In this series, a contemporary poet selects and introduces a poet of the past. By their choice of poems and by the personal and critical reactions they express in their prefaces, the editors offer insights into their own work as well as providing an accessible and passionate introduction to the most important poets in our literature. A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing. -- Endymion
The Philokalia is a collection of texts on prayer and the spiritual life, written between the fourth and fifteenth centuries by spiritual masters of the Orthodox Christian tradition. First published in Greek in 1782, translated into Slavonic and later into Russian, The Philokalia has had a decisive influence upon the Orthodox Church during the last two centuries, and it continues to be read more and more widely. The Philokalia is devoted to themes of universal significance: how we may develop our inner powers and awake from illusion; how we may overcome fragmentation and achieve wholeness; how we may attain contemplative stillness and union with God. This is the first complete translation into English. It is made from the original Greek, and is to be completed in five volumes. The third volume contains works dating from the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Peter of Damaskos, the chief author included, offers a clear and comprehensive survey of the spiritual way, quoting abundantly from earlier writers. Symeon Metaphratis, in his paraphrase of Makarios, stresses the central place of the Holy Spirit. As in the first two volumes, the editors have provided introductory notes to each of the writers, a glossary of key terms, and a detailed index.
In May 1939 Britten and Pears disembarked at Montreal at the start of their American visit, which was to be a period of intense musical activity and new personal relationships. At the same time, the relationship between Britten and Pears deepened into a partnership that was to endure for almost forty years.Their absence from England during the first years of the war led to sharp public comment and controversy, much of it documented here. On their return from America in 1942, hostility to their pacifist convictions and to their homosexuality resurfaced. Prejudice and subterfuge even affected the première of Peter Grimes in 1945, although it could not prevent the opera from being an unprecedented success.The letters in this second volume from the years 1939 to 1945 are among the most fascinating of the correspondence, and - supplemented by the editors' detailed commentary and by exhaustive contemporary documentation - offer a unique insight into American history, politics and culture during the Second World War.
Faster, higher, stronger: winning words are those that inspire you on to Olympian goals. From falling in love to overcoming adversity, celebrating a new born or learning to live with dignity: here is a book to inspire and to thrill through life's most magical moments. From William Shakespeare to Carol Ann Duffy, our most popular and best loved poets and poems are gathered in one essential collection, alongside many lesser known treasures that are waiting to be discovered. These are poems that help you to see the miraculous in the commonplace and turn the everyday into the exceptional - to discover, in Kipling's words, that yours is the Earth and everything that's in it.
POETRY BOOK SOCIETY CHOICE The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile, Alice Oswald's first collection of poems, announced the arrival of a distinctive new voice. Shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize, the book introduced readers to her meditative, intensely musical style, and her breath-taking gift for visionary writing. 'The poetry of Alice Oswald arrives like a zephyr . . . a fresh and exciting first collection.' Kathleen Jamie, Times Literary Supplement 'an inspired debut of lightly-worn wisdom and verbal panache.' John Fuller 'Alice Oswald throws the windows of the imagination open; she places a fingertip on the pulse of tradition, and proves it is still very much alive.' The Times
Henry Morton Stanley was a cruel imperialist - a bad man of Africa. Or so we think: but as Tim Jeal brilliantly shows, the reality of Stanley's life is yet more extraordinary. Few people know of his dazzling trans-Africa journey, a heart-breaking epic of human endurance which solved virtually every one of the continent's remaining geographical puzzles. With new documentary evidence, Jeal explores the very nature of exploration and reappraises a reputation, in a way that is both moving and truly majestic.
Julius Caesar combines in one volume two of Rex Warner's most acclaimed historical novels: The Young Caesar and Imperial Caesar. The latter won the 1960 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. Together these two novels create one of the most compelling and substantial portraits in modern fiction of Caesar's remarkable life and times. 'A very brilliant analysis of the emotional disciplines, the political subtlety and the moral realism required to secure absolute power. It is a remarkable historical reconstruction.' Angus Wilson, Observer 'As a feat of sustained historical imagination Rex Warner's autobiography of Julius Caesar is an astonishing achievement . . . A very wonderful book which grows in the memory.' C. V. Wedgwood 'This splendid books ranks with Graves's I, Claudius and with Marguerite Yourcenar's Memoirs of Hadrian as a near-masterpiece of the re-creation of the ancient world. It will banish forever the boredom that often still lingers round one's memories of having to translate Caesar.' Elizabeth Jennings, The Listener
Thomas Bernhard, one of the most distinct, celebrated, and perverse of 20th century writers, took his own life in 1989. Perhaps the greatest Austrian writer of the 20th century, Bernhard's vision in novels like Cutting Timber was relentlessly bleak and comically nihilistic. His prose is torrential and his stlye unmistakable. Bernhard is the missing link between Kafka, Beckett, Michel Houellebecq and Lars von Trier; without Bernhard the literature of alienation and self-contempt would be bereft of its great practitioner.Cutting Timber: An Irritation is widely recognised as his masterpiece. Over the course of a few hours, following a performance of Ibsen's The Wild Duck, we are in the company of the Auersbergers, and our narrator, who never once leaves the relative comfort of his 'wing-backed chair' where he sips at a glass of champagne. As they anticpate the arrival of the star actor, and the commencement of dinner, the narrator of Cutting Timber dismantles the hollow pretentiousness at the heart of the Austrian bourgeoisie. The effect is devastating; the horror only redeemed by the humour.
