A Black River, A Dark Fall

The poems in A Black River, a Dark Fall explore the moments when the imagination and the world outside ourselves overlap, clash, or infuse and inform each other. Although there are some surreal images or concepts, these aren’t dream-poems but are based in discernible landscapes, and often involve interactions with others whose imaginative lives conflict or complement the speaker’s. Setting and geography may reshape themselves to the speaker’s imaginative needs. Or conversely, the setting may force the speaker to confront himself in some uncomfortable way. Like other first-person lyric or meditative poems, these fictionalize autobiography to create a sense of immediacy. Most of them are written in a loose accentual meter, but some are prose poems, which may be read as a kind of journal entry, freer in associations and less rhetorically astringent than verse.

PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
A man digitalizes himself in “brazen fireworks of pixels” and lives inside his cellphone…A dead uncle returns every Christmas to inspect his nephew’s house for defects in writing and plumbing…A man tells us that his former lover married a troll and named her child after a black hole at the edge of the cosmos…A woman counts the angels on a pinhead, but can’t hear them singing—in his sixth collection, Doreski brilliantly blends wit, humor, and irony to chart our failed excursions to connect with others in the 21st century. A Dark River contains wondrous turns and magical twists, but at the center of the collection is an intellect that is always questioning what the heart asks us to believe. A master of formal invention and surreal narrative, William Doreski has given us his finest collection.
— Jeff Friedman, author of Pretenders and Floating Tales

Everything is alive in Doreski’s poems — the sea turns its pages, the end of summer gathers its skirts, the rain speaks French. These delightful poems take the time to see the small things of this world, and they do it beautifully. I also love how he’s not afraid to poke the people around him with wry social needling. You’ll read this book and feel like you walked through your hometown wearing some kind of special glasses that let you see what’s always been going on.
— Matthew Rohrer, Hopwood Award-winning poet and Pushcart Prize recipient.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
William Doreski was born in Connecticut, attended various colleges, and received a Ph.D. from Boston University.  He has published several collections of poetry and three critical studies—The Years of Our Friendship: Robert Lowell and Allen Tate (University Press of Mississippi, 1990), The Modern Voice in American Poetry (University Press of Florida, 1995), and Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors (Ohio University Press, 1999). His critical essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many academic and literary journals, including Massachusetts Review, Notre Dame Review, River Styx, The Alembic, New England Quarterly, Yale Review, Harvard Review, Worcester Review, Modern Philology, Antioch Review, and Natural Bridge.  He has taught at several colleges and universities, most recently Keene State College in New Hampshire. His poetry and fiction have won numerous awards, including the 2010 Aesthetica prize. He currently lives in New Hampshire.

The First Train

April 1853. Bombay.

The first train in all of the Indian subcontinent is soon to make its first journey. Carsten O’Hara, born of an Irish father and a mother who earned notoriety in Bombay society as the daughter of a thuggee chief, is first-hand witness to the excitement of these times. For many, the train is a dream come true. There are others who are just as unhappy. All Lord Dalhousie, the Governor General, wants is the glory and attention. The Indian merchants want the train to be a success for it would change things like nothing before.

But Lord Dalhousie has already turned many people against him — Nana Sahib and Rani Lakhsmibai included — who want him to recognise their rights. Then there are the conservatives in Bombay, unhappy over a temple’s relocation to make way for the railway line. Threats then begin to appear, and it is clear that enemies are close at hand. Carsten has his heart set on the train and as he faces off every danger, he is also confronted with difficult choices — especially those that make him believe that he can never fully belong to any side.

The First Train is a mystery, a coming-of-age story — and a fictitious reimagining of an amazing moment in the history of Bombay and India — the birth of the Railways.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anuradha Kumar lives in New Jersey, US, and has written many books, the most recent of which, How the Railways Came to India, was published by Curato. Her next, A Changing World: Eyewitness Accounts of the Early Days of the Indian Railways is forthcoming from Curato.

I am not a Silent Poet

These poems look at the social fabric of protest and dissent from an insider’s point of view. They bear the stamp of societies going through upheavals with a focus on sharp cleavages in humanity. Guha plays with satire and undercuts it with a subtle sense of despair that pervades his poetry. India’s North East — and the hills where the poet resides — surface as a motif of hope and nostalgia, and occasionally retreat. The poetry here is personal and social, and at times, a painful denial of the present.

PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
“In nimble verses, contoured and earthy, playful and dense, bouncy and placid, Ananya S. Guha’s I am Not a Silent Poet lays bare the oxymorons of life — it takes us to a hilly Shillong tinted with a robust “fullness,” an abundance of colours, an existence taut with many hues of experiential realities; it weeps over the brazen political ideology of a country that muffles honest voices like Gauri Lankesh’s; it hinges on myriad contemporary slices of life ranging from a burning Manipur to a wronged Asifa, the demise of innocent children in a violent, hollowed out, India to a society’s modes of creating “others” or the peripheral matter — the collection is laced with a unique verbal felicity, a bounce, desires of varied textures and a dreamy nonchalance — the poet has to be heard as his poetry is his protest, his retaliation, and his healing. As he is not a silent poet!”
— Dr. Namrata Pathak, author of That’s How Mirai Eats A Pomegranate

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Ananya S. Guha is a poet, writer, and academic. He was born and raised in Shillong, in North East India and has been writing and publishing poetry for the last 35 years. He was previously the Regional Director of the Indira Gandhi National Open University.

The Film Critic as Philosopher: André Bazin on Euro-Japanese Cinema, 1949–1958

André Bazin (1918-58) is credited with almost single-handedly establishing the study of film as an accepted intellectual pursuit. Bazin can also be considered the principal instigator of the equally influential auteur theory: the idea that, since film is an art form, the director of a movie must be perceived as the chief creator of its unique cinematic style. He is also credited with being the spiritual father of the French New Wave. Among those who came under his tutelage were four who would go on to become the most renowned directors of the postwar French cinema: François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, and Claude Chabrol.

Volume 1 of The Film Critic as Philosopher: André Bazin on Euro-Japanese Cinema, 1949-1958 contains, for the first time in English, much of Bazin’s writing on Euro-Asian cinema: on directors such as Kenji Mizoguchi, Michelangelo Antonioni, Charles Crichton, Michael Cacoyannis, Marcel Carné, and Robert Siodmak; and on films such as Voyage to Italy, A Man Escaped, Gate of Hell, Variety Lights, The Red Balloon, and The Princess Sen.

Volume 2 of The Film Critic as Philosopher: André Bazin on Euro-Japanese Cinema, 1949-1958 contains, for the first time in English, much of Bazin’s writing on international film festivals, such as those at Cannes, Venice, Locarno, and São Paulo—precisely those venues that would feature a mixture of European and Japanese cinema.

Both volumes of The Film Critic as Philosopher: André Bazin on Euro-Japanese Cinema, 1949-1958 also features a sizable scholarly apparatus, including a complete bibliography of Bazin’s articles on American cinema, credits of the films discussed as well as filmographies of their directors, and an extensive index. This collection is aimed, as Bazin himself would want, not only at scholars, teachers, and critics of film, but also at educated or cultivated moviegoers and students of the cinema at all levels.

This collection thus represents a major contribution to the still growing academic discipline of cinema studies, as well as a testament to the continuing influence of one of the world’s pre-eminent critical thinkers.

ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR AND EDITOR
The author of many essays and articles over the years, R. J. Cardullo has had his work appear in such journals as the Yale Review, Cineaste, Film Quarterly, and Cinema Journal.  For twenty years, from 1987 to 2007, he was the regular film critic for the Hudson Review in New York. Cardullo is the author or editor of a number of books, including In Search of Cinema: Writings on International Film Art, Playing to the Camera: Film Actors Discuss Their Craft, and Stage and Screen: Adaptation Theory from 1916 to 2000.

R. J. Cardullo’s own film criticism has been translated into the following languages: Russian, Chinese, Turkish, Spanish, Korean, and Romanian. He took his master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale University and received his B.A. from the University of Florida in Gainesville. Cardullo has taught for five decades at the University of Michigan, Colgate, and New York University, as well as abroad. He is currently Professor of English at the University of Kurdistan in Erbil, Iraq.

