Thirty-year-old Piotr Alekseevich Marakulin lives a contented, if humdrum life as a financial clerk in a Petersburg trading company. He is jolted out of his daily routine when, quite unexpectedly, he is accused of embezzlement and loses his job. This change of status brings him into contact with a number of women—the titular “sisters of the cross”—whose sufferings will lead him to question the ultimate meaning of the universe.
The first English translation of this remarkable 1910 novel by Alexei Remizov, an influential member of the Russian Symbolist movement, Sisters of the Cross is a masterpiece of early modernist fiction. In the tradition of Gogol’s Petersburg Tales and Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, it deploys densely packed psychological prose and fluctuating narrative perspective to tell the story of a “poor clerk” who rebels against the suffering and humiliation afflicting both his own life and the lives of the remarkable women whom he encounters in the tenement building where he lives in Petersburg. The novel reaches its haunting climax at the beginning of the Whitsuntide festival, when Marakulin thinks he glimpses the coming of salvation both for himself and for the “fallen” actress Verochka, the unacknowledged love of his life, in one of the most powerfully drawn scenes in Symbolist literature. Remizov is best known as a writer of short stories and fairy tales, but this early novel, masterfully translated by Roger Keys and Brian Murphy, is perhaps his most significant work of sustained artistic prose.
This Japanese literature collection contains four translated stories from two of Japan's most beloved and acclaimed fiction writers.The Izu Dancer, Yasunari Kawabata's first work to bring him recognition as a writer, is a novella about six Izu Peninsula travelers. As the six travelers journey together, intimacy develops and friendship overcomes class differences. Capturing the shy eroticism of adolescence, The Izu Dancer is a charming picture of the times.Yasushi Inoue's The Counterfeiter, although set in modern times, poses universal questions that transcend culture an era. Abasute and The Full Moon both explore themes of separation, loneliness, and isolation. Through the gloomy tales, Inoue's compassion shines, revealing yet another aspect of an author known for his vivid precision and economy of words. Inoue's stories are at least partially autobiographical, and Inoue's attitudes toward human destiny and fatalism are strongly influenced by his separation from his parents at an early ageyet all of his stories reveal his great compassion for his fellow human being.
‘A wonderful book’
David Park, Irish Times
In 1949, when Marianne Elliott was just a baby, her parents moved into the White City, one of the first mixed-religion estates to be built in Belfast after the war. They were among the first tenants and they lived there until 1963.
In this vivid and compelling new book – part memoir, part social history – Marianne Elliot tells the story of the estate where she grew up: of how it came to be built, of what it promised, of the people who lived there and of what happened to it.
The story is, of course, deeply personal, but Elliott uses it to paint a rich and fascinating portrait of 1950s Belfast, a close-knit city recovering from the ravages of war and still in the throes of austerity but optimistic for the future.
Drawing on her own memories and those of family, friends and former neighbours, and based on extensive historical research and interviews with current and former residents, this book tells the story of an overlooked and under-documented time in Belfast’s history, the story of a pre-Troubles Belfast in which Catholics and Protestants lived side by side.
‘A searching and illuminating memoir … outstanding.’
Patricia Craig, Times Literary Supplement
Now the second-longest-reigning monarch after Elizabeth II, Queen Victoria ruled at the height of Britain's power on the world stage and was a symbol of stability at home and abroad. Against this background of pomp and power, she was a passionate woman who led an often turbulent private life. Victoria was just eight months old when her father died and his paternal role was taken by her uncle Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Sir John Conroy, an ally of her mother. The two of them sought to control Victoria and isolate her from others. This is the story of the Queen of England who had to fight to forge her own way in the world, and who found true romance with Prince Albert only to have happiness snatched from her when he died of typhoid at the age of 42.
The first book to challenge modern philosophy’s case against idleness, revealing why the idle state is one of true freedom
For millennia, idleness and laziness have been regarded as vices. We're all expected to work to survive and get ahead, and devoting energy to anything but labor and self-improvement can seem like a luxury or a moral failure. Far from questioning this conventional wisdom, modern philosophers have worked hard to develop new reasons to denigrate idleness. In Idleness, the first book to challenge modern philosophy's portrayal of inactivity, Brian O'Connor argues that the case against an indifference to work and effort is flawed--and that idle aimlessness may instead allow for the highest form of freedom.
Idleness explores how some of the most influential modern philosophers drew a direct connection between making the most of our humanity and avoiding laziness. Idleness was dismissed as contrary to the need people have to become autonomous and make whole, integrated beings of themselves (Kant); to be useful (Kant and Hegel); to accept communal norms (Hegel); to contribute to the social good by working (Marx); and to avoid boredom (Schopenhauer and de Beauvoir).
O'Connor throws doubt on all these arguments, presenting a sympathetic vision of the inactive and unserious that draws on more productive ideas about idleness, from ancient Greece through Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, Schiller and Marcuse's thoughts about the importance of play, and recent critiques of the cult of work. A thought-provoking reconsideration of productivity for the twenty-first century, Idleness shows that, from now on, no theory of what it means to have a free mind can exclude idleness from the conversation.
In 1533 Katherine Willoughby married Charles Brandon, Henry VIII's closest friend. She would go on to serve at the court of every Tudor monarch bar Henry VII and Mary Tudor. Duchess of Suffolk at the age of fourteen, she became a powerful woman ruling over her houses at Grimsthorpe and Tattershall in Lincolnshire and wielding subtle influence through her proximity to the king. She grew to know Henry well. In 1538, only three months after Jane Seymour's death, it was reported that they had been 'masking and visiting' together, and in 1543 she became a lady-in-waiting to his sixth wife, Catherine Parr. Henry had a reputation for tiring of his wives once the excitement of the pursuit was over, and in February 1546, only six months after Charles Brandon's death, it was rumoured that Henry intended to wed Katherine Willoughby himself if he could end his present marriage. This is the remarkable story of a life of privilege, tragedy and danger, of a woman who nearly became the seventh wife of Henry VIII.
On her 82nd birthday, a grandmother was challenged to hike 100 kilometres (62miles) in Spain’s Galician mountains. Walking the ancient Camino de Santiago route with a heavy backpack, she faced adventures with other pilgrims, sticky mud, steep climbs and blistering midday heat. This was one way she faced the adventures and challenges of the third or late age.
This uplifting book addresses the question for those in their 50s and beyond: ‘What now, what next, what has it all been about?’ It shows that far from settling into comfy slippers, whatever problems life presents, if a new challenge is accepted, a purposeful new life adventure begins.
24symbols is a digital reading service without limits. In exchange for a small monthly fee you can download and read all of the books offered in our catalogue on any device (mobile, tablet, e-reader with web navigator or PC). Our catalogue includes more than 800,000 books in several languages. This subscription can be terminated at any time in the section "Subscription".