Prospero’s Isle

Latest articles

  • "Twilight Story" by Stefan Zweig (1908)

    by Stefan Zweig

    A fifteen-year-old English boy on holiday in the grand Scottish castle of his relatives wanders into the grounds late at night, fascinated by its somewhat eerie atmosphere. Where he’s abruptly accosted in the dark by a passionate young woman who vigorously embraces him before fleeing. Unable to (...)

  • "Through the Looking-Glass" by Lewis Carroll (1871)

    by Lewis Carroll

    Lewis Carroll’s wonderful sequel to "Alice in Wonderland" where Alice meets Humpty Dumpty, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Red and Black Queens and Knights, Tiger-Lily, the Walrus and the Carpenter, the Frog and the Gnat and the Lion and the Unicorn and talking flowers and so many other aspects (...)

  • "Unexpected Acquaintance with a Craft" by Stefan Zweig (1934)

    by Stefan Zweig

    Returning to Paris after a two-year absence, the narrator decides to just do nothing other than soak up the atmosphere of the boulevards and watch the crowds passing by there. Which enables him to identify a pickpocket and to study the fellow’s expert technique. When he follows the man on his (...)

  • "The Marquise of O..." by Heinrich von Kleist (1808)

    by Heinrich von Kleist

    In this stark investigation of the feminine condition in a rigid society ruled by pitiless moral strictures, the young widow Marquise of O... finds herself in an unexpected condition with no idea of how or why this situation came to be, and courageously puts an ad in the local paper proposing (...)

  • "The Window" and other Gallic stories by Guy de Maupassant

    by Guy de Maupassant

    Seven more of the master’s best stories, most with a rather racy, distinctively Gallic touch and all with a distinctively direct, straightforward and rather elegant Maupassantian touch.
    They have all been translated specially for this site. TABLE OF CONTENTS
    1. THE WINDOW The narrator recounts (...)

  • "Investigations of a Dog" (1922) by Franz Kafka

    by Franz Kafka

    A solitary dog recalls the investigations he had undertaken in his youth to understand the whys and the wherefores of such questions as food, hunger, language and communication with other members of his community. In the course of his investigations he had encountered strange and quasi-mystical (...)

  • "On a Spring Evening" and other stories by Guy de Maupassant

    by Guy de Maupassant

    More of the master’s best stories, all with a distinctive and distinctively Gallic touch, vous comprenez?
    All of these stories have been translated specially for this site. TABLE OF CONTENTS
    1. ON A SPRING EVENING (1881) Jeanne and Jacques have grown up together, have fallen in love and are (...)

  • "Peter Pan" by J. M. Barrie (1911)

    by J. M. Barrie

    One of the most charming stories ever written with young people in mind, the account of how Wendy and her brothers meet up with a little boy who refuses to grow up, Peter Pan, who teaches them how to fly so that they can escape with him and his fairy companion Tinker Bell to Neverland, the land (...)

  • "Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman" by Stefan Zweig (1925)

    by Stefan Zweig

    In this story within a story a woman recounts a decisive moment in her life when she had tried to help a young nobleman whose passion for the roulette table had lead him to the brink of self-destruction.
    Soberly recounted with sensitivity and in-depth psychological penetration: one of the most (...)

  • "Literary Lapses" by Stephen Leacock (1910)

    by Steven Leacock

    A collection of stories by the Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock (1869-1944), a distinguished Professor of Economics and Political Science at Montreal’s McGill University and author of the best-selling comical classics Sunshine Stories of a Little Town and Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich. (...)

  • "The Ice Palace" by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1922)

    by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Sally Carrol leaves her sleepy southern town where she had declared: “I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale…” to visit her fiancé up north shortly before their planned marriage. It’s January and it’s very cold up there where a (...)

  • "Green Scythe" and other stories by Anton Chekhov

    by Anton Chekhov

    More outstanding stories by the most prolific short-story writer in the history of world literature. CONTENTS
    1. GREEN SCYTHE (1882) The narrator and his friends love to spend their summers on the Black Sea with with the vivacious Olya. Life is gay there but there’s a problem: Olga had promised (...)

  • "Fear (Angst)" (1922) by Stefan Zweig

    by Stefan Zweig

    A well-to-do married woman who has faulted with a seductive young pianist is aggressively blackmailed by a coarse young woman who threatens to denounce her to her husband. The blackmail is increasingly successful, the lady is overcome with fear and anguish and finally she sees only one fatal (...)

  • "Lost Business" and other previously-untranslated Chekhov stories

    by Anton Chekhov

    A further selection of the best stories of the great Russian writer that have so far remained untranslated into English. CONTENTS
    1. LOST BUSINESS (1882) The narrator recounts how on a lovely spring day he’d gone to see his beloved Varya to empty his heart and soul to her. He’d mumbled a few (...)

  • Fourteen previously-untranslated Chekhov stories

    by Anton Chekhov

    We have selected here fourteen of the best stories in the body of to-date-untranslated stories of the great Russian short-story writer, playwright and doctor that have been overviewed elsewhere on this site.
    Most – but not all – of them are written in the light, humorous tone that characterised (...)

  • "Anabasis, or The Retreat of the Ten Thousand", by Xenophon

    by Xenophon

    The dramatic account by Xenophon (430-355 BC), an Athenian philosopher, author, soldier and student of Socrates, of the expedition – that he participated in and eventually led – of an elite force of Greek soldiers into the heart of Persia on behalf of one of the contestants to the throne there, (...)

  • "Casanova’s Homecoming" (1918) by Arthur Schnitzler

    by Arthur Schnitzler

    The celebrated seducer, adventurer, diplomat and author Casanove is in his fifties, is practically penniless and has only one dream – to be allowed to return to his beloved Venice from which he had escaped over the rooftops of its central prison some twenty years previously.
    We follow his (...)

  • "White Nights" (1848) by Fyodor Dostoevsky

    by Fyodor Dostoevsky

    A very lonely and very penniless young man wanders around the streets of Saint Petersburg dreaming about life in general and the people he sees around him in particular. One eventful evening he rescues a damsel in distress and strikes up the most significant relationship of his life – that does (...)