978-0-8093-1182-8 / 9780809311828

New & Selected Essays


Publisher:Southern Illinois University Press



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About the book:

OSRIC: My hair is falling out, and no one reads my poems. OSWALD: My liver is bad, and everyone reads my ads. In this opening dialogue between Osric (a poet) and Oswald (a copywriter) Nem­erov exhibits qualities that remain constant through these 26 new and selected essays: the ability to find the perfect wry phrase to show that the world is not quite as it should be and the courage to attack with wit and humor subjects that in others elicit a savage solemnity. None of this is to say, however, that Nemerov is frivolous. As are all the great writers and critics, he is a deeply seriousif nimblewit who confronts the basic is­sues of art in life, death, morality.


Thus in The Swaying Form: A Prob­lem in Poetry he can say, So the work of art is religious in nature, not because it beautifies an ugly world or pretends that a naughty world is a nice onefor these things especially art does not do but because it shows of its own nature that things drawn within the sacred circle of its forms are transfigured, illuminated by an inward radiance which amounts to goodness, because it amounts to being itself.

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