Prospero’s Isle

Latest articles

  • "Springtime in the Prater (Praterfrühling)" (1900), by Stafan Zweig

    by Ray

    A young woman in an elegant building in the most select part of Vienna is quite beside herself with annoyance because the new gown that she has ordered for Derby Day has failed to arrive on time, obliging her to miss the fancy event. Finally she decides to put on her oldest dress and just go (...)

  • "The Window" and other Gallic stories by Guy de Maupassant

    by Guy de Maupassant

    Seven more of the master’s best stories, most with a rather racy, distinctively Gallic touch and all with a distinctively direct, straightforward and rather elegant Maupassantian touch.
    They have all been translated specially for this site. TABLE OF CONTENTS
    1. THE WINDOW The narrator recounts (...)

  • "Investigations of a Dog" (1922) by Franz Kafka

    by Franz Kafka

    A solitary dog recalls the investigations he had undertaken in his youth to understand the whys and the wherefores of such questions as food, hunger, language and communication with other members of his community. In the course of his investigations he had encountered strange and quasi-mystical (...)

  • "On a Spring Evening" and other stories by Guy de Maupassant

    by Guy de Maupassant

    More of the master’s best stories, all with a distinctive and distinctively Gallic touch, vous comprenez?
    All of these stories have been translated specially for this site. TABLE OF CONTENTS
    1. ON A SPRING EVENING (1881) Jeanne and Jacques have grown up together, have fallen in love and are (...)

  • "Peter Pan" by J. M. Barrie (1911)

    by J. M. Barrie

    One of the most charming stories ever written with young people in mind, the account of how Wendy and her brothers meet up with a little boy who refuses to grow up, Peter Pan, who teaches them how to fly so that they can escape with him and his fairy companion Tinker Bell to Neverland, the land (...)

  • "Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman" by Stefan Zweig (1925)

    by Stefan Zweig

    In this story within a story a woman recounts a decisive moment in her life when she had tried to help a young nobleman whose passion for the roulette table had lead him to the brink of self-destruction.
    Soberly recounted with sensitivity and in-depth psychological penetration: one of the most (...)

  • "Literary Lapses" by Stephen Leacock (1910)

    by Steven Leacock

    A collection of stories by the Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock (1869-1944), a distinguished Professor of Economics and Political Science at Montreal’s McGill University and author of the best-selling masterworks Sunshine Stories of a Little Town and Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich. (...)

  • "The Ice Palace" by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1922)

    by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Sally Carrol leaves her sleepy southern town where she had declared: “I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale…” to visit her fiancé up north shortly before their planned marriage. It’s January and it’s very cold up there where a (...)

  • "Green Scythe" and other stories by Anton Chekhov

    by Anton Chekhov

    More outstanding stories by the most prolific short-story writer in the history of world literature. CONTENTS
    1. GREEN SCYTHE (1882) The narrator and his friends love to spend their summers on the Black Sea with with the vivacious Olya. Life is gay there but there’s a problem: Olga had promised (...)

  • "Fear (Angst)" (1922) by Stefan Zweig

    by Stefan Zweig

    A well-to-do married woman who has faulted with a seductive young pianist is aggressively blackmailed by a coarse young woman who threatens to denounce her to her husband. The blackmail is increasingly successful, the lady is overcome with fear and anguish and finally she sees only one fatal (...)

  • "Lost Business" and other previously-untranslated Chekhov stories

    by Anton Chekhov

    A further selection of the best stories of the great Russian writer that have so far remained untranslated into English. CONTENTS
    1. LOST BUSINESS (1882) The narrator recounts how on a lovely spring day he’d gone to see his beloved Varya to empty his heart and soul to her. He’d mumbled a few (...)

  • Fourteen previously-untranslated Chekhov stories

    by Anton Chekhov

    We have selected here fourteen of the best stories in the body of to-date-untranslated stories of the great Russian short-story writer, playwright and doctor that have been overviewed elsewhere on this site.
    Most – but not all – of them are written in the light, humorous tone that characterised (...)

  • "Anabasis, or The Retreat of the Ten Thousand", by Xenophon

    by Xenophon

    The dramatic account by Xenophon (430-355 BC), an Athenian philosopher, author, soldier and student of Socrates, of the expedition – that he participated in and eventually led – of an elite force of Greek soldiers into the heart of Persia on behalf of one of the contestants to the throne there, (...)

  • "Casanova’s Homecoming" (1918) by Arthur Schnitzler

    by Arthur Schnitzler

    The celebrated seducer, adventurer, diplomat and author Casanove is in his fifties, is practically penniless and has only one dream – to be allowed to return to his beloved Venice from which he had escaped over the rooftops of its central prison some twenty years previously.
    We follow his (...)

  • "White Nights" (1848) by Fyodor Dostoevsky

    by Fyodor Dostoevsky

    A very lonely and very penniless young man wanders around the streets of Saint Petersburg dreaming about life in general and the people he sees around him in particular. One eventful evening he rescues a damsel in distress and strikes up the most significant relationship of his life – that does (...)

  • "Lieutenant Gustl" (1900) by Arthur Schnitzler

    by Arthur Schnitzler

    A long, intense and dramatic "stream-of-consciousness" mental monologue of of an officer in pre-WW1 Vienna before, during and after a dramatic incident in an opera house that neither he nor the reader can ever forget.
    A brilliant portrayal of the military mindset in the country that started (...)

  • "Saintly Simplicity" (1885) by Anton Chekhov

    by Anton Chekhov

    Savya, the aged priest of a little town, is delighted to by the visit of his son Alexander, a celebrated Moscow lawyer whom he hadn’t seen for fifteen years since he had sent him off to university in Moscow. The father can’t relate to the big-city life that the son has been leading: he thinks (...)

  • "The Cremona Violin (Rat Krespel)" by E. T. A. Hoffmann (1818)

    by E. T. A. Hoffmann

    Councillor Krespel (“Rat Krespel” – the original title of this original story) is an eccentric and somewhat mysterious fellow who plays the violin marvelously, specialises in repairing ancient instruments and who lives with (!) a particularly talented young singer Angelina whose voice – for those (...)

  • "The District Doctor" (1848) by Ivan Turgenev

    by Ivan Turgenev

    A country doctor recounts a particularly moving experience – for him and for the reader – when he had been called out to visit in difficult conditions a peasant family whose young daughter had been taken seriously ill.
    One of the most memorable stories in Turgenev’s collection of hunting tales A (...)

  • "Commentaries on the Gallic War" by Julius Caesar

    by Julius Caesar

    Julius Caesar’s account of his military campaign from 58-52 B.C. that integrated Gaul – and Britain – into the Roman Empire. A remarkably vivid, dramatic and on the whole accurate account of a particularly important episode in European history, written with the clarity, style and forcefulness that (...)

  • "The Queen of Spades" (1834) by Alexander Pushkin

    by Alexander Pushkin

    A cautious young man who has never gambled sees large sums of money being won and lost around him in the social whirl of Saint Petersburg and becomes fascinated by a fabulous story about an aged countess who had learned a secret method of winning at cards in her youth. He devotes all his (...)