New York Review Books

New York Review Books New York Review Books publishes the NYRB Classics, NYR Children’s Collection, NYRB Poets, and NYR Comics series of books.

Operating as usual

"The Human Comedy resembles the office of the census. But much more fun."Peter Brooks on the many and magnificent charac...
09/28/2020
What Is So Special About Balzac’s Thousands of Characters?

"The Human Comedy resembles the office of the census. But much more fun."

Peter Brooks on the many and magnificent characters created by Balzac, from Brooks's new book Balzac's Lives.

Honoré de Balzac’s life has often been told, but it’s less compelling than Balzac’s lives, the extraordinary, extravagant, profligate creation of the well over 2,000 fictional beings who people his…

It’s #NationalDogWeek! To celebrate, check out the @nottinghilleditions anthology On Dogs, with an introduction by Trace...
09/25/2020

It’s #NationalDogWeek! To celebrate, check out the @nottinghilleditions anthology On Dogs, with an introduction by Tracey Ullman and featuring humorous black-and-white dog portraits by Rhian Ap Gruffydd. Inside, you’ll find David Sedaris recounting stories of his family’s many canine companions, including a pair of flatulent collies named Rastus and Duchess; Alice Walker on her beloved Labrador retriever, a lively pup she calls Bob Marley; a poetic ode to Pekingese dogs by Tzu-hsi, the late-nineteenth-century empress of China; and more than two dozen other essays, poems, and assorted writings about the bond between man and man’s best friend.

“J R is a rude demanding complex riotous uncomfortably edifying novel, a howling maelstrom of voices, a grabby talky dis...
09/23/2020

“J R is a rude demanding complex riotous uncomfortably edifying novel, a howling maelstrom of voices, a grabby talky disorderly inferno of the spirit.” —Joy Williams, from her introduction
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William Gaddis’s cacophonous satire of American finance, J R, arrives next month (10/20). And look out for our edition of his landmark debut, The Recognitions, later in the fall.

"I can only present a small selection of the 2,472 figures who enter this imagined world, of course, but chosen carefull...
09/23/2020
What Is So Special About Balzac’s Thousands of Characters?

"I can only present a small selection of the 2,472 figures who enter this imagined world, of course, but chosen carefully they open onto the whole Balzacian universe. They serve as optics on the world: they offer what Proust called the only true adventure—to see the world through another’s eyes."

—Peter Brooks on Balzac's characters from the introduction to the upcoming Balzac's Lives.

Honoré de Balzac’s life has often been told, but it’s less compelling than Balzac’s lives, the extraordinary, extravagant, profligate creation of the well over 2,000 fictional beings who people his…

Brian Dillon’s Suppose a Sentence comes out in the US today....“I knew at once that I had no general theory of the sente...
09/22/2020

Brian Dillon’s Suppose a Sentence comes out in the US today.
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“I knew at once that I had no general theory of the sentence, no prescriptive attitude towards the sentence, nor aspired to write its history. If I must (and I felt I must) write about my relationship with sentences, I would have to follow my instinct for the particular. Thus twenty-seven essays of varied lengths—I was aiming for twenty-five, and overshot—each of which looks at, or wanders away from, a single sentence.”

“Opposite, above: All through the house, colour, verve, improvised treasures in happy but anomalous coexistence.”Brian D...
09/22/2020
The Perfect Prose of a Joan Didion Photo Caption

“Opposite, above: All through the house, colour, verve, improvised treasures in happy but anomalous coexistence.”

Brian Dillon's Suppose a Sentence comes out in the US today! For a sample, see what he finds in a caption that Joan Didion wrote for Vogue in 1965. Good writing can be "putting one thing beside another."

The caption, in the August 1, 1965, issue of American Vogue, sounds like Didion in its rhythm, care, and thrift, and also in its swerve toward something more troubling or mysterious.

"And at the very end there is, for us, a moment of the purest rapture when Mr. Dillon, writing about a sentence of Anne ...
09/18/2020
‘Suppose a Sentence’ Review: Period Pieces

"And at the very end there is, for us, a moment of the purest rapture when Mr. Dillon, writing about a sentence of Anne Boyer’s, closes the clasp of the bright bracelet of his themes with a satisfying snap."

