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

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His awards include the Whiting Award, the National Magazine Award, the James Beard Writing Award, and the Windham-Campbell Prize. Whereas I thought I knew something about the humanities and their historical perspective, I was astonished at how limited my fractional knowledge really was, and how ably Mr. Because of this collapse (which may yet prove to be a long interruption), the architectonic masters of our time have suffered critical neglect or abuse, and if admired are admired for anything but the structural innovations of the work.

In this collection, 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.Forty essays on history, art, and literature from one of the most incisive, and most exhilarating, critical minds of the twentieth century. It is like being in the room with a charmingly intelligent man who has found a big subject in several hundred books. Connell and James Salter, two other American Prose Wizards once published by the lamented North Point Press—but I think it’ll be back down soon.

A page of Mandelstam's prose is a kind of algebra of ironies over which the same hand has drawn comic furniture and objects with a life of their own a la Chagall. Davenport published over 40 books, among them collections of short stories, translations from the Greek, illustrated works, a novel, and critical studies on literature, culture, and art. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. When you see Degas’ dancers or his racehorses, see also his colleague in nineteenth century motion study, Muybridge, the London-born San Francisco bookseller who took up photography after a serious brain injury—he was thrown from a stagecoach whose operator had taken to using teams of half-wild mustangs in a bid to increase speed. He can account for the importance of prehistoric cave art to early modernism or outline the achievements of Joyce and Pound.

Davenport’s criticism feels so self-contained that one swallows it with the hungry thoughtlessness of an eternal student. In all this, his method is nothing other than the deep attentiveness engendered by love: that and a firm faith in simply knowing things. If the success of man as a political, companionable animal whose culture has thus far progressed to families living in cities, that achievement of humanity is dying, Joyce saw. Far from wanting a word to be invisible, unassertive, the makeshift vehicle for something else ("idea," "thought"), I want every word to be wholly, thoroughly a word.

Eakins and Muybridge worked together; Eakins came over to Camden and painted and photographed Whitman. Within a few miles of each other in the 1880s, Whitman was putting the last touches to his great book, Eadweard Muybridge was photographing movements milliseconds apart of animals, naked athletes, and women, and Thomas Eakins was painting surgeons, boxers, musicians, wrestlers, and Philadelphians. He voted Democratic until he veered leftward and cast a ballot for Ralph Nader, but he was a regular contributor to the conservative National Review, mostly because the editors there let him say what he wanted about the books he loved.Man's idea of God, though, is in trouble; his idea of the state is in trouble; and an awful restlessness begins to disturb the inert, paralyzed, darkened life of the people. We can scarcely begin to realize his world in which the pencil stub and the three pieces of paper YOU have is all the pencil and all the paper you are ever going to have.

I was getting students who had read nothing, knew nothing, and thought the university existed for the sake of the Kentucky Wildcats. Finding : A very personal essay on Davenport's childhood excursions with his family down in the south- pretty much like Kohler's sunday outings. My literary models (Kafka, Joyce, Flaubert, Welty) probably go unsuspected because of the ineptitude with which I have followed them, but my pictorial models are more deeply integrated, and perhaps more of an instigation than literary ones.

It was wonderful learning about some new poets: Ronald Johnson features on my immediate horizon and I may now have sufficient impetus to purse Hugh Kenner's magnum opus. And that’s one of the marks of great literature — even after half a dozen readings, it still holds your attention, and you’re still aha-ing over things you missed the last time around.

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