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Wydawnictwo Alma Books

Okładka książki We

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


We takes place in a distant future, where humans are forced to submit their wills to the requirements of the state, under the rule of the all-powerful Benefactor, and dreams are regarded as a sign of mental illness. In a city of straight lines, protected by green walls and a glass dome, a spaceship is being built in order to spearhead the conquest of new planets. Its chief engineer, a man called D-503, keeps a journal of his life and activities: to his mathematical mind everything seems to make sense and proceed as it should, until a chance encounter with a woman threatens to shatter the very foundations of the world he lives in. Written in a highly charged, direct and concise style, Zamyatin’s 1921 seminal novel – here presented in Hugh Aplin’s crisp translation – is not only an indictment of the Soviet Russia of his time and a precursor of the works of Orwell and the dystopian genre, but also a prefiguration of much of twentieth-century history and a harbinger of the ominous future that may still lay ahead of us.
Okładka książki Faust

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


In a series of nine letters, the narrator tells his friend how he introduced Vera Nikolayevna, a married woman who had been forbidden as a child to read fiction and poetry, to the intellectual pleasures of Goethe’s masterpiece. Opening up in front of Vera’s eyes is not only the realm of imagination, but also a world of unbridled feelings and tempes­tuous passions, which can only shatter the comfort and safety of her existence and force her to set off on a journey of spiritual awakening. This lesser-known novella by one of the great masters of Russian literature, now available to English readers in Hugh Aplin’s lucid translation, is presented here with ‘Yakov Pasynkov’, another poignant story exploring the nature of love and human relations.
Okładka książki Belkin's Stories

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


First published in 1831, Belkin’s Stories was the first completed work of fiction by the founding father of Russian literature. Through a series of interlinked stories purporting to have been told by various narrators to the recently deceased country squire Ivan Belkin, Pushkin offers his own variation on themes and genres that were popular in his day and provides a vivid portrayal of the Russian people. From the story of revenge served cold in ‘The Shot’ to the havoc wreaked by a blizzard on the life of two young lovers, from the bittersweet tones of ‘The Postmaster’ to the supernatural atmosphere of ‘The Undertaker’, this collection – presented here in a brand-new translation by Roger Clarke – sparkles with humour and is a testament to the brilliance and versatility of Pushkin’s mind. Contains: ‘The Shot’, ‘The Blizzard’, ‘The Undertaker’, ‘The Postmaster’, ‘Young Miss Peasant’, ‘A History of Goryukhino Village’.
Okładka książki Crocodile

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


The civil servant Ivan Matveich and his wife Yelena Ivanovna are spectators of an exhibition – in a shopping arcade – of a crocodile owned by a German, when Ivan is suddenly swallowed alive by the animal. Unsuccessful in his attempts to be freed from his prison, due to the German’s concern for his crocodile and excessive desire for compensation, the civil servant gradually comes to appreciate his new environment, while his wife begins to enjoy her new-found freedom. Inspired by Gogol’s surreal tales, Dostoevsky’s hilarious story has been interpreted by some as a vitriolic piece of social criticism and a veiled attack on the revolutionary philosopher Nikolai Chernyshevsky.
Okładka książki The Kiss and Other Stories

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


While at a party organized by the lieutenant of his regiment, the shy and awkward Ryabovitch is suddenly kissed by an unknown woman in a dark room. This unexpected and electrifying encounter marks a turning point in his life and a shift in his personality, arousing his passions and setting him on a desperate quest to discover the identity of the mysterious lady. One of Chekhov’s most admired stories, ‘The Kiss’ is joined in this volume by five equally celebrated tales in a brand-new translation by Hugh Aplin: ‘The Lady with the Little Dog’, ‘Ward Six’, ‘The Black Monk’, ‘The House with a Mezzanine, ‘The Peasants’ and ‘The Bishop’ – making this an indispensable collection for those wanting to discover Chekhov at his creative best.
Okładka książki Death of a Civil Servant

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


In ‘The Death of a Civil Servant’, an administrative clerk accidentally sneezes on a hierarchical superior at the opera, which results in great embarrassment and hilarious and futile attempts at atonement. The other short stories included in this volume, ‘A Calculated Marriage’, ‘The Culprit’, ‘The Exclamation Mark’, ‘The Speech-Maker’, ‘Who Is to Blame?’ and ‘A Defenceless Creature’ are in the same absurdly comical vein. This short collection shows Chekhov in an amusing, playful light, poking fun at the greed, sycophancy and ignorance of his characters, with the moral detachment that also characterizes his major, serious works.
Okładka książki Virgin Soil

