Readings by Sven Birkerts

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Synopsis

Readings combines the best of Sven Birkerts's previously published criticism with vital new essays. A dazzling writer whose clarity, rigor, and far-flung intellectual curiosity have been widely praised, Birkerts the literary critic is in top form in these pages. Whether discussing Elizabeth Bishop or Don DeLillo, Rilke or Kerouac, Keats or The Great Gatsby, he brings fresh insight, sharp thinking, and reflective sensitivity to each of his subjects.

A brilliant cultural commentator, Birkerts also addresses broader, more associative topics, such as biography and the enigma of poetic inspiration, contemporary nostalgia, our modern sense of time, and the future of the creative spirit. As Jonathan Franzen wrote in The New Yorker, "Birkerts on reading fiction is like M.F.K. Fisher on eating or Norman Maclean on fly casting. He makes you want to go do it." This is writing about reading at its best.
 

About Sven Birkerts

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Sven Birkerts is also the author of The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age. He teaches at Mount Holyoke College, is a member of the core faculty of the Bennington Writing Seminars, and lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.
 
Published January 1, 1999 by Graywolf Press. 274 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Readings

Kirkus Reviews

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Collected from such literary venues as Ploughshares and the Hungry Mind Review, as well as more mainstream magazines like the Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s, these essays, whether on current biography, ecocritical literary theory, or Robert Lowell’s posthumous reputation, usually have in common th...

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ForeWord Reviews

More than simple criticism, these essays are celebrations, virtually shouting the writer’s passion for top-grade literature: “No matter how often I return to (Madame Bovary)…no matter how well or poorly I am disposed toward Emma…Flaubert’s serene-seeming world is waiting to receive me.” Althoug...

Dec 16 1998 | Read Full Review of Readings

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