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European Literature

European Literature Book List

Cover of 'Marta'

Marta
A Novel
By Eliza Orzeszkowa
· Translation by Anna Gąsienica Byrcyn and Stephanie Kraft
· Introduction by Grażyna J. Kozaczka

Of trailblazing Polish novelist Eliza Orzeszkowa's many works of social realism, Marta is among the best known, but until now it has not been available in English. Easily a peer of The Awakening and A Doll’s House, the novel was well ahead of English literature of its time in attacking the ways the labor market failed women.

A Publishers Weekly Top Ten “Literary Essays” Title, Spring 2011
Cover of 'An Invisible Rope'

An Invisible Rope
Portraits of Czesław Miłosz
Edited by Cynthia L. Haven

Czesław Miłosz (1911–2004) often seemed austere and forbidding to Americans, but those who got to know him found him warm, witty, and endlessly enriching. An Invisible Rope: Portraits of Czesław Miłosz presents a collection of remembrances from his colleagues, his students, and his fellow writers and poets in America and Poland. Miłosz’s oeuvre is complex, rooted in twentieth-century eastern European history.

Cover of 'Holy Week'

Holy Week
A Novel of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
By Jerzy Andrzejewski
· Introduction by Oscar E. Swan
· Foreword by Jan T. Gross

At the height of the Nazi extermination campaign in the Warsaw Ghetto, a young Jewish woman, Irena, seeks the protection of her former lover, a young architect, Jan Malecki. By taking her in, he puts his own life and the safety of his family at risk.

Cover of 'Switzerland'

Switzerland
A Village History
By David Birmingham

Switzerland: A Village History is an account of an Alpine village that illuminates the broader history of Switzerland and its rural, local underpinnings. It begins with the colonization of the Alps by Romanized Celtic peoples who came from the plain to clear the wilderness, establish a tiny monastic house, and create a dairy economy that became famous for its cheeses.

Cover of 'Between Sea and Sahara'

Between Sea and Sahara
An Algerian Journal
By Eugene Fromentin
· Translation by Blake Robinson
· Introduction by Valérie K. Orlando

Between Sea and Sahara gives us Algeria in the third decade of colonization. Written in the 1850s by the gifted painter and extraordinary writer Eugene Fromentin, the many-faceted work is travelogue, fiction, stylized memoir, and essay on art. Fromentin paints a compelling word picture of Algeria and its people, questioning France’s—and his own—role there.

Cover of 'Battle of Kosovo'

Battle of Kosovo
By John Matthias and Vladeta Vučković
· Preface by Charles Simic
· Afterword by Christopher Merrill

The Battle of Kosovo cycle of heroic ballads is generally considered the finest work of Serbian folk poetry. Commemorating the Serbian Empire’s defeat at the hands of the Turks in the late fourteenth century, these poems and fragments have been known for centuries in Eastern Europe.

Cover of 'God’s Torment'

God’s Torment
Poems By Alain Bosquet
By Alain Bosquet
· Translation by Edouard Roditi

Ohio University Press published a first volume of Alain Bosquet’s work, Selected Poems, in 1973. Since then, the avant-garde and metaphysical poetry of Bosquet has become widely available to an international audience. Such eminent poets as Paul Celan, Vasko Popa, Octavio Paz, and Ismail Kadare have translated his work into German, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, and Albanian.

Cover of 'Isak Dinesen'

Isak Dinesen
Critical Views
Edited by Olga Anastasia Pelensky

This historical overview of criticism of the famous Danish writer is the first such collection available in English.

Cover of 'The Brothers Grimm and Their Critics'

The Brothers Grimm and Their Critics
Folktales and the Quest for Meaning
By Christa Kamenetsky

Critics of the Grimms' folktales have often imposed narrow patriotic, religious, moralistic, social, and pragmatic meanings of their stories, sometimes banning them altogether from nurseries and schoolrooms. In this study, Kamenetsky uses the methodology of the folklorist to place the folktale research of the Grimms within the broader context of their scholarly work in comparative linguistics and literature.

Cover of 'Isak Dinesen'

Isak Dinesen
The Life and Imagination of a Seducer
By Olga Anastasia Pelensky

Born into a Victorian Danish family, Karen Christentze Dinesen married her second cousin, a high-spirited and philandering baron, and moved to Kenya where she ran a coffee plantation, painted, and wrote. She later returned to Denmark, lived through the German occupation during World War II, and became a pivotal figure in Heretica, a major literary movement that flourished in Denmark after the war. By the time of her death, Dinesen was an international figure.

Cover of 'Early Poems'

Early Poems
1947–1959
By Yves Bonnefoy
· Translation by Galway Kinnell and Richard Pevear

Yves Bonnefoy is probably the most prominent figure in the generation of French poets who came into public view following World War II. Dedicated to poetry more as a means of spiritual illumination than as a technique for creating artistic monuments, he uses what he conceives to be the brokenness and poverty of language to enable us to glimpse a wholeness lacking in our contemporary world.

Cover of 'The Poetry of Resistance'

The Poetry of Resistance
Seamus Heaney and the Pastoral Tradition
By Sidney Burris

Does the artist have a responsibility to mirror the conflicts and problems of society in his or her work? Perhaps more than most, the Irish poet, Seamus Heaney, has been faced with this question. Living in Belfast since 1957, Heaney decided to leave Northern Ireland altogether in 1972, his residency there spanning fifteen years of social upheaval and violence.

Cover of 'At the Palaces of Knossos'

At the Palaces of Knossos
By Nikos Kazantzakis
· Translation by Theodora Vasils and Themi Vasils

Blending historical fact and classical myth, the author of Zorba the Greek and The Last Temptation of Christ transports the reader 3,000 years into the past, to a pivotal point in history: the final days before the ancient kingdom of Minoan Crete is to be conquered and supplanted by the emerging city-state of Athens. Translated by Theodora Vasils and Themi Vasils.

Cover of 'Digenis Akritas'

Digenis Akritas
The Two-Blood Border Lord—The Grottaferrata Version
By Denison B. Hull
· Translation by Denison B. Hull
· Introduction by Denison B. Hull

Among the epic romances of post–Barbarian Europe, such as Roland and El Cid, Digenis Akritas has been the least known in the West—outside Greece. It is the story of a half–breed prince who guarded the eastern border of the Roman Empire of Byzantium on the Euphrates in the tenth century.

Cover of 'Decadent Style'

Decadent Style
By John Robert Reed

In Decadent Style, John Reed defines “decadent art” broadly enough to encompass literature, music, and the visual arts and precisely enough to examine individual works in detail. Reed focuses on the essential characteristics of this style and distinguishes it from non–esthetic categories of “decadent artists” and “decadent themes.” Like the natural sciences and psychology, the arts in the late nineteenth century reflect an interest in the process of atomization.