The Broken Estate: Essays on Literature and Belief

Valutazione media 4,07
( su 319 valutazioni fornite da Goodreads )
 
9780312429560: The Broken Estate: Essays on Literature and Belief

Published when he was thirty-three, The Broken Estate is the first book of essays by the man who would become one of America's most esteemed literary critics. Ranging in subject from Jane Austen to John Updike, this collection introduced American readers to a new kind of humanist criticism. Wood is committed to judging literature through its connection with the soul, its appeal to our appetites and identities, and he examines his subjects rigorously, without ever losing sight of the mysterious human impulse that has made these works valuable to generations of readers.

Le informazioni nella sezione "Riassunto" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.

Review:

For James Wood, great fiction is always a venture into danger--a journey to the farthest shores. By extension, great criticism too should demand and risk all. And his first collection, The Broken Estate, does so again and again. Since Wood graduated from Cambridge in the 1980s and began reviewing for The Guardian, his name has been preceded by phrases such as enfant terrible and followed by adjectives such as fierce, fearless, and occasionally far worse. Few critics have such an urgent relation to their reading, and it is this, combined with his all-encompassing intellect and verbal velvet, that makes Wood so terrifying--and so tender.

In his introduction to The Broken Estate he writes, "The gentle request to believe is what makes fiction so moving" (gentle, as both adjective and verb, and its adverbial form, seem key terms), and this is what Wood is drawn to explore in the Russian greats and the English, European, and American moderns, among others. Many of these essays originally appeared in the London Review of Books and The New Republic, where he is a senior editor, but his book is far from a bundle of accident. Wood's contention is that in the mid-19th century, the "distinctions between literary belief and religious belief" began to blur (or, depending on the writer, shimmer), causing a crisis for the likes of Melville, Gogol, and Flaubert, and leading to "a skepticism toward the real as we encounter it in the narrative." I suspect, however, that some will head straight for the pieces on their literary loves and not be so concerned with Wood's overarching thesis, at least initially. No matter. Each essay also stands on its own, whether the author is positing Jane Austen as "a ferocious innovator" more radical than Flaubert, Melville as the ultimate linguistic spendthrift, or Gogol as "a defensive fantasist."

In a brilliant take on Virginia Woolf--Wood makes even the much-discussed new--he declares (admits?) that "the writer-critic, wanting to be both faithful critic and original writer," is caught "in a flurry of trapped loyalties." But he himself almost always works his way out of such snares, one of the many joys of this book. In his analysis of the several sides of Thomas More, for example, Wood first reads Utopia as a comedy but then suggests we read it "more tragically--not as a Lucianic satire but as a darkly ironic vision of the impossible." The aphorisms and aperçus come thick and strong. (Keepers of commonplace books should start a separate volume just for Wood.) For example, "Leslie Stephen acted like a genius but he thought like a merely gifted man." Or, "Hemingway has a reputation as a cold master of repetition, an icicle formed from the drip of style, while Lawrence is most often seen as a hothead who fell over himself, verbally." And he also has a gift for the telling domestic detail: Gogol "irritated others by playing card games he had invented and then changing the rules during play. He became rather selfishly involved with undercooked macaroni cheese, a dish he made again and again for guests." But Wood will dislike being complimented on his sentences as much as he claims Woolf did. His art, too, must be measured in chapters.

Wood is a great lover, and this makes him if not a great hater then one who gets hot under the critical collar, his ardor turning to irritation and intemperance in pieces on Morrison, Pynchon, and Murdoch. But in his finest discussions--among them one on Chekhov and another on late-20th-century treasure W.G. Sebald--he instantly quickens writers, books, and readers into being. --Kerry Fried

From the Inside Flap:

This book recalls an era when criticism could change the way we look at the world. In the tradition of Matthew Arnold and Edmund Wilson, James Wood reads literature expansively, always pursuing its role and destiny in our lives. In a series of essays about such figures as Melville, Flaubert, Chekhov, Virginia Woolf, and Don DeLillo, Wood relates their fiction to questions of religious and philosophical belief. He suggests that the steady ebb of the sea of faith has much to do with the revolutionary power of the novel, as it has developed over the last two centuries. To read James Wood is to be shocked into both thinking and feeling how great our debt to the novel is.
        
