Futurism: A Microhistory
Edited by Sascha Bru, Luca Somigli, and Bart Van den Bossche
Italian Perspectives 3629 September 2017

  • ‘The chapter structure is cleverly designed to replicate a ‘day in the life’ of a Futurist ‘new man’, with chapters focusing on places both large and small from ‘The Skyscraper’ to ‘The Bed’... This book was a pleasure to read and will reward both the serious scholar of Futurism and the more casual reader of twentieth-century Italian culture who may wish to dip in and out of the Futurist day.’ — Selena Daly, Modern Language Review 114.3, July 2019, 577-579 (full text online)

Pietro Bembo: A Life in Laurels and Scarlet
Marco Faini
Legenda (General Series) 15 May 2017

  • ‘Faini has managed very effectively the task of providing an introduction to Bembo’s life and work that is insightful yet relatively succinct and accessible. He gives a good sense of the complexity of underlying issues without overwhelming readers with detail. His writing is engaging and attentive to descriptive effect... Helpfully and attractively illustrated.’ — Brian Richardson, Modern Language Review 113.4, October 2018, 884-86 (full text online)
  • ‘As this slim but elegant volume highlights, the life of Pietro Bembo (1470-1547) bridges the transition in Italy from the height of the Renaissance into the early stages of the Catholic Reformation, not simply in terms of chronology but also in his career trajectory... This is a beautifully illustrated work, with more than 30 images, many of which are in colour. It is an engaging treatment and an excellent introduction to this significant figure.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 54.2, July 2019, 266 (full text online)

Arthur Symons: Poet, Critic, Vagabond
Edited by Elisa Bizzotto and Stefano Evangelista
Studies In Comparative Literature 4425 May 2018

  • ‘The MHRA's recent commitment to publishing works by or on Arthur Symons was sus=tained in 2017 with selections edited by Nicholas Freeman and by Jane Desmarais and Chris Baldick. That commitment continues with a volume of essays on Symons’s life and work, many of which discuss his personal, intellectual, and artistic relations with aspects of European culture... In their short but excellent introduction, Bizzotto and Evangelista argue that their collection, “the first ... entirely dedicated to Symons[,] ... aims to project a new, nuanced view of Symons into the twenty-first century.”’ — Ian Small, English Literature in Transition 1880-1920 62.3, 2019, 599-606
  • ‘Once consecrated by Pater as a successor to Browning, Symons ranged far beyond poetry to practise literary and art criticism, aesthetic theory, drama, travel writing and translation; and he wrote prolifically, if self-cannibalistically, until his death in 1945.’ — Ellen Crowell, Times Literary Supplement 7 June 2019, 35
  • ‘A book devoted to the work of Arthur Symons is timely and much needed; and this carefully fashioned and integrated collection of essays offers an excellent response to that need... This is a well-crafted collection; a thoughtful and integrated multi- authored study of a writer, and one that has been put together both to confirm his significance to many of our current scholarly preoccupations while simultaneously unsettling what it might mean to think of a writer as ‘central’ to any of those debates.’ — Marion Thain, Comparative Critical Studies 17.1, 2020, 161-64 (full text online)
  • ‘The book is clearly a timely contribution to our knowledge of Symons and represents a significant milestone in his ongoing critical retrieval.’ — Rob Harris, Studies in Walter Pater and Aestheticism 5, 2020, 140-44
  • ‘Gives Symons the meticulous attention that such a pivotal cultural figure deserves. One of the most insightful aspects... is its analysis of the wandering obliqueness of his Decadent perspective as it reflects his philosophical commitment to freedom of expression, experience, and lifestyle.’ — Dennis Denisoff, Victorian Studies 62.4, 2020, 686-88 (full text online)

Reflections in the Library: Selected Literary Essays 1926–1944
Antal Szerb
Studies In Comparative Literature 4613 February 2017

  • ‘Skillfully translated from Hungarian by Peter Sherwood, edited with utmost circumspection by Zsuzsanna Varga, provided with a magisterial Introduction by Ágnes Péter and a foreword by Galin Tihanov, reveals much about its author, the novelist, scholar, and man of letters Antal Szerb and his mindset... Reflections in the Library can be seen, among its other achievements, as a gesture of proclaiming, now to the English-speaking world, the lasting relevance of Szerb’s legacy... Although Szerb’s life’s work was left unfinished, his contribution to the art of the essay is large and remarkable enough to merit a sequel.’ — Ákos Farkas, Hungarian Cultural Studies 10, 2017 (full text online)
  • ‘This is a beautifully produced and judiciously edited selection of essays by a major writer from early-twentieth-century Hungary... All of the essays reveal Szerb’s sparkling wit and humour as well as his acumen: describing Chesterton as a great scholar and sophisticated clown, he prophecies that Shaw’s work will outlive Chesterton’s, while his essays on Gogol and Proust equally overflow with aphoristic wit. It is a must-have volume both for critics and general readers: beautiful, touching, and remarkably up-to-date prose on nineteenth-century European literature.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 55.1, January 2019, 119-20