The “game” that McGann refers to is art, which can never fully fulfill its mission or be rendered perfectly in its...

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DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI AND THE GAME THAT MUST BE LOST

McGann (Media/Univ. of Virginia) examines the poetry and paintings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti in an effort to determine why the artist’s stature, so high between 1850 and 1910, fell dramatically with the rise of Modernism.

McGann cautions that “[i]t is perhaps a bad idea to try elucidating Rossetti’s work with the blunt instrument of critical prose,” but with that dull tool McGann manages to create a precise portrait of Rossetti and his contributions to the cultural milieu of Victorian England. Praising Rossetti for his aesthetic tastes and his confidence in his artistic judgment, McGann sketches a portrait of this artist who dominated the worlds of both art and letters: Rossetti’s poems and paintings are analyzed side by side in order to illustrate the interconnection of word and image. As a member of the pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Rossetti desired a return to the direct and unmediated depiction of nature, as evidenced in Italian painting prior to the High Renaissance and the literary work of Dante. Beyond his work as a painter and poet, McGann describes how Rossetti was concerned with the form of art: textual materiality and graphic design provided impetus for much of his innovation. Modernists rebelled against Rossetti since he represented the height of Victorian art, but McGann uncovers overlaps between Modernism and Rossetti suggesting that Modern tenets of art were present in Rossetti’s work. Although not a biographer, the author includes moments from Rossetti’s life that illuminate his ouevre (such as when he buries a manuscript of poetry with his dead wife but then later digs it up to revise his words).

The “game” that McGann refers to is art, which can never fully fulfill its mission or be rendered perfectly in its execution. Nonetheless, if both Rossetti and McGann must eventually lose their game, their efforts are stronger than most.

Pub Date: June 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-300-08023-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 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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