Reading America

Denis Donoghue, Author Alfred A. Knopf $22.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-394-55939-1
An eminent Irish literary critic, Donoghue brings together from various journals nine of his long, learned commentaries on Emily Dickinson, Thoreau, Trilling, Whitman, Henry Adams's novels, Eliot's ""Gerontion,'' Emerson's Nature, Henry James's Sense of the Past and Stevens's ``gibberish,'' as well as 17 reviews of books by or about Aiken, Ashbery, Auden, Berryman, Kenneth Burke, H. D., Robert Lowell, Marianne Moore, Plath, Ransom, Stevens and Tate. The pieces are prefaced by a discussion of what Donoghue regards as American literature's moral, rhetorical aimto separate essence from existenceand its central dynamicthe imperatives of a powerful national past vs. the subversions of an endlessly anarchic spirit. Serious readers who can cope with Donoghue's severe approach will be impressed and enthralled by his brilliant insights and close attention to detail. Others, beware! (September 14)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1987
Release date: 09/01/1987
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-520-06424-9
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