—John Banville can write a sentence.

From Shakespeare to Didion, the beauty of the written word’s most elemental structure.

A film based on the life of the author of The Summer Book is playing at the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF). The Variety re...
09/18/2020
‘Tove’ Review: An Engaging Biopic on Moomins Creator Tove Jansson

A film based on the life of the author of The Summer Book is playing at the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF). The Variety review raves about the acting and the production values.

The engaging biopic “Tove,” from Finnish helmer Zaida Bergroth, recounts a formative decade in the life of the bisexual, Swedish-speaking, Finnish visual artist and author Tove Jansson (1914 – 2001…

“Colin was to learn as he lived longer that important days often begin like ordinary days.” —Mary Chase, Loretta Mason P...
09/17/2020

“Colin was to learn as he lived longer that important days often begin like ordinary days.” —Mary Chase, Loretta Mason Pots 🌞
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Mary Chase, author of the play Harvey (you know, the invisible rabbit), wrote a couple of books for children in her time, and this one from 1958 is about as charming as a story you’ll ever read. One day, young Colin Mason learns, rather accidentally, that he has an older sister, the very bad, very rude Loretta Mason Potts. This discovery sets off a series of events that eventually find Colin in a hidden, Narnia-type world where his mean, mean sister is beloved by all, much to Colin’s displeasure. It’s grand fun. Our edition, which is available in paperback as of this week, has illustrations by Harold Berson throughout. #classicchildrensbooks #vintageillustration #marychase

Janet Malcolm got a second chance on the stand after Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson sued her for defamation. What did she wri...
09/17/2020
A Second Chance

Janet Malcolm got a second chance on the stand after Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson sued her for defamation. What did she write about him? Read In the Freud Archives. It's more tasty than a meal at Chez Panisse.

In an afterword to The Journalist and the Murderer (1990), I wrote about Jeffrey Masson’s lawsuit, taking a very high tone. I put myself above the fray; I looked at things from a glacial distance. My aim wasn’t to persuade anyone of my innocence. It was to show off what a good writer I was. Read...

@thisispattismith is reading Skylark! 📖...@thisispattismith:This isa late afternoon break. Tea and literature-awriter fr...
09/16/2020

@thisispattismith is reading Skylark! 📖
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@thisispattismith:
This is
a late afternoon break.
Tea and literature-a
writer from Subotica.
A book called Skylark.
The pigeons partake of
the last of my crackers,
school children named
Lucy and Ruby stop to
say hello. Fall is indeed
in the air. I write a few
lines then saunter home.
#nyrb

Two novellas, in one book, by the great Natalia Ginzburg—on sale today. Valentino is a hapless but handsome son of a poo...
09/15/2020

Two novellas, in one book, by the great Natalia Ginzburg—on sale today. Valentino is a hapless but handsome son of a poor family who marries the rich but ugly Maddalena. Valentino’s sisters aren’t quite as charmed by their lazy brother, but family is family, thick through thin. Sagittarius is another story of misplaced confidence recounted by a wary daughter, whose mother moves to the suburbs eager to find new friends. She meets one, the mysterious Scilla, and together they decide to open an art gallery. These are two of Ginzburg's most beloved works, translated by Avril Bardoni, and exhibit the mordant humor, keen psychological insight, and unflinching moral realism that has won Ginzburg so many fans.

"Among the literary gems produced by the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian empire, this memoir [The Snows of Yesteryear] b...
09/14/2020
Five Best: Lynn Freed on Paradises Lost

"Among the literary gems produced by the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian empire, this memoir [The Snows of Yesteryear] by Gregor von Rezzori—writer, publisher, TV personality and bon vivant—shines bright as the sun."

From the author of the novel ‘The Last Laugh.’

