The Ordering Mirror: Readers and Contexts

Phillip Lopate, Author
Phillip Lopate, Author Fordham University Press $40 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8232-1515-7
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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.)
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