CAHIERS/NOTEBOOKS 3 by PAUL Valery, Published by Peter Lang is the best book of 2007.
By picking this book of course I am giving in to the YEAR END but I do it with the higher purpose of trying to draw attention to a book I am almost sure will not appear in a single bookstore in the United States.
You can get more information about the book at www.peterlang.com.
You will discover that Peter Lang is a large academic publisher with a number of bases around the world.
Paul Valery needs no introduction. I have written about the 29 volume facsimile edition of his notebooks. The one I have now picked is the most recent and the third in a series of 6 based upon the huge two volume edition of the typeset version published in Paris some years. This volume is devoted to six of the 31 subdivisions Valery envisioned that his notebooks could eventually be divided into: Psychology, Soma and CEM, Attention, Sensibility, Memory and Dream.
This is not a book you sit down and read cover to cover. It's importance is in now one more volume is available of this great monument of thinking. I am immediately drawn to the section devoted to memory.
--Memory would not fit elegantly into my system. Nothing reseals it in what exists at any given moment, yet it does exist
--Memory awaits the intervention of the present.
--Memory, at once the condition and the material substance of mental work.
From my first reading of this volume, readers will be happy to note that Valery does not participate in the dated Freudian foolishness. In the most important way possible he is giving words to the work that is now being down in what is now happily called Brain Science... he is another who can be enlisted in the exposure of the myth of the so-called unconscious...
I will not have exhausted this book by the end of 2008.
Other books that should be noticed...
1. NOW VOYAGERS; THE NIGHT SEA JOURNEY by James McCourt.
2. FROST by Thomas Bernhard.
3. SUNFLOWER by Gyula Krudy
4. LAURA WARHOLA or, THE SEXUAL INTELLECTUAL bu Alexander Theroux
5. THE SAVAGE DETECTIVES by Roberto Bolano.
6. LETHE The Art and Critique of Forgetting by Harald Weinrich.
7. MONTANO'S MALADY by Enrique Vila-Matas.
8. AUTONAUTS OF THE COSMOROUTE by Julio Cortazar.
9. THE COMPLETE POETRY of CESAR VALLEJO translated by Clayton Eshelman.
10. STORM OF STEEL by Ernst Junger.
11. TRIUMPH FORSAKEN The Vietnam War, 1954-1965 by Mark Moyar.
12. NAZI LITERATURE IN THE AMERICAS by Roberto Bolano.
13. CHRIST VERSUS ARIZONA by Camilo Jose Cela.
14. ON ELOQUENCE by Denis Donoghue.
For such lists there is no reason to be bound by the trivial chopping up of time into years. And I might as well add one more:
15. ON THE RAFT WITH FR. ROSELIEP by James Liddy.
One more of course:
16. WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON AND OTHER POEMS by David Slavitt.