Fame and Folly: Essays

Cynthia Ozick, Author Alfred A. Knopf $26 (289p) ISBN 978-0-679-44690-3
Ozick is a spectacular essayist. In that most difficult and often self-indulgent of forms, she can make readers feel as if whole new vistas of ideas have been opened, analyzed and communicated. The first piece in this collection, ""T.S. Eliot at 101,"" will remind college students of the 1960s of how much the poet meant and of how intently they listened to his voice. Eliot ignored and no longer taught-how can that be? Ozick is equally amazing when she spoofs literary pretension in ""Helping T.S. Eliot Write Better,"" a piece one wants to copy and fax to friends. But like all serendipitous collections, this offering is frustratingly uneven, with fictional riffs and meetings with bibliophiles and long-dead writers adjacent to disquisitions on Henry James and attacks on the shortsighted American cultural establishment. At the risk of feeling ungrateful, the reader will wish to have encountered these pieces one at a time, in different seasons. All the same, however bumpy the ride in this collection, Ozick's insights and observations on writers such as Eliot and Saul Bellow and her intense awareness of the implications of this post-Holocaust world cannot be duplicated. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.