Historical Fictions: Essays

Hugh Kenner, Author North Point Press $24.95 (338p) ISBN 978-0-86547-424-6
For more than 40 years, the penetrating intelligence and sharp wit of Hugh Kenner have been delighting devotees of his literary criticism. Now, in this companion volume to Mazes , the Johns Hopkins professor brings together 43 more essays and reviews about writers who intrigue him--Beckett, Joyce, Pound, Yeats--and subjects that pique his interest--``fractals,'' poetic closure, romanticism, the mythological method. Whether shrewdly reassessing the bas reliefs of Agostino di Duccio, the poetry of Hopkins, Stevens and Williams, the notions of Wyndham Lewis, Flann O'Brien and Tom Wolfe, whether demonstrating the plagiarism of Coleridge and Heymann, the shortcomings of Deidre Bair, Saul Bellow, Richard Ellmann, Leslie Fiedler and Sean O'Faolain, or the gushiness of Sylvia Plath, Kenner is invariably a pleasure to read and learn from. A zesty, commendable book. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
Paperback - 346 pages - 978-0-8203-1774-8
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