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


Turgenev’s final novel, Virgin Soil traces the destinies of several middle-class revolutionaries who seek to “go to the people” by working on the land and instilling democratic ideas in the countryside’s locals. They include the daydreaming impoverished young tutor Nezhdanov – employed by the liberal councillor Sipyagin and his vain and beautiful wife Valentina – the naive young radical Maryanna and the progressive factory manager Solomin. Their liaisons, intrigues and conspiracies, set against the backdrop of Tsarist Russia, form the matter of Turgenev’s most ambitious and elaborate work, which cemented the author’s place in the West as Russia’s foremost novelist while at the same time proving controversial at home – culminating in the arrest of fifty-two real-life revolutionaries barely a month after it was published.
Okładka książki A Nest of the Gentry

18,90 zł 14,83 zł


Coming back to the “nest” of his family home in Russia after years of fruitless endeavours away from his roots, Lavretsky decides to turn his back on the vacuous salons of Paris and his frivolous and unfaithful wife Varvara Pavlovna. On his return he meets Liza, the daughter of one of his cousins, whom he had known when they were children and who rekindles in him long-smothered feelings of love. News of Varvara’s death arrive from France, offering Lavretsky the prospect of a new life, but a cruel twist threatens to shatter his dreams and forces him to re-evaluate his plans. Hailed as a masterpiece of Russian literature, A Nest of the Gentry, Turgenev’s most successful and widely read novel – here presented in a new translation by Michael Pursglove – deals with the personal struggles of the individual in a period of turbulent social change.
Okładka książki Three Novellas

18,90 zł 13,89 zł


One of Tolstoy’s last published works of fiction, The Devil revolves around the young landowner Yevgeny’s irrepressible lust for Stepanida, a sensual peasant woman. Even when he gets married to a respectable upper-class lady, he finds himself unable to put an end to his encounters with Stepanida, and becomes increasingly consumed by guilt and helplessness in the face of his urges. In some ways comparable to the controversial Kreutzer Sonata, The Devil shows Tolstoy at his most salacious, and addresses the conflicts between desire, social norms and personal conscience. Also included in this volume is Family Happiness, one of Tolstoy’s earliest works, an entertaining and cynical account of marriage from the perspective of a disillusioned wife, and A Landowner’s Morning.
Okładka książki Forged Coupon

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


In order to repay a small debt, the young student Mitya is persuaded by a friend to falsify a bank bond and cash it in. Little does he suspect that this small misdemeanour will have a profound impact on the lives of many other people around him – indirectly even leading to the gravest of crimes. This in turn sets off a long journey towards redemption and rehabilitation. Published only in 1911, after Tolstoy’s death, The Forged Coupon examines the deep, unpredictable consequences of every human act, revealing the Russian master’s moral preoccupations in the last years of his life, as well as his rejection of Christianity’s simplistic division between good and evil.
Okładka książki A Calendar of Wisdom

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


Over the last fifteen years of his life, Tolstoy collected and published the maxims of some of the world’s greatest masters of philosophy, religion and literature, adding his own contributions to various questions that preoccupied him in old age, such as faith and existence, as well as matters of everyday life. Banned in Russia under Communism, A Calendar of Wisdom was Tolstoy’s last major work, and one of his most popular both during and after his lifetime. This new translation by Roger Cockrell will offer today’s generation of readers the chance to discover, day by day, these edifying and carefully selected pearls of wisdom.
Okładka książki Story of a Nobody

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


A secret terrorist group infiltrates the household of a government official’s son, with a view to spying on the father and, ultimately, assassinating him. But the young man entrusted with the task – an ailing, world-weary “nobody” – seized with the purposelessness of life and a sense of his own impending death, gradually becomes disillusioned with his mission, and decides to embark on a new path which will lead him to tragedy. Combining psychological detail with a strong sense of place and time, The Story of a Nobody bears all the hallmarks of Chekhov’s genius, and perfectly captures the political and social tensions of its day.
Okładka książki Master and Margarita

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


Ten-Year Anniversary Edition – newly revised and updated Russia’s literary world is shaken to its foundations when a mysterious gentleman – a professor of black magic – arrives in Moscow, accompanied by a bizarre retinue of servants. It soon becomes clear that he is the Devil himself, come to wreak havoc among the cultural elite of a disbelieving capital. But the Devil’s mission quickly becomes entangled with the fate of the Master – a man who has turned his back on his former life and taken refuge in a lunatic asylum – and his past lover, Margarita. Both a satirical romp and a daring analysis of the nature of good and evil, innocence and guilt, The Master and Margarita is the crowning achievement of one of the greatest Russian writers of the twentieth century.
Okładka książki The Idiot

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


The Idiot
Okładka książki Fathers and Children

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


Fathers and Children, arguably the first modern novel in the history of Russian literature, shocked readers when it was first published in 1862 – the controversial character of Bazarov, a self-proclaimed nihilist intent on rejecting all existing traditional values and institutions, providing a trenchant critique of the established order. Turgenev’s masterpiece investigates the growing nihilist movement of mid-nineteenth-century Russia – a theme which was to influence Dostoevsky and many other European writers – in a universal and often hilarious story of generational conflict and the clash between the old and the new.
Okładka książki The Queen of Spades

