The Fourth Dimension of a Poem by M. H. Abrams
and Other Essays

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A new collection of essays by the legendary literary scholar and critic.

In the year of his one-hundredth birthday, preeminent literary critic, scholar, and teacher M. H. Abrams brings us a collection of nine new and recent essays that challenge the reader to think about poetry in new ways. In these essays, three of them never before published, Abrams engages afresh with pivotal figures in intellectual and literary history, among them Kant, Keats, and Hazlitt. The centerpiece of the volume is Abrams’s eloquent and incisive essay “The Fourth Dimension of a Poem” on the pleasure of reading poems aloud, accompanied by online recordings of Abrams’s revelatory readings of poems such as William Wordsworth’s “Surprised by Joy,” Alfred Tennyson’s “Here Sleeps the Crimson Petal,” and Ernest Dowson’s “Cynara.” The collection begins with a foreword by Abrams’s former student Harold Bloom.

About M. H. Abrams

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M. H. Abrams (Ph.D. Harvard) is Class of 1916 Professor of English, Emeritus at Cornell University. He received the Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Prize for The Mirror and the Lamp and the MLA's James Russell Lowell Prize for Natural Supernaturalism. He is also the author of The Milk of Paradise, A Glossary of Literary Terms, The Correspondent Breeze, and Doing Things with Texts. He is the recipient of Guggenheim, Ford Foundation, and Rockefeller Postwar fellowships, the Award in Humanistic Studies from the Academy of Arts and Sciences (1984), the Distinguished Scholar Award by the Keats-Shelley Society (1987), and the Award for Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1990). In 1999 The Mirror and the Lamp was ranked twenty-fifth among the Modern Library's "100 best nonfiction books written in English during the twentieth century." The Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University, Harold Bloom (b. 1930) has been hailed as “one of our greatest living literary critics” (Los Angeles Times).
Published September 3, 2012 by W. W. Norton & Company. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Abrams argues for a criticism that recognizes a literature “composed by a human being, for human beings, and about human beings and matters of human concern.” The author emphasizes this theme throughout the collection.

Jun 17 2012 | Read Full Review of The Fourth Dimension of a Poe...

Publishers Weekly

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With "a stubborn predilection for finding out what a poem determinately means," renowned 100-year-old scholar Abrams (The Mirror and the Lamp) explores a variety of literary subjects in this insightful new collection, which includes studies of Keats and Hazlitt, the foundations of modern aestheti...

Sep 03 2012 | Read Full Review of The Fourth Dimension of a Poe...

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