Books by Martin Chalmers

Released: Jan. 23, 2018

"Elegant provocations to seize an opera addict's imagination from a voice not well-known to readers on this side of the pond."
Essayistic stories by German writer/filmmaker Kluge (The Devil's Blind Spot: Tales from the New Century, 2004), all centering on the world of the opera. Read full book review >
NOT I by Joachim Fest
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"A beautifully written and translated work that creates rare, subtle portraits of Germans."
A stunning portrait of a strenuously anti-Nazi family in Berlin who managed to hang on to their moral convictions during the brutalizing Hitler years. Read full book review >
GREED by Elfriede Jelinek
Released: April 1, 2007

"Much less accessible than Jelinek's best-known work, The Piano Teacher (1983), this is an unrewarding trek across a depressing landscape."
The male drive for property acquisition and sexual conquest is the theme of this murky postmodernist novel from the Austrian writer, winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Literature. Read full book review >
THE DEVIL’S BLIND SPOT by Alexander Kluge
Released: Oct. 29, 2004

"Kluge's frequent interrogatory dialogues on all these episodes throw up an array of talking-points that make his work ideal for an avant-garde reading group or post-graduate seminar, though less so for the solitary reader."
In a work that intentionally defies categorization, the elderly German polymath Kluge, a film director as well as writer, offers commentary on love, war, the Devil and the cosmos, from the stars to the oceans, using myth, fables, the historical record and invented dialogues. Read full book review >
STORIES OF MR. KEUNER by Bertolt Brecht
Released: July 15, 2001

The first English translation of the great playwright's discursive semifictionalized observations on German life and politics, as spoken by the eponymous Keuner (his name from the German "keiner," meaning "no man"), a "thinking man" obviously inspired by Plato's Socrates. Written between the 1920s and '50s (and collected for first publication in 1956, the year of Brecht's death), they're brief (often single-paragraph) aperçus generally employed to deflate contemporary pretensions regarding religion, patriotism, capitalism, exile, and other themes engaged more fully in their author's celebrated poems and plays (e.g., "I am for justice; so it's good if the place in which I'm staying has more than one exit"), but most effectively adumbrated in this revealing coda to an indisputably major, and still challenging, body of work. Read full book review >