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 seriously by all involved, author included. Set in the late … Continue reading The Duel by Heinrich Von Kleist

The Duel by Giacomo Casanova

A well connected young man, a libertine from Venice, finds himself in trouble with the law.  So he flees to Poland where he finds a place in the royal court. I really want this story to be true. The inside flap of my edition says the novella is a “thinly veiled autobiography” and that it later appears, with a few small changes, in the author’s … Continue reading The Duel by Giacomo Casanova

The Duel by Alexander Kuprin Translated by Josh Billings

Russian writer Alexander Kuprin (1870-1938) based his 1905 novel The Duel on his experience in the Russian infantry where he spent four years in a provincial outpost in the Ukraine. I’m guessing he didn’t have a very good time. Kuprin was drummed out of the infantry after an altercation with a local police officer over an insult.  He then turned full-time to writing.  Living in Kiev … Continue reading The Duel by Alexander Kuprin Translated by Josh Billings