A good introduction to Milosz’s prose work, capturing the range of a memorable mind.

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TO BEGIN WHERE I AM

SELECTED ESSAYS

Prose miscellany by the famed poet and Nobel laureate (Milosz’s ABC’s, 2000, etc.) proves he does not need funny spacing to dazzle his readers.

Spanning more than a half-century of the author’s life and thought, the collection mingles free-floating whimsy and earthbound gravitas as it probes the eternal questions of life from some remarkably fresh vantage points. The brief essay “Miss Anna and Miss Dora” manages to hit on the frailty of human existence, the vagaries of memory, and the birth of sympathy in a swirling loop of emotion that never skitters toward the mawkish—and in only two pages. Continuing on, and with a generosity bordering on the motherly, he pours out essays for your delectation, from biographies of friends and acquaintances to musings on human nature and excurses on the state of poetry. “Anus Mundi” ponders the creation of lyric poetry after Auschwitz; “Carmel” meanders along the California coast with Robinson Jeffers’s ashes in the air; “Letter to Jerzy Andrzejewski” praises the nobility of doubt. The maxims, anecdotes, and aphorisms culled from his notebook teem with humor, insight, and luminous warmth. “I am here,” Milosz states in “My Intention”: “and the only thing we can do is try to communicate with one another.” The breathtaking evocativeness of Milosz’s prose coupled with its radiant reflections creates a meaningful sense of synergy with his mind. The introduction by editors Carpenter and Levine provides modest access to his world, although it could offer more detail and biography for readers new to this writer.

A good introduction to Milosz’s prose work, capturing the range of a memorable mind.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-374-25890-2

Page Count: 460

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2001

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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