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Critic's Notebook (Harvest Book) Paperback – September 15, 1995


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Howe ( World of Our Fathers ), who died in 1993, wrote frequently about literature in Dissent , the left-wing journal he edited for many years. Although several of the essays assembled here, written late in Howe's life, have been published previously, most are newly gathered by his son. The younger Howe explains that his father considered them "shtiklakh"--a Yiddish word meaning brief idiosyncratic critical reflections, with an "allusive, darting lucidity." The pieces demonstrate Howe's love of good writing and his belief in the importance of the "common reader," in his view the mainstay of the literary public outside of academia. In these well written and enlightening essays, Howe concerns himself with the development of character in fiction, and with stylistic variation in the works of Tolstoy, Woolf, Flaubert and Nabokov. He constantly dissociates himself from literary theory, which he considered elitist and insular. This diverse posthumous collection will appeal to serious readers.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

A distinguished teacher and literary/social critic, Howe left, upon his death in 1993, a group of brief, informal, exuberant, thought-provoking essays (he called them shtiklakh, or morsels) on character, history, tone, and style in the great novels. These 20 astonishingly erudite but unintimidating essays reveal Howe's informed passion for Tolstoy, Dickens, Henry James, and George Eliot. He writes in clear, luminous prose on such subjects as the Common Reader, the idea of the self, taste, Naturalism, obscurity in fiction, and the use of gratuitous detail in novels. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the 19th- and 20th-century novel-and anyone who loves to watch an independent, first-rate mind at work.
Charles C. Nash, Cottey Coll., Nevada, Mo.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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