How Beautiful It Is And How Easily It Can Be Broken by Daniel Mendelsohn
Essays

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

Whether he's on Broadway or at the movies, considering a new bestseller or revisiting a literary classic, Daniel Mendelsohn's judgments over the past fifteen years have provoked and dazzled with their deep erudition, disarming emotionality, and tart wit. Now How Beautiful It Is And How Easily It Can Be Broken reveals all at once the enormous stature of Mendelsohn's achievement and demonstrates why he is considered one of our greatest critics. Writing with a lively intelligence and arresting originality, he brings his distinctive combination of scholarly rigor and conversational ease to bear across eras, cultures, and genres, from Roman games to video games.

His interpretations of our most talked-about films—from the work of Pedro Almodóvar to Brokeback Mountain, from United 93 and World Trade Center to 300, Marie Antoinette, and The Hours—have sparked debate and changed the way we watch movies. Just as stunning and influential are his dispatches on theater and literature, from The Producers to Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex, from The Lovely Bones to the works of Harold Pinter. Together these thirty brilliant and engaging essays passionately articulate the themes that have made Daniel Mendelsohn a crucial voice in today's cultural conversation: the aesthetic and indeed political dangers of imposing contemporary attitudes on the great classics; the ruinous effect of sentimentality on the national consciousness in the post-9/11 world; the vital importance of the great literature of the past for a meaningful life in the present.

How Beautiful It Is And How Easily It Can Be Broken makes it clear that no other contemporary thinker is as engaged with as many aspects of our culture and its influences as Mendelsohn is, and no one practices the vanishing art of popular criticism with more acuity, humor, and feeling.

 

About Daniel Mendelsohn

See more books from this Author
Daniel Mendelsohn's reviews and essays on literary and cultural subjects appear frequently in The New York Review of Books andThe New Yorker. His books include a memoir, The Elusive Embrace, a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year; the international best seller The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million; an acclaimed translation of the works of C. P. Cavafy; and a previous collection of essays, How Beautiful It Is and How Easily It Can Be Broken. He teaches at Bard College.
 
Published October 6, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 482 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for How Beautiful It Is And How Easily It Can Be Broken

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

He intelligently covers films about 9/11, Alexander the Great, the Trojan War and Virginia Woolf, cattily calling Nicole Kidman in The Hours “pretty without being beautiful.” He critiques productions of plays by Harold Pinter, Noël Coward, Oscar Wilde (who pops up continually) and Tennessee Willi...

| Read Full Review of How Beautiful It Is And How E...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

In this elegant collection of essays mostly from the New York Review of Books, NBCC award–winning author Mendelsohn reveals intellectual breadth in his ability to draw on his training as a classicist to look at contemporary culture, from movies like Kill Bill to Broadway musicals like The Produ...

Jun 16 2008 | Read Full Review of How Beautiful It Is And How E...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

When Daniel Mendelsohn was 13 years old, he read two Mary Renault novels about Alexander the Great, Fire from Heaven and The Persian Boy, and with that became enthralled with the ancient world.

Nov 24 2008 | Read Full Review of How Beautiful It Is And How E...

Reader Rating for How Beautiful It Is And How Easily It Can Be Broken
85%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 11 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×