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The Geography of the Imagination: Forty Essays (Nonpareil Book, 78): 10 (Nonpareil Books, 10)

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A poet rhapsodizing about nature is “Wordsworthing around,” and another who praises mountain scenery is “Byronizing. Other highlights are sections on Eudora Welty, James Joyce, Osip Mandelstam (who was previously unknown to me), and anecdotal essays concerning Joyce Kilmer, Wittgenstein, Charles Ives, and Shelley's Ozymandias. He can account for the importance of prehistoric cave art to early modernism or outline the achievements of Joyce and Pound. Yet we constantly see and hear stories of betrayal, and many people have personally experienced a destructive breach of loyalty. Faustus is a rich composite, an allegory of the German spirit, but we still have to account for descriptions of imaginary music corresponding so eerily to the Fourth Symphony (Ives').

Many reviewers have noted that this is a master class of sorts; well, it is of a certain reading/poetic ideology.Instead of sticking to one line of argument, they meander off into mazes and pause to ponder cul-de-sacs.

M. Doughty’s six-volume epic poem, The Dawn in Britain , and for the works of Ronald Johnson, Jonathan Williams and Paul Metcalf. Yet while Davenport's essays ooze erudition from every square molecule of print, he's quite witty and accessible.Before the internet, Google, and hyperlinks, Guy Davenport was the original polymath, perhaps the last great American polymath, who provided the links between art and literature, music and sculpture, modernist poets and classic philosophers, the past and present. Accuracy in such matters being impossible, we can say nevertheless that the brilliant experimental period in twentieth-century art was stopped short in 1916. In this collection, Guy Davenport serves as the reader's guide through history and literature, pointing out the values and avenues of thought that have shaped our ideas and our thinking. To defend their then-and still-maligned master Davenport and Kenner had to vividly and concretely communicate his entire intellectual lineage, his often obscure sources and inspirations, his unsuspected sponsorship of Things We Know; to explicate Pound they required a prose that with its combinatory compression, genius for collage, and imagistic piquancy prepared readers for the summa of civilization we are assured is to be found in The Cantos. He speculates about the meaning of modernity, but he also recounts his heroic attempts to extinguish a flaming Jean-Paul Sartre (the famed existentialist had carelessly jammed a lighted pipe in his pocket) and his fruitless efforts to learn Old English from a professor who talked to his toes (the mumbler’s name was J.

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