The Wall Street Journal
The New Oxford Book of English Proseby John Gross
Prose, strictly defined, is the ordinary form of spoken or written language. Examples of solid prose are not difficult to come by: a well argued legal judgment, a lucid scientific paper, or a readily grasped set of technical instructions. Inspired prose, however, is a much rarer thing. In The New Oxford Book of English Prose, John Gross has/em>/em>… See more details below
Prose, strictly defined, is the ordinary form of spoken or written language. Examples of solid prose are not difficult to come by: a well argued legal judgment, a lucid scientific paper, or a readily grasped set of technical instructions. Inspired prose, however, is a much rarer thing. In The New Oxford Book of English Prose, John Gross has gathered together those rare jewels of the English language that take plain prose to artistic heights.
The pared-down style of Hemingway didnt happen overnight. Beginning with Sir Thomas Malory and ending with Kazuo Ishiguro, this anthology chronologically traces the evolution of prose, which gained confidence and extended its range in the late seventeenth century. It wasnt until the eighteenth century, however, that the ornate style of literary giants like Milton and Donne gave way to prose that was recognizably modern. The material included in this anthology is literary, but literary, as the editor states in the introduction, is not the narrow term that it is often made to beit embraces an enormous range of experience and response. The New Oxford Book of English Prose pays tribute to literatures vibrant diversity by offering glimpses of master craftsmanship from around the globe. Included here are excerpts from writers of such varied backgrounds as Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Vladimir Nabokov, and Mulk Raj Anand.
From the eloquent political treatises of Burke to the bold narrative strokes of Herman Melville, readers will find that the selections contained within this volume superbly illustrate the expressive powers of prose.
The Wall Street Journal
The New Criterion
- Oxford University Press, USA
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 2.20(d)
Meet the Author
John Gross is former editor of the TLS and currently theatre critic of the Sunday Telegraph, and reviews widely. He has previously edited the Oxford Books of Aphorisms (1983), Essays (1991), and Comic Verse (1994).
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