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By John E. McIntyre and By John E. McIntyre,Sun Staff | July 28, 2002
Edmund Wilson died 30 years ago this summer, but his shade lingers over those who write. Some weeks ago, after reviewing a book on Rudyard Kipling's political attitudes for these pages, I picked up Wilson's The Wound and the Bow to read his essay on Kipling. In "The Kipling That Nobody Read," written more than 60 years ago, Wilson hit the big points: the miserable childhood, the ear for vernacular, the technical mastery, the hatred, the subordination of literary gifts to hidebound political views.
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By Allen Barra and Allen Barra,Special to the Sun | September 4, 2005
BIOGRAPHY EDMUND WILSON: A LIFE IN LITERATURE By Lewis M. Dabney. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 604 pages. To call Edmund Wilson (1895-1972) the greatest American critic or our most dynamic man of letters doesn't begin to hint at the scope of his achievement. Wilson's passions ranged from modernist literature to politics, the American Civil War, the ancient Middle East, northeastern American Indians, and just about anything else that piqued his intellect. He wrote good fiction (I Thought Of Daisy and Memoirs of Hecate County)
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NEWS
March 22, 1997
V. S. Pritchett, 96, a master of the English short story who published more than 40 books of short stories, novels, essays, literary criticism and autobiographies, died Thursday in London.Victor Sawdon Pritchett, who suffered a stroke in January, died at Whittington Hospital, said his son, Oliver Pritchett.Pub Date: 3/22/97
ENTERTAINMENT
By John E. McIntyre and By John E. McIntyre,Sun Staff | July 28, 2002
Edmund Wilson died 30 years ago this summer, but his shade lingers over those who write. Some weeks ago, after reviewing a book on Rudyard Kipling's political attitudes for these pages, I picked up Wilson's The Wound and the Bow to read his essay on Kipling. In "The Kipling That Nobody Read," written more than 60 years ago, Wilson hit the big points: the miserable childhood, the ear for vernacular, the technical mastery, the hatred, the subordination of literary gifts to hidebound political views.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Pakenham | May 21, 2000
"Home Truths: A Novella" by David Lodge (Penguin, 115 pages, $11.95) David Lodge is one of the brightest, clearest, sardonically truth-telling voices writing in English. His 10 novels are consistently delightful and serious. His literary criticism ("The Art of Fiction," "The Practice of Writing") is wise and often elegant. Now comes this sharply shaped novella, living up to Lodge's best standards. It is, of course, funny. It moves, of course, swiftly. It speaks, of course, from acute knowledge of the planet of its subjects -- novelists, journalists, movie folk.
FEATURES
By Linell Smith and Linell Smith,Sun Staff Writer | December 18, 1994
Jane Alexander, chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts, will appear at the Maryland Arts Day rally for the arts Jan. 26 at St. John's College in Annapolis.The bi-annual arts advocacy day, sponsored by Maryland Citizens for the Arts, promotes increasing public education and recognition for the arts. Maryland Citizens for the Arts is a statewide arts advocacy organization, which has helped increase annual state arts funding from $400,000 in 1977 to its present $7.8 million.This year's program includes a luncheon with state legislators and arts workshops with panel discussions on the role of arts in technology, social services and education.
NEWS
By Terry Teachout and Terry Teachout,Special to The Sun | May 7, 1995
Bad news starts small. The first sign of cancer is sometimes a cough; the first sign of an impending cultural earthquake is sometimes a tiny crack in the sidewalk. I saw just such a crack the other day at my neighborhood bookstore: The Barnes & Noble executive in charge of which books go where has shut down the "Literary Criticism" section. All books about literature are now lumped under "Literary Theory."For those not in the know, literary theory is the latest monstrosity cooked up in the laboratories of America's colleges and universities, a spectacular perversion of taste and truth in which free speech is oppressive, all art is about power and privilege, all books are "texts" and all texts are equal (though some are more equal than others, most notably the jargon-clogged books of literary theorists)
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre | December 11, 1994
James Thurber's life displays the full range of contradictions commonly associated with the careers of prominent American writers.He was a sophisticate from the provinces, a lad from Columbus, Ohio, who developed into one of the formative voices of the New Yorker during its glory days. His achievements were mainly those of youth, followed by a painfully dry and embittered age. His great abilities -- a prodigious memory and an unmatched ear for language -- were counterbalanced by a disabling wound -- the childhood accident that left him blind at midlife.
NEWS
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Staff | March 9, 1997
"Smoke and Mirrors: Violence, Television, and Other American Cultures," by John Leonard. The New Press. 304 pages. $23.I used to think John Leonard was one of the better second-rate thinkers on the subject of American television. I was wrong.After slogging through 304 pages of his new, best thoughts on the medium, I am certain - and I mean this in the nicest possible way - this is third-rate television criticism. The irony is I can't imagine anyone publishing this book or paying $23 for it if Leonard himself weren't on television as a critic for CBS' "Sunday Morning."