Both volumes are available to order from the Curato. Bookstore.

The Catholic Critic: André Bazin on Hollywood Movies, 1945–1958

André Bazin (1918-58) is credited with almost single-handedly establishing the study of film as an accepted intellectual pursuit. Bazin can also be considered the principal instigator of the equally influential auteur theory: the idea that, since film is an art form, the director of a movie must be perceived as the chief creator of its unique cinematic style. He is also credited with being the spiritual father of the French New Wave. Among those who came under his tutelage were four who would go on to become the most renowned directors of the postwar French cinema: François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, and Claude Chabrol.

Volume 1 of The Catholic Critic: André Bazin on Hollywood Movies, 1945-1958contains, for the first time in English, much of Bazin’s penetrating writing on American cinema: on directors such as Billy Wilder, Frank Capra, Edward Dmytryk, Nicholas Ray, John Huston, and George Stevens; and on films such as The Great Dictator, On the Waterfront, Blackboard Jungle, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, and Touch of Evil.

Volume 2 of The Catholic Critic: André Bazin on Hollywood Movies, 1945-1958 contains, for the first time in English, much of Bazin’s penetrating writing on American cinema: on such subjects as Hollywood, the western, Technicolor, the crime film, and “foreign figures” (North American movies that, in some cases [Queen Christina], are set in foreign countries, and in other cases take place in no apparent or identifiable country at all [Rythmetic]).

Both volumes of André Bazin on Hollywood Movies, 1945-1958 also features a sizable scholarly apparatus, including a complete bibliography of Bazin’s articles on American cinema, credits of the films discussed as well as filmographies of their directors, and an extensive index. This collection is aimed, as Bazin himself would want, not only at scholars, teachers, and critics of film, but also at educated or cultivated moviegoers and students of the cinema at all levels.

This collection thus represents a major contribution to the still growing academic discipline of cinema studies, as well as a testament to the continuing influence of one of the world’s pre-eminent critical thinkers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The author of many essays and articles over the years, R. J. Cardullo has had his work appear in such journals as the Yale Review, Cineaste, Film Quarterly, and Cinema Journal.  For twenty years, from 1987 to 2007, he was the regular film critic for the Hudson Review in New York.  Cardullo is the author or editor of a number of books, including In Search of Cinema: Writings on International Film Art, Playing to the Camera: Film Actors Discuss Their Craft, and Stage and Screen: Adaptation Theory from 1916 to 2000.

R. J. Cardullo’s own film criticism has been translated into the following languages: Russian, Chinese, Turkish, Spanish, Korean, and Romanian. He took his master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale University and received his B.A. from the University of Florida in Gainesville. Cardullo has taught for five decades at the University of Michigan, Colgate, and New York University, as well as abroad. He is currently Professor of English at the University of Kurdistan in Erbil, Iraq.

Both volumes are available to order on the Curato. Bookstore.

How the Railways Came to India

Anuradha Kumar

The story of the railways in India began a decade before April 16th, 1853, the day the first train set off from Bombay to Thane. Two men, Rowland Macdonald Stephenson and John Chapman, made impassioned arguments for the railways. They spoke for Britain’s merchants and industrialists, and convincing others—the public, financiers, and the British administrators in London and India—was not so easy.

This book details the drama and the adventure, the twists and turns, the many actors involved in these early years of the railways in India. As the first trains set off across India, the debates continued: how would the railways be controlled and financed, who would build them, and how would the railway management and workers relate to each other. Then there were the other changes, subtle yet noticeable: related to caste, aspects of equality, and the landscape – as forests were decimated, bridges and railway towns came into being. These essays take you on an exciting journey, from the days of the first trains, to how the railway network soon spread web-like across an entire sub-continent.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anuradha Kumar once worked as a management consultant and then as an editor in the Economic and Political Weekly. She has degrees in history, in management from the XLRI School of Business, and more recently, a Masters in Fine Arts in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She writes regularly for Scroll.in, Economic and Political Weekly, theaerogram.com and other places. Her book, ‘A Changing World: Eyewitness Accounts of the Early Days of the Indian Railways’  is forthcoming from Curato.

Pre-order on the Curato. Bookstore here.