In this richly diverse collection of essays, Joseph Brodsky casts a reflective eye on his experiences of early life in Russia and exile in America. With dazzling erudition, he explores subjects as varied as the dynamic of poetry, the nature of history and the plight of the emigre writer. There is also the humorous tale of a disastrous trip to ...Read MoreIn this richly diverse collection of essays, Joseph Brodsky casts a reflective eye on his experiences of early life in Russia and exile in America. With dazzling erudition, he explores subjects as varied as the dynamic of poetry, the nature of history and the plight of the emigre writer. There is also the humorous tale of a disastrous trip to Brazil, advice to students, a homage to Marcus Aurelius and studies of Robert Frost, Thomas Hardy, Horace and others. The second volume of essays following "Less Than One", this collection includes Brodsky's 1987 Nobel Lecture, 'Uncommon Visage'.Read Less
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New York. 1995. Farrar Straus Giroux. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. 0374234159. 484 pages. hardcover. keywords: Essays Literary Criticism Russia Poetry Literature. inventory # 22142. FROM THE PUBLISHER-ON GRIEF AND REASON is the second volume of Joseph Brodsky's essays, and the first to be published since he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987. In addition to his Nobel lecture, the volume includes essays on the condition of exile, the nature of history, the art of reading, and the idea of the poet as an inveterate Don Giovanni, as well as a homage to Marcus Aurelius and an appraisal of the case of the double agent Kim Philby (the last two were selected for inclusion in the annual Best American Essays volume). The title essay is a consideration of the poetry of Robert Frost, and the book also includes a fond appreciation of Thomas Hardy, a ‘Letter to Horace, ' a close reading of Rilke's poem ‘Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes, ' and a memoir of Stephen Spender. Among the other essays are Mr. Brodsky's open letter to Czech President Vaclav Havel and his ‘immodest proposal' for the future of poetry, an address he delivered while serving as U.S. Poet Laureate. In his Nobel lecture, Mr. Brodsky declared that ‘verse really does, in Akhmatova's words, grow from rubbish; the roots of prose are no more honorable'-but his own prose's flowering in these essays gives us thought and language at their noblest..
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