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"As a critic, Davenport shines as an intrepid appreciator, an ideal teacher. By preference, he likes to walk the reader through a painting or a poem, teasing out the meaning of odd details, making connections with history and other works of art. His must-have essay collections, The Geography of the Imagination and Every Force Evolves a Form, displays his range: With a rainwater clarity, he can write about the naturalistic Louis Aggassiz or ancient poetry and thought . . . He can account for the importance of prehistoric cave art to early modernism or outline the achievements of Joyce and Pound. He can make you yearn to read or look again at neglected masters like the poets Charles Olson and Louis Zukofsky and the painters Balthus and Charles Burchfield. He can send you out eagerly searching for C. M. Doughty's six-volume epic poem, The Dawn in Britain, and for the works of Ronald Johnson, Jonathan Williams and Paul Metcalf. In all this, his method is nothing other than the deep attentiveness engendered by love; that and a firm faith in simply knowing things. He conveys, to adopt his own words about painter Paul Cadmus, 'a perfect balance of spirit and information.'" -- Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World
"One of our most gifted and versatile men of letters." -- New York Times
"In these forty essays, spanning the length of a distinguished career, one of America's major literary critics elucidates and astonishing range of literary history with both wit and wisdom. Davenport's sharp eye and crystal prose unearth the mystery and magic of classical and contemporary literature." -- ALA Booklist
Sometimes a rare first edition is not what you want. The first edition of this enduring classic was marred by a lot of typos. Read morePublished 9 months ago by SocJan