By Harry Levin
“A remarkably provocative, astute study attempts to demonstrate that the introspection, tragic awareness, and sense of alienation inherent in the works of Hawthorne, Poe, and Melville give a truer pictures of the American mind and milieu than the optimistic, superficial picture painted by many of our lesser writers. The attentiveness and insight with which the author examines the symbols and concepts used by these three nineteenth-century writers result in a substantial critical work.”
“Through a minute reconsideration of Hawthorne, Poe and Melville, Harry Levin traces the ever mysterious problem of good and evil.”
The Power of Blackness is a profound and searching reinterpretation of Hawthorne, Poe and Melville, the three classic American masters of fiction. It is also an experiment in critical method, an exploration of the myth-making process by way of what may come to be known as literary iconology.
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The Palace of Bones by Allison Eir Jenks is an often stark and startling vision of the way we live, the places we inhabit, and the relics we make to comfort ourselves. Haunted by a quiet, unquenchable longing, Jenks expertly and calmly guides the reader through a vivid dreamscape in this first full-length collection of poems. The Palace of Bones was selected by final judge and Pulitzer Prize winner Carolyn Kizer.
In Decadent Style, John Reed defines “decadent art” broadly enough to encompass literature, music, and the visual arts and precisely enough to examine individual works in detail. Reed focuses on the essential characteristics of this style and distinguishes it from non–esthetic categories of “decadent artists” and “decadent themes.” Like the natural sciences and psychology, the arts in the late nineteenth century reflect an interest in the process of atomization.
The story of Martiniano, the man who killed the deer, is a timeless story of Pueblo Indian sin and redemption, and of the conflict between Indian and white laws; written with a poetically charged beauty of style, a purity of conception, and a thorough understanding of Indian values.