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Dalhberg, Edward.

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ISBN 10: 0916583422 / ISBN 13: 9780916583422
Published by The Dalkey Archive Press., Elmwood Park, IL:, 1989
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HC in dust jacket. 1st Printing. Edited with an introduction by Steven Moore. A fine copy in a fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 22255

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: The Dalkey Archive Press., Elmwood Park, IL:

Publication Date: 1989

Edition: 1st edition.

About this title


Edward Dahlberg, one of the last great men of letters, left behind at his death in 1977 dozens of uncollected essays, reviews, stories, and prefaces. Samuel Beckett's Wake gathers all the shorter pieces that were left out of (or written after) his two earlier collections of essays.
The full range of Dahlberg's abilities in shorter forms is displayed here: from skillful reportage to imaginative essays, from proletarian fiction to inspired parody, from travel pieces and personal memoirs to historical studies, along with some of the most cantankerous book reviews ever published.


"Dahlberg was formidable. If only a few of these pieces were good by his standards, I'd recommend Samuel Beckett's Wake; happily, there are more than a few here." -- Columbus Dispatch 1-28-90

"Dahlberg's work continues to be worth saving. . . . This collection . . . is a credit to editor Steven Moore and the Dalkey Archive Press. . . . A sumptuous buffet for the reader." -- The Washington Times 8-28-89

"Edward Dahlberg . . . possessed a prose style like the charge of a rogue elephant, direct, majestic, thrilling. . . . In his journalism and autobiographies, Dahlberg is especially plain-spoken, refreshingly personal and American, a brother to William Carlos Williams. The essays gathered here show Dahlberg as a lover of the classics, a defender of living writers against the dead, a memoirist of the great modernists." -- Washington Post Book World 9-10-89

"The most salient quality of Dahlberg's criticism is its uncompromising truthfulness of judgment. Here, we find him steadily proceeding against the prevailing grain of literary vogue." -- San Francisco Chronicle 12-89

"This book is an essential addition to the Dahlberg canon." -- Publishers Weekly 6-23-89

Edward Dahlberg is among those major writers like Kenneth Rexrodi who kept their distance from the academy and who were rewarded with great neglect. Dahlberg was too independent for parochial critical attitudes or narrow scholarly debate. He cultivated direct~ lucid prose and passionate convictions, and his essays and reviews were more likely to stimulate arguments than resolve them. He knew that some of his more extreme positions (for example, his negative views of Hemingway and Faulkner) offended academics who appointed themselves to define the American literary canon. Samuel Beckett's Wake includes short prose works not collected in Alms for Oblivion (1964) and The Leafless American (1967). The editor, Steven Moore, collected brief reviews, memoirs, essays, and short stories, the best of which is the title piece, published a few years before Dahlberg's death in 1977. Among the longer works me reminiscences of Ford Madox Ford, Hart Crane, Theodore Dreiser, Emanuel CarnevalL and other writers as well as travel pieces on Majorca and Kansas City, and, perhaps most important of all, a defense of Charles Olson's contributions to Melville criticism and scholarship. In one sense, Samuel Beckett's Wake is simply a miscellaneous collection of Dahlberg's work not previously available in book form. But whatever he wrote, he wrote well, and this book will surely have a wide reception, perhaps even among academics. -- From Independent Publisher

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