This 900-page survey of world literature, "From Confucius' Day to Our Own" (as the subtitle reads), was the last book written by Ford Madox Ford, one of the seminal figures of the modernist period. Written for general readers rather than scholars and first published in 1938, The March of Literature is a working novelist's view of what is valuable in literature, and why. Convinced that scholars and teachers give a false sense of literature, Ford brings alive the pleasures of reading by writing about books he is passionate about.
Beginning at the beginning - with ancient Egyptian and Chinese literature and the Bible - Ford works his way through classical literature, the writings of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, continuing up to the major writers of his own day like Ezra Pound, Henry James, and Joseph Conrad.
With his encyclopedic reading and expertise in the techniques of writing, Ford is a reliable and entertaining guide. Ford also includes a chapter on publishers and booksellers, noting the key roles they play in literature's existence.
Novelist Alexander Theroux (Darconville's Cat, An Adultery) has written an insightful introduction for this reissue, the first time this monumental book has been made available in paperback.
In one volume, Mr. Ford manages to convey the pace and rhythm of world literature, from the early Oriental literature, to some of the moderns. Not an anthology (though it might well be read with one at hand), but a book in which he aims to give an historical and interpretative picture, as an incentive to seek out the best in world literature. The book should be taken in small installments - else its magnitude swamps one. Omissions - of course - but he achieves his purpose. (Kirkus Reviews)
Series: British Literature
For Ages: 22+ years old
Number Of Pages: 878
Published: 1st July 1994
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.2
Weight (kg): 1.02
Edition Type: New edition