eyeing a number of targets – bourgeois lethargy, rampant Prussianism, phoney medievalism, German idealist philosophy – Europe’s wittiest poet delightfully introduces the reader to ‘Germany’s current ferment’ – and to the idea that the value system of the German middle class helped to maintain social injustice and political oppression.

    ‘That rare phenomenon, ironic political verse, light in manner but not in matter.’ – D. J. Enright, Observer

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  • Grieshuus- The Chronicle of a family

    £9.95

    Translated from the German by Denis Jackson; afterword by David Artiss

    Angel Classics celebrates the bicentenary of the birth of one of the most deeply affecting of German writers with a new translation of a long overlooked late masterpiece. Grieshuus: The Chronicle of a Family is the sixth and final title in Denis Jackson’s definitive series of translations of Storm’s finest novellas.

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    Items 1 to 10 of 72 total