Richard Howard

Richard Howard

Richard Howard

Richard Howard (1929-), is a distinguished American poet, literary critic, essayist, teacher and translator. He has won many awards, such as the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1970), the PEN Translation Prize (1976), and the American Book Award (1983) for his translation of Baudelaire’s Fleur du mal, He currently teaches at Columbia University and lives in New York City.

cover image of the book Nausea


by Jean-Paul Sartre

Translated by Richard Howard

With a contribution by James Wood

Nausea is the story of Antoine Roquentin, a French writer who is horrified at his own existence. In impressionistic, diary form he ruthlessly catalogues his every sensation. His thoughts culminate in a pervasive, overpowering feeling of nausea which “spreads at the bottom of the viscous puddle, at the bottom of our time — the time of purple suspenders and broken chair seats; it is made of wide, soft instants, spreading at the edge, like an oil stain.”

Winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature (though he declined to accept it), Jean-Paul Sartre — philosopher, critic, novelist, and dramatist — holds a position of singular eminence in the world of French letters. La Nausée, his first novel, is a landmark in existentialist fiction and a key work of the twentieth century.

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cover image of the book Hourmaster


In his palace in a city vanquished by the years, the Duke Gonzaga lives consumed by his deep boredom and his passion for young girls. Time passes as marked by the more than two hundred clocks situated throughout the palace. Needing a new hourmaster, Gonzaga employs Arturo to be the keeper of the palace’s timepieces. Arturo––called Gog––also becomes the Duke’s friend and for a time alleviates Gonzaga’s boredom as they share the nightly clock-keeping rounds. There seems to be the beginning of new life in the realm. But, for reasons the reader is to discover, doom settles like fog upon the Duke’s domain.

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cover image of the book Annam


In 1788, a handful of French monks and nuns set sail for Vietnam. There they preach the Gospels to the peasants of these unknown tropics, and only by chance learn from passing ships about the terror of the Revolution, the death of their King, and the oppression of their Church. After 1792 there is no further news––Europe has forgotten them. In their years of trial these valorous men and women both abandon everything and reinvent everything. The jungle, by its ordeals and its beauties, transforms them; in it they will live and die, having forgotten God in the struggle. Mr. Bataille, who was only 21 when he wrote this short, glittering jewel (which is flawlessly translated from the French by Richard Howard), writes with poetic simplicity and depth. In Howard’s superb translation, Bataille’s style, built around short sentences, achieves a cumulative lyricism that poignantly captures the unfulfilled promise and tragedy of a historic moment that preceded the French conquest of Saigon by more than half a century.

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