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Unknown Masterpieces: Writers Rediscover…
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Unknown Masterpieces: Writers Rediscover Literature's Hidden Classics (New… (edição: 2003)

de Edwin Frank (Editor)

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In this original collection, several of today's finest writers introduce little-known treasures of literature that they count among their favorite books. Here Toni Morrison celebrates a great Guinean storyteller whose novel of mystical adventure and surprising revelation transforms our image of Africa, while Susan Sontag raises the curtain on a distant summer when three of the greatest poets of the twentieth century exchanged love letters like no others. Here too John Updike analyzes the rare art of an English comic genius, Jonathan Lethem considers a hard-boiled and heartbreaking story of prison life, and Michael Cunningham uncovers the secrets of what may well be the finest short novel in modern American literature. Other contributors include such noted authors as Arthur C. Danto, Lydia Davis, Elizabeth Hardwick, Francine Prose, Luc Sante, Colm Tóibín, Eliot Weinberger, and James Wood.   Lucid, polished, provocative, inspiring, these essays are models of critical appreciation, offering personal, impassioned, thoughtful responses to a wide range of wonderful books. Unknown Masterpieces is a treat for all lovers of great writing and a useful and stimulating guidebook for readers eager to venture off literature's beaten tracks.   Eliot Weinberger on Hindoo Holiday by J.R. Ackerley Arthur C. Danto on The Unknown Masterpiece by Honoré de Balzac John Updike on Seven Men by Max Beerbohm Jonathan Lethem on On the Yard by Malcolm Braly Toni Morrison on The Radiance of the King by Camara Laye Colm Tóibín on The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley Francine Prose on A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes Susan Sontag on Letters: Summer 1926 by Boris Pasternak, Marina Tsvetayeva, and Rainer Maria Rilke Luc Sante on Classic Crimes by William Roughead James Wood on The Golovlyov Family by Shchedrin Elizabeth Hardwick on The Unpossessed by Tess Slesinger Lydia Davis on The Life of Henry Brulard by Stendhal Michael Cunningham on The Pilgrim Hawk by Glenway Wescott… (mais)
Membro:GlennRussell
Título:Unknown Masterpieces: Writers Rediscover Literature's Hidden Classics (New York Review Books Classics)
Autores:Edwin Frank (Editor)
Informação:NYRB Classics (2003), 157 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:*****
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Unknown Masterpieces: Writers Rediscover Literature's Hidden Classics (New York Review Books Classics) de Edwin Frank (Editor)

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The vision of this collection is simple: thirteen established authors from Susan Sontag, Toni Morrison and Luc Sante to Colm Tóibín and James Wood contribute a short essay on one of their favorite overlooked classics. Thank you New York Review Books for publishing such a unique volume. To share some literary rasa, below are quotes from six essays along with my comment linked with each quote. As a tribute to these masters of the craft, I have also included their photos.



Arthur C. Danto on The Unknown Masterpiece by Honoré de Balzac
“From the prospective of magic, every image has the possibility of coming to life, and perhaps the first images ever drawn, however crudely executed, were viewed with an awe that still remains a disposition of the most primitive regions of the human brain. This is why images have been forbidden in so many of the great religions of the world, and why they have been destroyed in the name of iconoclasm.” ---------- With his exceptional background as philosopher, aesthetician, art historian, art critic as well as literary critic, Arthur C. Danto is the perfect fit for this short Balzac classic. Danto delves not only into the tale’s historical context but, more specifically, the way each of the three main characters - Poussin = the master painter Nicolas Poussin, Porbus = the Flemish portraitist Franz Pourbus the Younger, and the mythical Frenhofer - can be placed within the history of art and art theory. Danto also probes the mysteries of rendering the female nude through painting and sculpture coupled with the power of imagination for both artist and viewer.



John Updike on Seven Men by Max Beerbohm
"His life was bookish, but the bookishness was sunny, skimming the essence, in marvelous parodies, from his more earnest and ponderous contemporaries, and penning essays collected in volumes whose titles themselves signal a refusal to take his enterprise altogether seriously: the first was The Works of Max Beerbohm, followed by More, Yet Again, and Even Now. ---------- Who better to pen an essay on the writer George Bernard Shaw called “the incomparable Max” then that wizardly wordsmith, John Updike. In a mere six pages the incomparable John sketches out why Max Beerbohn’s book is imbued with a singular literary sparkle. I can’t resist – one additional quote from Updike’s essay: “Max was a versifier of dainty skill, and the comic effects, to be savored line by line, hinge on fine points, such as contractions run riot to fit the meter, unhappy coinages like “friskfulness,” clanging iambs, and drooping enjambments.”



Francine Prose on A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes
“Hughes is not afraid to dwell on startling, uncomfortable verities about the world and its inhabitants, and one of the things he does most impressively in A High Wind in Jamaica is to put a wicked spin on the Romantic notion of the child – the Wordsworthian innocent-savant. He suggests that children are closer than adults to nature, that the way they view sex – mysterious, fascinating, incomprehensible, repulsive, responsible for weird alliances and even stranger behavior – is the way sex really is.” ---------- What does it take to squeeze the wisdom juice from a classic novel? In her essay, Francine Prose gives us a vivid example of what it means for a literary critic to open completely to a work that portrays life in all its beauties and dangers, its harmony and frightening disharmony, and then, in turn, communicate clearly and elegantly such a passionate embrace via the writer’s art.



Jonathan Lethem on On The Yard by Malcolm Braly
"On the Yard succeeds because through its particulars it becomes universal, a model for understanding aspects of our self-wardened lives. Inside and outside prison walls human beings negotiate, stall, bluff, and occasionally explode in their attempts to balance ecstasy against ennui, to do more than merely eke out their narrow days on earth.” ---------- As a reader, are you inclined to identify with the characters in a novel? If so, Lethem analyzes how Malcolm Braly will toy with you as he trots out various prisoners in San Quentin for possible identification, from the hardcore repeaters to the more sensitive one-timers who murdered, raped or robbed on impulse. What I found particularly insightful is how Lethem critiques Richard Rhodes’ New York Times review of On the Yard, how he disagrees with Rhodes’ take on one of the prisoners, Juleson, being the alter ego of Braly and provides ample evidence for his disagreement. Thus, considering these two possible interpretations, we as readers are provided a glimpse into the richness and depth of the novel’s psychology.



Elizabeth Hardwick on The Unpossessed by Tess Slesinger
The Unpossessed is a daring, unique fiction, a wild crowded comedy set in New York City in the 1930s. The inchoate, irrational, addictive metropolis, ever clamoring, brawling between its two somehow sluggish rivers, is a challenge to its citizens and to the novelist’s art.” --------- How dynamic is the seething Mannahatta with its tall, wonderful spires and jobbers' houses of business? Elizabeth Hardwick deftly sketches no less than a dozen characters from this Tess Slesinger novel, including a melancholy band leader, a Daughter of the Confederacy with her violet eyes and modest Negro gentleman who could very well be Paul Robeson, to share her love of a book bubbling over with life in 1930s Big Apple.



Lydia Davis on The Life of Henry Brulard by Stendhal
“Clear-eyed about his good points and bad, Stendhal aims for accuracy (“I am witty no more than once a week and then only for five minutes,” he tells us), and what a complex and interesting person emerges from this self-examination. Stubborn, opinionated, cantankerous, yet brilliant, minutely observant, and appealingly fallible. Not an easy friend, someone in whose company one would be always on edge – he would be sure to pounce on any sign of fatuousness or mental sloth.” --------- To my reckoning, Lydia Davis’s essay can not only be read as a formal review of Stendhal’s book but also an extended prose poem on the nature of identity and time. For those of us who review books, we can take Lydia Davis as a model of how a book review can open up into other literary dimensions. ( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |


The vision of this collection is simple: thirteen established authors from Susan Sontag, Toni Morrison and Luc Sante to Colm Tóibín and James Wood contribute a short essay on one of their favorite overlooked classics. Thank you New York Review Books for publishing such a unique volume. To share some literary rasa, below are quotes from six essays along with my comment linked with each quote. As a tribute to these masters of the craft, I have also included their photos.


Arthur C. Danto on The Unknown Masterpiece by Honoré de Balzac
“From the prospective of magic, every image has the possibility of coming to life, and perhaps the first images ever drawn, however crudely executed, were viewed with an awe that still remains a disposition of the most primitive regions of the human brain. This is why images have been forbidden in so many of the great religions of the world, and why they have been destroyed in the name of iconoclasm.” ---------- With his exceptional background as philosopher, aesthetician, art historian, art critic as well as literary critic, Arthur C. Danto is the perfect fit for this short Balzac classic. Danto delves not only into the tale’s historical context but, more specifically, the way each of the three main characters - Poussin = the master painter Nicolas Poussin, Porbus = the Flemish portraitist Franz Pourbus the Younger, and the mythical Frenhofer - can be placed within the history of art and art theory. Danto also probes the mysteries of rendering the female nude through painting and sculpture coupled with the power of imagination for both artist and viewer.


John Updike on Seven Men by Max Beerbohm
"His life was bookish, but the bookishness was sunny, skimming the essence, in marvelous parodies, from his more earnest and ponderous contemporaries, and penning essays collected in volumes whose titles themselves signal a refusal to take his enterprise altogether seriously: the first was The Works of Max Beerbohm, followed by More, Yet Again, and Even Now. ---------- Who better to pen an essay on the writer George Bernard Shaw called “the incomparable Max” then that wizardly wordsmith, John Updike. In a mere six pages the incomparable John sketches out why Max Beerbohn’s book is imbued with a singular literary sparkle. I can’t resist – one additional quote from Updike’s essay: “Max was a versifier of dainty skill, and the comic effects, to be savored line by line, hinge on fine points, such as contractions run riot to fit the meter, unhappy coinages like “friskfulness,” clanging iambs, and drooping enjambments.”


