Spirited Men: Story, Soul, and Substance

Spirited Men: Story, Soul, and Substance

by Brian Doyle
     
 

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In this remarkable collection of essays, acclaimed writer Brian Doyle offers “resurrections, restorations, reconsiderations, appreciations, enthusiasms, headlong solos, laughing prayers, imaginary meetings with most unusual and most interesting men.” Geographically and chronologically diverse—Plutarch of Greece; William Blake of England; Robert

Overview

In this remarkable collection of essays, acclaimed writer Brian Doyle offers “resurrections, restorations, reconsiderations, appreciations, enthusiasms, headlong solos, laughing prayers, imaginary meetings with most unusual and most interesting men.” Geographically and chronologically diverse—Plutarch of Greece; William Blake of England; Robert Louis Stevenson of Scotland; James Joyce and Van Morrison of Ireland; and others—Doyle sees them as men of “immense spiritual substance, prayerful fury, enormous grace,” men concerned with “the moral grapple” and “the sinuous crucial puzzle of love.” In telling the stories of these talented, troubled, and extraordinary men, Doyle discerns clues about how to be a good man, headlong in the pursuit of love and capable of greatness.

Editorial Reviews

David James Duncan
Brian Doyle’s ability to praise without fawning, his Irish ear for lyric and wit, and his nose for the mythic dimension of Everyman lend these portraits a collective power I associate with fine novels. Doyle is a master of what jazz players call polytonality. His portraits of Morrison and Desmond are worthy of Plutarch; his Plutarch is worthy of Stevenson; his Stevenson doubles interest in Haggard; his nobodies share traits of his Greats and his Greats delight us with their nobodiness. In an era of critical portraits bent on stripping men of genius down to their Homer Simpson idiocies and boxer shorts, these intricate celebrations of flawed but genuine heroes are a delight.
Mary Oliver
Among these splendid essays my two favorite were about encounters with the poet Billy Blake, and the equally astonishing Van Morrison. Or, perhaps, they were all favorites, they are so full of Brian Doyle’s energetic language, his vibrancy, his loving adventures into friendship and admiration.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781561012589
Publisher:
Cowley Publications
Publication date:
01/28/2004
Pages:
148
Product dimensions:
5.68(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.40(d)

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