Rocket and Lightship Essays on Literature and Ideas

Author: Adam Kirsch
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393243478
Format: PDF, Docs
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A collection of essays from a “great poet-critic-intellectual” (Daily Beast). Adam Kirsch has been described as "elegant and astute…[a] critic of the very first order" (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times). In these brilliant, wide-ranging essays, published over the last eight years in the New Republic, The New Yorker, and elsewhere, Kirsch shows how literature can illuminate questions of meaning, ethics, and politics, and how those questions shape the way we take pleasure in art. In Rocket and Lightship he examines the work and life of writers past and present, from intellectuals Susan Sontag, Hannah Arendt, and Walter Benjamin to novelists including E. M. Forster, David Foster Wallace, and Zadie Smith. Kirsch quotes G. M. Hopkins: "Nor rescue, only rocket and lightship, shone." So shines literature, in these unflinchingly bold and provocative essays—as an illuminating, regenerative, and immortalizing force.

The Modern Element Essays on Contemporary Poetry

Author: Adam Kirsch
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393062716
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A collection of critical essays, previously published in such magazines as The New Republic and The New Yorker, is a provocative survey of contemporary poetry that scrutinizes the achievements of such writers as Billy Collins, Sharon Olds, and Derek Walcott.

The People and the Books 18 Classics of Jewish Literature

Author: Adam Kirsch
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 039360831X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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An accessible introduction to the classics of Jewish literature, from the Bible to modern times, by “one of America’s finest literary critics” (Wall Street Journal). Jews have long embraced their identity as “the people of the book.” But outside of the Bible, much of the Jewish literary tradition remains little known to nonspecialist readers. The People and the Books shows how central questions and themes of our history and culture are reflected in the Jewish literary canon: the nature of God, the right way to understand the Bible, the relationship of the Jews to their Promised Land, and the challenges of living as a minority in Diaspora. Adam Kirsch explores eighteen classic texts, including the biblical books of Deuteronomy and Esther, the philosophy of Maimonides, the autobiography of the medieval businesswoman Glückel of Hameln, and the Zionist manifestoes of Theodor Herzl. From the Jews of Roman Egypt to the mystical devotees of Hasidism in Eastern Europe, The People and the Books brings the treasures of Jewish literature to life and offers new ways to think about their enduring power and influence.

Why Trilling Matters

Author: Adam Kirsch
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300152698
Format: PDF
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Lionel Trilling, regarded at the time of his death in 1975 as America’s preeminent literary critic, is today often seen as a relic of a vanished era. His was an age when literary criticism and ideas seemed to matter profoundly in the intellectual life of the country. In this eloquent book, Adam Kirsch shows that Trilling, far from being obsolete, is essential to understanding our current crisis of literary confidence—and to overcoming it. By reading Trilling primarily as a writer and thinker, Kirsch demonstrates how Trilling’s original and moving work continues to provide an inspiring example of a mind creating itself through its encounters with texts. Why Trilling Matters introduces all of Trilling’s major writings and situates him in the intellectual landscape of his century, from Communism in the 1930s to neoconservatism in the 1970s. But Kirsch goes deeper, addressing today’s concerns about the decline of literature, reading, and even the book itself, and finds that Trilling has more to teach us now than ever before. As Kirsch writes, “Trilling’s essays are not exactly literary criticism” but, like all literature, “ends in themselves.”

Retrievals

Author: Garrett Caples
Publisher: Wave Books
ISBN: 1933517980
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Ten years of poet and critic Garrett Caples's writing on neglected figures of art and poetry.

The Wounded Surgeon Confession and Transformation in Six American Poets The Poetry of Lowell Bishop Berryman Jarrell Schwartz and Plath

Author: Adam Kirsch
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393051978
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Documents how the poets Lowell, Bishop, Plath, Berryman, Jarrell, and Schwartz changed the face of American poetry in the decades after World War II by creating the style of poetry now known as "confessional," in an account that traces each writer's major themes, techniques, and transformations of life into art. 10,000 first printing.

