Babe Ruth's Ghost and Other Historical and Literary Speculations: And Other Historical and Literary Speculations

Louis Decimus Rubin, Jr., Author University of Washington Press $30 (214p) ISBN 978-0-295-97529-0
Rubin is best known in the publishing community as the founder of Algonquin Books and the eminence grise of Chapel Hill's literary renaissance. But he isn't only to be admired for exposing readers to Larry Brown, Lewis Nordan, Kay Gibbons and Jill McCorkle. This former literature professor is a fine writer himself, as this collection of occasional prose will quickly make apparent to those who haven't already been convinced by earlier books such as Small Craft Advisory. Whether questioning Britain's WWII revisionism or suggesting it's only appropriate that Babe Ruth would leave the writing of his autobiography to a more literate sympathizer, Rubin reveals history to be a human, if not humane, endeavor. A reexamination of T.S. Eliot's elitist, self-serving criticism may question the Modernist's reputation as a critic, but it never denies Eliot's talent as a poet. Rubin also debunks the myths surrounding acquaintances-William Golding, for one-and personal friends-the late Cleanth Brooks and Howard Nemerov-with similar graciousness and deference. Remembering the 1956 reunion of the Fugitives, the arbiters of Southern literature of a different era, Rubin notes: ""They had their faults, their vanities, their blind spots, as who has not."" Like those of his mentors, Rubin's vanities and blind spots are easily forgiven. His subjects deserve no less than the literate, thoughtful and even gentlemanly essays he delivers. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1996
Release date: 05/01/1996
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 214 pages - 978-0-295-97530-6
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