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Hell and Back: Reflections on Writers and Writing from Dante to Rushdie

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2003

    A work of literary criticism which will bring much insight and delight to its readers

    This book is at its best a highly thought - provoking and inspiring work of literary criticism.Parks ' unpacked' one central theme of Borges which I had never really understood i.e. his use of the ' double ' in order to undermine the conception of individual identity.As someone who has in a sense striven all my life to make something ' enduring' I could not really grasp Borges project of merging the individual into some kind of larger identity in which it effectively disappears.Shy Borges hiding Borges, the schoolboy intimidated by the stronger others, the failed lover Borges is perhaps behind this effort at transformation into some other kind of disappearing identity. I also greatly appreciated Parks exposition of the work of Leopardi a writer who apparently had his own agenda for waking mankind up to his conception of its mortality and meaninglessness. Parks is a true lover of literature and his taste is far from mine, but he is a deep and insightful reader . I came on his book during a period in which I had been absent from the world of literature for some time,and it brought me back to it and to myself. For which I am grateful. I think any lover of literary criticism will find much in this book to take delight from.

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