Lincoln and the Jews

Author: Jonathan D. Sarna
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1466864613
Format: PDF
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One hundred and fifty years after Abraham Lincoln's death, the full story of his extraordinary relationship with Jews is told here for the first time. Lincoln and the Jews: A History provides readers both with a captivating narrative of his interactions with Jews, and with the opportunity to immerse themselves in rare manuscripts and images, many from the Shapell Lincoln Collection, that show Lincoln in a way he has never been seen before. Lincoln's lifetime coincided with the emergence of Jews on the national scene in the United States. When he was born, in 1809, scarcely 3,000 Jews lived in the entire country. By the time of his assassination in 1865, large-scale immigration, principally from central Europe, had brought that number up to more than 150,000. Many Americans, including members of Lincoln's cabinet and many of his top generals during the Civil War, were alarmed by this development and treated Jews as second-class citizens and religious outsiders. Lincoln, this book shows, exhibited precisely the opposite tendency. He also expressed a uniquely deep knowledge of the Old Testament, employing its language and concepts in some of his most important writings. He befriended Jews from a young age, promoted Jewish equality, appointed numerous Jews to public office, had Jewish advisors and supporters starting already from the early 1850s, as well as later during his two presidential campaigns, and in response to Jewish sensitivities, even changed the way he thought and spoke about America. Through his actions and his rhetoric—replacing "Christian nation," for example, with "this nation under God"—he embraced Jews as insiders. In this groundbreaking work, the product of meticulous research, historian Jonathan D. Sarna and collector Benjamin Shapell reveal how Lincoln's remarkable relationship with American Jews impacted both his path to the presidency and his policy decisions as president. The volume uncovers a new and previously unknown feature of Abraham Lincoln's life, one that broadened him, and, as a result, broadened America.

Emblems of the Passing World

Author: Adam Kirsch
Publisher: Other Press, LLC
ISBN: 1590517350
Format: PDF, ePub
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August Sander’s photographic portraits of ordinary people in Weimar Germany inspire this uncanny new collection of poems by one of America’s most celebrated writers and critics Through his portraits of ordinary people—soldiers, housewives, children, peasants, and city dwellers—August Sander, the German photographer whose work chronicled the extreme tensions and transitions of the twentieth century, captured a moment in history whose consequences he himself couldn’t have predicted. Using these photographs as a lens, Adam Kirsch’s poems connect the legacy of the First World War with the turmoil of the Weimar Republic with moving immediacy and meditative insight, and foreshadow the Nazi era. Kirsch writes both urgently and poignantly about these photographs, creating a unique dialogue of word and image that will speak to all readers interested in history, past and present.

Hannah Arendt

Author: Anne Heller
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 054445619X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Hannah Arendt, one of the most gifted and provocative voices of her era, was a polarizing cultural theorist—extolled by her peers as a visionary and denounced by others as a fraud. Born in Prussia to assimilated Jewish parents, she escaped from Hitler's Germany in 1933 and became best known for her critique of the world's response to the evils of World War II. A woman of many contradictions, Arendt learned to write in English only at the age of thirty-six, and yet her first book,The Origins of Totalitarianism, single-handedly altered the way generations of Americans and Europeans viewed fascism and genocide. Her most famous—and most divisive—work,Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, brought fierce controversy that continues to this day, exacerbated by the posthumous discovery that she had been the lover of the great romantic philosopher and Nazi sympathizer Martin Heidegger. In this fast-paced, comprehensive biography, Anne Heller tracks the source of Arendt's apparent contradictions and her greatest achievements, from a tumultuous childhood to her arrival as what she called a “conscious pariah”—one of those few people in every time and place who don't “lose confidence in ourselves if society does not approve us” and will not “pay any price” to win acceptance.

Proust

Author: Benjamin Taylor
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 030016596X
Format: PDF, ePub
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“Taylor’s endeavor is not to explain the life by the novel or the novel by the life but to show how different events, different emotional upheavals, fired Proust’s imagination and, albeit sometimes completely transformed, appeared in his work. The result is a very subtle, thought-provoking book.”—Anka Muhlstein, author of Balzac’s Omelette and Monsieur Proust’s Library Marcel Proust came into his own as a novelist comparatively late in life, yet only Shakespeare, Balzac, Dickens, Tolstoy, and Dostoyevsky were his equals when it came to creating characters as memorably human. As biographer Benjamin Taylor suggests, Proust was a literary lightweight before writing his multivolume masterwork In Search of Lost Time, but following a series of momentous historical and personal events, he became—against all expectations—one of the greatest writers of his, and indeed any, era. This insightful, beautifully written biography examines Proust’s artistic struggles—the “search” of the subtitle—and stunning metamorphosis in the context of his times. Taylor provides an in-depth study of the author’s life while exploring how Proust’s personal correspondence and published works were greatly informed by his mother’s Judaism, his homosexuality, and such dramatic events as the Dreyfus Affair and, above all, World War I. As Taylor writes in his prologue, “Proust’s Search is the most encyclopedic of novels, encompassing the essentials of human nature. . . . His account, running from the early years of the Third Republic to the aftermath of World War I, becomes the inclusive story of all lives, a colossal mimesis. To read the entire Search is to find oneself transfigured and victorious at journey’s end, at home in time and in eternity too.”