Brian Dillon's Suppose a Sentence makes the cut into LitHub's books to read in September. Which 28 sentences (or authors...
09/11/2020
12 Books You Should Read in September

Brian Dillon's Suppose a Sentence makes the cut into LitHub's books to read in September. Which 28 sentences (or authors, to make it a bit simpler) make the cut into Suppose a Sentence? Not answered here, you'll have to read the book.

Sigrid Nunez, What Are You Going Through (Riverhead) Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend shot into bestseller-dom in 2018, one of the select few bestsellers that has, in my humble opinion, earned the stature…

Melissa Monroe’s new poetry collection, Medusa Beach, is out today. Swipe through to read selections from two of the boo...
09/08/2020

Melissa Monroe’s new poetry collection, Medusa Beach, is out today. Swipe through to read selections from two of the book’s poetic cycles: one inspired by Old English and Old High German spells, and the other featuring language from a book of 1940s-era criminal slang. And be sure to tune into the @communitybookstore Zoom discussion between Monroe and NYRB Classics editorial director Edwin Frank next Wednesday, September 16, at 7:30pm EDT.

“How fast the summer was going now!” —B.B., The Little Grey Men 😱.B.B.’s ecologically-minded novel The Little Grey Men i...
09/04/2020

“How fast the summer was going now!” —B.B., The Little Grey Men 😱
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B.B.’s ecologically-minded novel The Little Grey Men is a perfect end-of-summer read with its immersive descriptions of nature—rivers, streams, woodlands, and all the creatures that call those places home. You don’t have to be a kid to love Sneezewort, Baldmoney, and Dodder, the last gnomes in Britain. #gnomes #britishliterature #bb

"My favorite hero and villainess come from the same book, Lucky Jim.... It’s the only truly funny book I’ve read.... vul...
09/04/2020
John Cleese Intends to Have His Unread Books Buried With Him

"My favorite hero and villainess come from the same book, Lucky Jim.... It’s the only truly funny book I’ve read.... vulgar for producing such immoderate laughter.... hatred of his existence.... constant brick dropping..... fine array of private nasty faces.... She is the most...in western literature."

“My grave will be called ‘Mount Cleese.’”

"[H]e portrays a society riven by a class war that has devolved into a grisly procession of tit-for-tat murders.""He tur...
09/04/2020
Discover the taut political thrillers of Jean-Patrick Manchette

"[H]e portrays a society riven by a class war that has devolved into a grisly procession of tit-for-tat murders."

"He turned this unrest into a series of politically engaged pulp fictions as smooth as a well-oiled revolver."

"His characters’ interests are narrow but deep—in particular, what bullets do to bodies and the weapons that fire them."

—Discover Jean-Patrick Manchette in The Economist.

Unlike today’s noir fiction, his books waste no time on psychology

"The other night, when I was drunk, you told me you had a motive."—An excerpt from Jean-Patrick Manchette's No Room at t...
09/02/2020
No Room at the Morgue

"The other night, when I was drunk, you told me you had a motive."

—An excerpt from Jean-Patrick Manchette's No Room at the Morgue, translated from the French by Alyson Waters, is up at CrimeReads. Will P. I. Eugène Tarpon find the murdered? What's the deal with Memphis Charles? You'll need to read the whole book to find out.

We took the Toronado that was waiting on the muddy path, a short distance from the garden that had gone to seed. The driver had had the keys on him, and now I had them. I asked the girl what she’d …

"It is wondrous how a creative life, once snatched from the cultural dustbin, does not age or decay as do our mortal par...
08/31/2020
On the Experimental Realism of an Eccentric Russian Anglophile

"It is wondrous how a creative life, once snatched from the cultural dustbin, does not age or decay as do our mortal parts but rather expands, gains traction, and picks up a momentum of its own."

— Caryl Emerson on Sigizmund Krzhizhanvosky, whose writing has a bright life in English through the translations of Joanne Turnbull. Unwitting Street, a new collection of stories, is filled with Krzhizhanovsky's characteristic metaphysical play and the joys of fantasy, thought, and reading.

