From Library Journal
Essayist, reviewer, and editor Krystal (A Company of Readers: Uncollected Writings of W.H. Auden, Jacques Barzun and Lionel Trilling) pulls no punches in dispatching academic critics who view works of literature primarily as "semiotic tracts that reflect all sorts of nasty, royalist, elitist, patriarchal, sexist, and imperialist sympathies." He sees the activities of writing and reading as deeply connected to basic human questions of life, death, religion, value, and taste. In graceful, conversational prose, he both argues and demonstrates his points, easily combining his knowledge of history and philosophy with the personal to give readers a view of an engaged mind. The essays collected here have previously appeared in American Scholar, the New York Times Book Review, and Harper's. The most famous of them, "Closing the Books: A Once-Devoted Reader Arrives at the End of the Story," attempts to come to terms with his own loss of interest in reading. Is it his age, he wonders, or the age? Recommended for academic libraries.Mary Paumier Jones, Westminster P.L., CO
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Vibrant, well-considered essays. -- Elizabeth Mary Sheehan, New York Times Book Review
[S]ensible, personable, and unafraid
This poke in the eye of literary opinion and knowledge feels oddly good. -- Kirkus Reviews