From the editors of Penguin Books and Penguin Classics

“In the sphere of the reality body, a celestial realm primordially free from the clouds of ignorance, your full form body, the sun and moon, radiates enlightened activities, limitless rays of wisdom and love blazing with splendor, beyond the reach of the demon Rahu.”

Tsangnyön Heruka, The Life of Milarepa


Monday First Lines | Every Monday, we offer the opening sentences of a Penguin Classic to start the week.


oddismycopilot:
I love my books: Elizabeth Gaskell. If you like George Eliot, you should definitely check out Elizabeth Gaskell. A contemporary of both Eliot and Dickens, Gaskell likewise wrote about a broad swath of English society, including the working class, the plight of the poor, and labor unrest; her concern about social issues is best demonstrated in Mary Barton and North and South. I consider Wives and Daughters to be quite similar in tone and feel to Middlemarch and very nearly its equal. Cranford, although virtually plotless, is such a charming and gently humorous look at small-town life in mid-19th-century England that it ranks among my all-time fiction favorites.

Happy weekend reading, everyone!

oddismycopilot:

I love my books: Elizabeth Gaskell. If you like George Eliot, you should definitely check out Elizabeth Gaskell. A contemporary of both Eliot and Dickens, Gaskell likewise wrote about a broad swath of English society, including the working class, the plight of the poor, and labor unrest; her concern about social issues is best demonstrated in Mary Barton and North and South. I consider Wives and Daughters to be quite similar in tone and feel to Middlemarch and very nearly its equal. Cranford, although virtually plotless, is such a charming and gently humorous look at small-town life in mid-19th-century England that it ranks among my all-time fiction favorites.

Happy weekend reading, everyone!

(via bookporn)

It’s Fall TV season again, and that means Classic Penguin is now your go-to for brushing up on Classics related to your favorite shows.It goes without saying that we’re all excited for Ken Burns’s latest project, a seven-part, fourteen hour history chronicling the lives of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Books on the Roosevelts abound, but in Classics we take you straight to the source. So check out Eleanor’s Tomorrow is Now, a bold manifesto for civil rights (nbd but our edition has a foreword by Bill Clinton and intro by historian Allida Black), and Frances Perkins’s The Roosevelt I Knew. Frances Perkins was the first woman ever appointed to a U.S. cabinet (as FDR’s secretary of labor), giving her a unique firsthand view on one of the most important figures in American history.

Ken Burns’s The Roosevelts debuts this Sunday, September 14th on PBS at 8 pm!

“The schoolhouse being deserted, soon fell to decay, and was reported to be haunted by the ghost of the unfortunate pedagogue; and the plough boy, loitering homeward of a still summer evening, has often fancied his voice at a distance, chanting a melancholy psalm tune among the tranquil solitudes of Sleepy Hollow.”

 Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"


Friday Final Lines | Every Friday, we offer the closing lines of a Penguin Classic to finish up the workweek.

“I suppose that is the thing about New York. It is always a little more than you had hoped for. Each day, there is so definitely a new day. ‘Now we’ll start all over,’ it seems to say every morning, ‘and come on, let’s hurry like anything.’ London is satisfied, Paris is resigned, but New York is always hopeful. Always it believes that something particularly good is about to come off, and it must hurry to meet it. There is excitement every running its streets. Each day, as you go out, you feel the little nervous quiver that is yours when you sit in a theater just before the curtain rises. Other places may give you a sweet and soothing sense of level; but in New York there is always the feeling of ‘Something’s going to happen.’ It isn’t peace. But you know, you do get used to peace, and so quickly. And you never get used to New York.”

Dorothy Parker, "My Hometown"

On September 11th, please take a moment to remember all those lost in New York, as well as in Washington and Pennsylvania.

Did the Google Doodle in honor of Tolstoy’s 186th birthday look familiar? That might be because the artist, Roman Muradov, also did our Dubliners Centennial edition! Here’s what he had to say about Tolstoy and Joyce:

I hardly need to say that making a tribute to Leo Tolstoy was a daunting task. No set of images can sum up a body of work so astonishing in scope, complexity, and vigor—its memorable scenes come to life with seeming effortlessness, fully realized in the immortal lines and between them. Tolstoy’s lasting influence is a testament to the power of his art, which will remain relevant as long as the questions of life and death occupy our minds, which is to say – forever.

Recently I designed and illustrated the Centennial Edition of James Joyce’s Dubliners for Penguin Classics, which was a similarly challenging assignment. I felt that the only way to do justice to a book like Dubliners was to imitate some of the author’s literary techniques in visual form. I froze the crowd on the cover between movement and paralysis, played with less obvious links between the stories, in short tried to evoke the atmosphere of the stories without giving away too much of the narrative or details.

Over the decades since his death in 1986, Borges’ global stature has continued to grow. “Today one could consider Borges the most important writer of the 20th Century,” says Suzanne Jill Levine, translator and general editor of the Penguin Classics five-volume Borges series. Why? “Because he created a new literary continent between North and South America, between Europe and America, between old worlds and modernity. In creating the most original writing of his time, Borges taught us that nothing is new, that creation is recreation, that we are all one contradictory mind, connected amongst each other and through time and space, that human beings are not only fiction makers but are fictions themselves, that everything we think or perceive is fiction, that every corner of knowledge is a fiction.”

The BBC asks, “Is Borges the 20th Century’s most important writer?”

“Buddha means the awakened one. Until recently most people thought of Buddha as a big fat rococo sitting figure with his belly out, laughing, as represented in millions of tourist trinkets and dime store statuettes here in the western world. People didn’t know that the actual Buddha was a handsome young prince who suddenly began brooding in his father’s palace, at the age of 29, till finally and emphatically he threw up his hands and rode out to the forest on his war horse and cut off his long golden hair with his sword and sat down with the holy men of the India of his day and died at the age of 80 a lean venerable wanderer of ancient roads and elephant woods. This man was no slob-like figure of mirth, but a serious and tragic prophet, the Jesus Christ of India and almost all Asia.”

Jack Kerouac, Wake Up: A Life of the Buddha


Monday First Lines | Every Monday, we offer the opening sentences of a Penguin Classic to start the week.

“Most of the characters that perform in this book still live, and are prosperous and happy. Some day it may seem worth while to take up the story of the younger ones again and see what sort of men and women they turned out to be; therefore it will be wisest not to reveal any of that part of their lives at present.”

Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer


Friday Final Lines | Every Friday, we offer the closing lines of a Penguin Classic to finish up the workweek.