By Michael Hofmann
An event with a roving genius of literary criticism
Michael Hofmann—poet, translator, and highbrow vagabond—has tested himself as one of many keenest critics of up to date literature. competently nestled among the covers of the place have you ever Been?, he deals a hand to steer us and an encouraging whisper in our ear, top us on a visit via what to learn, tips on how to imagine, and why to love. And whereas those essays undergo sharp insights that would aid us revisit writers with a clean eye, also they are a narrative of affection among a reader and his valuable books.
within the thirty essays accrued the following, Hofmann brings his signature wit and sustained severe mastery to a poetic, penetrating, and candid dialogue of the writers and artists of the final hundred years. listed below are the fundamental poets with no which modern poetry will be unimaginable—Elizabeth Bishop, “the poets’ poets’ poet,” the “ghostly skill” of Robert Lowell, and the fellow he calls the best English poet on account that Shakespeare, Ted Hughes. yet he additionally illumines the depression of John Berryman and the antics of poetry’s bogeyman, Frederick Seidel.
In essays on artwork which are themselves artistic endeavors, Hofmann’s agile and tremendous brain explores a panoply of topics from the mastery of translation to the simplest day activity for a poet. What those diversified gemstones proportion are the critic’s insatiable interest and nice appeal. the place have you ever Been? is an unmissable trip with literature’s so much impossible to resist flaneur.
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Additional info for Where Have You Been?: Selected Essays
See the further discussion of this in "Perceptive Equilibrium," this volume; also "Therapeutic Arguments" (see n. 26). And see Diamond, "Having a Rough Story" (see n. 40). 42. See "Therapeutic Arguments" (see n. 26). Torm and Content, Philosophy and Literature 25 total detachment is not) we need to be alert to those aspects of a procedure that might bias it unduly in one direction or another, and to commit ourselves to the serious investigation of alternative positions. Here both life and the history of philosophy combine to help us.
It owed much, as well—and one can hardly overestimate this—to the long-standing fascination of Western philosophers with the methods and the style of natural science, which have at many times in history seemed to embody the only sort of rigor and precision worth cultivating, the only norm of rationality worth emulating, even in the ethical sphere. That issue is as old as the debate between Plato and Aristotle over the nature of ethical knowledge. And it is certainly possible to make a substantial argument that the true nature of the ethical domain is such that it can best be conveyed in the style we usually associate with mathematics or natural science.
An idea of these concepts can be gained by sketching a sequence of relations, the members of which we take as relevant in deciding whether or not some relationship between persons A and B is one of love. These are not relevant in the sense of being evidence for some further relation Move' but as being, in part at least the material of which love consists. The sequence would include at least the following: (1) A knows B (or at least knows something of B) (2) A cares (is concerned) about B A likes B (3) A respects B A is attracted to B A feels affection for B (4) A is committed to B A wishes to see B's welfare promoted The connection between these relations which we will call 'love-comprising relations' or 'LCRs' is not, except for 'knowing about' and possibly 'Feels affection for' as tight as strict entailment.