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


This collection of Pushkin’s stories begins with ‘The Queen of Spades’, perhaps the most celebrated short story in Russian literature. The young Hermann, while watching some friends gambling, hears a rumour of how an officer’s grandmother is always able to predict the three winning cards in a game. He becomes obsessed with the woman and her seemingly mystical powers, and seeks to extract the secret from her at any cost. This volume, part of a new series of the complete works of Pushkin in English, also includes ‘Dubrovsky’, the story of a man’s desire to avenge himself after his land is unjustly taken from him by an aristocrat; ‘The Negro of Peter the Great’, a tale inspired by Pushkin’s maternal grandfather; and the unfinished story ‘Egyptian Nights’, a meditation on poetry and the poet. Together, they represent some of the most striking and enduring pieces of Pushkin’s prose fiction. The full list of stories contained is as follows: ‘The Queen of Spades’, ‘Kirdzhali’, ‘The Negro of Peter the Great’, ‘The Guests Were Arriving at the Dacha…’, ‘A Novel in Letters’, ‘Notes of a Young Man’, ‘My Fate Is Sealed: I Am Getting Married’, ‘A Fragment’, ‘In the Corner of a Small Square’, ‘Roslavlev’, ‘A Novel at a Caucasian Spa’, ‘Dubrovsky’, ‘A Tale of Roman life’, ‘Maria Schoning’, A Russian Pelham’, ‘We Were Spending the Evening at Princess D.’s Dacha’, ‘Egyptian Nights’, ‘In 179– I was Returning’, ‘The Last of the Lineage of Joan of Arc’
Okładka książki Leonardo da Vinci

18,90 zł 15,21 zł


This evocative account of the life of the Renaissance’s greatest figure traces Leonardo’s early development as an artist and court figure to his final years in exile, portraying his loves and sufferings, as well as his intellectual curiosity and tireless loyalty to his ideals. But it is the background to his famous painting La Gioconda and his relationship with the mysterious Florentine woman who modelled for it that are at the heart of the novel – here presented for the first time in an unabridged translation. The result is an engrossing and unforgettable read. An unjustly forgotten masterpiece of Russian literature that inspired one of Freud’s most important essays, Leonardo da Vinci also offers an illuminating snapshot of the society of the period – beset with intrigue and religious and social tension – and a host of memorable historical figures such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Machiavelli, Savonarola and the infamous Borgias.
Okładka książki A Hero of Our Time

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


On his travels through the wild mountainous terrain of the Caucasus, the narrator of A Hero of Our Time chances upon the veteran soldier and storyteller Maxim Maximych, who relates to him the dubious exploits of his former comrade Pechorin. Engaging in various acts of duelling, contraband, abduction and seduction, Pechorin, an archetypal Byronic anti-hero, combines cynicism and arrogance with melancholy and sensitivity. Causing an uproar in Russia when it was first published in 1840, Lermontov’s brilliant, seminal study of contemporary society and the nihilistic aspect of Romanticism – accompanied here by the unfinished novel Princess Ligovskaya – remains compelling to this day.
Okładka książki Dead Souls

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


A mysterious stranger named Chichikov arrives in a small provincial Russian town and proceeds to visit a succession of landowners, making each of them an unusual and somewhat macabre proposition. He offers to buy the rights to the dead serfs who are still registered on the landowner’s estate, thus reducing their liability for taxes. It is not clear what Chichikov’s intentions are with the dead serfs he is purchasing, and despite his attempts to ingratiate himself, his strange behaviour arouses the suspicions of everyone in the town. A biting satire of social pretensions and pomposity, Dead Souls has been revered since its original publication in 1842 as one of the funniest and most brilliant novels of nineteenth-century Russia. Its unflinching and remorseless depiction of venality in Russian society is a lasting tribute to Gogol’s comic genius. Translated and annoted by Donald Rayfiled, Emeritus Professor of Russian at Queen Mary University of London. He has written extensively on Russian and Georgian literature and on Stalin and the secret police. He has translated works by Chekhov and Gogol.
Okładka książki Humiliated and Insulted

18,90 zł 16,53 zł


First published in 1861, Humiliated and Insulted plunges the reader into a world of moral degradation, childhood trauma, unrequited love and irreconcil­able relationships. At the centre of the story are a young struggling author, an orphaned teenager and a depraved aristocrat, who not only foreshadows the great figures of evil in Dostoevsky’s later fiction, but is a powerful and original presence in his own right. This new translation catches the verve and tumult of the original, which – in concept and execution – affords a refreshingly unfamiliar glimpse of the author.

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