The Jew’s Beech | Annette von Droste-Hülshoff #DEUnovella

The Jew's Beech | Annette von Droste-Hülshoff A Picture of Life among the Hills of Westphalia Where is the hand so fraught with gentle art That tangled skein of narrow mind may part, So steadfast that untrembling it may throw The stone upon a wretched creature's woe? Who dares to measure surge of vain ambition, … Continue reading The Jew’s Beech | Annette von Droste-Hülshoff #DEUnovella

She and Her Cat | Makoto Shinkai & Naruki Nagakawa #JPNshortstories

One of the online sites that came up when I duck, duck, go'd this title, suggested She and Her Cat was one of the five translated books this season that could soothe a battered soul. My soul was not feeling particularly battered (except for this seemingly endless La Niña rain!) but I definitely felt soothed … Continue reading She and Her Cat | Makoto Shinkai & Naruki Nagakawa #JPNshortstories

Maigret and the Minister | Georges Simenon #ParisinJuly

As always when he returned home at night, Maigret paused at the same place, just past the gas lamp, and looked up at the lit windows of his apartment. Every July since 2017, there has been one rainy, cold, miserable weekend that becomes my Maigret weekend. This past weekend was it! There is nothing sweeter … Continue reading Maigret and the Minister | Georges Simenon #ParisinJuly

Son Excellence Eugène Rougon | Émile Zola #Zoladdiction

The President of the Chamber remained standing until the faint stir caused by his entry subsided. Then he took his seat, saying rather nonchalantly, in a quiet voice:'The sitting is open.' As always, I am facsinated by translation choices. Above are the opening lines from Brian Nelson's recent 2018 translation of Son Excellence Eugène Rougon, … Continue reading Son Excellence Eugène Rougon | Émile Zola #Zoladdiction

Cywydd y Cedor | Gwerful Mechain #Dewithon22

 Based on John Edward Lloyd's History of Wales, Vol I and Koch's Celtic Culture Gwerful Mechain (c. 1460–c. 1502) is considered to be one of the first female Welsh poets. She wrote about female sexuality and the domestic issues of medieval women. Her parents were Gwenhwyfar and Hywel Fychan from Mechain (a medieval cantref or land division), in … Continue reading Cywydd y Cedor | Gwerful Mechain #Dewithon22

The Library of Babel | Jorge Luis Borges #ARGshortstory

I decided to tackle Jorge Luis Borges short story The Library of Babel after reading that it was one of the influences on Susanna Clarke when she wrote her recent award winning book, Piranesi. The influence is obvious. A labyrinthine library that contains every single book that could possibly be written (even the books that … Continue reading The Library of Babel | Jorge Luis Borges #ARGshortstory

White Nights and other stories | Fyodor Dostoevsky #RUSshortstories

The other day I saw a wedding ... but no, I had better tell you about the Christmas tree. To continue my Literary Christmas reading challenge, I have left behind Mary Gaunt and Australian shores to head off to pre-revolutionary Russia. A Christmas Tree and a Wedding is a short story by Fyodor Dostoevsky. It … Continue reading White Nights and other stories | Fyodor Dostoevsky #RUSshortstories