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Essays

ABC OF READING

ABC OF READING

Author: POUND, EZRA
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This important work, first published in 1934, is a concise statement of Pound's aesthetic theory. It is a primer for the reader who wants to maintain an active, critical mind and become increasingly sensitive to the beauty and inspiration of the world's best literature. With characteristic vigor and iconoclasm, Pound illustrates his precepts with exhibits meticulously chosen from the classics, and the concluding "Treatise on Meter" provides an illuminating essay for anyone aspiring to read and write poetry. ABC of Reading displays Pound's great ability to open new avenues in literature for our time.
AGAINST INTERPRETATION AND OTHER ESSAYS

AGAINST INTERPRETATION AND OTHER ESSAYS

Author: SONTAG, SUSAN
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Includes the essay Notes on Camp, the inspiration for the 2019 exhibition Notes on Fashion: Camp at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Against Interpretation
was Susan Sontag's first collection of essays and is a modern classic. Originally published in 1966, it has never gone out of print and has influenced generations of readers all over the world. It includes the groundbreaking essays Notes on Camp and Against Interpretation, as well as her impassioned discussions of Sartre, Camus, Simone Weil, Godard, Beckett, Levi-Strauss, science-fiction movies, psychoanalysis, and contemporary religious thought.

This edition has a new afterword, Thirty Years Later, in which Sontag restates the terms of her battle against philistinism and against ethical shallowness and indifference.

AMERICAN STUDIES

AMERICAN STUDIES

Author: MENAND, LOUIS
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At each step of this journey through American cultural history, Louis Menand has an original point to make: he explains the real significance of William James's nervous breakdown, and of the anti-Semitism in T. S. Eliot's writing. He reveals the reasons for the remarkable commercial successes of William Shawn's New Yorker and William Paley's CBS. He uncovers the connection between Larry Flynt's Hustler and Jerry Falwell's evangelism, between the atom bomb and the Scholastic Aptitude Test. He locates the importance of Richard Wright, Norman Mailer, Pauline Kael, Christopher Lasch, and Rolling Stone magazine. And he lends an ear to Al Gore in the White House as the Starr Report is finally presented to the public.

Like his critically acclaimed bestseller, The Metaphysical Club, American Studies is intellectual and cultural history at its best: game and detached, with a strong curiosity about the political underpinnings of ideas and about the reasons successful ideas insinuate themselves into the culture at large. From one of our leading thinkers and critics, known both for his "sly wit and reportorial high-jinks [and] clarity and rigor" (The Nation), these essays are incisive, surprising, and impossible to put down.

AN OPEN BOOK

AN OPEN BOOK

Author: DIRDA, MICHAEL
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"All that kid wants to do is stick his nose in a book," Michael Dirda's steelworker father used to complain, worried about his son's passion for reading. In "An Open Book," one of the most delightful memoirs to emerge in years, the acclaimed literary journalist Michael Dirda re-creates his boyhood in rust-belt Ohio, first in the working-class town of Lorain, then at Oberlin College. In addition to his colorful family and friends, "An Open Book" also features the great writers and fictional characters who fueled Dirda's imagination: from Green Lantern to Sherlock Holmes, from Candy to Proust. The result is an affectionate homage to small-town America summer jobs, school fights, sweepstakes contests, and first dates as well as a paean to what could arguably be called the last great age of reading. "Dirda is a superb literary essayist." Harold Bloom "Michael Dirda's memoir no surprise to me is so good that I went up to the attic meaning to send him one of my antique Big Little books as a salute to excellence...A great job. I'll be buying "An Open Book" for my children and grandchildren." Russell Baker, author of "Growing Up" "Here, in "An Open Book," is the show and tell of a wonderful American story, everything coming together in the immemorial dance of literature and memory, of history and gossip, and of the deeply felt, bittersweet story (his own) of a young life. Read it and rejoice." George Garrett "A lovely, unapologetically nostalgic remembrance of growing up in a more innocent America, but it is also the touching story of one person's lifelong love affair with words." June Sawyer, "San Francisco Chronicle" "Dirda inhabits each book he reads. Inhabits it and makes a space alongside it for us to join him....He is a rare treasure." James Sallis, "Boston Sunday Globe""

ANATOMY OF INFLUENCE: Literature as a Way of Life

ANATOMY OF INFLUENCE: Literature as a Way of Life

Author: BLOOM, HAROLD
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Our most revered critic returns to his signature theme

"Literary criticism, as I attempt to practice it," writes Harold Bloom in The Anatomy of Influence, "is in the first place literary, that is to say, personal and passionate."

For more than half a century, Bloom has shared his profound knowledge of the written word with students and readers. In this, his most comprehensive and accessible study of influence, Bloom leads us through the labyrinthine paths which link the writers and critics who have informed and inspired him for so many years. The result is "a critical self-portrait," a sustained meditation on a life lived with and through the great works of the Western canon: Why has influence been my lifelong obsessive concern? Why have certain writers found me and not others? What is the end of a literary life?

Featuring extended analyses of Bloom's most cherished poets--Shakespeare, Whitman, and Crane--as well as inspired appreciations of Emerson, Tennyson, Browning, Yeats, Ashbery, and others, The Anatomy of Influence adapts Bloom's classic work The Anxiety of Influence to show us what great literature is, how it comes to be, and why it matters. Each chapter maps startling new literary connections that suddenly seem inevitable once Bloom has shown us how to listen and to read. A fierce and intimate appreciation of the art of literature on a scale that the author will not again attempt, TheAnatomy of Influence follows the sublime works it studies, inspiring the reader with a sense of something ever more about to be.

ANGELS AND SAINTS: WITH A GUIDE TO THE ILLUSTRATIONS BY MARY WELLESLEY

ANGELS AND SAINTS: WITH A GUIDE TO THE ILLUSTRATIONS BY MARY WELLESLEY

Author: WEINBERGER, ELIOT
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Angels have soared through Western culture and consciousness from Biblical to contemporary times. But what do we really know about these celestial beings? Where do they come from, what are they made of, how do they communicate and perceive? The celebrated essayist Eliot Weinberger has mined and deconstructed, resurrected and distilled centuries of theology into an awe-inspiring exploration of the heavenly host.
From a litany of angelic voices, Weinberger's lyrical meditation then turns to the earthly counterparts, the saints, their lives retold in a series of vibrant and playful capsule biographies, followed by a glimpse of the afterlife.
Threaded throughout Angels & Saints are the glorious illuminated grid poems by the eighteenth-century Benedictine monk Hrabanus Maurus. These astonishingly complex, proto-"concrete" poems are untangled in a lucid afterword by the medieval scholar and historian Mary Wellesley.
ANOTHER TURN OF THE CRANK

ANOTHER TURN OF THE CRANK

Author: BERRY, WENDELL
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"A Kentucky farmer and writer, and perhaps the great moral essayist of our day, Berry has produced one of his shortest but also most powerful volumes." ―The New York Review of Books

"The rarest (and highest) of literary classes consist of that small group of authors who are absolutely inimitable . . . One of the half-dozen living American authors who belongs in this class is Wendell Berry." ―Los Angeles Times

"Berry is a philosopher, poet, novelist, and an essayist in the tradition of Emerson and Thoreau . . . like Thoreau, he marches to a different drummer, a drummer we would do well to be aware of, if not to march to." ―San Francisco Chronicle

From modern health care to the practice of forestry, from local focus to national resolve, Wendell Berry argues, there can never be a separation between global ecosystems and human communities--the two are intricately connected, and the health and survival of one depends upon the other.

Provocative, intimate, and thoughtful, Another Turn of the Crank reaches to the heart of Berry's concern and vision for the future, for America and for the world.

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ANYTHING GOES: ESSENTIAL WRITINGS OF THEODORE DALRYMPLE

Author: DALRYMPLE, THEODORE
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Theodore Dalrymple's work focuses on the moral decay of modern culture and the pernicious effect of political correctness on society. Anything Goes is a collection of some of his finest work written between 2005 and 2009 for New English Review. A note on the cover from New English Review Press: This jazz age photograph by Alfred Cheney Johnston reflects the classical conviction that the human form expresses a spiritual level of beauty, the artwork of God, if you will. It is also a statement about the essential humanism of Dr. Dalrymple's work. One cannot look at that figure and see an animal or a machine. Rather one sees something truly beautiful and truly human.
ART OF PERSONAL ESSAY: AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE CLASSICAL ERA TO THE PRESENT

ART OF PERSONAL ESSAY: AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE CLASSICAL ERA TO THE PRESENT

Author: LOPATE, PHILIP
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For more than four hundred years the personal essay has been one of the richest and most vibrant of all literary forms. The Art of the Personal Essay is the first anthology to celebrate this lively, fertile genre. Distinguished from the formal essay by its friendly, conversational tone, its drive toward candor and confession, and its often quirky first-person voice, the personal essay offers above all a feast of individuality.
ART OF THE SONNET

ART OF THE SONNET

Author: BURT, STEPHEN AND MIKICS, DAVI
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Few poetic forms have found more uses than the sonnet in English, and none is now more recognizable. It is one of the longest-lived of verse forms, and one of the briefest. A mere fourteen lines, fashioned by intricate rhymes, it is, as Dante Gabriel Rossetti called it, "a moment's monument." From the Renaissance to the present, the sonnet has given poets a superb vehicle for private contemplation, introspection, and the expression of passionate feelings and thoughts.

The Art of the Sonnet collects one hundred exemplary sonnets of the English language (and a few sonnets in translation), representing highlights in the history of the sonnet, accompanied by short commentaries on each of the poems. The commentaries by Stephanie Burt and David Mikics offer new perspectives and insights, and, taken together, demonstrate the enduring as well as changing nature of the sonnet. The authors serve as guides to some of the most-celebrated sonnets in English as well as less-well-known gems by nineteenth- and twentieth-century poets. Also included is a general introductory essay, in which the authors examine the sonnet form and its long and fascinating history, from its origin in medieval Sicily to its English appropriation in the sixteenth century to sonnet writing today in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking parts of the world.