Poetry Pamphlets 1–4

New Directions is happy to announce the publication of a new series of Poetry Pamphlets, a reincarnated version of the “Poet of the Month” and “Poets of the Year” series James Laughlin published in the 1940s, which brought out such eclectic hits as William Carlos Williams’s The Broken Span, Delmore Schwartz’s poetic play Shenandoah, John Donne’s Some Poems and a Devotion, and Yvor Winters’s Giant Weapon, among many others. The New Directions Poetry Pamphlets will highlight original work by writers from around the world, as well as forgotten treasures lost in the cracks of literary history.…
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Two American Scenes

Two remarkable prose stylists — friends since high school — transform found material from the nineteenth century into mesmerizing poem-essays. It was given to me, in the nineteenth century, to spend a lifetime on his earth. Along with a few of the sorrows that are appointed unto men, I have had innumerable enjoyments; and the world has been to me, even from childhood, a great museum. — Lydia Davis…
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Night Train

Fiction by A. L. Snijders

Translated from the Dutch by Lydia Davis

Translated from the Dutch and with an introduction by Lydia Davis Gorgeously translated by Lydia Davis, the miniature stories of A. L. Snijders might concern a lost shoe, a visit with a bat, fears of travel, a dream of a man who has lost a glass eye: uniting them is their concision and their vivacity. Lydia Davis in her introduction delves into her fascination with the pleasures and challenges of translating from a language relatively new to her.…
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Letters to His Neighbor

Literature by Marcel Proust

Translated from the French by Lydia Davis

Marcel Proust’s genius for illuminating pain is on spectacular display in this recently discovered trove of his correspondence, Letters to His Neighbor. Already suffering from noise within his cork-lined walls, Proust’s poor soul was not ready for the fresh hell of his new upstairs neighbor, Dr. Williams, a dentist with a thriving practice directly above his head. Chiefly to Mme Williams, these ever-polite letters (often accompanied by flowers, books, or compliments) are frequently hilarious—Proust couches his pained frustration in gracious eloquence.…
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Looking at Pictures

Literature by Robert Walser

Translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky Lydia Davis Christopher Middleton

An elegant collection, with gorgeous full-color art reproductions, Looking at Pictures presents a little-known aspect of the eccentric Swiss writer’s genius. His essays consider Van Gogh, Manet, Rembrandt, Cranach, Watteau, Fragonard, Bruegel, and his own brother Karl. The pieces also discuss general topics such as the character of the artist and of the dilettante as well as the differences between painters and poets. Each piece is marked by Walser’s unique eye, his delicate sensitivity, and his very particular sensibilities—and all are touched by his magic screwball wit.…
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Fullblood Arabian

by Osama Alomar

Translated from the Arabic by C. J. Collins

With a contribution by Lydia Davis

Osama Alomar, in his poetic fictions, embodies the wisdom of Kahlil Gibran filtered through the violent gray absurdity of Assad’s police state. Fullblood Arabian is the first English publication of Alomar’s strange, often humorously satirical allegories, where good and evil battle with indifference, avarice, and compassion in striking imagery and effervescent language. I read in a book the following piece of wisdom: “He who remains silent in the face of injustice is a mute Satan.…
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Can a translator have groupies? If so, I am hers.
—John Waters, The New York Times
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