The Russian phantasmagorical modernist Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky (1887-1950), lost to his own time and now being found in ours, was single-handedly saved twice. The first rescue was of his immortal …

Founded in 2007 and located in Traverse City, MI, @brilliantbookstc bills itself as “Your Long Distance Local Bookstore....
08/29/2020

Founded in 2007 and located in Traverse City, MI, @brilliantbookstc bills itself as “Your Long Distance Local Bookstore.” With a monthly subscription service and a generous stock of NYRB titles, they’re a true gem of the Midwest—and they ship anywhere in the US for no extra charge. From the folks at Brilliant: “You can stop by to browse our shelves if capacity permits, but you can also shop from home on our website at Brilliant-Books.net. No one will ever know if you opt to browse our New York Review Books collection in your pj’s…” #independentbookstoreday

"Anniversaries was making clear that the daily time of political emergency is always also matched by an irreconcilably d...
08/28/2020
Departures and Returns

"Anniversaries was making clear that the daily time of political emergency is always also matched by an irreconcilably different time in which it is already too late for purely individual salvation."

—Nicholas Dames on reading Uwe Johnson's Anniversaries during the coronavirus pandemic, and staying in NYC while your neighbors leave.

Someday, and for those of us in a country incapable of reasoned, collective care that day will have to be a matter for personal calculation, it will have been a year since the current conjuncture began. What I will remember of its beginning is the people leaving.

Tomorrow is Independent Bookstore Day! To celebrate and show our appreciation for indie booksellers, we’ll be spotlighti...
08/28/2020

Tomorrow is Independent Bookstore Day! To celebrate and show our appreciation for indie booksellers, we’ll be spotlighting a few stores from across the country here on our page. We’re kicking things off with @storiesbooksandcafe, located on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Noted “NYRB enthusiasts” (swipe through to see a few of their picks from the Classics series), they’re currently open for browsing and have a patio available for seating. You can also order books directly from their website: storiesla.com. #independentbookstoreday

MoMA The Museum of Modern Art will reopen on August 27 with its delayed exhibition "Félix Fénéon: The Anarchist and the ...
08/27/2020
Félix Fénéon, the Collector-Anarchist Who Was Seurat’s First Champion

MoMA The Museum of Modern Art will reopen on August 27 with its delayed exhibition "Félix Fénéon: The Anarchist and the Avant-Garde — From Signac to Matisse and Beyond." Luc Sante translated Fénéon's series of brief accounts from the world around him in 1906, in a book titled "Novels in Three Lines." Roberta Smith describes them in her excellent review:

"These capsule accounts of scandals, murders, accidents and crimes of passion are exquisitely wrought. Their wry compression and uninflected prose startle and please, making the inequities of everyday life they highlight all the more savage and shocking. In one, he wrote: 'Finding his daughter insufficiently austere, Jallat, watchmaker of St. Étienne, killed her. It is true he has 11 children left.' They are the living ancestors to Cubist collage, the Surrealists’ exquisite corpse drawings and all kinds of 20th-century poetry. In them, Fénéon the aesthete and Fénéon the anarchist meet, and the non-artist becomes an artist of lasting achievement."

The Museum of Modern Art reopens with an exemplary show devoted to an essential figure who multitasked his way through the aesthetic and political ferment of Belle Époque Paris.

Robert Lowell was married to three authors now in the NYRB Classics series: Jean Stafford, Elizabeth Hardwick, and Carol...
08/26/2020
Robert Lowell, in print and in life | Michael Hofmann

Robert Lowell was married to three authors now in the NYRB Classics series: Jean Stafford, Elizabeth Hardwick, and Caroline Blackwood.

Michael Hofmann recounts the end of the Lowell-Hardwick relationship and the beginning of the Lowell-Blackwood one in reviewing two new books: a new edition of Lowell's controversial long poem The Dolphin and a selection of letters between Hardwick, Lowell and their circle from the same period (including Hardwick's private letters that Lowell used in his poems without permission).

Hofmann finds that "Hardwick emerges as a superior person altogether, so much more diligent, more intense, more compassionate, more aware, more committed than anyone else around. This is the unsurprising revelation of the book. Her white pieces overwhelm his black. Sometimes, reading her, you think she is even better at being Lowell than he is, the more literary, the more acute, the more inspired, the better phrasemaker, the originator, even, perhaps, of that style that took off 'on the wings of adjectives', as it says on the last page of Sleepless Nights."

