1001 Great Stories, Volume 1

This is the first of an ongoing collection of anthologies which, ultimately, will represent 1001 of the world's greatest tales. In a grand conception that defies his own death, the editor envisions a series of 101 volumes, published over the next 26 years-which would mean he would complete this series at the age of 83. As Messerli notes, "The volume...should be seen, accordingly, not as a statement that I will publish 1001 stories, but as a desire. As with Scheherazade, there's always a chance I may not survive, but perhaps the sultan will also spare my life.

This first volume—a standard for the series, which will also include special issues devoted to the tales of different countries and languages and to special issues and topics-includes fiction by 10 authors: the great Russian early 19th century author Nikolai Gogol, the late 19th and early 20th century Portuguese writer José Maria de Queiroz, the French author Valery Larbaud, Russian Soviet satirists Yuri Olesha and Mikhail Zoshcenko, the Uruguayan modernist Mario Benedetti, the Cuban writer Virgilio Pinera, the Italian story-teller Tommaso Landolfi, the German experimentalist Arno Schmidt, and the contemporary Chinese author Can Xue. Short biographies are included.

Represented by some of the most outstand stories of all time, this volume will be a joy to the general reader and useful for classroom reading in a genre that is too often overlooked.