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Historical Fictions

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In Historical Fictions Hugh Kenner applies his extraordinarily nimble mind and unrivaled style to the alchemy of speech turning into language, language becoming art, and art finally settling down as culture. A variety of literary topics are addressed in forty-three lively, often humorous, and wonderfully informative essays.With his trenchant, famously entertaining touch, In Historical Fictions Hugh Kenner applies his extraordinarily nimble mind and unrivaled style to the alchemy of speech turning into language, language becoming art, and art finally settling down as culture. A variety of literary topics are addressed in forty-three lively, often humorous, and wonderfully informative essays.With his trenchant, famously entertaining touch, Kenner explores the role of counting in literature (Joyce and St. Augustine shared a preference for the number eleven); the extravagant efforts through the ages to preserve the Iliad and the Odyssey (focusing on Ezra Pound's contributions); and Tom Wolfe's prose through the purple decades (Kenner calls him "the nonchalant master of the neon-piped sentence"). Other writers who fall under Kenner's appraising gaze include Flann O'Brien, H.D., Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, Dante, Leslie Fiedler, Wallace Stevens, Saul Bellow, William Carlos Williams, Samuel Beckett, and Vladimir Nabokov.


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In Historical Fictions Hugh Kenner applies his extraordinarily nimble mind and unrivaled style to the alchemy of speech turning into language, language becoming art, and art finally settling down as culture. A variety of literary topics are addressed in forty-three lively, often humorous, and wonderfully informative essays.With his trenchant, famously entertaining touch, In Historical Fictions Hugh Kenner applies his extraordinarily nimble mind and unrivaled style to the alchemy of speech turning into language, language becoming art, and art finally settling down as culture. A variety of literary topics are addressed in forty-three lively, often humorous, and wonderfully informative essays.With his trenchant, famously entertaining touch, Kenner explores the role of counting in literature (Joyce and St. Augustine shared a preference for the number eleven); the extravagant efforts through the ages to preserve the Iliad and the Odyssey (focusing on Ezra Pound's contributions); and Tom Wolfe's prose through the purple decades (Kenner calls him "the nonchalant master of the neon-piped sentence"). Other writers who fall under Kenner's appraising gaze include Flann O'Brien, H.D., Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, Dante, Leslie Fiedler, Wallace Stevens, Saul Bellow, William Carlos Williams, Samuel Beckett, and Vladimir Nabokov.

44 review for Historical Fictions

  1. 4 out of 5

    M. D. Hudson

    Just go read everything by Hugh Kenner. I read this a few months back, and since I’ve read about four Kenner books now, I can’t keep them straight. They are all good.

  2. 5 out of 5

    J. Alfred

    "...readability is the sum of numerous small felicities." Thus does Kenner justify critiquing the niceties of various translations of Dante. And the scrupulousness he expects in other writers is what we get from him. This collection, which consists of book reviews and literary essays, is almost springy to the touch. Every phrase, it seems, is at high tensile effectiveness. Kenner expects much from the authors he writes about, and he is generous enough to expect a corresponding amount from his "...readability is the sum of numerous small felicities." Thus does Kenner justify critiquing the niceties of various translations of Dante. And the scrupulousness he expects in other writers is what we get from him. This collection, which consists of book reviews and literary essays, is almost springy to the touch. Every phrase, it seems, is at high tensile effectiveness. Kenner expects much from the authors he writes about, and he is generous enough to expect a corresponding amount from his reader. An absolutely fascinating prose style, with content to match.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Erik

    An investigation of a dozen and more literary items, pulled apart with wit, insight, and a minimum of reverence.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pat Yorke

  5. 5 out of 5

    jeanne valois

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joe Moudy

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mentatreader

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dan

  10. 5 out of 5

    Allan

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Crupi

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nicolas Shump

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vince

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  17. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Mcintyre

  18. 5 out of 5

    Phil Christman

  19. 4 out of 5

    Oroacdc Yea Ju

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dale Houstman

  22. 4 out of 5

    Aurelio Giardini

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Hyman

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rico Abrahamsen

  26. 5 out of 5

    Melody Sims

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul Mannino

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  31. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Albert

  32. 4 out of 5

    Cateline

  33. 4 out of 5

    Rosie

  34. 4 out of 5

    Alex Groce

  35. 4 out of 5

    abcdefg

  36. 5 out of 5

    Yordan Eftimov

  37. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  38. 4 out of 5

    Garima

  39. 4 out of 5

    Allie Riley

  40. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  41. 4 out of 5

    James

  42. 5 out of 5

    Rand

  43. 4 out of 5

    Reza رضا

  44. 4 out of 5

    Drenwickf

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