By Stefan Collini
In a sequence of penetrating and attractively readable essays, Stefan Collini explores facets of the literary and highbrow tradition of england from the early 20th century to the current. Common Writing focuses mainly on writers, critics, historians, and reporters who occupied wider public roles as cultural commentators or intellectuals, in addition to at the periodicals and different genres during which they tried to arrive such audiences. one of the figures mentioned are T.S. Eliot, Graham Greene, J.B. Priestley, C.S. Lewis, Kingsley Amis, Nikolaus Pevsner, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Christopher Hitchens, and Michael Ignatieff.
The essays discover the diversity of such figures' writings -- anything that may be ignored or forgotten after they are handled completely when it comes to their contribution to 1 verified or expert classification equivalent to "novelist" or "historian" -- whereas shooting their distinct writing voices and people oblique or implicit ways that they place or display themselves on the subject of particular readerships, disputes, and traditions. those essays have interaction with contemporary biographies, collections of letters, and new variants of vintage works, thereby making a few of the end result of modern scholarly examine on hand to a much broader viewers. Collini has been acclaimed as the most outstanding essayists of our time and this assortment exhibits him at his sophisticated, perceptive, and trenchant top. Common Writing will attract (and satisfaction) readers attracted to literature, heritage, and modern cultural debate.
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Additional info for Common writing : essays on literary culture and public debate
Lewis’s life has already been documented with unusual fullness. There are several biographies, scores of studies of his work, and a massive (almost 4,000page) edition of his letters, completed in 2006, not to mention the constantly autobiographical (or ostensibly autobiographical) and confessional nature of Lewis’s own writings. Yet, faced with his proliﬁc and disparate output, it is still not easy to put the pieces together or to arrive at a clear-eyed view of his achievements, and reading some of his work alongside McGrath’s biography (together with his companion volume of essays on various aspects of his subject’s thought) only increases one’s feeling that Lewis could be both impressive and irritating—at times a witty and powerful writer, but at times seeming to use surface depths to mask deeper shallows.
Or did he silently howl like a lone beast in a frozen forest, racked by the boundless immensity of his own solitude? 2 Modernists Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot I In the summer of 1908, a 23-year-old American who had recently been dismissed for ‘immorality’ half-way through his ﬁrst year of teaching at a small college in the Midwest found himself, like many other cultured or indigent Americans before and since, in Venice. He had brought with him little money, a soaring literary ambition, and the manuscript of a collection of his poems.
In his day heads of colleges could exercise largely unconstrained powers over undergraduate admissions, and Bowra’s hierarchy of preferences was said to be ‘clever boys, interesting boys, pretty boys—no shits’. When it came to university business, especially anything to do with elections and appointments, Bowra schemed and bullied mercilessly to get his own way: ‘integrity was an empty concept to him,’ recalled Berlin. Yet this cannot be the whole story for, as Mitchell reports, Bowra was a capable administrator and an admired, if intimidatingly brisk, chairman, qualities that earned him spells as Vice-Chancellor of Oxford and President of the British Academy.