Dr. Joe’s Choice #1

The Young Man from SavoyHere’s a sterling book recommendation for you from Malvern’s own curmudgeon-in-chief, Dr. Joe:

Fans of Robert Walser have a tantalizing treat in store for them in C-F Ramuz’s short novel The Young Man From Savoy. Flux, madness, suicide, murder: all in a scenic Swiss town on the shore of Lake Geneva. The world seems so ordinary. There is progress, love, youth, old age, but Joseph has been to the circus. Once he has visited Indonesia and the North Pole within a circus tent, and seen the aerialist Miss Anabella, his world will never be the same.

Ramuz, most famous for the libretto of Igor Stravinsky’s “Histoire du soldat,” takes readers into the minds of mountains, clouds, dogs, horses, and humans in a tale that centers upon a troubled young Joseph. Joseph wants to experience the permanence in things, but his is a world of flux with ever changing light and shadow.

      Must we love what is, the way it is? Or instead, should we love a thing because it isn’t, because of its greater beauty? Or is there a place even, where in the end what is and what isn’t turn out to be in agreement? 
      He’s the young man from Savoy: he is a strange young man.

Meticulously translated from the French by Blake Robinson, The Young Man From Savoy is a calm stroll through madness visited upon us all by an ideology of progress.

Meet The Malverns #1

Joe and FlannWith (soft) opening day well and truly nigh, it’s about time us mighty Malverinos introduced ourselves! And what better way to meet the bookstore crew than to ask each staff member for a book recommendation… let’s start with Dr. Joe, also known as the Curmudgeon in Chief (and our official pirate wrangler). What have you got for us today, Joe? Here’s what the doctor has to say…

At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien was described by Dylan Thomas as, “Just the book to give to your sister if she’s a loud, dirty, boozy girl!” It rollicks with laughter and wit that only an Irishman can supply. While I love Mr. Joyce, his work can become such a trial to read that I forget I’m having fun. And Beckett, well I love his work to tears, but have a hard time laughing through them. But, oh, to read the madness of narrators and characters attacking each other in their sleep while the whole of Irish mythology rolls by, now that is cooking with all burners. Long live Dermot Trellis!