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Posts Tagged ‘Rupert Brooke’

Is It Sincere? Is It Genuine? and Other News

April 24, 2015 | by


M. H. Abrams.

  • M. H. Abrams, whose Norton Anthologies have united the bookshelves of English majors across time and space, is dead at 102. His seminal work, The Mirror and the Lamp (1953), was that rare thing, a work of criticism that permeated the culture and changed the way we read; it resuscitated the reputation of the British Romantics and launched a new school of thought. “The first test any poem must pass,” Abrams wrote, “is no longer, ‘is it true to nature?’ but a criterion looking in a different direction; namely, ‘Is it sincere? Is it genuine?’ ”
  • Maureen Freely, Orhan Pamuk’s longtime English translator, has come to see Istanbul through his eyes: “The Istanbul of my own childhood had vanished. I was left, instead, with men streaming down badly paved streets in shabby suits and covered women waiting on the roadside for the bus that never arrived; with collapsing Ottoman palaces, and fountains that had ceased working two centuries ago, and mosques whose lead domes were being plundered piece by piece.”
  • Rupert Brooke, who died in 1915 of a mosquito bite, was once of Britain’s most beloved poets—devastatingly handsome, wealthy, and deeply patriotic, he was an ideal poster child for all things English. But today his sonnets on World War I make him look like a “posh idiot nationalist”: “As with the work of many writers whose worlds have so thoroughly vanished and whose lives have sunk into myth, it can be hard to grasp the humor and the lightness in Brooke’s writing.”
  • Philip Glass has written a memoir. The composer Philip Glass has written a memoir. Philip Glass has written a memoir. It begins in Baltimore. The composer Philip Glass has written a memoir. It begins in Baltimore. The American composer Philip Glass, known for his use of repetition and incremental variation, has written a memoir.”
  • When the scatological meets the diabolical: a history of poop as a weapon. (Oh, like you’ve never tried to kill anyone with it.)

What We’re Loving: Secretariat, Vonnegut, Law

November 16, 2012 | by

To my own amazement I have been reading a handbook entitled The Trial Lawyer: What It Takes To Win, by one David Berg, Esquire. For a manual published by the American Bar Association, The Trial Lawyer is extremely entertaining. (Berg on cross-examination: “If you are funny, be funny. If you are smart, be smart. If you are neither, consider the judiciary.”) My favorite chapter title is “Voir Diring for Dollars.” Even though you may expect never to conduct a voir dire, or depose a witness, or file a motion, Berg tells you how to do these things in such plain English that you feel you could, if the need arose. He even makes it sound like fun. I just wish the ABA had provided a brown paper wrapper... —Lorin Stein

With Armistice Day remembered this week, I’ve been rereading one of my favorite war poets: Rupert Brooke. That said, while he is now best known for his World War I sonnets, I prefer his earlier writing, which reveals a more cynical, vitriolic writer.Read More »