Prospero’s Isle

Latest articles

  • Some Mario Vargas Llosa books

    by Ray

    The Cubs and other stories (1959)
    This was Mario Vargas Llosa’s first published story, about growing up and learning about life on the streets in Lima, a theme he developed extensively in his impressive first full-length novel The Time of the Hero (La ville et les chiens). Darned interesting. (...)

  • Some W.G. Sebald books

    by Ray

    Vertigo (1990)
    This is a literary essay on memory and the tricks it plays on us by a modern master of evocative, erudite, clear-sighted prose. Sebald takes us in the superb opening chapter with Stendahl through the Alps during Napoleon’s Italian campaign to meditate on the contrast between (...)

  • Some P.G. Wodehouse Books

    by Ray

    Very Good, Jeeves!
    Although I have always been a P.G. Wodehouse fan (how can one possibly not be?), I have tended to avoid the Jeeves books on the (foolishly mistaken) grounds that they would be too predictable, preferring the almost-always-wildly-funny collections of stories about Archie (...)

  • L’ALBANIE - Septembre 1968

    by Marie

    Aujourd’hui, dimanche pluvieux. Il commence seulement à faire beau ce soir.
    Je suis sur mon lit, en tailleur sur ma splendide carpette albanaise qui pour l’instant me sert de couvre-lit. Dans la case en paille, avec les vêtements accrochés dans tous les coins, on se croirait dans un de ces (...)

  • Good Words

    by Ray

    These are some useful words that I have come across fairly recently (since my previous Good Words Register was last seen going north in a Montreal taxi in the wee hours of a morning, never to be seen again, some 4 years or so ago) that have been used to good effect by the rather top-notch (...)

  • Seule sur le chemin de l’Exode - 1940

    by Marie

    Le petit carnet rouge de Simone Benedetti (1940)
    Je livre le contenu du carnet rouge et les récits du Printemps et de l’été 1940, tels que notre mère, Simone Capitaine, les a laissés. Serge a peut-être d’autres témoignages de nos parents à nous confier.
    Ce que je retranscris peut être tantôt très (...)

  • Shakespeare on Football

    by William Shakespeare

    In King Lear, Act I, Scene IV, 76-84, there is the following dialogue: Lear: "O! you sir, you, come you hither, sir. Who am I, sir? Oswald: My Lady’s father. Lear: ’My Lady’s Father!’ my Lord’s knave: you whore-son dog! you slave! you cur! Oswald: I am none of these, my Lord; I beseech your pardon. (...)

  • My struggle to overcome the CBBS (Compulsive Book-Buyer’s Syndrome)

    by Ray

    I have suffered for many years from this expensive, very time-consuming and rather frustrating affliction (the CBBS), whereby instead of just getting down to attacking the big pile of unread books that have been endlessly accumulating on my desk and bookshelves and floor space, I go out and buy (...)

  • Pepe Carvalho: a Spanish Hercule Poirot

    by Ray

    The Quintet of Buenos Aires by Manuel Vasquez Montalban is a big, rather verbose, but all in all quite captivating plunge into the darker side of life in contemporary Argentina as we follow the investigations of an odd-ball but very distinctive detective from Barcelona named Pepe Carvalho, who (...)