The Ordering Mirror

Overview


In 1977, Bennington College alumna Edith Barbour Andrews established the Ben Belitt Lectureships in gratitude to her teacher Ben Belitt and dedicated the publication of the lectures (in the form of chapbooks) to the memory of William Troy, another of her beloved teachers. The collection, published here in one volume, comprises lectures by some of the most inspiring writers and keenest critics of our time. In his introduciton to The Ordering Mirror, Phillip Lopate contrasts the anticipations and the ...
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Overview


In 1977, Bennington College alumna Edith Barbour Andrews established the Ben Belitt Lectureships in gratitude to her teacher Ben Belitt and dedicated the publication of the lectures (in the form of chapbooks) to the memory of William Troy, another of her beloved teachers. The collection, published here in one volume, comprises lectures by some of the most inspiring writers and keenest critics of our time. In his introduciton to The Ordering Mirror, Phillip Lopate contrasts the anticipations and the audience/lecturer dynamic inherent in attending yearly lecture, with the experience of reading them, and the opportunity for reflection and comparison. Lopate summarizes that, It is enough to appreciate that we are watching masters of the game of essay-writing, who, even as they comment on the masterpieces of other writers, practice their own wizardry.The volume includes: George Steiner, The Uncommon Reader(1978)Frank Kermode, Divination(1979)Harold Bloom, To the Tally of My Soul: Whitman's Image of Voice(1980)Denis Donoghue, The Politics of Modern Criticism(1981)Irving Howe, The Making of a Critic(1982)Richard Ellman, The Uses of Decadence: Wilde, Yeats, Joyce(1983)Bernard Malamud, Long Work, Short Life(1984)Ben Belitt, Literature and Belief: Three 'Spiritual Exercises'(1985)Saul Bellow, Summations(1987)Hugh Kenner, Magics and Spells (about curses, charms, and riddles)(1987)Richard Rorty, The Barber of Kasbeam: Nabokov on Cruelty(1988)Rene Girard, Collective Violence and Sacrifice in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar(1989)Nadine Gordimer, Three in a Bed: Fiction, Morals and Politics(1990)Seamus Heaney, Dylan the Durable?: On Dylan Thomas(1992)Cynthia Ozick, What Henry James Knew(1992)
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Each of the 14 essays in this collection was originally presented at Bennington College's Ben Belitt lectures series which was founded in 1978 to honor poet, critic and Bennington teacher Belitt. Scholarly in tone, the pieces cover a wide range of literary topics, including an article by the late Irving Howe on becoming a literary critic; a discussion by Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer on the relationship between politics and fiction; an offering by Harold Bloom on the sexual imagery in Walt Whitman's poetry and Belitt's own lecture on literature and religious belief. As Lopate ( Bachelorhood: Tales of the Metropolis ) points out in his introduction, the selections, although written by outstanding authors and critics, lack ethnic variety and include only two essays by women. The collection will be of interest primarily to serious students of literature. (Oct.)
Booknews
Introduced by Phillip Lopate are 15 literary lectures (previously published individually) from the Ben Belitt Lecture Series established in 1977 at Bennington College. Among the speakers: George Steiner, Irving Howe, Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellow, Nadine Gordimer, Seamus Heaney, Cynthia Ozick. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823215157
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Series: Ben Belitt Lectureships Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Phillip Lopate
Phillip Lopate
Philip Lopate is the author of Against Joie de Vivre, Bachelorhood, The Rug Merchant, Being with Children, and Confessions of Summer. A recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, his works have appeared in Best American Essays, The Paris Review, Pushcart Prize annuals, and many other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is Adams Professor of English at Hofstra University.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction: The Monologue as Conversation
The Uncommon Reader 1
Divination 21
To the Tally of My Soul: Whitman's Image of Voice 42
The Politics of Modern Criticism 72
The Making of a Critic 93
The Uses of Decadence: Wilde, Yeats, Joyce 115
Long Work, Short Life 134
Literature and Belief: Three "Spiritual Exercises" 147
Summations 164
Magic and Spells 182
The Barber of Kasbeam: Nabokov on Cruelty 198
Collective Violence and Sacrifice in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar 221
Three in a Bed: Fiction, Morals, and Politics 243
Dylan the Durable? On Dylan Thomas 255
What Henry James Knew 276
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