Slow Reading in a Hurried Age

Author: David Mikics

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 332

View: 103

Reading, David Mikics says, should not be drudgery, and not mere information-gathering or escape either, but a way to live life at a higher pitch. Slow Reading in a Hurried Age is a practical guide for anyone who yearns for a more meaningful, satisfying reading experience, as well as sharper reading skills and improved concentration.

Bellow's People: How Saul Bellow Made Life Into Art

Author: David Mikics

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 240

View: 535

A leading literary critic’s innovative study of how the Nobel Prize–winning author turned life into art. Saul Bellow was the most lauded American writer of the twentieth century—the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, and the only novelist to be awarded the National Book Award in Fiction three times. Preeminently a novelist of personality in all its wrinkles, its glories and shortcomings, Bellow filled his work with vibrant, garrulous, particular people—people who are somehow exceptionally alive on the page. In Bellow’s People, literary historian and critic David Mikics explores Bellow’s life and work through the real-life relationships and friendships that Bellow transmuted into the genius of his art. Mikics covers ten of the extraordinary people who mattered most to Bellow, such as his irascible older brother, Morrie, a key inspiration for The Adventures of Augie March; the writer Delmore Schwartz and the philosopher Allan Bloom, who were the originals for the protagonists of Humboldt’s Gift and Ravelstein; the novelist Ralph Ellison, with whom he shared a house every summer in the late 1950s, when Ellison was coming off the mammoth success of Invisible Man and Bellow was trying to write Herzog; and Bellow’s wife, Sondra Tschacbasov, and his best friend, Jack Ludwig, whose love affair Bellow fictionalized in Herzog. A perfect introduction to Bellow’s life and work, Bellow’s People is an incisive critical study of the novelist and a memorable account of a vibrant and tempestuous circle of midcentury American intellectuals.

The American Canon

Literary Genius from Emerson to Le Guin

Author: Harold Bloom

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 500

View: 516

Our foremost literary critic celebrates the American pantheon of great writers from Emerson and Whitman to Hurston and Ellison, to Ursula K. LeGuin, Philip Roth, and Thomas Pynchon. Harold Bloom is our greatest living student of literature, "a colossus among critics" (The New York Times) and a "master entertainer" (Newsweek). Over the course of a remarkable career spanning more than half a century, in such best-selling books as The Western Canon and Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, he transformed the way we look at the masterworks of western literature. Now, in the first collection devoted to his illuminating writings specifically on American literature, Bloom reflects on the surprising ways American writers have influenced each other across more than two centuries. The American Canon gathers five decades of Bloom's essays, occasional pieces, and introductions as well as excerpts from several of his books, weaving them together into an unrivalled tour of the great American bookshelf. Always a champion of aesthetic power, Bloom tells the story of our national literature in terms of artistic struggle against powerful predecessors and the American thirst for selfhood. All of the visionary American writers who have long preoccupied Bloom--Emerson and Whitman, Hawthorne and Melville, and Dickinson, Faulkner, Crane, Frost, Stevens, and Bishop--are here, along with Hemingway, James, O'Connor, Ellison, Hurston, LeGuin, Ashbery and many others. Bloom's enthusiasm for these American geniuses is contagious, and he reminds us how these writers have shaped our sense of who we are, and how they can summon us to be yet better versions of ourselves.

Bellow's People

How Saul Bellow Made Life Into Art

Author: David Mikics

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category:

Page: 269

View: 199

A leading literary critic's innovative study of how the Nobel Prize-winning author turned life into art.

