Press "Enter" to skip to content

Category: Biography

The Letters of Kingsley Amis

In 1954, Kingsley Amis grabbed the eye of the literary international as one of many offended younger males along with his first novel fortunate Jim. He maintained a public photograph of blistering intelligence, savage wit, and belligerent fierceness of opinion till his loss of life in 1995. In his letters, he confirms the mythical points of his acceptance, and lots more and plenty extra. This assortment comprises greater than 8 hundred letters that disclose the secrets and techniques of the artist and the guy, with an honesty and immediacy infrequent in any biography or memoir.

Amis, so guaranteed in his pronouncements on fellow writers, grapples privately with fears, self-doubts, goals, and private mess ups. he's wildly humorous, indulging in mordant gossip and fabulous frankness together with his intimate buddies and fans. a few letters are dashed off with signature frustration; others are written with painstaking and painful circumspection. They make brilliant the triumphs and tumult of his existence and his occasions, from post-war Britain throughout the Thatcher period, in addition to his sights to ladies, jazz, drink, and the comedian chances of the English language.

As an highbrow pugilist who took no prisoners, Kingsley Amis had few friends. those letters, now and then scandalous, now and then tragic, make stronger his historic relevance and literary stature.

Show description

Continue reading The Letters of Kingsley Amis

Comments closed

Within Reason: A Life of Spinoza

By Margaret Gullan-Whur

The compelling biography of 1 of the main marvelous and debatable thinkers in Western historyBaruch or Benedictus de Spinoza (1632-1677) is taken into account one of many maximum Western thinkers and positively the main rigorous of the Rationalist philosophers.Born of Jewish immigrants escaping the Spanish Inquisition, he used to be expelled from the Jewish neighborhood of Amsterdam for "horrendous heresies" in 1656.He got here to be reviled by way of all spiritual experts for claiming that people have been components of a unified nature, that God was once exact with nature, and that reason-not revelation-supplied the reality of any point of God, or Nature.Undeterred, Spinoza made this thesis the root for a rational campaign opposed to superstition and prejudice.This hugely informative biography indicates how Spinoza's significant ideals constructed in the context of his personal lifestyles in Dutch society.Drawing on very contemporary scholarly learn and making certain connection with basic resources, a few now not formerly explored, writer Gullan-Whur makes a speciality of the philosopher's try and act completely via cause within the face of turbulent own and nationwide circumstances.Margaret Gullan-Whur debunks the parable of the thinker as a lofty ascetic and exposes the emotional and sexual vulnerability at the back of Spinoza's misogynist tendencies.Within cause bargains a clean, new and compelling examine an important Rationalist and indicates his residing philosophical scan to be sharply suitable today.AUTHORBIO: Margaret Gullan-Whur received a first class measure in philosophy and important concept of literature from the collage of East Anglia, and a doctorate within the philosophy of Spinoza from college collage London.Cover work: Portrait of Spinoza, Dutch university, moment half the seventeenth century, reproduced courtesy of Haags Historisch Museum, The Hague; element from The Dam with the hot city corridor below building through Johannes Lingelbach reproduced via courtesy of Amsterdams Historisch Museum, Amsterdam.

Show description

Continue reading Within Reason: A Life of Spinoza

Comments closed

The Allure of the Archives (The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History)

By Arlette Farge

An beautiful appreciation of the detailed rewards of old study and a vintage consultant to the non-public but disciplined craft of discovery, now in its first English translation.

Arlette Farge’s Le Goût de l’archive is greatly considered as a historiographical vintage. whereas combing via two-hundred-year-old judicial files from the files of the Bastille, historian Farge was once struck through the terribly intimate portrayal they supplied of the lives of the bad in pre-Revolutionary France, in particular girls. She used to be seduced through the sensuality of outdated manuscripts and through the revelatory energy of voices in a different way misplaced. In The attract of the Archives, she conveys the excitement of uncovering hidden secrets and techniques and the fun of venturing into new dimensions of the past.

initially released in 1989, Farge’s vintage paintings communicates the tactile, interpretive, and emotional adventure of archival examine whereas sharing extraordinary information about existence less than the previous Regime in France. right now a realistic advisor to analyze method and a chic literary mirrored image at the demanding situations of writing heritage, this uniquely wealthy quantity demonstrates how surrendering to the archive’s attract can endlessly swap how we comprehend the past.

Show description

Continue reading The Allure of the Archives (The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History)

Comments closed

Picasso My Grandfather

By Marina Picasso

This relations memoir of lifestyles within the shadow of "The Sun"-the 20th century's maximum painter-who towered over the lives of his better halves, young ones, and grandchildren, is instructed by means of Marina Picasso, the granddaughter of Picasso and his first spouse, Olga Kokhlova, a former Russian ballerina who remained married to him until eventually her death.

Writers, artists, and movie stars put in themselves in Picasso's orbit, whilst his kin lived in impoverished stipulations, in terror of frightening his displeasure, not able to carve lives and identities in their personal for the regulate he exerted over their each flow. After years of humiliation, her father drank himself to demise. Then, the day after Picasso's demise, her brother poisoned himself. Marina's personal estrangement and next breakdown undefined, until eventually ultimately, via grief and awakening, she came upon herself and got here to phrases with the benefits and curses of the Picasso legacy. the result's this attention-grabbing and operatic account of her grandfather's first family.

repute, tragedy, glamour, extra, ardour, betrayal, and redemption: all of the crucial materials for a compelling family members drama are in complete strength during this tale of the non-public international of 1 of the nice iconic figures of the final century.

Show description

Continue reading Picasso My Grandfather

Comments closed

Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King

By Lisa Rogak

A fascinating examine the lifetime of the writer who created such glossy classics as Carrie, IT, and The Shining.
One of the main prolific and renowned authors on the earth this day, Stephen King has develop into a part of popular culture heritage. yet who's the fellow at the back of these stories of horror, grief, and the supernatural? the place do those principles come from? And what drives him to maintain writing at a breakneck speed after a thirty yr profession? during this unauthorized biography, Lisa Rogak unearths the troubled background and lifelong fears that encourage one of many 20th century's so much influential authors.
            King’s origins have been inauspicious at most sensible. His impoverished formative years in rural Maine and early marriage not often spelled out the chance of a blossoming literary profession. yet his unflagging paintings ethic and a ceaseless circulate of rules positioned him at the route to luck. It got here in a flash, and the negative effects of surprising stardom and doubtless limitless wealth quickly threatened to wreck his paintings and, worse, his existence. yet he survived and has because endured to jot down at a degree of originality few authors might ever desire to match.
            regardless of his darkish and traumatic paintings, Stephen King has develop into respected via critics and his numerous fanatics as an all-American voice extra corresponding to Mark Twain than H. P. Lovecraft. Haunted Heart chronicles his tale, revealing the nature of a guy who has created the most memorable---and frightening---stories present in literature this day.

Stephen King on Stephen King:

“I’m scared of everything.”

“As a child, I anxious approximately my sanity a lot."

“I am regularly drawn to this concept lot of fiction writers write for his or her fathers simply because their fathers are gone.”

“Writing is an habit for me.”

“I married her for her physique, although she acknowledged I married her for her typewriter.”

“When you get into this company, they don’t inform you you’ll get cat bones within the mail.”

 “You need to be a bit nuts to be a writer.”

“There’s continuously the urge to determine anyone useless that isn’t you.”

Show description

Continue reading Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King

Comments closed

Monsieur de Saint-George

The first complete biography of 1 of the best figures of eighteenth-century Europe, identified in his time because the "Black Mozart"

Virtually forgotten earlier, his existence is the stuff of legend. Born in 1739 in Guadeloupe to a slave mom and a French noble father, he turned the best swordsman of his age, an insider on the doomed court docket of Louis XVI, and, so much of all, a virtuosic musician. A violinist, he directed the Olympic Society of live shows, which used to be thought of the best in Europe in an age of serious musicians, together with Haydn, from whom he commissioned a symphony, and Mozart, to whom he was once frequently in comparison. He additionally turned the 1st Freemason of colour, embracing the French Revolution with the idea that it's going to finish the racism opposed to which-despite his illustrious achievements-he struggled his complete lifestyles. this is often the lifetime of Joseph Bologne, identified variously as Monsieur de Saint-George, the "Black Mozart," and, due to his origins, "the American." Alain Guédé deals a desirable account of this awesome person, whose musical compositions are in the end being revived and whose tale won't ever back be forgotten.

Show description

Continue reading Monsieur de Saint-George

Comments closed

Laughing at My Nightmare

By Shane Burcaw

With acerbic wit and a hilarious voice, Shane Burcaw's Laughing at My Nightmare describes the demanding situations he faces as a twenty-one-year-old with spinal muscular atrophy. From awkward handshakes to having a female friend and every thing in among, Shane handles his scenario with humor and a "you-only-live-once" viewpoint on existence. whereas he does speak about daily concerns which are relatable to young people, he additionally bargains an eye-opening standpoint on what it's wish to have a existence threatening ailment.

Show description

Continue reading Laughing at My Nightmare

Comments closed

Feynman's Lost Lecture: The Motion of Planets Around the Sun

By David Goodstein

"Glorious."―Wall highway Journal

Rescued from obscurity, Feynman's misplaced Lecture is a blessing for all Feynman fans. so much recognize Richard Feynman for the hilarious anecdotes and exploits in his best-selling books Surely you are Joking, Mr. Feynman! and What DoYou Care What folks Think? yet now not continuously noticeable in these tales was once his brilliance as a natural scientist―one of the century's maximum physicists. With this e-book and CD, we pay attention the voice of the nice Feynman in all his ingenuity, perception, and acumen for argument. This breathtaking lecture―"The movement of the Planets round the Sun"―uses not anything extra complicated than high-school geometry to provide an explanation for why the planets orbit the sunlight elliptically instead of in ideal circles, and conclusively demonstrates the extraordinary proven fact that has mystified and intrigued thinkers on account that Newton: Nature obeys arithmetic. David and Judith Goodstein supply us a fantastically written brief memoir of existence with Feynman, supply meticulous observation at the lecture itself, and relate the fascinating tale in their attempt to chase down one among Feynman's most unique and scintillating lectures.

Show description

Continue reading Feynman's Lost Lecture: The Motion of Planets Around the Sun

Comments closed

The Smart Money: How the World's Best Sports Bettors Beat the Bookies Out of Millions

By Michael Konik

A riveting inside of examine the profitable international high-stakes activities making a bet through a journalist who lived a mystery existence as a key operative within the world's such a lot winning activities playing ring. whilst journalist Michael Konik landed an interview with Rick "Big Daddy" Matthews, the biggest guess he'd put on a wearing occasion used to be $200. Konik, a professional blackjack and poker participant, was once no stranger to Vegas. yet Matthews used to be in a distinct league: the fellow was once rumored to be the world's smartest activities bettor, the mastermind in the back of "the mind Trust," a shadowy staff of gamblers identified for his or her services in beating the Vegas line. Konik had heard the note in the street -- that Matthews used to be a snake, a conniver who could do something to realize an part. yet he was once additionally fabulous, crafty, and captivating. And whilst he requested Konik if he'd prefer to "make a bit funds" through the soccer season, the author stumbled on himself seduced . . . So started Michael Konik's wild journey as an operative of the elite mind belief. within the clever funds, Konik takes readers at the back of the veil of secrecy shrouding the main profitable activities making a bet operation in the United States, bypassing the myths and the rumors, going all of the solution to its innermost sanctum. He finds how they -- and he -- received wealthy by way of beating the Vegas strains and, eventually, the multimillion-dollar offshore making a bet circuit. He information the excesses and the betrayals, the horse-trading and the paranoia, which are the perks and perils of a way of life within which staking inordinate sums of cash at the consequence of a unmarried occasion -- occasionally up to $1 million on a soccer online game -- is an ordinary a part of doing company.

Show description

Continue reading The Smart Money: How the World's Best Sports Bettors Beat the Bookies Out of Millions

Comments closed

Like a Bomb Going Off: Leonid Yakobson and Ballet as Resistance in Soviet Russia

By Janice Ross

Everyone has heard of George Balanchine, yet few open air Russia understand of Leonid Yakobson, Balanchine’s modern and arguably his equivalent, who remained in Lenin’s Russia and survived censorship in the course of the darkest days of Stalin. Like Shostakovich, Yakobson suffered for his paintings and but controlled to create a unique physique of progressive paintings that spoke to the Soviet . His ballets have been thought of so explosive that their impression was once defined as “like a bomb going off.”
 
Challenged instead of intimidated by means of the limitations imposed by means of Soviet censors on his ballets, Yakobson provided dancers and audiences an adventure relatively diversified from the present Soviet aesthetic. He was once unwilling to bow thoroughly to the state’s barriers on his creative possibilities, so regardless of his fraught family members together with his political overseers, his ballets retained early-twentieth-century circulation options reminiscent of turned-in and parallel-foot positions, oddly angled lifts, and eroticized content material, all of that have been anathema to triumphing Soviet ballet orthodoxy. For Yakobson, ballet used to be a kind of political discourse, and he was once relatively alive to the suppressed identification of Soviet Jews and formally sanctioned anti-Semitism. He used dance to rejoice reinvention and self-authorship—the freedom of the person voice as topic and medium. His ballets challenged the function of the dancing physique in the course of essentially the most repressive a long time of totalitarian rule.
 
Yakobson’s paintings spread out in a totalitarian nation, and there has been little legitimate attempt to maintain his choreographic archive or export wisdom of him to the West—gaps that dance historian Janice Ross seeks to redress during this booklet. in response to untapped archival collections of photos, movies, and writings approximately Yakobson’s paintings in Moscow and St. Petersburg for the Bolshoi and Kirov ballets, in addition to interviews with former dancers, kin, and viewers contributors, this illuminating and fantastically written learn brings to existence a hidden historical past of creative resistance within the Soviet Union during the tale of a courageous artist who struggled his whole lifestyles opposed to political repression but persisted to provide a vista of hope.

Show description

Continue reading Like a Bomb Going Off: Leonid Yakobson and Ballet as Resistance in Soviet Russia

Comments closed