Book review | The Dolphin Letter, 1970–1979, edited by Saskia Hamilton; The Dolphin: Two versions, 1972–1973, by Robert Lowell, reviewed by Michael Hofmann

"The renowned Nigerian author Cyprian Ekwensi (1921-2007) was one of the first authors to be selected for the pioneering...
08/26/2020
Reviewed: People of the City by Cyprian Ekwensi

"The renowned Nigerian author Cyprian Ekwensi (1921-2007) was one of the first authors to be selected for the pioneering Heinemann African Writers Series by its editor, Ekwensi's fellow countryman, the novelist Chinua Achebe (1930-2013)."

—Paddy Kehoe review Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City for Ireland's RTÉ.

The renowned Nigerian author Cyprian Ekwensi (1921-2007) was one of the first authors to be selected for the pioneering Heinemann African Writers Series by its editor, Ekwensi's fellow countryman, Chinua Achebe.

“They went off for the day and left him, in the slyest, sneakiest way you could imagine.” —Mavis Gallant; Green Water, G...
08/21/2020

“They went off for the day and left him, in the slyest, sneakiest way you could imagine.” —Mavis Gallant; Green Water, Green Sky; Chapter 1 🙎‍♂️
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Yesterday, @apublicspace kicked off their virtual book club for Mavis Gallant’s Green Water, Green Sky, led by @lelliottholt 🌵🌿☘️ You can find the short novel in our edition of A Fairly Good Time (in the back). We’ve shared Holt’s thoughts about the first two chapters in our stories. (If you are reading along, we are at p. 306!) #apstogether #mavisgallant

Two new books arriving from @nottinghilleditions this fall: A. J. Lee’s Brazil That Never Was (10/6) is a memoir of the ...
08/21/2020

Two new books arriving from @nottinghilleditions this fall: A. J. Lee’s Brazil That Never Was (10/6) is a memoir of the author and neurologist’s childhood fascination with the doomed Amazonian journey of Colonel Percy Fawcett—subject of David Grann’s The Lost City of Z—and his quest years later to uncover the truth behind the mythic imaginings of his adolescence. A. A. Milne’s Happy Half Hours (10/27) collects nearly three dozen essays & short prose pieces by the Winnie-the-Pooh creator on subjects as varied as geography, golf, marriage, superstition, writing for children, and his own ardent pacifism.

Coming in October is a collection of Nikolai Leskov's short stories, in new translations by Donald Rayfield. The title s...
08/21/2020
Fiction Book Review: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk by Nikolai Leskov, trans. from the Russian by Donald Rayfield et al. NYRB Classics, $17.95 (360p) ISBN 978-1-6813-7490-1

Coming in October is a collection of Nikolai Leskov's short stories, in new translations by Donald Rayfield. The title story, "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk," was made into an opera by Dmitri Shostakovich, a critical and popular success until attacked in an anonymous article titled "Muddle Instead of Music" that may have been penned by Stalin. Leskov's stories served as the inspiration for Walter Benjamin’s great essay “The Storyteller,” in which Benjamin contrasts the plotty machinations of the modern novel with the strange, melancholy, but also worldly-wise yarns of an older, slower era that Leskov remained in touch with.

A motley cast of Russian gentlewomen, Roma, and Old Believers populate this masterly collection from Leskov (1831–1895), a lesser-known contemporary of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy. In stories spanning the

