Pamela Finnegan provides a detailed criticism of a major novel written by one of Chile’s leading literary figures. She analyzes the symbolism and the use of language in The Obscene Bird of Night, showing that the novel’s world becomes an icon characterized by entropy, parody, and materiality. Her study concludes that all linguistic ordering fictionalizes, that the lack of spirituality within the novel’s world is symptomatic of language gone stale, and that blindness to this fact leads to dogma or solipsism, each counter-productive to communication and human endeavor. To revive the linguistic system, she argues, we must revive the creative power of language.
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In Lord of a Visible World, the editors have amassed and arranged the letters of this prolific writer into the story of his life. The volume traces Lovecraft's upbringing in Providence, Rhode Island, his involvement with the pulp magazine Weird Tales, his short-lived marriage, and his later status as the preeminent man of letters in his field. In addition to conveying the candid details of his life, the volume also traces the evolution of his wide-ranging opinions.
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 Fathers is the powerful novel by the poet and critic recognized as one of the great men of letters of our time. Old Major Buchan of Pleasant Hill, Fairfax County, Virginia, lived by a gentlemen's agreement to ignore what was base or rude, to live a life which was gentle and comfortable because it was formal.