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The Genius of Writers: A Treasury of Facts, Anecdotes and Comparisons

The Genius of Writers: A Treasury of Facts, Anecdotes and Comparisons

by Jack Hodges (Compiler)

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Hodges, who taught English for over 30 years, joins the ranks of entertaining literary gossips. Drawing on a lifetime of reading literary biographies, he has presented a fascinating collection of anecdotes about English literary figures from Chaucer to Anita Brookner. Unlike The Oxford Book of Literary Anecdotes (1975), this volume is arranged thematically. Under "Motivation" one finds that some authors were born writers, some achieved authorship, and some had authorship thrust upon them by financial or other exigencies. In the unit on "Education," Hodges shows how college and other schooling affected (or failed to affect) careers. One chapter on "Method" is devoted to nonblotters, while another covers "preliminary drafters." Max Beerbohm observed that he knew "no man of genius who had not to pay...for what the gods had given him." This statement underlies the final section, "The Mark of the Gift." The volume is a treasure trove of amusement and information.-Joseph Rosenblum, Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro
Brenda Grazis
This assortment of recollections and autobiographical reflections provides glimpses of the human condition of authors ranging from Chaucer to Churchill. Commonalities among apparently diverse writers show up in such particulars as prep schools and universities attended, family upbringing, motivation, inspiration, work habits, health, and personal appearance, but, not surprisingly, enormous dissimilarities in these same characteristics between other writers also appear. Hodges' effort will interest teachers seeking additional lore on these important writers, students seeking accessible reference material, and casual readers looking for informative entertainment.

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St. Martin's Press
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Edition description:
1st U.S. ed

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