‘Mr Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!’

‘Mr Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!’

Fear is the tale’s lynchpin. Though preternatural hounds and a family curse form the foundations of Holmes’s new case, The Hound is a story of how fear kills—how the very idea of something monstrous in the shadows can be lethal, and how sly little villains can successfully seize on that facet of human nature. And, of course, it will take the straight-spined rationality of the Holmesian world—of Sherlock Holmes himself, and the as-vital-as-ever Watson—to reinstate order in the moors. [Continue reading.]

sunday salon || On to the canon, and other follies

sunday salon || On to the canon, and other follies

And so I plod on with my own little ambitions—to amass as much of the Classics that I want to read, which involves reading a lot of the Oxford World’s Classics [oh, that unrelenting white spine] and amassing more of NYRB Classics, too [I’ve been shy-stalking the NYRB Classics group on Goodreads, and it’s a treat]. I’ve also just recently bought Proust’s Swann’s Way—partly because of the heathenhood factor, partly because I trust Lydia Davis’ translating prowess. I’ve bought this beautiful annotated and unexpurgated edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray, as well as yet another edition of Jane Eyre. I want to read Frankenstein, too, and Dracula, and Moby-Dick. I’ve bought Anna Karenina, and one of these days, I am taking a deep breath. I want more of Sherlock Holmes. And then there’s Raymond Carver and Richard Yates—we need reunions, we do—them, and Wilfrido Nolledo and Kerima Polotan. I want more of the books people have forgotten over time but are recently rediscovering—it’s not unlike being privy to a great secret, not unlike being part of a movement. I want more dead writers in my shelves, more people-characters that have grown timeless right in my head, were they justly belong. I just want more. [Continue reading.]

One more tale of two brothers, and de Maupassant on the novel

Pierre et Jean, by Guy de Maupassant, translated from the French by Julie Mead. Why do stories of two brothers—or two sisters—[especially] insist on contrast and comparison? Because they’re knee-jerk, they’re instinctive, they’re human nature? In literature, authors tend to go on the route of fairy tales or parables—if not legitimately or in structure, then [...]

On The Complete Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault: Enchanted, yes

 For “Donkey-Skin”: The Princess laments her sad situation. But Heaven grows tired, now and then, Of giving happiness to men * * * I find it peculiar that I first picked up The Complete Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault because I wanted to read the fairy tales in the original [or the original, in-translation]—see, I’d [...]

Truly, Romantic Constancy?

We don’t quite get along, Jane Austen and I. I’ve all but renounced her much-loved Pride and Prejudice, and not because I enjoy being contrary [though I occasionally do] but because it simply isn’t the story—love, social-niceties, of-the-era—I am looking for, or even want. Austen and I, we do not suit. I have accepted that—although [...]

Since I Last Saw You

I have been reading. And the guilt of having temporarily abandoned this blog has waned enough to allow me to return to it. The above books were some of my attempts to get back on “track”—I’ve finished them all, am pleased with them, but then [to keep up with the tiresome navel-gazing I’ve been prone [...]

On The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes — “the last court of appeal” — by Arthur Conan Doyle

Aherm. Previously, in Sasha’s Escapades with Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, MD -- Baker Street, the canon, and all that sleuthing jazz: ♦ A Study in Scarlet. My first Sherlock Holmes, the first book, which “beat my preconceptions to a pulp.” Just so giddy to be part of ~Holmesiana. ♦ Sherlock Holmes Selected Stories. Which [...]

“There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will.”

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I talk about my experiences with the classics—how I share them with y’all. And I’ve realized—I’ll flesh this out more fully later—that with the classics, I’m more reactionary in my posts, when I’ve always tried to be a balance of visceral response and critique. Well. The following [...]

Moving forward from The Mark on the Wall and Other Short Fiction by Virginia Woolf

More on the “lesser” works of authors -- that is, expounding on that feeling one gets after reading a book you’re certain simply isn’t one of author X’s more notable pieces. [Earlier, I lamented on the lesser works of Siri Hustvedt, despite my love for her.] Off we go to The Mark on the Wall [...]