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A Travelling Man: Eighteenth Century Bearings
RRP: GBP 14.95
You Save: GBP 1.50
Price: GBP 13.45
Out of Print
ISBN: 978 1 857546 34 7
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Published: May 2003
215 x 135 x 21 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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Edited with an introduction by Doreen Davie
Donald Davie was a great critic of the eighteenth century, its literature, its religion and politics, its culture in the broadest sense, because he took his creative bearings from it. This is what makes him such an unusual poet; and this is why, when he writes about Berkeley, or Swift, or Goldsmith, Smart, Cowper, Doctor Johnson, the Augustan Lyric, the hymn writers, the Dissenters, diction and irony, he holds our attention the way a great teacher (which he was) can do. For him the act of critical engagement is a challenge to all the vigours of the mind and spirit, and he makes accessible areas of our culture which Romanticism and lazy reading have fenced off as dull, closed areas. The fact is that Romanticism draws its energies not only from reaction against the eighteenth century, but also from a deep engagement with it. Many of his earliest essays, especially those written in Dublin, the city of Berkeley, Goldsmith and Swift, were rooted in the eighteenth century and its abiding gifts.
Praise for Donald Davie 'He has drawn a map of modernism, starting with Hardy and Pound, that remains one of the definitive outlines of twentieth-century experiment in form and language. The mapmaker, in this case,is a notable locus on the map.'
Helen Vendler `These poems thrive on the restless energy that drives their author on from form to form and place to place. Few poets are more likely than Davie to persuade new readers that poetry can still be a matter of concern and pleasure.'
Martin Dodsworth, The Guardian 'In his criticism, he has drawn a map of modernism, starting with Hardy and Pound, that remains one of the definitive outlines of twentieth-century experiment in form and language.'
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