NEWS
By Drew Limsky and Drew Limsky,Special to the Sun | July 7, 1996
It has become quite commonplace, even fashionable, to deride academics for being hopelessly out of touch with the concerns of the reading public. What, many would ask, is so important about a clique of lit-crit elitists, with their arcane theories and pretentious-sounding interrogations? The answer is, plenty.Most of us could live out our lives quite happily without pondering the distinction between the signifier and the signified, much less the difference between Foucault and Derrida, yet the ideas that are all but buried within the tortuous terms and translations of literary theory have undeniable implications not only in regard to what we read, but what we watch on the movie screen and TV.Whatever arrows we sling at literary criticism - charges of inaccessibility, passionlessness and myopia are frequently heard - the truth is that academic discourse informs public discourse.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen R. Proctor and By Stephen R. Proctor,Sun Staff | June 9, 2002
H. L. Mencken on American Literature, edited by S. T. Joshi. Ohio University Press. 233 pages. $44.95. Early in the 20th century, when America was giving birth to its own literature, H.L. Mencken was the midwife. As the nation's preeminent book critic, he railed against empty-headed and hidebound novels while championing writing that was gritty and authentic. His reviews, the fierce and the fawning, helped American literature find a distinctive voice by proclaiming that it was Mark Twain who showed the way and rallying behind writers who carried his torch forward -- from Theodore Dreiser to F. Scott Fitzgerald.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | February 10, 2002
NEW YORK -- American arthouse audiences first fell for Jim Broadbent 11 years ago, when he appeared in Mike Leigh's sublime Life Is Sweet (1990). Broadbent plays a husband and father who manages an industrial kitchen and dreams of his own business; he idles around the house with an inertia that speaks volumes about the weekend laziness afflicting the working man. Then he snaps into ramrod control when he commands his kitchen. Broadbent appears to be totally natural in this small-scale masterpiece, though now he admits he was on a campaign "to get over that alarm when you see the lens 2 feet from your face" and "to relax on camera, which is the key."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Pakenham | May 21, 2000
"Home Truths: A Novella" by David Lodge (Penguin, 115 pages, $11.95) David Lodge is one of the brightest, clearest, sardonically truth-telling voices writing in English. His 10 novels are consistently delightful and serious. His literary criticism ("The Art of Fiction," "The Practice of Writing") is wise and often elegant. Now comes this sharply shaped novella, living up to Lodge's best standards. It is, of course, funny. It moves, of course, swiftly. It speaks, of course, from acute knowledge of the planet of its subjects -- novelists, journalists, movie folk.
NEWS
March 22, 1997
V. S. Pritchett, 96, a master of the English short story who published more than 40 books of short stories, novels, essays, literary criticism and autobiographies, died Thursday in London.Victor Sawdon Pritchett, who suffered a stroke in January, died at Whittington Hospital, said his son, Oliver Pritchett.Pub Date: 3/22/97
NEWS
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Staff | March 9, 1997
"Smoke and Mirrors: Violence, Television, and Other American Cultures," by John Leonard. The New Press. 304 pages. $23.I used to think John Leonard was one of the better second-rate thinkers on the subject of American television. I was wrong.After slogging through 304 pages of his new, best thoughts on the medium, I am certain - and I mean this in the nicest possible way - this is third-rate television criticism. The irony is I can't imagine anyone publishing this book or paying $23 for it if Leonard himself weren't on television as a critic for CBS' "Sunday Morning."
NEWS
By Drew Limsky and Drew Limsky,Special to the Sun | July 7, 1996
It has become quite commonplace, even fashionable, to deride academics for being hopelessly out of touch with the concerns of the reading public. What, many would ask, is so important about a clique of lit-crit elitists, with their arcane theories and pretentious-sounding interrogations? The answer is, plenty.Most of us could live out our lives quite happily without pondering the distinction between the signifier and the signified, much less the difference between Foucault and Derrida, yet the ideas that are all but buried within the tortuous terms and translations of literary theory have undeniable implications not only in regard to what we read, but what we watch on the movie screen and TV.Whatever arrows we sling at literary criticism - charges of inaccessibility, passionlessness and myopia are frequently heard - the truth is that academic discourse informs public discourse.
FEATURES
By Tim Warren | January 16, 1994
For 17 years Dr. John Irwin has run the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. To many of his colleagues and students, however, he remains an elusive figureIn a chair in his comfortable, well-appointed office at Johns Hopkins University, John Irwin sits and looks at his visitor. A stately grandfather clock, all dark, polished wood and glass, gongs out the hour of the day.A smile creeps over his face as he's told of the results of a week's worth of interviews with his present and former colleagues, students and friends.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen R. Proctor and By Stephen R. Proctor,Sun Staff | June 9, 2002
H. L. Mencken on American Literature, edited by S. T. Joshi. Ohio University Press. 233 pages. $44.95. Early in the 20th century, when America was giving birth to its own literature, H.L. Mencken was the midwife. As the nation's preeminent book critic, he railed against empty-headed and hidebound novels while championing writing that was gritty and authentic. His reviews, the fierce and the fawning, helped American literature find a distinctive voice by proclaiming that it was Mark Twain who showed the way and rallying behind writers who carried his torch forward -- from Theodore Dreiser to F. Scott Fitzgerald.
NEWS
By GLENN MCNATT | June 30, 1996
"I KNOW THAT in writing the following pages I am divulging the great secret of my life, the secret which for years I have guarded far more carefully than any of my earthly possessions," declared the narrator of James Weldon Johnson's classic 1912 novel, "The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man."Johnson's fictional hero, who remains anonymous throughout the book, was a light-skinned African-American who managed to escape the crushing social stigma of his race in America by "passing" as a white man. It was, in its time, indeed a terrible secret.
NEWS
By Terry Teachout and Terry Teachout,Special to The Sun | May 7, 1995
Bad news starts small. The first sign of cancer is sometimes a cough; the first sign of an impending cultural earthquake is sometimes a tiny crack in the sidewalk. I saw just such a crack the other day at my neighborhood bookstore: The Barnes & Noble executive in charge of which books go where has shut down the "Literary Criticism" section. All books about literature are now lumped under "Literary Theory."For those not in the know, literary theory is the latest monstrosity cooked up in the laboratories of America's colleges and universities, a spectacular perversion of taste and truth in which free speech is oppressive, all art is about power and privilege, all books are "texts" and all texts are equal (though some are more equal than others, most notably the jargon-clogged books of literary theorists)
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