×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Reading America: Essays on American Literature
     

Reading America: Essays on American Literature

by Denis Donoghue
 

See All Formats & Editions


Here is a selection by the distinguished critic of his essays and commentaries on American writing and writers, from Emerson and Whitman through Auden and Ashbery. Denis Donoghue examines the canon in the light of what he takes to be the central dynamic of the American enterprise—the imperatives of a powerful national past versus the subversions of an

Overview


Here is a selection by the distinguished critic of his essays and commentaries on American writing and writers, from Emerson and Whitman through Auden and Ashbery. Denis Donoghue examines the canon in the light of what he takes to be the central dynamic of the American enterprise—the imperatives of a powerful national past versus the subversions of an irrevocably anarchic spirit.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An eminent Irish literary critic, Donoghue brings together from various journals nine of his long, learned commentaries on Emily Dickinson, Thoreau, Trilling, Whitman, Henry Adams's novels, Eliot's ``Gerontion,'' Emerson's Nature, Henry James's Sense of the Past and Stevens's ``gibberish,'' as well as 17 reviews of books by or about Aiken, Ashbery, Auden, Berryman, Kenneth Burke, H. D., Robert Lowell, Marianne Moore, Plath, Ransom, Stevens and Tate. The pieces are prefaced by a discussion of what Donoghue regards as American literature's moral, rhetorical aimto separate essence from existenceand its central dynamicthe imperatives of a powerful national past vs. the subversions of an endlessly anarchic spirit. Serious readers who can cope with Donoghue's severe approach will be impressed and enthralled by his brilliant insights and close attention to detail. Others, beware! (September 14)
Library Journal
Donoghue focuses on key figures in American literature from Emerson to John Ashbery. He does not offer a comprehensive study, however. Instead, he has collected ten rather substantial essays and 17 shorter reviews occasioned by the publication of a biography, a collection of letters, a critical study, or a new book of poems. He makes no attempt to fit these diverse pieces into a theory, thesis, or ideological scheme. These fine pieces on Emerson and Thoreau, Dickinson, Stevens, Trilling, Kenneth Burke, Syvia Plath, and many more are all distinguished by the qualities Donoghue sought when reading essays as a student: ``elegance, grace, style.'' Extensive knowledge and a discerning sensibility are evident as well. The perfect book for those who want insight into American literature without pedantry. Richard Kuczkowski, Dir., Continuing Education, Dominican Coll., Blauvelt, N.Y.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520064249
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
12/03/1988
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.01(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.81(d)

Meet the Author


Denis Donoghue is the author of many books on literature, including Connoisseurs of Chaos, Emily Dickinson, The Ordinary Universe, The Sovereign Ghost, and We Irish.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews