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A collection of twenty essays by this brilliant social critic.
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Davenport boldly speculates that W. H. Auden chose to live in New York "to insure that he was among humanity at its worst in this century." He compares the essayist Montaigne to a modern tourist; he praises E. E. Cummings as a transcendental satyr and the purest American poet since Emily Dickinson. This collection of 20 essays by the author of The Geography of the Imagination is a pleasure to read. Whether he is teaching us how to enter Henri Rousseau's imaginary worlds or grappling with Noah Webster ("patriot, cultural hero . . . crank"), Davenport approaches each subject from many different angles, peering in, around and through it. His concerns range from the impact of Shaker handicrafts on modern design to how the automobile and real estate interests have obliterated the city as community. He is original even when he is scanning familiar texts by Joyce, Beckett, Nabokov and Pound.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The title is of Shaker origin. Its sense in these 20 essays is that social and cultural force takes its most expressive form in works of art. And because works of art have become too dense and complex, the critic must collaborate with scholar and artist, become in effect a "subcreator" who helps us to interpret, understand, and appreciate. Davenport doesn't write for lazy readers. But those willing to share his bold, imaginative forays into literature and art, history, anthropology, architecture, and popular culture will find him engaging and enlightening. Whether salvaging work too often neglected (poetry by Charles Olson and Louis Zukofsky), spearing reputations (Noah Webster and the New York Review of Books ), or risking extraordinary comparisons (O. Henry and Conrad), Davenport is always an ideal "subcreator." Arthur Waldhorn, English Dept., City Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description North Point Press, 1987. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0865472475
Book Description North Point Press, 1987. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0865472475
Book Description North Point Press, 1987. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # MB001KRVZQK
Book Description North Point Press, 1987. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110865472475