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

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

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

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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 can make you yearn to read or look again at neglected masters like the poets Charles Olsen and Louis Zukofsky and the painters Balthus and Charles Burchfield. He just rattles off a constellation of references and evidence, each one linking up to the next in a totally unexpected way. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products.

otherwise, at best: its of passing interest and cute; at worst: its hardly readable and impossibly dull.Nor can any understanding be achieved of twentieth-century art if the work under consideration is not kept against the background of the war which extinguished European culture. A pleasure of reading Davenport is his compression of any given matrix of affinities—the whole lit-crit trainspotting of influences on and influences of—into striking little scenes like that of Degas staying up all night with the Zoopraxia. Davenport was too delighted in “rhymes, or affinities,” as he put it, to tackle one subject at a time. An intimate, philosophic quest for eternity, amidst the disenchantments and disappointments of our time “Anyone who, in our age of disbelief, longs to believe in God will find Mr. Instead of sticking to one line of argument, they meander off into mazes and pause to ponder cul-de-sacs.

I always seemed to find myself book browsing on rainy afternoons when I would wander up the book shelved hallway into my bedroom where, lying aslant my bed, I'd dip into the bottom shelf of my large bookcase there, in the semi-darkness, and lazily cruise in and out of various volumes.In a wonderful essay on Davenport, the critic Wyatt Mason proposes that his short stories are answers to the question, “What if we were free? Guy Davenport provides links between art and literature, music and sculpture, modernist poets and classic philosophers, the past and present—and pretty much everything in between. Still, I value quite highly the introduction to the concepts behind this type of poetry, and to the other subjects also, as an extension to an incomplete education.

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