Nothing Remains the Same: Rereading and Remembering

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HMH, May 8, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 256 pages
A New York Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Book of the Year: A look at the pleasures and surprises of rereading.
 
Compared with reading, the act of rereading is far more personal—it involves a complex interaction of our past selves, our present selves, and literature. With candor and humor, this “inspired intellectual romp, part memoir, part criticism” takes us on a guided tour of the author’s own return to books she once knew—from the plays of Shakespeare to twentieth-century novels by Kingsley Amis and Ian McEwan, from the childhood favorite I Capture the Castle to classic novels such as Anna Karenina and Huckleberry Finn, from nonfiction by Henry Adams to poetry by Wordsworth—as she reflects on how the passage of time and the experience of aging has affected her perceptions of them (Lawrence Weschler).
 
A cultural critic and the acclaimed author of Why I Read, Wendy Lesser conveys an infectious love of reading and inspires us all to take another look at the books we’ve read to find the unexpected treasures they might offer.
 
“Delightful.” —Diane Johnson, author of Le Divorce
 
“Anyone who has ever approached a once favorite book later in life . . . will find in this memoir moments of bittersweet recognition.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
“Reflect[s] deeply and candidly on how a reader’s life experiences alter her perceptions of literature . . . [Lesser] has truly fascinating and original things to say about a compelling assortment of writers, including George Orwell, George Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, Dostoyevsky, and Shakespeare.” —Booklist 
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SeriousGrace - LibraryThing

The title, Nothing Remains the Same comes from a letter Mark Twain wrote to William Dean Howells in 1887. What he is referring to is also the premise of Lesser's book - rereading a book at a different ... Read full review

NOTHING REMAINS THE SAME: Rereading and Remembering

User Review  - Kirkus

Now nearing 50, literary critic Lesser (The Amateur, 1999, etc.) revisits books she loved in her youth and asks: What kind of person was I then? What have I become? To what extent—if any—did ... Read full review

Contents

Reflections
The First Novel
Adolescence
Recollected in Tranquillity
An Education
A Young Womans Mistakes
All Kinds of Madness
A Small Masterpiece
The Tree of Knowledge
McEwan inTime
The Strange Case of Huck and Jim
A Literary Career
Hitchcocks Vertigo
Back Matter
Back Cover
Spine

The Face Behind the Page
Late Shakespeare

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About the author (2003)

Wendy Lesser is the author of His Other Half: Men Looking at Women through Art; Pictures at an Execution; A Director Calls (Faber and Faber, UK, 97), a biography of Stephen Daldry; and The Amateur, an intellectual biography exploring the intersection of art and experience (Pantheon, 99). A winner of the Pen/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing in 1997, Lesser was also editor of Hiding in Plain Sight: Essays in Criticism and Autobiography.

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