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HELLO EVERYONE Are you simply beginning to compose or promote any kinds of book???? Im capable to promote your BOOK & EBOOK ,AMAZON KINDLE TO 10 million active PEOPLE on social media platforms, KINDLY INBOX ME BY CLICK THE LINK BELOW
Pandemic, killings and protests, economy in a mess, the upcoming election is going to be the most Hatred Election ever. Lord let us Pray! Prayer Gregory St. James Mundy- the writer of the book “I LOVE GOD”. Explains that if all we needed to do is pray, every one of us would be Powerball winners. Praying is meditation for the soul, it is strength to keep us going and striving to do the best that we can even if in the end we fail. Always be prepared for the worst but pray for the best. Always have confidence and believe in yourself and encourage others to do the same. Prayer soothes the mind and help us not to worry and most of all prepare us for whatever comes. Through prayer we will be able to deal with crisis in our lives with a steady mind and soul. Prayer keeps us from going insane. Where if we find ourselves giving up hope then if everything this time works out, we find ourselves stressed out, frustrated, high blood pressure or worried to death over nothing. Prayer allow you to bet on yourself than bet against yourself. Prayer help you to work harder and give you the power of faith to achieve what you need when you thought you could not. No, prayer is not something guaranteed or backed by a warranty. Prayer is built on hope, it can give you confidence and sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes that is all you need to perform a Miracle!
Pandemic, killings and protests, economy in a mess, the upcoming election is going to be the most Hatred Election ever. Lord let us Pray! Prayer Gregory St. James Mundy- the writer of the book “I LOVE GOD”. Explains that if all we needed to do is pray, every one of us would be Powerball winners. Praying is meditation for the soul, it is strength to keep us going and striving to do the best that we can even if in the end we fail. Always be prepared for the worst but pray for the best. Always have confidence and believe in yourself and encourage others to do the same. Prayer soothes the mind and help us not to worry and most of all prepare us for whatever comes. Through prayer we will be able to deal with crisis in our lives with a steady mind and soul. Prayer keeps us from going insane. Where if we find ourselves giving up hope then if everything this time works out, we find ourselves stressed out, frustrated, high blood pressure or worried to death over nothing. Prayer allow you to bet on yourself than bet against yourself. Prayer help you to work harder and give you the power of faith to achieve what you need when you thought you could not. No, prayer is not something guaranteed or backed by a warranty. Prayer is built on hope, it can give you confidence and sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes that is all you need to perform a Miracle!
Regarding that hardly comprehensible article on dance:
LMA (Lisboa Metropolitan Area) and the Lioz Limestone Selection Environment Influence, by Laurindo Amorim This manuscript covers a lot of ground, delving into the history, archaeology, and even chemistry of Lioz limestone with the selection environment influence and other types of stones in Portugal. Describes the countless utilities that can be used with stone. As well as making known the role of some places in the Lisboa Metropolitan Area in the distribution of the stone in various places around the world.
This book is very different from any other chess book I have ever reviewed. As a book reviewer, each box or package you receive in the mail is a bit like the holiday season, it could be something awful or it could be something amazing, You never really know, that being said, since I reviewed my first books back in 1999 for ChessCafe, a lot of things have changed, most importantly, truly awful books are difficult to find, especially from the main ublishers. The quality floor has been raised so many times, that the clunkers that quite regularly made into print are nowadays being filtered away, either by the publishers through refusing the idea for the book or by having heavy-handed editors who clean up manuscripts into finely polished books. But every now and again, one of those books still slip through the net. This book, however, is the polar opposite of a clunker. The outward presentation is a good indication, it is a hardcover, excellently bound, excellent paper quality and the printing is stunning. The concept of the book is to present paintings depicting chess through the ages, from 1100 through 1900. The material is split up in five chapters, the first covering 1100 to 1500, the remaining four each cover a century. I knew that chess had been depicted in many pictures over the years, but until I saw this book I didn’t realize quite how many times, it actually turned out to be. In the book, we are being told that the book’s author had set out to buy about chess and art for his uncle, but got stomped by the fact that such a book didn’t exist. So he set out to write such a book himself. It ended up taking more than a decade but the result was well worth the wait, it is visually stunning and the number of art pieces illustrated is impressive. Some of the paintings were familiar to me, indeed some have been used as cover illustrations for chess books in the past, for instance, a series of paintings were used for a series of books by the East German publisher, Sportsverlag in the 1980s. A heartfelt congratulations from me to the author and publisher, the book is truly and literally one of a kind. The book is expensive, 111 Euros when purchased on the dedicated website, www.chessinart.com, and the shipping to the US is 25 Euros, but as a conversation piece or coffee table book, it is well worth every cent, if you enjoy art and have some money that you don’t know what to do with. Chess In Art - History of chess in Paintings 1100-1900 by Peter Herel Raabenstein (HereLove 2020) www.chessinart.com
