Gnomon: Essays on Contemporary Literature (Dalkey Archive Scholarly Series)

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9781564784308: Gnomon: Essays on Contemporary Literature (Dalkey Archive Scholarly Series)
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One of Kenner’s earliest, and greatest, essay collections is finally available again.

The gnomon is the part of a sundial that casts its shadow, and Gnomon: Essays on Contemporary Literature represents, in its author’s words,“a report on ten years’ watching of shadows.” Collecting the earliest short essays and reviews by a man who was arguably the greatest English-language critic-scholar of the twentieth century, Gnomon not only provides valuable, entertaining, and often scabrous insights into the workings of literature, as well as the books of such modern giants as William Carlos Williams, Ford Madox Ford, Wyndham Lewis, and Ezra Pound, but is itself a cross-section of the development of Kenner’s own body of work, which in its beauty, irreverence, and disregard for convention proves him as much an artist as the men and women he spent his life championing.

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About the Author:

Hugh Kenner (1923–2003)—born in Ontario, Canada—was one of the greatest literary critics of the twentieth century. He taught at several universities during his lifetime and was a frequent contributor to the National Review. His numerous critical books include The Pound Era, Joyce’s Voices, Samuel Beckett: A Critical Study, Flaubert, Joyce and Beckett: The Stoic Comedians, and Gnomon.

Review:

“As always, Kenner is original, provocative, stimulating, occasionally perverse, and immensely readable.” (Library Journal)

“There is no critic who has more firmly established his claim to valuable literary property than has Kenner to the first three decades of the twentieth century in England. Author of previous studies of Joyce, T. S. Eliot, Wyndham Lewis and Pound (to name a few), Kenner bestrides modern literature if not like a colossus then at least a presence of formidable proportions.” (The New York Times)

“It’s always an unexpected pleasure to find serious literary criticism written as if the English language still mattered, as Hugh Kenner’s writing insists that it does.” (T. R. Edwards - The New York Times Book Review)

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