The World SF Blog

Speculative Fiction from Around the World

The Central European Classics Collection

Penguin Classics has launched their Central European Classics Collection (which are currently 20% off) which features translated works by authors from Central Europe. Here’s their list of titles:

Thomas Bernhard: Old Masters
Karel Čapek: War with the Newts
E.M. Cioran: A Short History of Decay
György Faludy: My Happy Days in Hell
Gyula Krúdy: Life is a Dream
Czesław Miłosz: Proud to be a Mammal
Sławomir Mrożek: The Elephant
Ota Pavel: How I Came to Know Fish
Gregor von Rezzori: The Snows of Yesteryear
Josef Škvorecký: The Cowards


June 21, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,


  1. Thanks Charles! I’ve got a couple of these (Capek as one of them, natch!) but missed others. Have scooped them all up via The Book Depository.

    Comment by KS 'Kaz' Augustin | June 21, 2010

  2. Hello, Charles.

    I just wanted to point out that the name of the Romanian philosopher is not E.M. Cioran, but Em. Cioran (his first name being Emil). I am pretty shocked to see the mistake not only on the Penguin website but also on the book cover. Really, you can find the author’s name on wikipedia…

    Comment by rreugen | June 21, 2010

  3. Rreugen: I don’t know if this is a systematic error, but Cioran has other translated works under the name E.M. Cioran (his middle name is Michel, at least according to

    Comment by charlesatan | June 21, 2010

  4. Thanks for the reply.

    The attribution of the M. to a name (Michel, or the Romanian form Mihai) is just a biographical error. Emil Cioran is just Emil Cioran. However, when his first works were published in France, Cioran decided that the French sound of Emile was too tame for the character of his writings, and that E. Cioran was too weak. So he adopted the E.M. for his French publications.

    This is probably unimportant, but since there are very few Romanian writers who’s work is available to western readerships (I think Mircea Eliade is wider known) I sort of have an itch about it.

    Comment by rreugen | June 21, 2010

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