A molehill of old lectures—some of them brilliant, all of them at least worth skimming through—that will probably get made...

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The prolific critic Bloom (Shakespeare, 1998, etc.) has courted controversy in the last few years with his denunciations of the politically correct “School of Resentment” that now dominates most universities—and he has not been discreet in his attacks on many of the writers (such as Toni Morrison) that this school holds in highest esteem. Here, he carries his arguments to an even more fundamental level, demanding that we consider what the point and purpose of literature can be in an age where information has gone far beyond the verbal forms in which literature subsides. “Information is endlessly available to us,” he points out, “where shall wisdom be found?” Naturally, Bloom finds it in the great writers of the Western tradition, and he proceeds to tell us just how great they (i.e., Hemingway, Shakespeare, Faulkner, Austen, Dickens, Chekhov, Cervantes, etc.) are—and why. As with most of Bloom’s more recent works, the great controversy here is not what he says, but whom he chooses to say it about, and the many debates that he will set off are likely not to get past his table of contents. Which will be a pity, frankly, because Bloom’s insights into just about anything can be worth all of his postures.

A molehill of old lectures—some of them brilliant, all of them at least worth skimming through—that will probably get made into a mountain of academic politics.

Pub Date: June 5, 2000

ISBN: 0-684-85906-8

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2000

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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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