Jay Parini Some Necessary Angels

ISBN 13: 9780231110709

Some Necessary Angels

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9780231110709: Some Necessary Angels
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Distinguished poet and novelist Jay Parini presents some of his best essays―both classic and unpublished works―on topics ranging from baseball to Frost and Emerson to the culture of creative writing. For aspiring writers, Some Necessary Angels is an illuminating glimpse into the workshop of a distinguished novelist and critic. For readers who share Parini's love of language, it is an invigorating expression of faith.

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This fine collection of essays, which shifts between personal, scholarly, and universal topics, opens with a tribute to author Jay Parini's mentors, then meanders through talk of small towns, baseball, and writing in restaurants. The centerpiece of Some Necessary Angels, though, is seven essays about the poetry of William Blake, Theodore Roethke, Robert Frost, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Seamus Heaney, Alastair Reid, Robert Penn Warren, and Charles Wright. Parini comes out the other side of these eloquent examinations to ponder the place of the writer in the world. He calls upon Yeats's poetry and Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath as proof that "poetry and fiction make things happen" (the former corresponded to the formation of the Irish Free State; the latter raised consciousness about the plight of migrant workers). He uses examples from his own work to address the issue of blurring lines between biography and fiction.

Parini also uses the book to make a strong case against the isolationism of contemporary literary theory: "Jargon," he writes, "has overwhelmed literary criticism to the point where the so-called common reader is now fiercely excluded from the conversations that take place in most professional journals and academic conferences." It used to be, says Parini, that "the shortlist of major poets from Ben Jonson to T. S. Eliot [was] more or less coincident with the shortlist of major critics." No more. Now, he says, "literature faculties in the United States usually have two camps: the critics and the writers." The critics are "largely out of conversation with the culture of poets and fiction writers," and "the relative ignorance of most poets and novelists with regard to literary theory strikes me as profoundly unhealthy."

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Distinguished poet and novelist Jay Parini presents some of his best writings―both classic and previously unpublished works―on topics ranging from baseball to Frost and Emerson to the culture of creative writing.

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9780231110716: Some Necessary Angels

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ISBN 10:  0231110715 ISBN 13:  9780231110716
Publisher: Columbia University Press, 2000
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Book Description Columbia University Press, United States, 1998. Hardback. Condition: New. New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Distinguished poet and novelist Jay Parini presents some of his best essays-both classic and unpublished works-on topics ranging from baseball to Frost and Emerson to the culture of creative writing. For aspiring writers, Some Necessary Angels is an illuminating glimpse into the workshop of a distinguished novelist and critic. For readers who share Parini's love of language, it is an invigorating expression of faith. Seller Inventory # BTE9780231110709

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