In the grand tradition of criticism, Wood's work is both commentary and literature in its own right--fiercely written, polemical, and richly poetic in style. This book marks the debut of a masterly literary voice.

"In America, where he now makes his home, consensus is building that James Wood, a thirty-four-year-old English-man, is the best literary critic of his generation. . . . Wood is not just a keen critic, our best, but a superb writer. James Wood is the kind of writer James Wood admires most: daring, meaty, boldly metaphoric and unequivocally committed."--Adam Begley, Financial Times

"After finishing one of James Wood's essays, I always feel that I have been in the company of a man who reads more perspicaciously and writes more incisively than almost anyone producing criticism today. His ability to transform complex, anxious thought into lucid, exciting prose is everywhere present in this wonderful book, as is an atmos-phere of civility, good sense, and justice."--Janet Malcolm

"In these essays a very bold intelligence illuminates literature and culture with a dashing fluency."--Elizabeth Hardwick

"In a distinctively impassioned voice, James Wood advances some formidable arguments for what fiction and the truthful deployment of the imagination can be. He is one of literature's true lovers, and his deeply felt, contentious essays are thrilling in their reach and moral seriousness."--Susan Sontag

"He is a true critic: an urgent, impassioned reader of literature, a tireless interpreter, a live and learned intelligence, good writing company. He has adopted the essay as his own; he uses it to write, in a way the serious writer does. That's to say, he drives his ideas hard; he hungers for metaphor . . . learned . . . cunningly brilliant."--Malcolm Bradbury, The New Statesman

"A book that makes you feel, having closed it, as if your mind has been oxygenated. While most reviewers tend to fall back on preconceived notions of good style, based mainly on their desire not to be challenged by fiction, Wood stands out for his desire to re-mint critical thought. He has the capacity to alert you all over again to the wonder of a single cadence, pulled out of the heart of a novel. He also forces you to reconsider what it is we mean when we say that a novel is real, is true, is great. There is no more, really, that we can ask of a critic."--Natasha Walter, The Independent on Sunday

"In this climate, James Wood's book is not just a pleasure in itself but a sign that things do not always necessarily go downhill. . . . 'Serious' books on literature and belief abound, but we have very few critics who can vie with Jarrell and Toynbee, who can remind us that talking about literature is a part of what literature is about, and talking about it with passion, precision, and out of a rich store of reading is a rare and precious gift: it is good for all of us that James Wood has it and we have James Wood."--Gabriel Josipovici, Times Literary Supplement

"James Wood has been called our best young critic. This is not true. He is our best critic; he thinks with a sublime ferocity. To enter Wood's mind is to cross a threshold: from the reviewer commonplaces that often pass for essay-writing into the intellectual daring that portends literary permanence. He is, for the moment, our Hazlitt. He may become something more."--Cynthia Ozick

"James Wood is an authentic literary critic, very rare in this bad time."--Harold Bloom

Le informazioni nella sezione "Su questo libro" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.

I migliori risultati di ricerca su AbeBooks

1.

Wood, James
Editore: PICADOR (2010)
ISBN 10: 0312429568 ISBN 13: 9780312429560
Nuovi Quantità: > 20
Print on Demand
Da
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro PICADOR, 2010. PAP. Condizione libro: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Codice libro della libreria IQ-9780312429560

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 8,16
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: EUR 3,43
In U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

2.

