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by Adam Kirsch

eBook Why Trilling Matters (Why X Matters Series) download ISBN: 0300152698
Author: Adam Kirsch
Publisher: Yale University Press; 1st edition (October 25, 2011)
Language: English
Pages: 208
ePub: 1642 kb
Fb2: 1515 kb
Rating: 4.3
Other formats: txt lit mbr rtf
Category: Literature
Subcategory: History and Criticism

In Why Trilling Matters, Kirsch has turned his considerable gifts to the mind he most resembles in comprehensive literary and cultural understanding.

In Why Trilling Matters, Kirsch has turned his considerable gifts to the mind he most resembles in comprehensive literary and cultural understanding. Lionel Trilling, like Adam Kirsch himself, illustrates that reading deeply and wisely is not a credential for critics only, but everyone’s last best hope of being better. -William Giraldi, The Daily Beast. William Giraldi The Daily Beast). Start reading Why Trilling Matters (Why X Matters Series) on your Kindle in under a minute.

Why Trilling Matters book. In this eloquent book, Adam Kirsch shows that Trilling, far from being obsolete, is essential to understanding our current crisis of literary confidence-and to overcoming it. By reading Trilling primarily as a writer and thinker, Kirsch demonstrates how Trilling’s original and moving work continues to provide an inspiring example of a mind creating itself through its encounters with texts.

Why Trilling Matters introduces all of Trilling’s major writings and situates him in the intellectual landscape of his century, from Communism in the 1930s to neoconservatism in the 1970s. But Kirsch goes deeper, addressing today’s concerns about the decline of literature, reading, and even the book itself, and finds that Trilling has more to teach us now than ever before.

Why Trilling Matters is not simply the best book yet written on Lionel Trilling. With Trilling's help, Kirsch transforms a backward glance into a forward step. Adam Kirsch's thoughtful and unusual little book. -Stefani Collini, New Statesman.

The Why X Matters book series by multiple authors includes books Why Arendt Matters (Why X Matters), Why Niebuhr Matters, Orwell's Victory, and several more.

Great deals on one book or all books in the series. The Why X Matters book series by multiple authors includes books Why Arendt Matters (Why X Matters), Why Niebuhr Matters, Orwell's Victory, and several more. Why Arendt Matters (Why X Matters). Elisabeth Young-Bruehl.

Why X Matters Series Why X Matters. By (author) Adam Kirsch. By reading Trilling primarily as a writer and thinker, Kirsch demonstrates how Trilling's original and moving work continues to provide an inspiring example of a mind creating itself through its encounters with texts. Why Trilling Matters introduces all of Trilling's major writings and situates him in the intellectual landscape of his century, from Communism in the 1930s to neoconservatism in the 1970s.

Why Trilling Matters Kirsch Adam Yale University Press 9780300152692 : Lionel Trilling, regarded at the time of. .

Why Trilling Matters Kirsch Adam Yale University Press 9780300152692 : Lionel Trilling, regarded at the time of his death in 1975 as Americas preeminent literary critic, is today often seen. By reading Trilling primarily as a writer and thinker, Kirsch demonstrates how Trillings original and moving work continues to provide an inspiring example of a mind creating itself through its encounters with texts.

In Why Trilling Matters, Kirsch has turned his considerable gifts to the mind he most resembles in comprehensive literary and cultural understanding

In Why Trilling Matters, Kirsch has turned his considerable gifts to the mind he most resembles in comprehensive literary and cultural understanding. When Lionel Trilling died in 1975, he was as prestigious and influential a critic as one can be. Jacques Barzun, Trilling’s friend and colleague at Columbia, noted that in the wake of Trilling’s death the chorus of recognition experienced scarcely a moment’s hush

So it proves in his small book about Lionel Trilling that fits neatly in the series "Why X Matters

Adam Kirsch is a poet, which makes it likely that his imagination will be at work when it comes to describing and assessing the merits of his subject. So it proves in his small book about Lionel Trilling that fits neatly in the series "Why X Matters.

Why Trilling Matters. Yale University Press, 2011. In this remarkable contribution to Yale University Press’s Why X Matters series, Adam Kirsch traces the growth of Trilling’s career in education and criticism, musing along the way on the titles of Trilling’s works as sign posts of his development

Lionel Trilling, regarded at the time of his death in 1975 as America’s preeminent literary critic, is today often seen as a relic of a vanished era. His was an age when literary criticism and ideas seemed to matter profoundly in the intellectual life of the country. In this eloquent book, Adam Kirsch shows that Trilling, far from being obsolete, is essential to understanding our current crisis of literary confidence—and to overcoming it.

By reading Trilling primarily as a writer and thinker, Kirsch demonstrates how Trilling’s original and moving work continues to provide an inspiring example of a mind creating itself through its encounters with texts. Why Trilling Matters introduces all of Trilling’s major writings and situates him in the intellectual landscape of his century, from Communism in the 1930s to neoconservatism in the 1970s. But Kirsch goes deeper, addressing today’s concerns about the decline of literature, reading, and even the book itself, and finds that Trilling has more to teach us now than ever before. As Kirsch writes, “Trilling’s essays are not exactly literary criticism” but, like all literature, “ends in themselves.”

