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These thirteen recent essays are vintage Louis Rubin. They represent the phenomenal literary energy of a gifted writer, publisher, and teacher who has been at it for half a century and is still alerting us to new and vigorous perceptions of American and English writing, writers, and cultural change. The essays range far beyond the American South, exploring a broad range of literary subjects, from Winston Churchill and historical revisionism, to ghost-writing and baseball players, to the situation of American letters today. "They are a variety show, " says Rubin; and we could not ask for a better emcee. His historical awareness, his astute literary judgment, and the impress of his witty and forthright personality combine to give authoritative unity to this collection. One group of essays deals chiefly with political and military history, including the Civil War and World Wars I and II, in varying literary, cultural, and ideological perspectives. Rubin is aware always of war's pervasive and persistent role in shaping our culture, our patterns of development, and our imagination. Another group includes a provocative consideration of T. S. Eliot as a poet and critic who showed his contemporaries a way to express passion in language; an uncompromising essay on the idiosyncratic Edmund Wilson as a writer of critical journals; a consideration of newsman H. L. Mencken and the old Baltimore days of American journalism; and a review of versions of Huey Long, fictional and nonfictional, which moves on to explore the nature of biography and fiction. A final selection recalls the Fugitive Poets' reunion at Vanderbilt University in the 1950s, and concludes with Rubin's superb memoirs of two remarkable men of letters, Cleanth Brooks and Howard Nemerov.
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Louis D. Rubin, Jr., taught English and creative writing, mainly at Johns Hopkins University, Hollins College, and the University of North Carolina.From Publishers Weekly:
Rubin is best known in the publishing community as the founder of Algonquin Books and the eminence grise of Chapel Hill's literary renaissance. But he isn't only to be admired for exposing readers to Larry Brown, Lewis Nordan, Kay Gibbons and Jill McCorkle. This former literature professor is a fine writer himself, as this collection of occasional prose will quickly make apparent to those who haven't already been convinced by earlier books such as Small Craft Advisory. Whether questioning Britain's WWII revisionism or suggesting it's only appropriate that Babe Ruth would leave the writing of his autobiography to a more literate sympathizer, Rubin reveals history to be a human, if not humane, endeavor. A reexamination of T.S. Eliot's elitist, self-serving criticism may question the Modernist's reputation as a critic, but it never denies Eliot's talent as a poet. Rubin also debunks the myths surrounding acquaintances--William Golding, for one--and personal friends--the late Cleanth Brooks and Howard Nemerov--with similar graciousness and deference. Remembering the 1956 reunion of the Fugitives, the arbiters of Southern literature of a different era, Rubin notes: "They had their faults, their vanities, their blind spots, as who has not." Like those of his mentors, Rubin's vanities and blind spots are easily forgiven. His subjects deserve no less than the literate, thoughtful and even gentlemanly essays he delivers.
Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Condition: New. LIKE NEW: Little to no shelf wear, no signs of use. Ships fast secure, expedited available!. Seller Inventory # 3UBCFO0004FU
Book Description Univ of Washington Pr, 1996. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M029597530X