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Classics Revisited Pa - Kenneth Rexroth

Classics Revisited Pa

Paperback Published: 17th May 1986
ISBN: 9780811209885
Number Of Pages: 228

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Poet, translator, essayist, and voracious reader--Kenneth Rexroth was an omnivore in the fields of literature. The brief, radiant essays of Classics Revisited discuss sixty key books that are, for Rexroth, "basic documents in the history of the imagination." Ranging from The Epic of Gilgamesh to Huckleberry Finn, these pieces (each about five pages long) originally appeared in the Saturday Review. Distinguished by Rexroth's plain, wide-awake style, Classics Revisited presents complex ideas in simple language, energized by the author's air of talking eye-to-eye with his reader. Elastic, at home in several languages, Rexroth is not bound by East or West; he leaps nimbly from Homer to The Mahabharata, from Lady Murasaki to Stendhal. It is only when we pause for breath that we notice his special affinities: for Casanova, lzaak Walton, Macbeth, Icelandic sagas, classical Japanese poetry. He has read everything. In Sterne, he sees traces of the Buddha; in Fielding, hints of Confucius. "Life may not be optimistic," Rexroth maintains in his introduction, "but it certainly is comic, and the greatest literature presents man wearing the two conventional masks; the grinning and the weeping faces that decorate theatre prosceniums. What is the face behind the mask? Just a human face--yours or mine. That is the irony of it all--the irony that distinguishes great literature--it is all so ordinary."

...to define strangeness with no strain is the peculiar province of art; and it is as a master of this great art that Kenneth Rexroth defines and defends our earth for us.--Dudley Fitts

ISBN: 9780811209885
ISBN-10: 0811209881
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 228
Published: 17th May 1986
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.47 x 13.28  x 1.58
Weight (kg): 0.25