Comments: (4)
Tekasa
Clearly those more qualified to speak about Trilling and literary criticism have already sufficiently endorsed this wonderful book. I just thought it was improper that there shouldn't be at least one customer review. We all owe a huge debt to Kirsch for being able to bring Prof Trilling to life for us as a human being, a teacher and an inspiration to so many others. Trilling was such a consummate professional that only someone like Kirsch could give us a glimpse of what he meant to the people who were privileged to work with and study under him. This is not just a book for the literary elite. It's for any reader of Trilling who's been awed by the challenge of understanding how he could penetrate so deeply into the mind of an author.
Kerahuginn
Reprocessed material. Never gives an answer to the title's question
Golden Lama
This is an excellent introduction to the criticism of Trilling; in fact, it's so perceptive that I'm sorry it isn't longer, because though Kirsch discusses Trilling's major essays, there are others which deserve his attention.

It's of great interest that Kirsch was a student in the 1990s, long after Trilling's death and in the period when his reputation was in eclipse with so-called "serious" readers. Why this happened is baffling, as Kirsch explains.

I wish Kirsch had devoted more time to Susan Sontag. I was a student when she began her career, and I well remember first reading an essay by her on Camus in NYRB.

Her interest in French fakirs like Barthes (who once described Sontag as "toujours fidele") and soi-disant savants like Adorno was a major factor in American readers wrong turn towards the wasteland of "critical theory". Ironically, in an interview she gave a number of years after her first fame, Sontag casually described THE PRINCESS CASAMASSIMA as a "great novel", and as Kirsch points out, Trilling's essay on this Jamesian masterpiece was the summa of THE LIBERAL IMAGINATION, arguably Trilling's best book. Unfortunately, Sontag never wrote about CASAMASSIMA, because I think it would be very instructive to compare her reading with Trilling's.

The simple argument against Sontag is that by asserting that finding pleasure in both Henry James and, say, the Beatles, an example of her absurd attempt to pit the "aesthetic" against the "moral", she equated the permanent and the ephemeral to no point.

Moreover, her love for empty generalities--the cliches she offered about photography and "reality", for example--and her indifference to styles that depart from "radical will" is testimony to her essential banal response to existence.

Her attack on Thomas Mann in the L.A. Times book review was the nadir of her career, in my opinion. She was one of the worst novelists ever (DEATH KIT is a disgrace) and her standing in judgment on a great literary artist for mostly personal reasons (basically, she saw him as a stuffed shirt, ergo infra dig) would be laughable if it weren't pathetic.

Sontag was once called the successor to Mary McCarthy. Why? McCarthy was a good novelist, a good essayist, a person whose opinions were worth hearing, if not worth following.

Trilling, of course, deserves to be studied by anyone who's interested in literature and "the bloody crossroads" where it meets with politics.
Rolorel
It's tempting to say that a book with the title "Why Trilling Matters" is likely to appeal to those to whom Trilling ALREADY matters, but leaving that aside (for there's nothing that Kirsch can do about that!), this is a fine, thought-provoking book that gets behind Trilling's professional, rather mandarin, facade (as exemplified by the canonical essays) to reveal a writer who is fully aware of the kinds of "instinctual renunciation" (Freud's phrase, cited by Trilling) that are involved in the creative process, as an artist works from anarchic energies into forms that bespeak the power of these energies even as they, to some extent, contain them. And Trilling is also aware that readers and critics, as they manipulate these creations into cultural objects, especially via the academic establishment, are to some extent domesticating forces that are anarchic and sometimes inimical to civilization and "culture." In other words, Kirsch puts Trilling in the tradition of Nietzsche and the Freud of "Civilization and its Discontents." Is he persuasive? I would say that he is -- by bringing to our attention some of Trilling's political commitments and literary journalism in the 1930's, his attraction to the violence in Babel's stories, and his conflicted dealings with his student Allen Ginsberg, Kirsch convinces us of this strain in Trilling's thinking -- a strain that makes him responsive to modernist writers whom he reads avidly but doesn't much write about. Trilling is in no doubt of the need for what I've called "domestication" of the energies that lie behind modernist art, but he also does not want his readers (or the responders to modernist art) to fail to be alive to the power of the energies thus manifested. The recognition and exercise of these energies are what make us "souls" (in Keats's sense, in his "Vale of Soul-Making" letter) or "selves." Kirsch is eloquent about, and sees Trilling as perspicuous about, the threat to the "self' or "soul" posed by a culture in which art becomes merely a matter of taste (or "erotics" in Sontag's phrase), and that is the culture that we live in and that Trilling foresaw as early as the early 1970's. Kirsch's final bringing together of late Sontag (in the 1990's) and late Trilling (20 years earlier) is a brilliant and sobering insight, and it makes clear why for him Trilling still matters. So, this book is well worth reading -- the fine critic Morris Dickstein is quoted on the back cover as calling this the best book on Trilling. He might be right -- but it's not as if there are ALL that many!