Ffangs lives with the other vampires on Vampire Island, but he is different from the rest - he can't stand the sight of blood! When he arrives in London, everyone is too frightened to listen when he explains that he only wants to be human. And soon he finds himself alone in Buckingham Palace to face Thomas the Vampire Hunter . . .
Following his hugely acclaimed TV come-back Comedy Vehicle, Lee finds himself in search of ideas for a new Edinburgh show. On a long walk across London, he endures a coffee shop humiliation involving a loyalty card which suggests itself as a framing device. Later that month, thanks to Jeremy Clarkson's casual slur against Gordon Brown and the appearance of a well-meaning young comedian in an advert, a show is born.Featuring a transcript of the show fully annotated with footnotes, the If You Prefer A Milder Comedian EP confirms Stewart Lee as the most original, daring and brilliant comedian of his generation.
-You're having some kind of crisis.-It's called being fifty. You must be having it too.Hilary once protested at Greenham. Now her protests tend to focus on persuading her teenage daughter to go out fully clothed.A frank and funny family drama questioning parental anxieties and life after fifty, Jumpy by April De Angelis premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in October 2011.
Greg is overheard admitting that his girlfriend Steph is no beauty, but that he wouldn't change her for the world. She is devastated; he can't see what he's done wrong. Meanwhile, Greg's friend Kent alternates between boasting about how gorgeous his wife Carlyis and chasing after a hot new colleague.The final part of Neil LaBute's 'beauty trilogy' (following The Shape of Things and Fat Pig) about society's obsession with looks, Reasons to Be Pretty premiered in the UK at the Almeida Theatre, London, in November 2011.'[The Shape of Things] is LaBute's thesis on extreme feminine wiles, as well as a disquisition on how far an artist can go in the name of art . . . Like a chiropractor for the soul, LaBute is looking for realignment, listening for the crack.' Elle'A heart-warming tale from America's master misanthrope.' Independent on Fat Pig
Harley Granville Barker, the most influential theatre-maker of his time, finds himself adrift in America during the Great War. Estranged from the theatre, and with his spirit almost broken by an acrimonious divorce, he seeks refuge in the relative obscurity of a quiet, backwater, Williamstown, Massachusetts. He finds comfort in the congeniality of his fellow refugees and in the courtesy of strangers - and gradually begins to regain his faith in humanity and his belief in the central role of Theatre in the civilised community.
Black Marina, set on an 'island paradise' in the Caribbean, tells a story of great force and poignancy partly inspired by the events surrounding the invasion of Grenada in 1983. Holly Baker, an English woman, came to St James during her carefree days of bar-hopping in the 1960s. Somehow she never managed to get away. Now, her loyalties fluctuating, she is caught up in the advanced stages of a drama both personal and political - and which embodies the conflicts inherent in this small, dangerously placed society. As the island and its visitors prepare for Christmas, events that were seeded at the time of Holly's arrival on St James finally blow up into a violent and chilling debacle. 'A gentle and poetic style contains a hot, explosive story.' Vogue 'Witty and tragic.' Listener Faber Finds is devoted to restoring to readers a wealth of lost or neglected classics and authors of distinction. The range embraces fiction, non-fiction, the arts and children's books. For a full list of available titles visit www.faberfinds.co.uk. To join the dialogue with fellow book-lovers please see our blog, www.faberfindsblog.co.uk.
