The World of Jules Verne by Gonzague Saint-Bris

This book is a magical passport that transports readers into the extraordinary, visionary world of Jules Verne. Not strictly a biography, it is a fascinating mix of picturesque anecdotes, extracts from Verne’s novels, and real-life incidents. One reencounters unique characters such as Phileas Fogg and Captain Nemo against the background of Verne’s inventive genius. The book is beautifully and evocatively illustrated by Stéphane Heuet, the well-known French artist, and is translated by Helen Marx.

Horoscope by Henry Miller

Photos by Rudy Burckhardt

A 1937 Henry Miller letter, accompanied by essays from Fargue, Faure, and Saroyan.

Berlin: The City and the Court by Jules Laforgue

Introduction by William Jay Smith

Jules Laforgue, “the French Keats,” came to Berlin in 1881 to serve as the “twice-a-day” French reader to the Empress Augusta, a descendent of Catherine the Great of Russia.

The Empress is Protestant, of course, but there has been a great Catholic influence in her life. Catholicism, in its political and social spirit, as well as in its moral code, particularities of form, and resources for the soul, has constantly been, alas, her almost Platonic preoccupation. It has also something of the aspect of forbidden fruit. It is said that were she a widow, the Sovereign would go live in Rome and very probably would be converted there. Four years ago, when Germany was celebrating the fourth centenary of Luther and the whole court was officially in Berlin, the Empress remained quietly ensconced in her castle at Coblenz.

The Shape of a City by Julien Gracq

The most original book of Julien Gracq’s later output is about Nantes. It begins with a quotation from Baudelaire that Gracq repeats and distorts: “The shape of a city, as we all know, changes more quickly than the mortal heart.”

Gracq’s later work, set provocatively in verifiable land- and cityscapes, seems profoundly challenged by Proust’s synthesis of realism, reverie, and remembrance.

The Narrow Waters by Julien Gracq

In fluid, associative prose, Julien Gracq navigated again—this time in memory—the magical Evre and the terrain through which it coursed in his youth. The Narrow Waters is a synaptic meditation on Beginning and Ending whose inquiries and visions flow, and sometimes cascade, through a landscape of phantoms, flora, and fairy tale.

Reading Writing by Julien Gracq

This first English-language edition of En lisant en écrivant marked a turning point in the public reception of Julien Gracq. Here he emerged as the ideal critic, a reader who accompanied himself in his reading like a “polite third party.”

Every reader is a potential writer and every writer is a reader in actuality. Reading Writing is a subjective history of fiction and poetry and a personal meditation on the links between literature and two visual arts: painting and cinema. Gracq’s poetics is founded upon the basic acts of reading and writing and on the relationship between the writer and his language.