A Table of Green Fields: Ten Stories by Guy Davenport

By Guy Davenport

From Library Journal:

"Connoisseurs of artwork, heritage, faith, and literature will experience this positive number of ten tales via one among America's so much erudite writers. even supposing the tone is usually playful, Davenport layers each one tale with quite a few allusions and fairly imprecise meanings that maybe simply the main scholarly readers will absolutely take pleasure in. a superb instance is "Meleager,'' during which the sexual play of 2 boys is juxtaposed with descriptions of geometry. one other is "And,'' a snippet (nine paragraphs) of a parable within which Jesus scatters seeds on a river. extra pleasant are the longer stories, particularly "O Gadjo Niglo,'' a touching love tale instructed by way of Eros, and "Gunner and Nikolai,'' with its shock finishing. Male sexuality is the foremost subject matter, one the writer offers with gentle yet truly severe purpose. The title--a tale in itself--is taken from Falstaff's demise imaginative and prescient, encouraged through the twenty third Psalm. It makes a such a lot becoming image for this most unique and imaginitive assortment. hugely recommended."

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Wordsworth emphasised the role of memory and reflection, the process of moral development, and natural objects as a source of the intimation of a higher spirit. Coleridge, understanding the contours of the German romantic reaction against Kant, emphasised the creative function of imagination, and was prepared to find in nature not merely a congruence of forces but the immanence of God. Hegel, himself part of the reaction against Kant, had developed a model of the relationship between mind and nature which was rationalist, even if it tended to meet the romantic goal of restoring the identity of mind and nature.

II The view that poetry has been superseded by the history of human development is not inevitably correct. Already Hegel’s own description of the last phase of romantic art allows for a continuation of art beyond its necessity to historical progress. Yet accounts of human realities which emerged during the nineteenth century dissent from the optimistic view of progress which informs Hegel’s thinking, and create spaces in which poetry can redefine its purposes. The impact of the thought of Karl Marx on modernist poetry in English lay more in its eventual outcomes than in its intellectual content, although the direct impact of Marx’s thought on poets such as Ezra Pound, Louis Zukofsky and the Auden group is itself an important sub-history.

Only Lewis’s pseudo-play, The Enemy of the Stars, matches the pyrotechnic experimentalism of Vorticist visual art. In a series of manifesto-like pages, Lewis’s play strives to abstract the language and conventions of drama, drawing on the design and promotional practices of modern advertising to stress the linguistic medium and interrogate traditional literary imperatives of communication and representation. 29 As for canonical modernist poetry, however, the first issue of Blast contains none. Thirteen poems – all by Pound – are included.

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