Sleeping in Flame, by Jonathan Carroll (Vintage, $8.95). In contemporary Vienna a young man named Walker Easterling rescues a beautiful model from an unhappy love affair. Naturally, the two fall hard for each other, and it looks like they will live happily ever after. But then the fairy tale starts to turn strange, but not in the usual way of love gone wrong. Walker glimpses a little Rumpelstiltskin-like character who tries to run him down, hears old women speaking a strange tongue, starts to flashback to bizarre events in his past and, seemingly, even to other incarnations. The whole novel darkens in tone, as matters grow increasingly unsettling. Is Walker what or who he thinks he is? A fantasy-romance that artfully blends a tony elegance and a disturbing uncanniness straight out of Weird Tales, this is Jonathan Carroll's fourth novel; the others are The Land of Laughs, Voice of Our Shadow and Bones of the Moon.
Victorian Ghost Stories
, edited by Richard Dalby (Carroll & Graf, $9.95). One of the virtues of this collection is, appropriately, its unexpectedness. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, women writers excelled at the supernatural story, among them Vernon Lee (surely the best writer of such tales between Le Fanu and the two Jameses, Henry and M.R.), Mrs. Oliphant, Charlotte Riddell and Mary Wilkins Freeman. They are naturally included here, but editor Dalby has eschewed their familiar anthology pieces and chosen fine but lesser known work. He also rediscovers the neglected Lanoe Falconer who is represented by the satirical chiller, "Cecelia de Noel." Scholar Jennifer Uglow contributes a brief but insightful introduction to supernatural fiction by women. NONFICTION
Three Days With Joyce
, Photographs by Gisele Freund, Preface by Richard Ellmann (Persea, $11.95). Gisele Freund met James Joyce in 1936 at a Paris dinner party given for Thornton Wilder by Adrienne Monnier, the publisher of the French translation of Ulysses in the 1920s. Then in her twenties, Freund was studying at the Sorbonne; to pay for her studies she had taken up photography, little realizing that it would become her profession. Her reputation swelled, and in 1938 Life magazine asked her to do a photo-essay on Joyce to celebrate the long-awaited publication of Finnegans Wake. In spring '38 and again in spring '39 (when Finnegans Wake was finally published) Freund photographed Joyce over a period of several days. Her images reveal a frail-looking man, very dapper in velvet smoking jacket, slippers and ribbed stockings, with delicate hands that caress an ever-present cane like a flute. Joyce was then 57, very troubled by failing eyesight and the schizophrenia of his daughter Lucia. The photographs have a period charm, recording as they do a private visit to one of the masters of high modernism.
What Am I Doing Here
, by Bruce Chatwin (Penguin, $9.95). This volume collects most -- though not by any means all -- of the occasional journalism of Bruce Chatwin, that wonderfully romantic wanderer and remarkably fine writer. Abandoning a successful career as an art expert, Chatwin spent the last 15 years of his life (he died in 1989 at age 47) trekking around remote or exotic parts of the world -- Patagonia, the Australian outback, Africa, India, Russia. His books, starting with In Patagonia, garnered critical raves, and his early death was widely mourned; Salman Rushdie's last public act, before going into hiding, was to attend a memorial service for Chatwin. This sampler includes profiles of Ernst Junger, Andre Malraux, Werner Herzog, Indira Gandhi and Nadezhda Mandelstam, as well as accounts of a search for the Himalayan Yeti, Chatwin's memories of the art world and of his parents, and some autobiographical short stories, among them the funny, harrowing description of a military coup in Benin.
Samuel Johnson on Shakespeare
, edited by H.R. Woudhuysen (Penguin, $8.95). With Coleridge, Samuel Johnson is certainly the shrewdest of Shakespeare critics and one of the handful whose insights are still worth reading for pleasure. This edition of Johnson's somewhat scattered obervations includes the famous preface to his edition of the plays, selections from its accompanying notes, some essays and miscellaneous remarks, and even excerpts from the famous dictionary. Editor Woudhuysen provides a lengthy introduction and stresses that this compact volume is intended for the common reader rather than the professional scholar.
Medieval & Early Renaissance Medicine: An Introduction to Knowledge and Practice
, by Nancy G. Siraisi (University of Chicago Press, $10.95). The medical community of the Middle Ages was not as plunged into total ignorance as one might expect: some practitioners at least, especially those associated with the universities of Bologna, Montpellier and Paris, knew quite a bit about anatomy and physiology and could consult ancient, Byzantine and Islamic texts. But even learned practitioners showed little readiness to modify theory in the light of experience, not a good idea in an age of devastating epidemics. Still, institutional foundations of medical education were laid that persisted well into early modern times. This well illustrated history is written for the layman, not the specialist.
Arnold J. Toynbee: A Life
, by William H. McNeill (Oxford University Press, $10.95). Arnold J. Toynbee (1889-1975) bore a great name; his uncle pioneered middle-class Victorian efforts to help the British poor help themselves. As professor of Byzantine and modern Greek language, literature and history at the University of London and as research professor of international history, Toynbee wrote A Study of History in 10 volumes between 1934 and 1954. This massive work inquired into the cyclical rise and fall of the the world's civilizations and predicted the decay of Western civilization, the signs of which, said Toynbee, were already evident. The work achieved tremendous popular acclaim, in this country through the ballyhoo of the Book-of-the-Month Club. However, historians have always regarded the work as deeply flawed, not least because of its call for a new universal religion. This masterly biography treats Toynbee sympathetically, admits his errors, but finds surprising affinities between him and Milton. And it praises him for pioneering the reduction of humankind's manifold adventures to an intelligible whole.