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If You Cannot Go to Sleep

First, she tries counting. The numbers move sluggishly through her head in single file, like people in a line at the post office or at the bank or at the…

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By Franz Xaver von Schönwerth, from The Turnip Princess, published last month by Penguin Classics. In the 1850s, Schönwerth traveled through Bavaria, his homeland, to record its tales. Much of…

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No Slant to the Sun

There was no slant to the sun — it was just there, overhead, burning, making him sweat, making his underwear bind and the shirt stick to his back as if it had been…

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In the Beginning

By Eliot Weinberger, from Little Star #6. Weinberger’s books include An Elemental Thing and Oranges & Peanuts for Sale.                                                           the creation On June 9, 1603, Samuel de Champlain attended an Algonquin…

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The Moronic Inferno

From a new translation of Revulsion: Thomas Bernhard in San Salvador, a novel by Horacio Castellanos Moya. Moya, a Salvadoran writer, is the author of many books, including Senselessness and…

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The Sharp Edge of Life

By Saul Bellow, from a previously unpublished essay written in 1951 and included in There Is Simply Too Much to Think About: Collected Nonfiction, edited by Benjamin Taylor and out…

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Family Life

Translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell It’s not hot out, it’s not cold. A shy, sharp sun overcomes the clouds, and the sky looks, at times, truly clean, like…

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How Much Damage Can It Do?

On the intellectual element in modern fiction

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February 2015