In The Novel of the Future, Anaïs Nin explores the act of creation—in literature, film, art, and dance—to arrive at a new synthesis for the young artist struggling against the sterility, formlessness, and spiritual bankruptcy afflicting much of modern fiction.
In Decadent Style, John Reed defines “decadent art” broadly enough to encompass literature, music, and the visual arts and precisely enough to examine individual works in detail. Reed focuses on the essential characteristics of this style and distinguishes it from non–esthetic categories of “decadent artists” and “decadent themes.” Like the natural sciences and psychology, the arts in the late nineteenth century reflect an interest in the process of atomization.
Shakespeare’s King Lear appears twice in the records of dramatic performances before the closing of the theaters in 1642. The King’s Men played it before the King’s Majesty in Whitehall on December 26, 1606. The Lord Cholmeley’s Players gave it at Gowthwaite, a manor house of Sir John and Dame Julyan Yorke, Nidderdale, West Riding, in Candlemas, 1610.
Convivial Dickens, carefully researched yet presented in a lively, popular style, provides those interested in the lore of drinks and drinking with a dependable and authoritative guide to the creation of Victorian potables such as would have been enjoyed by Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Micawber. Alongside its many exuberant period illustrations by Cruikshank, Dicky Doyle, John Leech, and others, a leading feature of the book is over 130 authentic Victorian drink recipes.
The Romance of William Morris traces the intellectual, emotional, and literary development of Morris, a representative Victorian, as he explores the classic themes of love, fate, and death -- chiefly through the genre of romance. Professor Silver points out the ways in which Morris’s personal and social vision, interwoven in his literary work, contributes to his art, design, and social theory, as well as to some of the major intellectual and artistic movements of his time.
John Updike has won a National Book Award and has earned both critical and popular acclaim. At the moment, his reputation rests largely on his novels, especially Rabbit, Run; The Centaur; Of the Farm; and The Coup. Of his many books, more than half are volumes of poems, stories, essays and reviews, and one play, yet the numerous critical books on Updike concentrate primarily on his long fiction with the result that over one half of his canon is often ignored.
Although the short story has often been called America’s unique contribution to the world’s literature, relatively few critics have taken the form seriously. May’s collection of essays by popular commentators, academic critics, and short story writers attempts to assess the reasons for this neglect and provides significant theoretical directions for a reevaluation of the form. The essays range from discussions by Poe to comments by John Cheever.
With Forms of Discover, Yvor Winters completes his critical canon. The distinguished poet-critic defines by analysis and example the development of the method that he has called “post-Symbolist.” Starting with the styles of the English Renaissance, Winters discusses at length the felicities and shortcomings of these traditions, the main defect being that sensory imagery was little more than ornament.
Yvor Winters has here collected, with an introduction, the major critical works—Primitivism and Decadence, Maule’s Curse, and The Anatomy of Nonsense—of the period in which he worked out his famous and influential critical position. The works together show an integrated position which illuminates the force and importance of the individual essays. With The Function of Criticism, a subsequent collection, In Defense of Reason provides an incomparable body of critical writing.