The Geography of the Imagination: Forty Essays

Front Cover
David R. Godine Publisher, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 384 pages
4 Reviews
"There is no way to prepare yourself for reading Guy Davenport. You stand in awe before his knowledge of the archaic and his knowledge of the modern. Even more, you stand in awe of the connections he can make between the archaic and the modern; he makes the remote familiar and the familiar fundamental."? Los Angeles Times Book Review"As a critic, Davenport shines as an intrepid appreciator, an ideal teacher. By preference, he likes to walk the reader through a painting or a poem, teasing out the meaning of odd details, making connections with history and other works of art. His must-have essay collections, The Geography of the Imagination and Every Force Evolves a Form, display his range: With a rainwater clarity, he can write about the naturalist Louis Agassiz or ancient poetry and thought?He can account for the importance of prehistoric cave art to early modernism or outline the achievements of Joyce and Pound. He can make you yearn to read or look again at neglected masters like the poets Charles Olsen and Louis Zukofsky and the painters Balthus and Charles Burchfield. He can send you out eagerly searching for C. M. Doughty's six-volume epic poem, The Dawn in Britain, and for the works of Ronald Johnson, Jonathan Williams and Paul Metcalf. In all this, his method is nothing other than the deep attentiveness engenderd by love: that and a firm faith in simply knowing things. He conveys, to adopt his own words about painter Paul Cadmus, 'a perfect balance of spirit and information."? Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - emilymcmc - LibraryThing

I go back to this book when I am feeling too tired to read anything new, or feeling dull or complacent. Most of these essays involve making connections among writers and books and ideas, getting to the heart of a book I've never read in a way that gets me excited to pick it up. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - skholiast - LibraryThing

When Guy Davenport died in Kentucky in January 2005, the United States lost one of its last great men of letters. The experience of reading The Geography of the Imagination is truly a geographic sort ... Read full review

Contents

I
3
II
16
III
29
IV
45
V
61
VI
68
VII
80
VIII
100
XXII
230
XXIII
250
XXIV
272
XXV
278
XXVI
282
XXVII
286
XXVIII
300
XXIX
308

IX
114
X
123
XI
131
XII
135
XIII
141
XIV
165
XV
169
XVI
177
XVII
180
XVIII
190
XIX
205
XX
209
XXI
215
XXX
319
XXXI
326
XXXII
331
XXXIII
336
XXXIV
339
XXXV
343
XXXVI
345
XXXVII
353
XXXVIII
359
XXXIX
368
XL
373
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1997)

Author, artist, literary critic and translator Guy Davenport was born on November 23, 1927 in Anderson, South Carolina. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University in 1948 and was selected as a Rhodes Scholar. He earned a Bachelor of Literature from Merton College, Oxford University in 1950 and a Doctor of Philosophy from Harvard University in 1961. He taught English at several universities from 1951 until his retirement in 1990. He received numerous awards including the O. Henry Award for short stories, the 1981 Morton Douwen Zabel award for fiction from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and translation awards from PEN and the Academy of American Poets. He died on January 4, 2005 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Bibliographic information