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Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012

The Fourth Dimension of a Poesm and Other Essays (W.W. Norton), by M.H. Abrams

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Cornell University’s M.H. Abrams has taught several generations how to read with care and insight. He turned 100 this year, as one-time pupil Harold Bloom observes in his forward, and remains active. In his latest collection of lectures and essays, he seeks to restore the physicality of poetry, which should be enunciated, not merely read, for full appreciation; and deconstructs the structuralists and their descendants, attacking late 20th century cultural theorists for their fundamental lack of humanity and joy. It’s no good to live entirely in the head, in a spectral world of abstraction, or to construct totalitarian theories of everything. Abrams is a wise guide to the complexity and ambiguity of literature and life.