Guide Ordering the African Imagination: essays on culture and literature

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The book then examines both the oral and the rhythmic aspects of modern African poetry. Having established the defining characteristics of modern African poetry, Ojaide takes on the history of the art form.

The book then goes on to highlight African women's poetry and compare African-American poetry with modern African poetry. After the author — himself a poet — talks about his background and generation, the collection concludes with "Poetic Imagination in Black Africa.

Essays in Honour of Adrian Hastings

Even Davenport concedes: "I am not able here to give any notion of the wideness of these last Maximus poems-the horizon they survey is vast-nor of their depth, which goes back into various histories the Hittite, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, paleolithic in new and bright ways Olson's eyes were open to everything and very little got by him. Nor can I adequately represent their religious concern. A movement is closed by them, a movement that began with Thoreau and Whitman, when America was opening out and possibilities were there to be stumbled over or embraced.

Olson is the other term of this movement. He is our anti-Whitman like Melville before him. He is a prophet crying bad weather ahead, and has the instruments to prove it. Brown's critical studies on him. The Noise of Time is a spiritual inventory of the mode of life swept away by the Revolution-men condemned to stations on the moon might write such books about life on the earth: a book that would teach us that the usual and the routine look like miracles once you have lost them forever.

Mandelstam wrote anywhere and everywhere. We can scarcely begin to realize his world in which the pencil stub and the three pieces of paper YOU have is all the pencil and all the paper you are ever going to have.

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Ordering the African imagination

He composed in his head, dictated to his wife, or wrote on a chair seat while kneeling. Some poems like the offending Stalin lyric were not written down at all. Faustus is a rich composite, an allegory of the German spirit, but we still have to account for descriptions of imaginary music corresponding so eerily to the Fourth Symphony Ives'. Hearsay is a powerful instigation to the creative mind.

Finding : A very personal essay on Davenport's childhood excursions with his family down in the south- pretty much like Kohler's sunday outings. The childhood foraging of "Indian arrowheads" leading to the literary foraging of adult years. This book is truly a reader's delight—leading them on to more books, more art, more philosophy. Isn't that what the best of books do?

The scope of literature

A keeper surely! Recommended for those who love posting long daily updates. There are so many references to art works that their updates space will look quite colourful with all those pics.


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Which reminds me I got more quotes to share! But nah, go read the book. I enjoy being retired. I had taught, I think, as long as anyone should. The high schools are evidently teaching nothing. I was getting students who had read nothing, knew nothing, and thought the university existed for the sake of the Kentucky Wildcats. It would not be appreciably different. View all 16 comments. Jan 23, Andrew added it Shelves: essays , literary-studies.

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Jesus, this guy is smart. Like the sort of terrifying, broad-ranging intelligence that makes you just sit there in awe. He just rattles off a constellation of references and evidence, each one linking up to the next in a totally unexpected way. He's especially enamored of homegrown and largely self-educated American oddballs the above three standing out as remarkable examples, along with Pound, Whitman, Melville, etc. View 2 comments. I don't know whether it would have been inspiring or overwhelming to have attended Guy Davenport's classes at the University of Kentucky.

I imagine it might have been a bit of both of those worlds. Luckily, his books exist and one can pick, choose, and read at one's own leisure without being overwhelmed. Feb 02, Josh rated it it was amazing. Best American essayist of the last 50 years.

Ordering the african imagination essays on culture and literature

View 1 comment. Dec 24, David R. Godine rated it it was amazing. You stand in awe before his knowledge of the archaic and his knowledge of the modern. Even more, you stand in awe of the connections he can make between the archaic and the modern; he makes the remote familiar and the familiar fundamental.


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By preference, he likes to walk the reader through a painting or a poem, teasing out the "There is no way to prepare yourself for reading Guy Davenport. By preference, he likes to walk the reader through a painting or a poem, teasing out the meaning of odd details, making connections with history and other works of art. His must-have essay collections, The Geography of the Imagination and Every Force Evolves a Form , display his range: With a rainwater clarity, he can write about the naturalist Louis Agassiz or ancient poetry and thought He can account for the importance of prehistoric cave art to early modernism or outline the achievements of Joyce and Pound.

He can make you yearn to read or look again at neglected masters like the poets Charles Olsen and Louis Zukofsky and the painters Balthus and Charles Burchfield. He can send you out eagerly searching for C. In all this, his method is nothing other than the deep attentiveness engendered by love: that and a firm faith in simply knowing things. He conveys, to adopt his own words about painter Paul Cadmus, 'a perfect balance of spirit and information.

Jan 06, Graychin rated it really liked it. I consider Geography of the Imagination one of the treasures of my home library. Nov 25, Alexander rated it it was amazing. Reading these essays is like getting a short master class in each topic, while being in the presence of an extraordinary prose style. Sentence for sentence, Davenport is one of the most incredible writers we've produced. This book of essays of his is essential, I think, if you're at all interested in him. I wish every English teacher read this book and shared the insights with their students -- hopefully with shades of enthusiasm and passion like Guy Davenport.

The African Imagination: Literature in Africa and the Black Diaspora

This is the sort of book that celebrates humanism and leaves the reader breathless, as if having attended a reception where everybody who was anybody from Homer and all his characters to Wittgenstein and beyond has been present and asked you some probing question. I love the chapters that deal with translation, and appreciate all the insigh I wish every English teacher read this book and shared the insights with their students -- hopefully with shades of enthusiasm and passion like Guy Davenport.

I love the chapters that deal with translation, and appreciate all the insights to so many of my favorite authors, which heretofore, were simply favorites without too much knowledge of anecdotes about them, or the tongue of Davenport to bring them alive. Feb 28, Mark rated it it was amazing. One of only a few books I can say for certain changed my life. Too bad a wort One of only a few books I can say for certain changed my life. Too bad a worthless shitbird like Bruce Bawer is his biggest cheerleader right now Jun 10, Cole rated it it was amazing Shelves: bury-me-with-these-books-in-my-arms , usa , favorites , sing-o-muse , indescribable , philosophy , essay-collections , books-abt-reading-and-writing , davenport.