My book about the Nazi fugitives who lived in Bariloche (Patagonia)
LMA (Lisboa Metropolitan Area) and the Lioz Limestone Selection Environment Influence, by Laurindo Amorim This manuscript covers a lot of ground, delving into the history, archaeology, and even chemistry of limestone and other types of stones in Portugal. As well as making known the role of some places in the Lisboa Metropolitan Area in the distribution of the stone in various places around the world.
Chess in Art: History of chess in paintings 1100 – 1900 Book Review / By Carl Portman Chess in art, science and sport, or so they say. There have been debates around this assertion across the centuries. Marcel Duchamp famously said that “While all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists”. There is a dearth of books about chess in art. Enter stage right the new book from Peter Herel Raabenstein, published by HereLove, with some 317 pages. The author is a conceptual artist born in Czech Republic. I write this review as a chess player for chess players. The advertising strapline says "This unique book, a collection of paintings where chess is the main theme, is a brilliant example of connection between the Game of Kings, art and history". He was inspired by the symbolism of chess and evolution of art itself. This is a book that contains mostly pictures with little text. Each page carries one or more images of art with the name of the artist. There are several pages at the end of the book giving a basic profile of each artist. The book is divided into five eras across 800 centuries, thus: 1100-1500 1500-1600 1600-1700 1700-1800 1800-1900 This is followed by the Index. It’s tricky to review a book like this. It is art, and therefore subjective to the reader. If you like art and chess, then I am sure the reader will relish this. It is the biggest collection of chess in art that I have ever seen in one place, and I can put it all on my coffee table. There is a lot of material to study and it was fun to see if the boards were set up correctly – something which often goes wrong, and infuriates real chess players, as it leaves a question as to whether the artist actually knew and played the game or not. Unsurprisingly, as the centuries progress the artistic presentation changes and this will be a question of taste. I find some of the paintings to be agnificent such as Peder H.K. Zahrtmann’s work (only one person seems truly interested in the chess and they are not at the board!) but other works are not to not to my taste. As I said, it is subjective. The book demonstrates that the game of chess has been and still is played across the social spectrum, from Royalty to agamuffin, in castles and houses around the world. Chess is depicted as an intellectual pursuit, a thinking person’s game. These paintings declare openly that chess brings families together in drawing rooms and clubs (online chess, take note) and that women and children are every bit as interested in the game. Indeed, there are plenty of paintings of women playing both men and one another. In most of the paintings, the hessboard is the centre of attention but in others I had to look further to work out the chess connection. The answers are all there. There are Baroque and Classical works here, and it is fun to study the costumes and the settings. Then we can scrutinize the actual positions on the chessboard. How were such positions arrived at? Did they declare a wbroader message, perhaps even secret ones? There is a wonderful painting by Dominik Skutecky from 1898 which reminds me of Stephen Fry as General Melchett. I wonder if he has seen it – he likes chess after all. I do have a couple of critical observations. I am not an art student, so I benefit from an expert explaining aspects of a painting to me. It helps me to increase my appreciation of a work. You won’t get that here. I craved further information, but I appreciate that this is difficult to achieve. I wondered who the characters are, why did the artist add this or that aspect, what materials were used for the painting etc? The author declares that it was not possible to obtain all images in the highest printing quality. He is reaching back hundreds of years after all. What is the objective of the book? Clearly to offer images of chess in art. In that sense, it has achieved the objective but there is more to this. It was a cultural journey. It reminded me of the old adage, ‘It’s not enough to look, you have to see’. Chess players might baulk at the hefty price tag, but I do believe that it is one of a kind. Do I recommend it? Yes. I see it as an investment in any chess player’s collection that can be enjoyed time and again.