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Literary Reflections: A Shoring of Images, 1960-1993

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With both his range of interests and his breadth of perspective, R. W. B. Lewis has cut a broad swath through the world of letters over the decades. He has written on subjects from the Greek and Roman classics through modern European writers to such Americans as Ralph Ellison and Robert Penn Warren. He takes a special interest in the historical and biographical contests from which literature emerges. Here is the first collection of Lewis's essays in nearly thirty years, and it includes several never before ...
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1993 Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good+ dust jacket 1555531601. Text clean and tight; 1.25 x 9.75 x 6.5 Inches; 288 pages.

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1993-05-25 Hardcover First Edition Good. Good DJ First Edition. Good DJ. Ex-library with usual markings and attachments, but overall clean and sound copy. Dj in mylar. Sharp ... corners. Tight Spine. Read more Show Less

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Boston 1993 hardcover Near fine in near fine jacket 306pp, 8vo, cloth, dust wrapper. Boston; Northeastern University Press, (1993). Near fine.

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Overview

With both his range of interests and his breadth of perspective, R. W. B. Lewis has cut a broad swath through the world of letters over the decades. He has written on subjects from the Greek and Roman classics through modern European writers to such Americans as Ralph Ellison and Robert Penn Warren. He takes a special interest in the historical and biographical contests from which literature emerges. Here is the first collection of Lewis's essays in nearly thirty years, and it includes several never before published. As Lewis himself says, the volume represents "a retracing of cultural steps," as well as "the conflicting preoccupations of a humanist."
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This volume of essays, Lewis's first in almost three decades, presents a limited survey of Western literature, with sections on classical, European, and American literature and literary critics and criticism. Emeritus English professor at Yale and author of award-winning biographies and criticism, he focuses here on scholarly work such as translation, criticism, and biography; the emphasis on these secondary sources provides the recursive ``reflection'' of the title. Lewis addresses subjects as diverse as Virgil, Edith Wharton, Toni Morrison, Edgar Allan Poe, and Richard Ellman; his approach is ``old-fashioned'' but not ``outdated'' (to borrow the author's own terminology). He often follows a ten- or 20-year-old essay with an addendum written especially for this collection, a device that lends a fresh perspective to the subject. Recommended for academic and public humanities collections.-- Janice Braun, Hoover Institution Lib., Stanford Univ.
Booknews
Lewis (emeritus, English & American studies, Yale) has written an extended preface to this collection of essays, some of which have never before been published. His subjects extend from the Greek and Roman classics to modern European and American writers, and he takes a special interest in the historical and biographical contexts from which literature emerges. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Greg Burkman
The first collection of Lewis' essays in almost 30 years, "Literary Reflections" is a vital, refreshing volume of criticism ranging from articles and lectures on the translation of ancient western classics to the plays of Albert Camus and the prose of Ralph Ellison. Lewis' mistrust of all contemporary critical trends will provoke and inform anyone who is seriously engaged with continental and American letters. Rather than participate in fashionable academic rhetoric about writers whose work may happen to be in vogue, Lewis charts his own course through ancient and contemporary world literature, hitting upon such diverse figures as Poe, Elio Vittorini, and Toni Morrison with the quiet, personable ease and gracefully developed insights of Anglo-American critical tradition. In a time of increasingly politicized and rarefied literary discourse, this method may seen obsolete and naive to some, but, as Lewis writes about Henry Nash Smith, "If (Smith's) "Democracy and the Novel" is in some sense old-fashioned, it is in no sense outdated. It seeks at every turn to build bridges between the literary-critical past and the literary-critical present: a profoundly humanistic endeavor."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555531607
  • Publisher: Northeastern University Press
  • Publication date: 5/25/1993
  • Pages: 288

Table of Contents

Preface
I Classical and Transatlantic
1 On Translating Virgil: Yif That I can (1960) 3
The Art of Robert Fitzgerald (1991) 18
2 Shakespeare's Pericles (1962) 28
3 Camus's Caligula (1960) 44
4 Elio Vittorini 54
The Restoration of Reality (1960) 54
Plans and Products, 1949-1966 (1989) 61
Conversations in Milan (1990) 70
5 Fugitives from England (1981) 75
An Afterword on Paul Theroux (1991) 83
II Americans
6 The Facts in the Case of Mr. Poe (1980) 91
Afterword: The Poe Biographer (1991) 100
7 Henry Nash Smith, Democracy and the Novel (1978) 102
8 Melville's Pierre (1981) 110
9 The Letters of Edith Wharton (1988) 129
10 E. A. Robinson: A Voice Out of the Darkness (1973) 154
A Handful of Poems 164
11 Ritual Naming: Ralph Ellison and Toni Morrison (1981) 177
III Critics of Literature
12 Glimpses of Francis Fergusson (1969) 197
13 Edmund Wilson 205
The Surviving Self (1963) 205
Theatricals (1969) 213
A Critic of History (1983) 220
14 Malcolm Cowley (1980) 227
Bibliographical Afterword (1991) 232
15 V. S. Pritchett (1980) 235
Bibliographical Afterword (1991) 240
16 Richard Ellmann: A Tribute (1989) 243
17 Irving Howe (1982) 248
IV A View from the Source
18 Robert Penn Warren's Canon of Precursors (1992) 259
Notes on Origins and Other Addenda 293
Index 299
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