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Some Necessary Angels Essays on Writing and Politics cover
  • ISBN: 9780231110709
  • ISBN10: 0231110707

Some Necessary Angels Essays on Writing and Politics

by Jay Parini

  • List Price: $95.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 03/01/1998
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Poet, novelist, and critic Jay Parini presents some of his best essays -- both classic and unpublished works on topics ranging from baseball to Frost and Emerson to the culture of creative writing. These twenty pieces are filled with the generosity of spirit and infectious enthusiasm Parini has for the written word in all its variety.

Here are personal stories of living in small towns, of writing amid the bustle of cafes and restaurants, of seasons on Italy's Amalfi coast. With characteristically sharp wit, Parini confronts the question of productivity that plagues writers (himself among them): can "real" writers churn out books, and, if not, how does one explain the legendary tales of sweat and blood, the Balzacs and Dickenses who people literary history?

He also ventures into the world of poetry, celebrating the visionary sensibility of William Blake and its influence on Theodore Roethke, evoking the powerful theme of Ireland in the poetry of Seamus Heaney, and offering an affectionate portrait of Robert Penn Warren, drawn from conversation with the renowned poet.

In closing meditations on the "real" world that envelops the creative life, Parini breathes fresh air into questions that have occupied writers over centuries -- the relationship between truth and fiction and the divides that separate writers from their critics and older literary theorists from their younger colleagues. In lively discussions, Parini animates difficult theorists like Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault, offering a bracing antidote to the jargon that excludes all but the most educated scholars.

For aspiring writers, Some Necessary Angels is an illuminating glimpse into the workshop of a distinguishednovelist and critic. For readers who share Parini's love of language, it is an invigorating expression of faith.

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