This is as distinguished and richly rewarding a book of criticism as has appeared in America in many years. Trilling here takes his place among the all too few critics who have anything real to say: that is, they know their material, they know what the values of literature really are, and what a warm discussion of these values can be. In this book, Trilling has chosen nine different writers, among them Wordsworth, Keats, Howells, Flaubert, Henry James and Jane Austen- widely disparate figures. But he has given his book unity by not discussing them individually, but in relation to one problem, the development of the self. And to this concept, so pertinent at this time, he brings illumination and insight. The essay on Keats is perhaps the finest, and Keats himself states the theme for Trilling in a letter written not long before his death to his brother: "Call the world if you please 'The Vale of Soul Making'... I say Soul Making; Soul as distinguished from an Intelligence. There may be intelligences or sparks of divinity in millions- but they are not Souls till they acquire identities, till each one is personally itself." And in this drama of "Soul Making", Keats sees circumstances as the flint against which the heart must prove itself... It is this theme which Trilling weaves with skill and great sensibility into each of these nine essays and gives this its value in the realm of belles lettres.

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 1955

ISBN: 0156700654

Page Count: 204

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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



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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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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