Every Force Evolves a Form: Twenty Essays

Guy Davenport, Author North Point Press $16.95 (171p) ISBN 978-0-86547-247-1
Davenport boldly speculates that W. H. Auden chose to live in New York ""to insure that he was among humanity at its worst in this century.'' He compares the essayist Montaigne to a modern tourist; he praises E. E. Cummings as a transcendental satyr and the purest American poet since Emily Dickinson. This collection of 20 essays by the author of The Geography of the Imagination is a pleasure to read. Whether he is teaching us how to enter Henri Rousseau's imaginary worlds or grappling with Noah Webster (``patriot, cultural hero . . . crank''), Davenport approaches each subject from many different angles, peering in, around and through it. His concerns range from the impact of Shaker handicrafts on modern design to how the automobile and real estate interests have obliterated the city as community. He is original even when he is scanning familiar texts by Joyce, Beckett, Nabokov and Pound. (February 15)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Paperback - 978-0-86547-248-8
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