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

By Guy Davenport

Within the forty essays that represent this assortment, man Davenport, one in every of America's significant literary critics, elucidates a variety of literary historical past, encompassing literature, paintings, philosophy and track, from the ancients to the grand outdated males of modernism.

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Homer, in defiance of Heraclitus, continues to be. the home that Jack equipped 100 years sooner than the demise of Ezra Pound, per week wanting the very day, John Ruskin sat down in his purple room at Brantwood, between his geological specimens and Scott manuscripts, to educate the English paintings­ ing guy within the which means of labyrinths, the craftsman Daedalus, and the hero Theseus. He used to be writing Letter XXIII of Fors Clavigera, h is per month tracts opposed to usury and banks. This incremental paintings, a splen­ did pottage of a utobiography, p amphleteering, preaching, and hap­ danger digressions important of Sterne, gave classes in aesthetics and economics, morals and literary feedback. Fors is one of those Victorian prose Cantos , arranging its topics in ideogrammatic shape, shaping them with a poetic feel of i m agery, let­ ing issues to recur in styles, producing importance, as Pound did, through juxtaposition and the instinct of likenesses between multiple and unex­ pected issues. forty five 46 T h e Geography of t h e I m a gi kingdom Ruskin, who sounded as provincial to Matthew Arnold as Pound to Gertrude Stein, used to be craving in Fors Clavigera for a detoxification and reor­ dering of civilization, in nearly an analogous approach Pound did within the Cantos . either works hint a history of knowledge and culture now obscured or deserted. either works direct our cognizance to the financial historian Alexander del Mar, to the capacious minds of Louis Agassiz and Alexan­ der von Humboldt, architects of platforms of data. either works ana­ lyze the cultures of Venice and Florence, appreciate the strength of fi fteenth­ century condottiere, and draw morals from several types of Italian banks. either educate us find out how to see the roots of the Renaissance in medi

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