Mazes: 64 Essays

Kenner, Author, Hugh Kenner, Author
Kenner, Author, Hugh Kenner, Author North Point Press $22.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-86547-341-6
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Fifty mostly minor essays, columns and reviews, culled from media ranging from Art & Antiques to Harper's and Discover , make up this salmagundi by noted critic Kenner. ``Mazes,'' the title piece, segues from Umberto Eco's novels to computer science, topology, hopscotch and Joyce's Finnegan's Wake ; occasionally brilliant in its grasping at interconnections, the collection reveals both the strengths and weaknesses of Kenner's playfully associative method. Too many of the journalistic pieces end just when they're warming up. Along with appreciations of Marshall McLuhan, Roland Barthes, Buckminster Fuller and Guy Davenport, Kenner ( The Pound Era ) offers incisive commentaries on Georgia O'Keeffe, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, poets George Oppen and Louis Zukofsky, Einstein. Topics range from the politics of the ``plain style'' found in Orwell and Swift to computer literacy and the science of fractals or irregular shapes. (Apr.)
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