Francine Prose on A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes
“Hughes is not afraid to dwell on startling, uncomfortable verities about the world and its inhabitants, and one of the things he does most impressively in A High Wind in Jamaica is to put a wicked spin on the Romantic notion of the child – the Wordsworthian innocent-savant. He suggests that children are closer than adults to nature, that the way they view sex – mysterious, fascinating, incomprehensible, repulsive, responsible for weird alliances and even stranger behavior – is the way sex really is.” ---------- What does it take to squeeze the wisdom juice from a classic novel? In her essay, Francine Prose gives us a vivid example of what it means for a literary critic to open completely to a work that portrays life in all its beauties and dangers, its harmony and frightening disharmony, and then, in turn, communicate clearly and elegantly such a passionate embrace via the writer’s art.


Jonathan Lethem on On The Yard by Malcolm Braly
"On the Yard succeeds because through its particulars it becomes universal, a model for understanding aspects of our self-wardened lives. Inside and outside prison walls human beings negotiate, stall, bluff, and occasionally explode in their attempts to balance ecstasy against ennui, to do more than merely eke out their narrow days on earth.” ---------- As a reader, are you inclined to identify with the characters in a novel? If so, Lethem analyzes how Malcolm Braly will toy with you as he trots out various prisoners in San Quentin for possible identification, from the hardcore repeaters to the more sensitive one-timers who murdered, raped or robbed on impulse. What I found particularly insightful is how Lethem critiques Richard Rhodes’ New York Times review of On the Yard, how he disagrees with Rhodes’ take on one of the prisoners, Juleson, being the alter ego of Braly and provides ample evidence for his disagreement. Thus, considering these two possible interpretations, we as readers are provided a glimpse into the richness and depth of the novel’s psychology.


Elizabeth Hardwick on The Unpossessed by Tess Slesinger
The Unpossessed is a daring, unique fiction, a wild crowded comedy set in New York City in the 1930s. The inchoate, irrational, addictive metropolis, ever clamoring, brawling between its two somehow sluggish rivers, is a challenge to its citizens and to the novelist’s art.” --------- How dynamic is the seething Mannahatta with its tall, wonderful spires and jobbers' houses of business? Elizabeth Hardwick deftly sketches no less than a dozen characters from this Tess Slesinger novel, including a melancholy band leader, a Daughter of the Confederacy with her violet eyes and modest Negro gentleman who could very well be Paul Robeson, to share her love of a book bubbling over with life in 1930s Big Apple.


Lydia Davis on The Life of Henry Brulard by Stendhal
“Clear-eyed about his good points and bad, Stendhal aims for accuracy (“I am witty no more than once a week and then only for five minutes,” he tells us), and what a complex and interesting person emerges from this self-examination. Stubborn, opinionated, cantankerous, yet brilliant, minutely observant, and appealingly fallible. Not an easy friend, someone in whose company one would be always on edge – he would be sure to pounce on any sign of fatuousness or mental sloth.” --------- To my reckoning, Lydia Davis’s essay can not only be read as a formal review of Stendhal’s book but also an extended prose poem on the nature of identity and time. For those of us who review books, we can take Lydia Davis as a model of how a book review can open up into other literary dimensions. ( )
  GlennRussell | Feb 16, 2017 |
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Frank, EdwinEditorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Cunningham, MichaelContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Lethem, JonathanContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Sante, LucContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Updike, JohnContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado

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In this original collection, several of today's finest writers introduce little-known treasures of literature that they count among their favorite books. Here Toni Morrison celebrates a great Guinean storyteller whose novel of mystical adventure and surprising revelation transforms our image of Africa, while Susan Sontag raises the curtain on a distant summer when three of the greatest poets of the twentieth century exchanged love letters like no others. Here too John Updike analyzes the rare art of an English comic genius, Jonathan Lethem considers a hard-boiled and heartbreaking story of prison life, and Michael Cunningham uncovers the secrets of what may well be the finest short novel in modern American literature. Other contributors include such noted authors as Arthur C. Danto, Lydia Davis, Elizabeth Hardwick, Francine Prose, Luc Sante, Colm Tóibín, Eliot Weinberger, and James Wood.   Lucid, polished, provocative, inspiring, these essays are models of critical appreciation, offering personal, impassioned, thoughtful responses to a wide range of wonderful books. Unknown Masterpieces is a treat for all lovers of great writing and a useful and stimulating guidebook for readers eager to venture off literature's beaten tracks.   Eliot Weinberger on Hindoo Holiday by J.R. Ackerley Arthur C. Danto on The Unknown Masterpiece by Honoré de Balzac John Updike on Seven Men by Max Beerbohm Jonathan Lethem on On the Yard by Malcolm Braly Toni Morrison on The Radiance of the King by Camara Laye Colm Tóibín on The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley Francine Prose on A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes Susan Sontag on Letters: Summer 1926 by Boris Pasternak, Marina Tsvetayeva, and Rainer Maria Rilke Luc Sante on Classic Crimes by William Roughead James Wood on The Golovlyov Family by Shchedrin Elizabeth Hardwick on The Unpossessed by Tess Slesinger Lydia Davis on The Life of Henry Brulard by Stendhal Michael Cunningham on The Pilgrim Hawk by Glenway Wescott

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