Close
Close

Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 34 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

Subjects

7 April 1994
Poetry and Pragmatism 
by Richard Poirier.
Faber, 228 pp., £20, November 1992, 0 571 16617 2
Show More
Show More
... RichardPoirier, now in his middle sixties, seems to me perhaps the most eminent of our living literary critics, at least in the United States. He has a central position in contemporary American letters, as the ...

Incandescences

Richard Poirier

20 December 1979
The Powers that Be 
by David Halberstam.
Chatto, 771 pp., £9.95
Show More
Show More
... This book, by a man who at 35 was already called ‘a legend in American journalism’, is a lengthy and anecdotal analysis of the transactions between political power in the United States during the last fifty years and the power of the mass media. The latter are exemplified for Halberstam by four conglomerates of the American communications industry, each more or less in the control of a single family ...

Diary

Frank Kermode: American Books

1 April 1983
... texts that might stand not so much on library shelves as on those of the ordinary educated reader. After many vicissitudes the Library of America was launched, under the direction of Daniel Aaron, RichardPoirier and Jason Epstein, who had worked with Wilson on the original abortive project. These people and their associates raised $600,000 from the Ford Foundation and then $1.2 million from the ...
3 March 1988
The Renewal of Literature: Emersonian Reflections 
by Richard Poirier.
Faber, 256 pp., £14.95, March 1988, 0 571 15013 6
Show More
Show More
... which half? And that stumbling-block he never got over.’ What to believe, Mr Boffin’s chief difficulty in Our Mutual Friend, is also likely to be the chief difficulty facing the reader of RichardPoirier’s ambitious and eloquent plea for the ‘renewal’ of literature and criticism through a better understanding of Emerson. Believing all may involve something close to a conversion ...
17 July 1980
Imagining America 
by Peter Conrad.
Routledge, 319 pp., £7.50, May 1980, 0 7100 0370 6
Show More
Show More
... When the Redcoats first encountered the Colonial revolutionaries they were quite unexpectedly beaten, and according to an anecdote in Harold Rosenberg’s The Tradition of the New, they were beaten because they were the best-trained infantry in Europe. They had been so well trained that when they looked at the rough American terrain on which their opponents had chosen to meet them, they could not see ...

Seventeen Million Words

Richard Poirier

7 November 1985
The Inman Diary: A Public and Private Confession 
edited by Daniel Aaron.
Harvard, 1661 pp., £35.95, March 1986, 0 674 45445 6
Show More
Show More
... On 5 December 1963, the day Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, a man in Boston named Arthur Inman, having made several earlier attempts on his own life, managed to put a bullet through his head. A variety of chronic ailments and complaints had made him an invalid for nearly all of his 68 years, and except for brief excursions in his ancient chauffeur-driven Cadillac, he had since 1919 confined ...

In Praise of Vagueness

Richard Poirier

14 December 1995
Henry James and the Art of Non-Fiction 
by Tony Tanner.
Georgia, 92 pp., £20.50, May 1995, 9780820316895
Show More
Show More
... evinces a desire to create realities then and there, on the spot. Nietzsche, an intense reader of Emerson, more or less proposes this connection between poetry and pragmatism, but it was left to Richard Rorty to argue for it in a passionate and sustained manner, as he does in essays printed in these pages in 1986 and, somewhat revised, in his Contingency, Irony and Solidarity. The style of ...

American Manscapes

Richard Poirier

12 October 1989
Manhood and the American Renaissance 
by David Leverenz.
Cornell, 372 pp., $35.75, April 1989, 0 8014 2281 7
Show More
Show More
... by his supposed inability to mourn his father’s death, and this gets transfigured into the monomanaical vengefulness, the compulsive penis envy, and the desire to be whipped, of Captain Ahab. Only Richard Henry Dana in Two Years Before the Mast and, in The Oregon Trail, Francis Parkman, whose homosexual proclivities deserve more attention here, come forward as relatively standard cases of the urge to ...

How far shall I take this character?

Richard Poirier: The Corruption of Literary Biography

2 November 2000
Bellow: A Biography 
by James Atlas.
Faber, 686 pp., £25, November 2000, 0 571 14356 3
Show More
Show More
... on at Partisan Review (where I had become an editor) with William Phillips and Rahv. After my review appeared, however, he seems automatically to have assumed that I was Jewish, even with a name like Poirier, and that I must also be Ivy League and still at Harvard. Having, as an academic critic, joined his list of enemies, mustn’t I belong to the same category as the perfidious Trilling and Levin, even ...

