The narrator relates how, in the middle of a conversation with other travellers on a train about the double modern moral standards for men and women, he had met the celebrated Posdnicheff, who had recently been acquitted for the murder of his wife because she had been unfaithful to him (dixit P). The rest of the story is P’s account of his life with his wife, his growing suspicions about her relationship with a suave and very brilliant fellow musician after he comes to a reception given by (...)
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The narrator is a social misfit of forty who ruminates at length on his defects and his endless humiliating experiences and conflicts, for he is a (Russian) intellectual with great sensitivity and a particularly acute sense of the failings of the modern world and of everyone in it, especially himself.
The tone is set from the first sentence that says it all (“I am a sick man… I am a spiteful man.”) and rapidly scales the height of self-denigration as he describes his miserable life and (...)
A series of short, light and amusing tales from the early part of the great master’s writing career, while he was still at university (studying to become a doctor) and shortly afterwards.
They have all been translated specially for this site. 1. THE MOTHER-IN-LAW LAWYER (1883) Michel’s mother-in-law comes for a talk with him a month after his marriage to her daughter Lisa. She berates him for the life he makes Lisa lead, reading and studying instead of going out dancing. Michel tells her (...)
In this ambitious novella on an eternal theme – or rather on eternal Maupassantian themes: social climbing, the lust for lucre, virility, infertility, infidelity and having children – we follow the career of an up-and-coming young civil servant who arrives at work every day before his colleagues, works much harder and longer than they do, curries favour with his superiors and is obviously destined for rapid advancement up through the ranks, especially after he has married the daughter of (...)
Lord Chatterley has come back from the Great War paralyzed from the waist downwards, and Lady Chatterley soon tires of the charm of sitting-room conversations with him and their visitors about the life of the intellect and the woes of the world and begins to yearn for other satisfactions. Which she certainly does get in a big way from the estate’s reclusive, misanthropic, dialect-speaking and very virile game-keeper, as is described in graphic detail by the pen of one of the finest (...)
All that glitters is not gold… This sparkling tale of the brilliant social life in the Long Island of the glittering Twenties makes good reading indeed for those non-socialites among us for whom the rich, handsome, elegant, cultured, and mysterious eponymous (war-)hero would be quite insupportable if he had turned out to really be all those American-dreamy good things with no redeeming awfulnesses to get him back down nearer to our lowly level.
The story reads for the most part in its (...)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. THE TRAGEDIAN (1883) The daughter of a police captain becomes so enthusiastic about the theatre and about actors after seeing her first performance by a travelling company that she goes there every night, and ends up running away with the chief tragedian. But life on the road for an impoverished actor’s wife is not as magical as she’d imagined. (1,300 words)
2. THE BIRD MARKET (1883) A colourful and engaging description of a Moscow marketplace specialised in (...)
1. THE ODYSSEY OF A STREET GIRL (1883) The narrator remembers an unforgettable night when he had saved a young street girl from being caught up in a police raid and she had recounted to him the story of her fall from grace. A sad story with a strong undercurrent of social criticism. (2,300 words)
2. MEMORIES (1884) A woman writes to a friend in Paris to explain why she won’t come to visit her any more, explaining that true happiness for her lies in dreaming, not about the future but (...)
This most famous of Irish novels is a quite amazing literary tour de force. It has an extraordinary, experimental, let’s-see-what-can-be-done-with-words side to it which was very much in tune with the questioning drive for innovation and experimentation in art, music and literature that dominated intellectual and artistic Europe at the time of its conception during teens and twenties of the 20th Century.
And it’s an impressive demonstration of the author’s phenomenal mastery of the (...)
The first novel published by the future author of Ulysses, a largely autobiographical account of a young boy emotionally and intellectuelly coming of age with an intensely Roman Catholic upbringing in the city of Dublin at the beginning of the 20th century, a city and a country then under foreign rule.
An e-book is available for downloading below.
All of the footnotes have all been added specially for this site. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Chapter I (...)