That Mighty Sculptor, Time

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Overview

This posthumously published collection of essays takes up such diverse subjects as the poet Oppian, Tantrism, the feasts of the Christian year, Durer, the Japanese studies of Ivan Morris, the erotic mysticism of the Gita-Govinda, the eternal spirit of Andalusia, and Bede's Ecclesiastical History. The title esay consider's time's transforming effect on arrt, meditating on the erosion of a statue and the resulting production of a new, sublime work of art.

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Overview

This posthumously published collection of essays takes up such diverse subjects as the poet Oppian, Tantrism, the feasts of the Christian year, Durer, the Japanese studies of Ivan Morris, the erotic mysticism of the Gita-Govinda, the eternal spirit of Andalusia, and Bede's Ecclesiastical History. The title esay consider's time's transforming effect on arrt, meditating on the erosion of a statue and the resulting production of a new, sublime work of art.

Contains posthumously published essays on such diverse topics as the poet Oppian, Tantrism, the feasts of the Christian year, Durer, the Japanese studies of Ivan Morris, Gita-Govinda, and Andalusia.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Working with Kaiser, who co-translated her novels ? Alexis and Two Lives and a Dream , Yourcenar (1903-1987) has rendered the nuances of her original French to subtle and profound effect in a work that is poetic and provocative. The title essay takes its name from a poem by Victor Hugo and echoes the theme that unifies all 24 essays included here: the ravages of time are inescapable, and we must make peace with them or perish in anguish. With characteristic breadth of vision, the author views creation and decay as inextricably linked. She writes, ``On the day when a statue is finished, its life, in a certain sense, begins''51 and, as this life unfolds and is publicly received, the statue will ``bit by bit return . . . to the state of unformed mineral mass out of which its sculptor had taken it.''51 In see fix above meditations on art, history and memory, Yourcenar addresses an impressive variety of subjects, from the nature of conversation in the historical novel to the celebration of the Days of the Dead . The book proves to be a beautiful and appropriate memento mori--one that salutes life while it commemorates death, claiming that though lives pass, life does not. (May)
Library Journal
Yourcenar's contributions to the world of letters--as poet, playwright, essayist, translator, novelist, and writer of short stories--have won her France's most prestigious recognition of a writer: election to the Academie Francaise in 1980. Born in Brussels in 1903, Marguerite de Crayencour (her real name) traveled with her father in Europe, then the United States, where she settled (in Maine, on Mount Desert Island) until her death in 1987, having become an American citizen in 1947. Her travels and immense erudition have turned her works into a mix of historical facts, philosophical musings, and well-orchestrated fiction. Indeed, this translation, which brings together essays published in literary journals, constitutes only a sampling of Yourcenar's wide-ranging interests in art, literature, esthetics, and religion. This volume is not a scholarly edition: it has neither an informative introduction, notes, nor a selective bibliography of critical works to help the reader. Rather, it sheds a partial light on a very eclectic and rich corpus--enough to entice the reader to look for more.-- Danielle Mihram, Univ. of Southern California Lib., Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374523756
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 5/28/1993
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,411,511
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Marguerite Yourcenar (1903-87) wrote plays, stories, poems, and novels, notable Memoirs of Hadrian. She was the first woman to be elected to the Academie Francaise.

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