The American Canon: Literary Genius from Emerson to Le Guin

Author: Harold Bloom

Publisher: Library of America

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 500

View: 831

Our foremost literary critic celebrates the American pantheon of great writers from Emerson and Whitman to Hurston and Ellison, to Ursula K. LeGuin, Philip Roth, and Thomas Pynchon. Harold Bloom is our greatest living student of literature, "a colossus among critics" (The New York Times) and a "master entertainer" (Newsweek). Over the course of a remarkable career spanning more than half a century, in such best-selling books as The Western Canon and Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, he transformed the way we look at the masterworks of western literature. Now, in the first collection devoted to his illuminating writings specifically on American literature, Bloom reflects on the surprising ways American writers have influenced each other across more than two centuries. The American Canon gathers five decades of Bloom's essays, occasional pieces, and introductions as well as excerpts from several of his books, weaving them together into an unrivalled tour of the great American bookshelf. Always a champion of aesthetic power, Bloom tells the story of our national literature in terms of artistic struggle against powerful predecessors and the American thirst for selfhood. All of the visionary American writers who have long preoccupied Bloom--Emerson and Whitman, Hawthorne and Melville, and Dickinson, Faulkner, Crane, Frost, Stevens, and Bishop--are here, along with Hemingway, James, O'Connor, Ellison, Hurston, LeGuin, Ashbery and many others. Bloom's enthusiasm for these American geniuses is contagious, and he reminds us how these writers have shaped our sense of who we are, and how they can summon us to be yet better versions of ourselves.

Teaching Particulars

Literary Conversations in Grades 6-12

Author: Helaine L. Smith

Publisher: Paul Dry Books

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 248

View: 162

In Teaching Particulars, Helaine Smith engages her students, grammar school through twelfth grade—and any avid reader—in the questions that great literature evokes. Included are chapters on Homer and Genesis; plays by Sophocles, Shakespeare, and Beckett; poems by Jonson, Donne, Coleridge, Browning, Hopkins, Yeats, Bishop, Hecht, Dove, and Lowell; essays by Baldwin, Lamb, and White; and fiction by Flannery O’Connor, Dickens, Joyce, Poe, Tolstoy, Mann, and Kafka. Whether Helaine Smith is talking to young or older students, she shows how any devoted reader can uncover all sorts of subtle beauty and meaning by reading closely and by assuming that virtually every word and phrase of a great text is deliberate. The question-and-answer form of these jargon-free dialogues creates the feeling of a vibrant classroom where learning and delight are the watchwords. “After her forty years of teaching, Smith’s keen understanding of the literary canon makes her the perfect candidate to write this humorous and insightful book." —Foreword Reviews "Teaching Particulars is an exemplary series of literary conversations by a master teacher on a great variety of important, life-shaping books. The guidance is unfailingly humane, the essays thoughtfully presented by someone who cares as much for the written word as she does about her classroom and her subject matter. Her commentary on Hecht’s ‘Rites and Ceremonies,’ the poet’s complex response to Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land,’ ranks among the very best anywhere, as is true for her reading of Hecht’s ‘Devotions of a Painter,’ which has the further advantage of illuminating that work in light of Elizabeth Bishop’s profound meditation on painting in her ‘Poem.’ Reading Teaching Particulars makes me wish that all of my students could have had Helaine Smith as their teacher.” —Jonathan F. S. Post, Distinguished Professor of English and former Chair of the Department, UCLA “There’s simply nothing else like Teaching Particulars, a book packed with so much wisdom and practical advice about teaching literature that every instructor of grades 6 to 12—and of college classes, too—will want to get a copy right now. Even if you’re not a teacher, I highly recommend it. The love of books pulses through every page Helaine Smith writes, and her passion is infectious. She opens our eyes to the pleasures of reading in a way that few critics can, and she does it all in a book whose style is both elegant and friendly.” —David Mikics, John and Rebecca Moores Professor of English, University of Houston, and author of Slow Reading in a Hurried Age “Teaching Particulars is a bounteous resource for all teachers, as well as a pleasure just to curl up with and read away.” —Susan J. Wolfson, Professor of English, Princeton University “Helaine Smith is a genius of a teacher: witty, imaginative, precise, intuitive, and gracefully learned. Now anyone who opens her Teaching Particulars can have the rare privilege of learning from her how to read, in the truest sense. It’s never too late to be startled into delight by the power of language, and that is the experience offered on every page of this book. It’s a book not only for the schoolroom, but for the school of life.”—Rosanna Warren, Hanna Holborn Gray Distinguished Service Professor, The Committee on Social Thought, The University of Chicago

In For a Penny

Author: James P. Blaylock

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN:

Category: Fiction

Page: 182

View: 777

This mesmerising collection from World Fantasy Award-winner James P. Blaylock offers seven brilliant excursions into one of the most idiosyncratic imaginations of our time. Highlighted by the acclaimed novella, "The Trismegistus Club" - a brilliant riff on the antiquarian ghost story - In for a Penny goes from strength to strength, taking us deep into the heart of a quirky, deeply engaging fictional world that no one but Blaylock could have created. Other high points include "Home Before Dark," which chronicles one man's first few hours in the afterlife. Its thematic companion, "Small Houses," recounts an aging widower's last few hours on earth. Both stories constitute deeply felt, lovingly detailed farewells to the things and places of this world. In "The other Side," a minor precognitive episode leads the hero to an obsessive fascination with the hidden mysteries of the universe. In "His Own Back Yard," a story worthy of the great Jack Finney, a middle-aged man finds himself stranded in the haunted territory of his childhood. The blackly funny "War of the Worlds" uses a bowling ball and the imminent end of Life As We Know It to illuminate the fault lines in a modern marriage. Finally, in the wonderfully imagined title story, the single-minded pursuit of treasure - of something for nothing - leads Blaylock's protagonist to a harrowing confrontation with his own worst self. Startling, funny, eccentric, and often unexpectedly moving, the Blaylockian worldview shines forth with undiminished vigor in this marvellous collection, which shows us ourselves - and the world around us - from a wholly unique perspective.

Reading and Reasoning

Author: DOWNING

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN:

Category: Education

Page: 193

View: 191

I have written this book to put forward a new theory of reading the cognitive clarity theory. But the book is not all theory. I have tried to show how this theory can help students, teachers and parents to improve children's education in reading at home and at school. Although the cognitive clarity theory is new, it is derived from other theories and from a wide range of educational, linguistic and psychological research. The cognitive clarity theory is thus a bringing together of the insights of many col leagues in these disciplines. What the theory owes to these colleagues is clearly acknowledged as the evidence is presented. But I must also be thankful for the experiences that have led me in this direction. I worked as a school teacher for nearly ten years before I became an experimental psychologist. During my years as a teacher I was often baffled by children's difficulties in learning to read. Then, only two or three years after qualifying in psych ology, I had the good fortune to be chosen to plan and conduct the first large scale experiment on children's reading in Britain.

The Gutenberg Elegies

The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age

Author: Sven Birkerts

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 256

View: 201

"[A] THOUGHTFUL AND HEARTFELT BOOK...A literary cri de coeur--a lament for literature and everything implicit in it." --The Washington Post In our zeal to embrace the wonders of the electronic age, are we sacrificing our literary culture? Renowned critic Sven Birkerts believes the answer is an alarming yes. In The Gutenberg Elegies, he explores the impact of technology on the experience of reading. Drawing on his own passionate, lifelong love of books, Birkerts examines how literature intimately shapes and nourishes the inner life. What does it mean to "hear" a book on audiotape, decipher its words on a screen, or interact with it on CD-ROM? Are books as we know them dead? At once a celebration of the complex pleasures of reading and a boldly original challenge to the new information technologies, The Gutenberg Elegies is an essential volume for anyone who cares about the past and future of books. "[A] wise and humane book....He is telling us, in short, nothing less than what reading means and why it matters." --The Boston Sunday Globe "Warmly elegiac...A candid and engaging autobiographical account sketches his own almost obsessive trajectory through avid childhood reading....This profoundly reflexive process is skillfully described." --The New York Times Book Review "Provocative...Compelling...Powerfully conveys why reading matters, why it is both a delight and a necessity." --The Harvard Review

The Priest's Woman

And Other Real Life Stories

Author: John Stephen Ayliffe

Publisher: Xlibris Corporation

ISBN:

Category: Fiction

Page: 157

View: 247

Keeping the Faith in spite of the Church: True love triumphs against the Catholic Churchs most outdated law, a gay priest is hounded by the Vaticans Secret Police, a courageous young journalist takes on Nazi Germany and exposes the Pope who aided Hitler - Composed over three decades my stories from real life are about the struggle between Faith and organised religion, its hierarchical duplicity, shameful denial and lack of justice and compassion. Id love to be a Catholic, but the Church is in the way, says Jimmy, who wants to make love not war.