An imposing and fragile mass

THE ELEPHANT Carlos Drummond de Andrade With my scant resources I make an elephant. I count on some wood from old furniture to prop him up. And I fill him with cotton, silk floss, softness. Glue will secure his droopy ears. His curling trunk is the finest part of his architecture. But he also has…

Carlos Drummond de Andrade

Carlos Drummond de Andrade (October 31, 1902 – August 17, 1987) was a Brazilian writer. He studied Pharmacy at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, in Belo Horizonte, but never worked as a pharmacist. He was a civil servant for most of his life. Books In English In the Middle of the Road – Selected Poems, translated by John…

To light a fire in the night

FIRE IN THE NIGHT Hélio Pellegrino (tr. Juliana Brina) We’ll light a fire in the night. Come here, hold this newspaper scrap, while I  strike the match. The wind is blowing hard, we must avoid it, otherwise the fire goes out. Come closer, have no fear. Unfold the end of the paper, leave it free,…

Hélio Pellegrino

Hélio Pellegrino (1924 — 1988) was a Brazilian writer and psychoanalyst. He studied Medicine at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, and wrote for several literary supplements. He was friends with the writers Fernando Sabino, Paulo Mendes Campos, Otto Lara Resende and Nelson Rodrigues. Books A Burrice do demônio (1988) Minérios domados (1993) Lucidez Embriagada (2004) Fire in the night

Nonfiction November| 2018

Hi, folks! I can’t believe it’s almost November! As in previous years, in this garden of mine, it is time not only for German Lit books, but also for some nonfiction. Nonfiction November is a month-long celebration hosted by Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness, Julie at JulzReads, Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves, Katie at Doing Dewey, and Rennie at What’s…

O cursed human voice, violin of flesh and blood,

Dear Violet, The short-story “A Wicked Voice”, published in the collections Hauntings (1890) and The Virgin of the Seven Daggers (1962, posthumously published), combines elements of a Faustian pact, a bewitching Sirens’ song, and a fall from grace, so as to convey one’s own enslavement through art. The story centres on the narrator, Maestro Magnus, a musician…

Vernon Lee

Vernon Lee (pseudonym of Violet Paget, 1856 – 1935) was a British writer. Born in France to cosmopolitan British parents, she lived most of her life in Italy. Vernon Lee maintained an androgynous appearance and adopted a masculine pseudonym for her publications. She was a feminist and a fervent pacifist, and had long-term love relationships with Mary Robinson, Clementina Anstruther-Thomson,…

Panic calls out cowardice, and cowardice cruelty

Dear Elizabeth, The novella Lois the Witch (1859) is a fictionalised account of the Salem witch hunt, as well as a sharp meditation on the thin line between virtue and sin. The story revolves around the eighteen-year-old Lois Barclay, a recently orphaned English Anglican girl who travels all the way to Salem, Massachusetts, in search…

Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Gaskell (Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, née Stevenson; 1810 – 1865) was an English writer. After her mother’s death, one-year-old Gaskell was sent to live with her aunt. Encouraged by her father, she received a traditional education in classics and arts, and later attended the Avonbank School in Stratford-on-Avon. In 1832, Gaskell married a Unitarian minister, with whom she had six children. Her…

This look of sadness would last perhaps for a minute

Dear Amy, Jill (1884) is a fast-pacing coming of age story with subtle social commentary and strong feminist undertones. The novel centres on the eponymous heroine, Jill, the strong-minded, tomboyish daughter of a well-to-do squire. We follow her, as she narrates her adventurous life, from childhood onwards. From an early age, she has been forced…

Amy Dillwyn

Amy Dillwyn (Elizabeth Amy Dillwyn, 1845 – 1935) was a Welsh writer. Inspired in part by George Eliot’s Middlemarch, Dillwyn became a feminist writer, and wrote some of the first lesbian novels. In private, Dillwyn wrote of being in love with Olive Talbot, whom she called her ‘wife’ in her journals. She was a strong supporter of the cause of…

German Lit Month, Library Loot & Dewey’s Readathon

Hi, folks, Summer is definitely gone, Victober has just started, and I have here a new stack of books freshly borrowed from my local library. Here is my LIBRARY LOOT: september 26 to october 2 Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief, encouraging bloggers to share the books…