The Power of Delight: A Lifetine in Literature, Essays 1962-2002

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9780393344929: The Power of Delight: A Lifetine in Literature, Essays 1962-2002
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A magnum opus and a cause for celebration from one of the world's foremost literary essayists.

Beginning his career at Oxford in the 1950s, the ever-incisive John Bayley has been one of the great bulwarks--in the tradition of William Hazlitt and Edmund Wilson--of twentieth-century world literature. His distinctive sensibility has transformed tastes and theories. Here, in The Power of Delight, a volume that has been assembled with the assistance of New Yorker editor Leo Carey, we see at last the full range of Bayley's life and work, divided into eight sections that include 'English Literature,' 'Russian Novels,' and 'American Poetry.' A wide-ranging guide to essential reading, The Power of Delight examines classics, neglected gems and masterpieces of our time--from Jane Austen to Milan Kundera, Leo Tolstoy to John Ashbery, and from Robert Lowell's messy persona to George Orwell's self-canonization.

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About the Author:

Born in India in 1925, John Bayley was educated at Eton and Oxford. He became a fellow of New College in 1955, where he taught English. In 1956, he married the novelist Iris Murdoch, who was then teaching philosophy at St. Anne's College. Bayley is an eminent literary critic and the author of Iris and Her Friends and Elegy for Iris. He has since remarried. A regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and an active supporter of Alzheimer's International, Bayley still lives and writes in Oxford, England.

From Booklist:

Bayley began teaching English literature at Oxford in 1955 and soon thereafter began writing reviews, mutually beneficial pursuits that have made him an exceptionally agile reader and a graceful critic. In his introduction to this grand, beautifully titled collection of essays, Bayley details the pleasures of reviewing, and his delight in writing criticism truly is evident in each of the essays judiciously gathered here. Bayley, also the author of two striking memoirs, including Elegy for Iris (1999), his haunting tribute to his late wife, Iris Murdoch, takes on English literature with dash, revisiting Laurence Sterne, Jane Austen, and Graham Greene, but he is even more passionate in his engagement with an acquired love, Russian literature, writing richly referenced and marvelously conversational assessments of Pushkin, Babel, and Chekhov, among many others. Bayley also writes incisively about key American poets and offers groundbreaking interpretations of such Eastern European writers as Milan Kundera, Witold Gombrowicz, and Paul Celan. Astute not only in matters of aesthetics but also in the ways literature mirrors, and, perhaps, effects social change, Bayley is at once worldly and companionable. Donna Seaman
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Book Description W. W. Norton & Company. Paperback. Condition: New. 696 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.1in. x 1.9in.Beginning his career at Oxford in the 1950s, the ever-incisive John Bayley has been one of the great bulwarks - in the tradition of William Hazlitt and Edmund Wilson - of twentieth-century world literature. His distinctive sensibility has transformed tastes and theories. Here, in The Power of Delight, a volume that has been assembled with the assistance of New Yorker editor Leo Carey, we see at last the full range of Bayleys life and work, divided into eight sections that include English Literature, Russian Novels, and American Poetry. A wide-ranging guide to essential reading, The Power of Delight examines classics, neglected gems and masterpieces of our time - from Jane Austen to Milan Kundera, Leo Tolstoy to John Ashbery, and from Robert Lowells messy persona to George Orwells self-canonization. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780393344929

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