The Edge of Night: A Confession

The Edge of Night: A Confession

by Frank Lentricchia

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lentricchia ( After the New Criticism ) here mixes autobiography, literary criticism, stream-of-consciousness prose and seemingly everything else that touches his agile mind. The result, while interesting to jaded theorists, may be indigestible for the average reader. It is hard to care, for example, how many times Lentricchia, while traveling in Ireland, checked the trunk of his car to see if his manuscript had been stolen--this is not The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. His brief religious retreat with the chicken farming Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey in South Carolina loses some of its depth when the reader realizes the stay was a matter of days and that Lentricchia swiftly asks for a transfer to another abbey because he must listen to ``a bass with a tin ear'' in chapel. (Request refused.) This brief autobiographical ramble strains much too hard to be noticed; and in the process, we lose sight of who the author, in his full dimensions, may really be. (Feb.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
The Italian American teacher-critic in question is a Duke University professor who has been called the Dirty Harry of literary criticism. Books by Lentricchia include After the New Criticism (1981), Criticism and Social Change (1985), and Critical Terms for Literary Study ( LJ 3/1/90). In this personal memoir, he writes about his parents and grandparents, divorces, retreats to a monastery, literary trips to Ireland, and T.S. Eliot. The style careens along like a leather-jacketed motorcyclist making obscene gestures. This will appeal primarily to academic libraries with comprehensive collections in American and English literature.-- Nancy Shires, East Carolina Univ., Greenville, N.C.
Alice Joyce
Lentricchia holds impressive credentials--he's a Duke University professor and a respected literary critic--to say nothing of being a high-achieving son of an Italian immigrant family. In a wonderfully lyrical memoir, he weaves together stirring portraits, including those of grandparents Augusto and Tomaso and their wives, Paolina and Natalina. And when Lentricchia relates how at age 50 he felt compelled to visit a Trappist monastery or visited Ireland in search of Yeats, his reminiscences are as much an ode to the language of poetry as they are a testament to the poetry of language. This remarkably gifted writer reflects on fulfillment of the American dream in a captivating and provocative remembrance.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
5.81(w) x 8.48(h) x 0.81(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >