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Titel: What Is What Was
Autor/en: Richard Stern
Autor/en: Richard Stern
UNIV OF CHICAGO PR
Oktober 2002 - kartoniert - 328 Seiten
"What Is What Was," Richard Stern's fifth "orderly miscellany," is the first to meaningfully combine his fiction and nonfiction. Stories, such as the already well-known "My Ex, the Moral Philosopher," appear among portraits (of the sort Hugh Kenner praised as "almost the invention of a new genre"): Auden, Pound, Ellison, Terkel, W. C. Fields, Bertrand Russell, Walter Benjamin (in both essay and story), Jung and Freud, Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger. In the book's seven sections are analyses of the Wimbledon tennis tournament as an Anglification machine, of Silicon Valley at its shaky peak, of James and Dante as travel writers, a Lucretian look at today's cosmology, American fiction in detail and depth, a "thought experiment" for Clarence Thomas, a salvation scheme for Ross Perot, a semi-confession of the writer. The book contains but isn't philosophy, criticism, opinion, reportage, or autobiography (although the author says it is as much of this as he plans to write). There is a recurrent theme, the ways in which actuality is made and remade in description, argument and narration, fictional and nonfictional, but above all, "What Is What Was" is a provocative entertainment by a writer who, as Philip Roth once said, "knows as much as anyone writing American prose about family mischief, intellectual shenanigans, love blunders--and about writing American prose."
Richard Stern is the Helen A. Regenstein Emeritus Professor of English and of the Humanities at the University of Chicago and the author of nineteen works of fiction and nonfiction. His novels include A Father's Words and Golk, both published by the University of Chicago Press, and, most recently, Pacific Tremors.
"Stern's skill gives vitality to everything he treats." - Edmund White, Los Angeles Times "Stern is incapable of writing an unconsidered, lazy, or hackneyed line." - Peter Straub, New Statesman "His control is extraordinary, his fastball is devastating, nobody walks, nobody steals a base." - Saul Bellow "Stern is a fine novelist and more than a little bit of the classical model of the American crackpot. In his essays he is doing all kinds of interesting things, often most seriously when he is most off the wall. And best of all, he knows what he's doing, and if you will listen, he will tell you, too.... You would be right to read him as you read Montaigne." - George Garrett, Sewanee Review
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