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An Artificial Wilderness: Essays in Twentieth Century Literature

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1987 Hardcover Good Ex-Library book-will contain library markings. Possible defects such as light shelving wear may exist. May have minor creasing, writing, stickers and/or ... residue. COAS Books, A Bookstore for Everyone. Buy with confidence-Satisfaction Guaranteed! Read more Show Less

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New York, NY, U.S.A. 1987 Hard Cover First Edition / First Printing VG+/Very Good 8vo-over 7?"-9?" tall 0688071139 Hard Cover. VG+/Very Good. First Edition / First Printing. ... 8vo-over 7?"-9?" tall. Light edgewear, jacket has a couple tiny edge tears, interior is clean and unmarked. E-8. Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
If recent fiction consisted exclusively of American postmodernists, modern literature would be in deep trouble, contends Birkerts. In this latest gathering of brilliant essays, he examines the decline of humanist faith, a theme that links an international community of writers. German-language authors Max Frisch, Robert Musil and Eva Demski, Russian poets Joseph Brodsky and Osip Mandelstam, and such figures as Julio Cortazar, Umberto Eco, Marguerite Yourcenar and Malcolm Lowry are among those highlighted. Birkerts delves into Musil's pioneering portrayals of sexual obsessions, reads Primo Levi's death-camp memoirs as a literature of the sacred and assesses Salman Rushdie's attempts to create myths of India and Pakistan. Meditations on television, documentary fiction and literary biography round out the volume. It would be impossible to sum up the riches of this invaluable guide through the wilderness of modern literature. Birkerts, who teaches at Harvard, won the 1986 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. (September 29)
Library Journal
Poststructural critics and post-modern American novelists irritate Birkerts because they insert a ``membrane of self'' between the work and the reader. His favorite critics are those who, like Walter Benjamin, display ``a sensibility as opposed to an intelligence,'' or, like Roger Shattuck, explore the ``margins of culture.'' His favorite novelistsalmost all Europeanreach beyond a facile vision of the abyss to a more complex and comprehensive prospect of futurity. What marks the nearly 30 novelists he discusses is their commitment to an intuitive, poetic language that fleshes out an image of a world flawed but rich in potential. Birkerts's prose is lucid and aphoristic, his criticism rich in apercus but often flawed by excess. Though he undervalues American fiction, and overvalues European, he makes his case with passion and clarity. Arthur Waldhorn, City Coll., CUNY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688071134
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/1987
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 356

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