Two with Pictures: The Singing Bones and Yvain, the Knight of the Lion

I’ve been doing some reading for work. Since I teach 7th grade history and English reading for work takes me places it might not take other grown men. Not that I mind. Two strong contenders for actual classroom use this time around. The first is M.T. Anderson’s graphic novel (illustrations by Andrea Offermann) Yvain, The Night…

Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada

A colleague at work asked me what I was reading last week. “I’m reading a novel about Russian polar bears written by a Japanese woman who lives in Berlin and writes in German.” “Oh.” You’ve probably never heard of this book, either. I found Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada, translated from the German…

New York City Book Buying Total Reaches Seven!

So I am  at seven books for seven days, as planned. Today, we made the obligatory visit to The Strand Bookstore, which you really must see if you visit New York and you love books.  The advertize 18 miles of books, which is probably true. Four stories of books, mostly new titles at a slightly…

Memoirs of My Nervous Illness by Paul Schreber

Memoirs of My Nervous Illness was an important work in the development of modern psychiatry.  Sigmund Freud based parts of his study of psychoanalysis on the book, though he never met Mr. Schreber.  Mr. Schreber was a judge in late 19th century Dresden–married with no children.  He had three bouts of “nervous illness,” each landing…

The Duel by Heinrich Von Kleist

This is the first of Melville House’s “Duel” series to feature a serious duel.  The others were life or death situations, but they were part of an overall comic or satirical structure that made fun of dueling or at least critiqued it. In Heinrich Von Kleist’s novel, translated by Annie Janusch, the duel is taken…