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Walter Pater: Lover of Strange Souls
     

Walter Pater: Lover of Strange Souls

by Denis Donoghue, Walter Pater
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
The reputation of English critic and essayist Pater (1839-1894) grew after he published Studies in the History of Renaissance Art (1873), in which he advocated an appreciation of art for its intrinsic value ("Art for Art's Sake") rather than for its moral or educational content. In this prodigiously researched scholarly study of Pater's life and work, Donoghue, University Professor at New York University, argues that Pater also adjusted his prose style to aesthetic interests and, in doing so, was a precursor of modernism. According to the author, Pater's tone can be felt in the later works of Joyce, Eliot, Woolf and other major modern authors. A homosexual, Pater traveled in the same literary circles as Oscar Wilde but was not as daring or outspoken. In his books of criticism (Appreciations, 1889), Pater based his evaluations on the aesthetic experience aroused by the prose or poetic work he was critiquing. An interesting and informed contribution to literary studies.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The reputation of English critic and essayist Pater (1839-1894) grew after he published Studies in the History of Renaissance Art (1873), in which he advocated an appreciation of art for its intrinsic value (``Art for Art's Sake'') rather than for its moral or educational content. In this prodigiously researched scholarly study of Pater's life and work, Donoghue, University Professor at New York University, argues that Pater also adjusted his prose style to aesthetic interests and, in doing so, was a precursor of modernism. According to the author, Pater's tone can be felt in the later works of Joyce, Eliot, Woolf and other major modern authors. A homosexual, Pater traveled in the same literary circles as Oscar Wilde but was not as daring or outspoken. In his books of criticism (Appreciations, 1889), Pater based his evaluations on the aesthetic experience aroused by the prose or poetic work he was critiquing. An interesting and informed contribution to literary studies. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Author and critic Donoghue (The Old Moderns, LJ 3/1/94; American and English literature, New York Univ.) writes of essayist/novelist/aesthetician Walter Pater that he is audible in virtually every attentive modern writer. Donoghue believes that Pater added not new ideas but a tone to literature, a style using the ideas of other writers as the impetus for his own writing, which in turn has been misunderstood and patronized. The Pater about whom Donoghue writes never intended to dissent but rather stood aside, challenging if not interrogating the laws of culture and making readers and other writers a little less sure of themselves. Pater was physically ugly and longed not to be, a homosexual in love with male beauty and all beautiful things yet ever aware of their transience-all of which influenced his writing. The latter part of the book analyzes Pater's work and is academic in approach but at the same time intimate and highly readable. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/94.]-Robert L. Kelly, Fort Wayne Community Schs., Ind.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679437536
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/23/1995
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
364
Product dimensions:
6.59(w) x 9.53(h) x 1.26(d)

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