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

Committed Writings | Albert Camus #FRAnonfiction

Committed Writings by Albert Camus contains Letters to a German Friend, Reflections on the Guillotine and The Nobel Speeches (Acceptance Speech and Create Dangerously) with a Foreword by Alice Kaplan. Books come into my life for all sorts of reasons. Before working in a bookshop, I bought books for myself very deliberately and carefully. I … Continue reading Committed Writings | Albert Camus #FRAnonfiction

The Gods of Greece | Friedrich von Schiller #poem

Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash Last week I read Sally Rooney's new novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You? (review to come). Her book title was inspired by the 2018 Liverpool Biennial statement, which came from a line in an 1819 composition by Franz Schubert (D677), which he based on stanza from the 1788 Friedrich Schiller poem, The Gods of Greece (Die … Continue reading The Gods of Greece | Friedrich von Schiller #poem

Nothing Holds Back the Night | Delphine de Vigan #FRAmemoir

My mother was blue, a pale blue mixed with the colour of ashes. I find myself drawn to memoirs that dive deep into difficult, complicated mother-daughter relationships. It's a dynamic fraught with push me/pull me tensions. Tensions that seem to only evolve with time. Is it possible to work them out? Come to terms with … Continue reading Nothing Holds Back the Night | Delphine de Vigan #FRAmemoir

Maigret and the Tramp | Georges Simenon #FRAfiction

There was a moment, between Quai des Orfevres and Pont Marie, when Maigret paused, so briefly that Lapointe, who was walking beside him, paid no attention. Happy Bastille Day! Joyeux Quatorze Juillet! Picking up a Maigret is like falling into a soft, cosy blanket with a tray of strong cheeses, biscuits and a robust red … Continue reading Maigret and the Tramp | Georges Simenon #FRAfiction

The Winter Solstice Book | Gao Pengcheng #poetry

This week was the Winter Solstice in Australia. On the 21st June the Southern Hemisphere celebrated the shortest day of the year; whilst the Northern Hemisphere celebrated the longest (in terms of daylight hours). Scientists and astronomers consider the solstice to be the beginning of winter (or summer). Because they use the solstices to mark … Continue reading The Winter Solstice Book | Gao Pengcheng #poetry