All My Truth

Richard Poirier: Henry James Memoirs

25 April 2002
A Small Boy and Others: Memoirs 
by Henry James.
Gibson Square, 217 pp., £9.99, August 2001, 1 903933 00 5
Show More
Show More
... Published in 1913, when Henry James was 70, A Small Boy and Others is the first of three late volumes that taken together have sometimes been called the ‘autobiography’ of Henry James. The focus of A Small Boy is on the years of his infancy and boyhood up to the age of 15, and it was soon followed by the publication in 1914 of Notes of a Son and Brother, which takes him to the age of 27. That book ...

Copying the coyote

Richard Poirier

18 October 1984
The Principles of Psychology 
by William James, introduced by George Miller.
Harvard, 1302 pp., £14.95, December 1983, 0 674 70625 0
Show More
A Stroll with William James 
by Jacques Barzun.
Chicago, 344 pp., £16, October 1983, 0 226 03865 3
Show More
Becoming William James 
by Howard Feinstein.
Cornell, 377 pp., $24.95, May 1984, 0 8014 1617 5
Show More
Essays in Psychology 
by William James, edited by Frederick Burkhardt and Fredson Bowers.
Harvard, 467 pp., £32, April 1984, 0 674 26714 1
Show More
Show More
... When, in the summer of 1898, at the age of 56, William James went to Berkeley, California to deliver a series of lectures on pragmatism, he could have used his own life to illustrate the immensely difficult but successful application of one of its tenets: that truth is best seen as ‘what it is better for us to believe’, not as ‘as an accurate representation of reality’, and that what is better ...

Humans

Richard Poirier

24 January 1985
Slow Learner 
by Thomas Pynchon.
Cape, 204 pp., £8.50, January 1985, 0 224 02283 0
Show More
Show More
... With V. (1963), The Crying of Lot 49 (1966) and Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) to his credit so far, Thomas Pynchon, American of no known address, is possibly the most accomplished writer of prose in English since James Joyce. This is not to say that he is also the best novelist, whatever that would mean, but that sentence by sentence he can do more than any novelist of this century with the resources ...

America Deserta

Richard Poirier

16 February 1989
America 
by Jean Baudrillard, translated by Chris Turner.
Verso, 129 pp., £12.95, November 1988, 0 86091 220 5
Show More
America Observed: The Newspaper Years of Alistair Cooke 
by Ronald Wells.
Reinhardt, 233 pp., £12.95, November 1988, 1 871061 09 1
Show More
American Journals 
by Albert Camus, translated by Hugh Levick.
Hamish Hamilton, 155 pp., £11.95, February 1989, 0 241 12621 5
Show More
Show More
... I think, therefore I am’ was not supposed by Descartes to apply only to those for whom thinking is a line of work. That would appear to be the operating assumption, however, of the celebrated French sociologist-philosopher Jean Baudrillard in America, the latest of his works translated into English. At first the reader might wonder why a prose as dense as his should be made more so by having it ...

In Praise of Mess

Richard Poirier: Walt Whitman

4 June 1998
With Walt Whitman in Camden. Vol. VIII: 11 February 1891-30 September 1891 
by Horace Traubel, edited by Jeanne Chapman and Robert MacIsaac.
Bentley, 624 pp., $99.50, November 1996, 0 9653415 8 5
Show More
With Walt Whitman in Camden. Vol. IX: 11 February 1891-30 September 1891 
by Horace Traubel, edited by Jeanne Chapman and Robert MacIsaac.
Bentley, 624 pp., £99.50, November 1996, 0 9653415 9 3
Show More
Show More
... asks that his great book be accorded the same reverence, the same deference that he wants shown to this immortal ‘me’. Discussing a study of 1883 entitled Walt Whitman and written by his friend Richard Bucke, he insists to Traubel that his endorsement of the book was never meant to extend to its interpretations: as to his explication – no, no, no – that I do not accept – for Leaves of Grass ...

On Douglas Crase

Matthew Bevis

25 November 2019
... The most interesting book of first poems in many years’, Richard Howard proclaimed in 1981. James Merrill, John Hollander and John Ashbery spoke in similarly emphatic terms, while Anthony Hecht saluted an ‘extraordinarily fine’ debut and Harold Bloom hailed ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences