The Plague, The Fall, Exile and the Kingdom, and Selected Essays
The Plague–written in 1947 and still profoundly relevant–is a riveting tale of horror, survival, and resilience in the face of a devastating epidemic. The Fall (1956), which takes the form of an astonishing confession by a French lawyer in a seedy Amsterdam bar, is a haunting parable of modern conscience in the face of evil. The six stories of Exile and the Kingdom (1957) represent Camus at the height of his narrative powers, masterfully depicting his characters–from a renegade missionary to an adulterous wife –at decisive moments of revelation. Set beside their fictional counterparts, Camus’s famous essays “The Myth of Sisyphus” and “Reflections on the Guillotine” are all the more powerful and philosophically daring, confirming his towering place in twentieth-century thought.
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler (Everyman’s Library)
Italo Calvino imagines a novel capable of endless mutations in this intricately crafted story about writing and readers.
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler turns out to be not one novel but ten, each with a different plot, style, ambience, and author, and each interrupted at a moment of suspense. Together they form a labyrinth of literatures, known and unknown, alive and extinct, through which two readers, a male and a female, pursue both the story lines that intrigue them and one another.
Translated from the Italian by William Weaver (Translator).
The Idiot (Everyman’s Library)
Just two years after completing Crime and Punishment, which explored the mind of a murderer, Dostoevsky produced another masterpiece, The Idiot. This time the author portrays a truly beautiful soul—a character he found difficult to bring to life because, as he wrote, “beauty is the ideal, and neither my country, nor civilized Europe, know what that ideal of beauty is.” The result was one of Dostoevsky’s greatest characters—Prince Myshkin, a saintly, Christ-like, yet deeply human figure.
Notes from a Dead House (Everyman Library)
Sentenced to death for advocating socialism in 1849, Dostoevsky served a commuted sentence of four years of hard labor. The account he wrote afterward (sometimes translated as The House of the Dead) is filled with vivid details of brutal punishments, shocking conditions, and the psychological effects of the loss of freedom and hope, but also of the feuds and betrayals, the moments of comedy, and the acts of kindness he observed. As a nobleman and a political prisoner, Dostoevsky was despised by most of his fellow convicts, and his first-person narrator–a nobleman who has killed his wife–experiences a similar struggle to adapt. He also undergoes a transformation over the course of his ordeal, as he discovers that even among the most debased criminals there are strong and beautiful souls. Notes from a Dead House reveals the prison as a tragedy both for the inmates and for Russia. It endures as a monumental meditation on freedom.
The Brothers Karamazov (Everyman’s Library)A magnificent new translation of Dostoevsky’s masterpiece, which when first published in 1991 was described by the TIMES as ‘a miracle’ and by THE INDEPENDENT as a near ‘ideal translation’. The BROTHERS KARAMAZOV – Dostoevsky’s most widely read novel – is at once a murder mystery, a mordant comedy of family intrigue, a pioneering work of psychological realism and an unblinking look into the abyss of human suffering.
Crime and Punishment (Everyman’s Library)
A troubled young man commits the perfect crime: the murder of a vile pawnbroker whom no one will miss. Raskolnikov is desperate for money, but he convinces himself that his motive for the murder is to benefit mankind. So begins a tragic novel that illuminates the eternal struggle between human emotions and desire, and the harsh laws of ethics and justice. Part thriller and part philosophical meditation, this is a penetrating look at the core of human nature.