Tuesday, October 1, 2013

New Books in October!

The publishing world goes back to "busy" after a long summer break in October (a bit like this blog). Here are the books that raise my interest the most:

The Antinomies of Realism
Fredric Jameson
Verso, $42.75
432 pp.

Will Fredric Jameson point out a new endgame for realism that frees us from having to use the silly word "postmodernism"? Or will there be lots of unfalsifiable assertions about the nature of the literary detail in the age of global capitalism? Find out in this gripping new tract from the author of Representing 'Capital.'

Martha Nussbaum
Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice
Harvard University Press, $35
420 pp.

If the subtitle sounds potentially platitudinous, what might seem more intriguing is this sentence from HUP's description: "She offers an account of how a decent society can use resources inherent in human psychology, while limiting the damage done by the darker side of our personalities." In effect, this is liberal theory's most significant problem since the time of Freud. Oxford readers: probably also a great prelude to Nussbaum's Locke Lectures in Trinity 2014.

David Mikics
Slow Reading in a Hurried Age
Harvard University Press, $28
330 pp.

I normally try to avoid anything that sounds like it's about the "death of the book" or "the end of reading," but I've had so many conversations with friends about whether quick-scan Internet reading is affecting our ability to read slowly and closely that I feel compelled to mention this book, which HUP is advertising as "a practical guide for anyone who yearns for a more meaningful and satisfying reading experience, and who wants to sharpen reading skills and improve concentration"—self-help for the harried reader?

Nicholas Basbanes 
On Paper
15 October, Knopf, $35 
448 pp.

Bibliophiles rejoice: everyone who has ever been picky about their choice of paper, can feel paper weight by touch, or knows their vellum from their parchment now has a go-to book, after decades of being relegated to subchapters of bibliography manuals. The big question, of course, is what kind of paper is Knopf printing this book on?

Linda Leavell
Holding on Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore
22 October, FSG, $28
480 pp.

The first real biography of Moore in decades, and (apparently) the first ever to be written with the cooperation of the Moore estate—sure to be a huge breakthrough after years of biographies written without access to the complete Moore correspondence. Definitely the big biography of the year for anyone interested in modernism and/or poetry.

Pablo Neruda, ed. Ilan Stavans
All the Odes: A Bilingual Edition
22 October, FSG, $40
896 pp.

Neruda's odes have never been compiled in one volume outside of the omnibus Obras completas in Spanish—and even that apparently missed a few. Ilan Stavans (yes, that Ilan, dear summer-camp colleagues) has collected them, with English translations en face, for the first time. So time to fire up your high-school Spanish, grab a dictionary, and sit down with a cup of tea for some hours with the ode's third great master, heir to Horace and Keats.

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