Simone Weil (1909-1943) was a defining figure of the twentieth century; a philosopher, Christian, resistance fighter, anarchist, feminist, Labour activist and teacher. She was described by T. S. Eliot as 'a woman of genius, of a kind of genius akin to that of the saints', and by Albert Camus as 'the only great spirit of our time'. Originally published posthumously in two volumes, these newly reissued notebooks, are among the very few unedited personal writings of Weil's that still survive today. Containing her thoughts on art, love, science, God and the meaning of life, they give context and meaning to Weil's famous works, revealing an unique philosophy in development and offering a rare private glimpse of her singular personality.
Writings by early-modern English artisans are rare and thus precious. London wood-turner and puritan, Nehemiah Wallington (1598-1658) is exceptional for having compiled fifty notebooks between 1618 and 1654. Although only seven of these are extant, they not only provide a wealth of valuable information about life in seventeenth-century London, but more importantly give access to the author's personal world, both inner and outer. Providing substantial excerpts from the surviving notebooks, this edition covers the broad range of subjects that animated Wallington's everyday life. Accounts of incidents in his domestic, working and religious life sit side by side with sustained meditations on his spiritual state; reports on national events are given, along with their possible providential meanings. Particularly illuminating are Wallington's reflections on his own mental wellbeing, at times suicidal, at others ecstatic. From letters on religious matters to expressions of anxiety over the illnesses and mishaps of his wife and children, from vexed thoughts about money matters to chronicling the tumults of civil war London, this collection provides a window into everyday life in seventeenth-century England. By making the writings of Nehemiah Wallington available in a modern edited edition, fully footnoted and referenced, together with a substantial scholarly introduction, we hope that this little-known London wood-turner will soon take his deserved place besides Pepys and Evelyn as one of the authentic voices commenting on early modern England.
Provides selections of the American novelist's journals, which discuss his works in progress, and the sources of their inspiration.
This volume offers the voyeuristic thrill of peering into a master craftsman's workshop to glimpse the discarded drafts, private musings, and scattered fragments that can in time become art. --Atlantic Monthly.
British author Samuel Butler is today best remembered for his utopian novel Erewhon. However, Butler had a voracious intellect and wide-ranging interests that were not always reflected in his fiction. This volume reproduces some of the eclectic entries Butler made in his personal journals over a series of years.
"This is an invaluable aid to the understanding not only of the finished work of art, but also of Dostoyevsky's strangely tortured yet confident creative process." — Modern Fiction Studies. "Superbly edited by Edward Wasiolek and well translated (despite difficult problems of rendering) by Katharine Strelsky." ― The New York Times Book Review. The central idea of The Idiot, according to its author, was "to depict a completely beautiful human being." More prosaically, the novel was intended to shore up Dostoyevsky's professional and financial state. The portrait of Prince Myshkin, a holy fool, was created in desperation amidst the squalid poverty engendered by the Russian writer's compulsive gambling. Dostoyevsky's entire future depended on the success of his next novel, which began as one story and ended as quite another. After publishing the first part of The Idiot in The Russian Messenger, Dostoyevsky had no idea how to continue the story. The second part, in fact, is a quite different novel. The author's notebooks reveal at least eight plans for the tale, with numerous variations on each plan. A unique document of the creative process, this volume is illustrated by facsimiles of original pages from the notebooks, offering a rich source of information about the development of Dostoyevsky's enigmatic novel.
This debut work lays bare the early brilliance and philosophical conflicts of André Gide, a towering figure in French literature André Gide, one of the masters of French literature, captures the essence of the philosophical Romantic in this profoundly personal first novel, completed when he was just twenty years old. Drawing heavily on his religious upbringing and private journals, The Notebooks of André Walter—with its “white” and “black” halves—tells the story of a young man pining for his forbidden love, cousin Emmanuelle. But his evocative memories and devoted yearnings, carefully crafted through quotations and diary excerpts, lead only to madness and death. Annotated with footnotes from translator and scholar Wade Baskin, this story within a story offers a unique portrait of the artist as a young man, as it reveals the key themes of self-analysis and moral conscience that Gide explores in his mature works.
Key to understanding Dostoyevsky's masterpiece offers facsimile pages plus interpretations of the author's schematic plans of major portions of the novel, deleted scenes, reflections on philosophical and religious ideas, more.
In this first volume of notebooks, Edward Bond reveals himself to be one of the finest and most creative minds to have emerged in the twentieth century. Exploring the meeting point between politics and the art of the writer, Bond's notes chart the creative progress of his work and thinking over a twenty-year period, from 1959, when his first plays started to be produced at London's Royal Court Theatre, to 1979, when he had achieved fame as a major writer. While providing a detailed commentary on his plays the Notebooks also contain early play drafts, poems and stories, his thoughts on life, Brecht, art and dramatic method as well as his notes on censorship.
Leonardo da Vinci—artist, inventor, and prototypical Renaissance man—is a perennial source of fascination because of his astonishing intellect and boundless curiosity about the natural and man-made world. During his life he created numerous works of art and kept voluminous notebooks that detailed his artistic and intellectual pursuits. The collection of writings and art in this magnificent book are drawn from his notebooks. The book organizes his wide range of interests into subjects such as human figures, light and shade, perspective and visual perception, anatomy, botany and landscape, geography, the physical sciences and astronomy, architecture, sculpture, and inventions. Nearly every piece of writing throughout the book is keyed to the piece of artwork it describes.
Set in Lima, the novel tells of a love story whose participants may be the fictional characters of Don Rigoberto. With his usual sly assurance, Vargas Llosa keeps the reader guessing which episodes are real and which issue from the Don's imagination; the resulting novel, an aggregate of reality and fantasy, is sexy, funny, disquieting, and unfailingly compelling.
Selected extracts from Leonardo's notebooks in which he wrote down ideas and opinions on everything, domestic life, philosophy, art, science, etc.
Michael Mabius is a young writer who has experienced great success and great failure. He has hobbled a once-soaring literary career with the heavy burdens of too many drugs, too much sex, and the tragic wasting that comes with time-consuming, enervating social interactions among too many friends who are no friends at all. Now, to save himself, he needs two things - to write the great book he has known all his life he must write, and to live once again with the only woman he has ever loved - Susan. But Susan has recently married another man, though Michael refuses to accept this fact. And Michael's creative energies are being poured out in writing dialog for cartoon rodents to say in hopeless films, so he can earn the money to pay for the drugs that provide him with the only traces of warmth left in his world.
"Translator Burton Pike captures the edgy, haunting beauty of this little-known masterpiece."—O Magazine First published in 1910, Rilke's Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge is one the first great modernist novels, the account of poet-aspirant Brigge in his exploration of poetic individuality and his reflections on the experience of time as death approaches. This translation by Burton Pike is a reaction to overly stylized previous translations, and aims to capture not only the beauty but also the strangeness, the spirit, of Rilke's German.
From the mid-1980s to the late 1990s the author recorded her conversations with Jesus, revelations or visions, but instead not as a simple reporting of one woman's conversations with God, which include her struggles and questions about eternity, death, and joy.

Best Books