The Books of My Numberless Dreams

Books, movies, books

Posted on: May 28, 2007

The New York Review of Books imprint is celebrating its 200th classics release. The editor Edwin Frank explains why so many of Georges Simenon’s books were printed as classics and future additions to the catalogue. I am most excited about a new Richard Hughes (whoop!) and lots of new translations including a new Stefan Zwieg. I’m curious about William Empson’s Milton’s God — I read a reference to it in a TLS article who remembers when — and Christopher Priest’s “hard” science fiction novel, The Inverted World. (Maybe I’ll finally get around to reading a sci fi.) Considering my recently confessed ignorance of Greek playwrights a new translation of Euripdes’ plays, already released, looks tempting.

If you want to know exactly how many NYRB classics you don’t own type a list of the ones you do and send it in — you’ll receive a complete list of all the other books pining to be read and enjoyed.

Amusing pleasures await if you’re into old films. Turner Classic Movies has put up a media room on its website where viewers can watch old movie trailers that deflate the myth that everything was better in the good ol’ days. (In one trailer a movie boasted that it had a debut actress with “a new face…and a new body!” as she gyrated around a pole in one scene and made out with a sailor on a beach in the other.) You even get a stream of a full-length 1937 comedy, something TCM plans to provide more of. Long live TCM! (via A.V. Club)

And I thought I’d share with you some of my May purchases.

The Awful Mess on Via Meruluna – Carlo Emilio Gadda, translated by William Weaver

The Spell & The Folding Star – Alan Hollinghurst ( I own all of his novels now.)

Zoli – Colum McCann (I bought it after reading Robert Birnbaum’s interview with him.)

Demons – Fyodor Doestoevsky translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (Darby made me do it.)


17 Responses to "Books, movies, books"

Hi imani, great blog. Are you the imani who has commented sometimes on the Guardian book blog?

Thanks! I am the very same, though I’ve given up on the Guardian blog, for the most part. There are only so many hours in the day to waste.

A few months ago, I received NYRB Classics: A Complete Catalog. It was addressed to the previous tenant but I just couldn’t resist peeking inside and adding a few of the books in the catalog to my TBR list. It was one of the most wonderful things I’d ever received in the mail. A few weeks later however, rather reluctantly I must add, I turned in the catalog to the people at the front desk. I’m pretty sure keeping it would have been against the law…right?

J.S. Peyton: you can request a catalog of your own. Just send an email to classicscatalog[at]

Peyton that probably would have been so I second Sara’s suggestion to e-mail them and get one of your own. :p I’ve actually had to hide mine for a bit, to save me from maxing out on my credit card.

I so hope you dig Demons. “Hatchet to the head” ranks pretty low on my short list of desirable body modifications.

I love them because they publish so many translations when hardly any one else does! When I worked for a company that produced cloth-bound editions of old classics we would receive the catalog for free…I would spend far too many hours pouring over the books and not working.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this catalog…pretty cool!

Cool! I have been slowly collecting my classics for years!

Darby I’m a gentle hatchet swinger though, it wouldn’t be so bad.

verbivore I agree! I commented on the blog that besides the Complete Review their back list is the place I go to when looking for translated works. I wouldn’t mind if they extended themselves a bit further than the European continent more often but that’s my little thing.

J you should get it, its sent free of cost to you and think of all the wonderful, prettily designed books you could own.

Kelly nice to “meet” another fan! I only started last year after a few chance successful purchases and I’ve been a fan ever since.

I think I am going to have to request one of those NYRB catalogs for myself! Your may purchases look great and I can’t wait to hear about them and be compelled to add them to my TBR list. I have to wait for you to write about them you see so I can blame you for making me buy them 😉

Oh, you know I gotta check out the NYRB catalog! And viva la TCM! And a Doestoevsky book I haven’t heard of??? Now you REALLY got me curious.

I love the NYRB thing–once I get my LibraryThing catalog more complete I’m going to see just what I don’t own. Thanks for this link!

I have the NYRB Classics complete catalogue too! I was looking out for Anne Carson’s translation of Euripides too.

Stefanie I’m already coming up with excuses as I type!

LK Apparently the Doestoevsky novel title was previously translated and published as Possessed or something like that — maybe you heard about it under that name.

gentle reader your welcome — always nice to know another NYRB fan who’s also a LT user.

DO oh you should get it and blog about it. No doubt you’d get to it before I ever would. 😀

*With exotic accent while twirling my mustache*

Ah hah! Through history, “The Demons” has been known by many names: Constance Garnett translates it as “The Possessed”, and David Magarshack calls it, “The Devils”

And now, *dramatic flourish of my gloved hands* in the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation, as “The Demons”

Sorry, can’t resist that! I’m in a playful, dramatic mood today. 😛

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Review.


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