A. Alvarez Writer's Voice

ISBN 13: 9780747576280

Writer's Voice

 
9780747576280: Writer's Voice
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'For a writer, voice is a problem that never lets you go, and I have thought about it for as long as I can remember - if for no other reason than that a writer doesn't properly begin until he has a voice of his own.' What makes good writing good? In his brilliant new book, Al Alvarez argues that it is the development of the voice - voice as distinct from style - that makes a writer great. A poet as well as a critic, Al Alvarez approaches his subject both as an informed observer and an insider. Here are - among others - Sylvia Plath, John Donne, Jean Rhys, Shakespeare, TS Eliot, Coleridge and W.B. Yeats, dissected with clarity, depth and a profound understanding of the mechanics of writing. Like the best literary criticism, The Writer's Voice makes writing come vividly alive. Written with passion and insight, it is the ideal gift for anyone who loves to read.

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About the Author:

Al Alvarez is a poet, novelist, literary critic, anthologist, and author of many highly praised non-fiction books on topics ranging from suicide, divorce, and dreams - The Savage God, Life After Marriage, Night- to poker, North Sea oil, and mountaineering - The Biggest Game in Town, Offshore, Feeding the Rat. His most recent books are New and Selected Poems and an autobiography, Where Did It All Go Right? He lives in London.

From Publishers Weekly:

Based primarily on lectures given at the New York Public Library in October 2002, this slim, erudite guide is intended to help aspiring writers achieve an authentic voice and readers to recognize it. Veteran author Alvarez (The Savage God: A Study of Suicide, etc.) adopts the preachy tone of a learned sage discussing the rigors of style, the role of literary infatuation and the merits of literary emulation. In the first chapter, Alvarez cites Sylvia Plath as an example of a poet who found her authentic voice only in the last months of her life. He goes on to discuss how to avoid mannered rhetoric and cliché, and to outline the difference between writers who "carve" their work with extensive revision and those who "model" it (a distinction he borrows from Auden). The second chapter concerns the writer's (and reader's) ear and sense of rhythm, with examples from John Donne, Andrew Marvell and Shakespeare. The final chapter centers on how the reader places a writer in his or her historical context and on combating fads and trends in criticism. Here Alvarez rails against the anti-intellectualism of the beat generation, the rise of theory and the present day's "terror of elitism." Alas, Alvarez overcompensates, to the point where his own voice seems old-fashioned: full of truisms, predictable in its tastes and advice, and rather patronizing.
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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

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ISBN 10:  0393341097 ISBN 13:  9780393341096
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, 2005
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9780747579311: The Writer's Voice

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