'I was obsessed - let me confess - by cities and settlements in the Central and South Americas that are an enigma to many scholars. I dreamt of their abandonment, their bird-masks, their animal-masks ... Did their inhabitants rebel against the priests, did obscure holocausts occur, civil strife, famine, plague? Was Jonestown the latest manifestation...?' Jonestown (1996), one of Wilson Harris's most acclaimed creations, is a fictional re-imagining of the real-life ritual mass suicide orchestrated by Reverend Jim Jones in the remote Guyana forest in 1978. The novel's narrator, Francisco Bone, has survived the suicide albeit in a traumatized condition. By way of a dream-book he tries to heal his psychic wound, under the influence of the Mayan concept of time that twins past and future. Faber Finds is devoted to restoring to readers a wealth of lost or neglected classics and authors of distinction. The range embraces fiction, non-fiction, the arts and children's books. For a full list of available titles visit www.faberfinds.co.uk. To join the dialogue with fellow book-lovers please see our blog, www.faberfindsblog.co.uk.
The Wars of the Roses turned England upside down. Between 1455 and 1485 four kings lost their thrones, more than forty noblemen lost their lives on the battlefield or their heads on the block, and thousands of the men who followed them met violent deaths. Yet almost nothing is known about the thoughts and feelings of the people who lived through this bloody conflict, whether kind of noble, landowner or peasant. Almost nothing, but not quite. As they made their way in a disintegrating world, a Norfolk family called the Pastons were writing letters - about politics, about business, about shopping, about love and about each other. Using these letters, the oldest surviving family correspondence in English, Helen Castor traces the extraordinary history of the Paston family across three generations. Blood & Roses tells the dramatic, moving and intensely human story of how one family survived one of the most tempestuous periods in English history.
Delving into backstage scandal, tabloid rumour and the cut-throat worlds of music and television, Tom Bower leaves no stone unturned in this must-read biography. Packed with juicy details, exclusive interviews and sensational revelations, Sweet Revenge is an incredible portrait of a fascinating celebrity which also uncovers the real stories behind The X Factor, Britain's Got Talent and American Idol.
Tom Stoppard's dramatisation for BBC TV of Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford will bring new readers to the novel as well as giving Stoppard's audience much that is original to his inventive version of a masterwork of modernist English literature. This is the story of Christopher Tietjens, the 'last Tory', his beautiful, disconcerting wife Sylvia, and the virginal young suffragette Valentine Wannop who completes this triangle of love among the English upper class before and during the Great War.
The Revengers' ComediesA hugely entertaining pitch that recalls the old movies to which it frequently pays homage - Strangers on a Train, Rebecca, Kind Hearts and Coronets - and expands after intermission to reveal an immensely disturbing vision of contemporary middle-class England poisoned by the rise of economic ruthlessness and the collapse of ethics. New York Times Things We Do for LoveLloyds Private Banking Playwright of the Year AwardOne of his best, his most shockingly and uproariously funny: a cruel and hilarious masterpiece of tragic comedy and comic tragedy. Sunday TimesHouse & GardenThe triumph of his ingenuity lies in the fact that you have to see both plays . . . A second time round, in whichever order you take them, characters will deepen, while those you know become the background. It is a superb Ayckbourn joke that a comedy about non-communication should depend on the sharpest communication skills. Sunday Times
Legendarily reticent, perverse and misleading, Prince is one of the few remaining 80s superstars who still, perhaps, remains unexplained. Now a firm fixture in the pop canon, where such classics as 'Purple Rain', 'Sign o' the Times' and 'Parade' regularly feature in Best Ever Album polls, Prince is still, as he ever was, an enigma. His live performances are legendary (21 Nights at the O2 in 2007) and while recent releases have been modestly successful at best, his influence on urban music, and R'n'B in particular, has never been more evident. The Minneapolis Sound can now be heard everywhere.Matt Thorne's Prince, through years of research and interviews with ex-Revolution members such as Wendy and Lisa, is an account of a pop maverick whose experiments with rock, funk, techno and jazz revolutionised pop. With reference to every song, released and unreleased, over 35 years of recording, Prince will stand for years to come as the go-to book on the Great Man.
Christopher Reid's new collection is a quartet of works for voice, opening with the brisk and brightly coloured monologue of Professor Winterthorn - recently widowed, soon to be retired, who decides on impulse to attend a conference (on 'Nonsense and the Pursuit of Futility as strategies...') in California. He is a mordant observer, alert to the anomie of modern displacement - taxis, lifts, airports, lounges, hotel rooms - whose thin air seems at one with the loose change of widowhood, the having nowhere really to go. But adventure lies ahead, and sunshine, and Winterthorn is debonair if undeceived about the deceptions of grief. His strange ride ends on a note of recovery, with the world suddenly in focus again and brimming before him.