TGS Authors Charles T. Anderson, Jr. In Illustrious Company : Essays on Literature

In Illustrious Company : Essays on Literature

In Illustrious Company : Essays on Literature
Catalog # SKU2311
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Charles T. Anderson, Jr.


In Illustrious Company

Essays on Literature

Charles T. Anderson, Jr.

I somehow have always disliked the terminology literary criticism, though most of what is contained in these essays would be classified as such. For most people the word criticism carries negative connotations, as in "The judges were very critical of the performance," or "Why should he be the subject of so much criticism?"



I would prefer that the contents here be regarded as essays in the truest sense, meaning "To try, to attempt to understand, and to measure the quality or nature of a literary work," which is a greater challenge than to be merely critical. It is a greater challenge because to truly determine the quality of a particular literary work, the reader must bring a comprehensive knowledge of literature in general to the project, and the greater the knowledge in general, the greater the understanding of a particular work. T.S. Eliot makes this distinction clear in his penetrating essay "Tradition and the Individual Talent."

I cannot honestly say that I have read every significant work of world literature, but I do believe that the range of my reading at this advanced stage of my life is such that it meets the qualifications "To attempt, to try" to make some meaningful insights into the subjects of these essays. As a matter of fact, it was not until I began writing this introduction that I realized the range of writing I had covered in them.

Chronologically, they begin with some of the earliest significant writing in western literature by focusing on Homer's Iliad and a translation of a portion of that great work by the 17th century neoclassical poet, Alexander Pope, and then they continue through to modern writers such as Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf e.e. cummings, John Steinbeck and Katherine Anne Porter . In between there are essays on works by John Donne, Matthew Arnold, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Marcel Proust, Wallace Stevens, John Keats, Geoffrey Chaucer, Ernest Hemingway, Euripides, E.M. Forster, and several essays on Shakespeare's plays and poetry.

He gets a little more attention since he is one of my favorite writers and is perhaps still the greatest writer in the English language.

It has been a long and wonderful journey to have traveled into worlds created by such an array of writers, to have seen the world through their writing, and then to come to a much better understanding of us mere mortals as we complete our travels. I will forever remember their words and can say I have been, before I "shuffled off this mortal coil," in illustrious company.

270 pages - 8¼ x 5¼ softcover

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