James Wood
Editore: St Martin s Press, United States (2010)
ISBN 10: 0312429568 ISBN 13: 9780312429560
Nuovi Paperback Quantità: 1
Da
The Book Depository US
(London, Regno Unito)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro St Martin s Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Published when he was thirty-three, The Broken Estate is the first book of essays by the man who would become one of America s most esteemed literary critics. Ranging in subject from Jane Austen to John Updike, this collection introduced American readers to a new kind of humanist criticism. Wood is committed to judging literature through its connection with the soul, its appeal to our appetites and identities, and he examines his subjects rigorously, without ever losing sight of the mysterious human impulse that has made these works valuable to generations of readers. Codice libro della libreria ABZ9780312429560

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 11,76
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: GRATIS
Da: Regno Unito a: U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

3.

James Wood
Editore: St Martin s Press, United States (2010)
ISBN 10: 0312429568 ISBN 13: 9780312429560
Nuovi Paperback Quantità: 1
Da
The Book Depository
(London, Regno Unito)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro St Martin s Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Published when he was thirty-three, The Broken Estate is the first book of essays by the man who would become one of America s most esteemed literary critics. Ranging in subject from Jane Austen to John Updike, this collection introduced American readers to a new kind of humanist criticism. Wood is committed to judging literature through its connection with the soul, its appeal to our appetites and identities, and he examines his subjects rigorously, without ever losing sight of the mysterious human impulse that has made these works valuable to generations of readers. Codice libro della libreria ABZ9780312429560

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 12,65
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: GRATIS
Da: Regno Unito a: U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

4.

Wood, James
ISBN 10: 0312429568 ISBN 13: 9780312429560
Nuovi Paperback Quantità: > 20
Print on Demand
Da
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Paperback. Condizione libro: New. This item is printed on demand. Item doesn't include CD/DVD. Codice libro della libreria 946497

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 9,54
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: EUR 3,43
In U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

5.

Wood, James
Editore: Picador
ISBN 10: 0312429568 ISBN 13: 9780312429560
Nuovi PAPERBACK Quantità: 1
Da
The Book Nerd
(port chester, NY, U.S.A.)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Picador. PAPERBACK. Condizione libro: New. 0312429568. Codice libro della libreria SKU1005103

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 9,78
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: EUR 3,43
In U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

6.

James Wood
Editore: Picador (2010)
ISBN 10: 0312429568 ISBN 13: 9780312429560
Nuovi Paperback Quantità: 1
Da
pickabook
(san francisco, CA, U.S.A.)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Picador, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria mon0000152377

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 10,07
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: EUR 3,43
In U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

7.

Wood, James
Editore: Picador (2017)
ISBN 10: 0312429568 ISBN 13: 9780312429560
Nuovi Paperback Quantità: 9
Print on Demand
Da
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Picador, 2017. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. This item is printed on demand. Codice libro della libreria 0312429568

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 11,39
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: EUR 2,57
In U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

8.

Wood, James
Editore: Picador
ISBN 10: 0312429568 ISBN 13: 9780312429560
Nuovi PAPERBACK Quantità: 3
Da
Lakeside Books
(Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.A.)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Picador. PAPERBACK. Condizione libro: New. 0312429568 BRAND NEW, GIFT QUALITY! NOT OVERSTOCKS OR MARKED UP REMAINDERS! DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER!|0.62. Codice libro della libreria OTF-S-9780312429560

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 10,69
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: EUR 3,43
In U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

9.

James Wood
ISBN 10: 0312429568 ISBN 13: 9780312429560
Nuovi Quantità: 4
Da
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Condizione libro: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Codice libro della libreria 97803124295600000000

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 14,35
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: GRATIS
In U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

10.

Wood, James
Editore: Picador (2010)
ISBN 10: 0312429568 ISBN 13: 9780312429560
Nuovi Paperback Quantità: 10
Da
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Picador, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria INGM9780312429560

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 13,41
Convertire valuta

Aggiungere al carrello

Spese di spedizione: EUR 3,43
In U.S.A.
Destinazione, tempi e costi

Vedi altre copie di questo libro

Vedi tutti i risultati per questo libro