Seamus Heaney (Modern Masters)

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9780006388845: Seamus Heaney (Modern Masters)
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A dazzling short assessment of the life and work of the poet and winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize for literature, by one of the finest literary critics now writing.

In awarding the Nobel Prize for Literature to Seamus Heaney in 1995, the committee recognized a lifetime of beautiful and profound writing, beloved by readers around the world.

Among Heaney’s many published collections are Death of a Naturalist, North, Field Work, Rattle Bag, Station Island and, most recently, the bestselling Spirit Level (May 1996). Yet despite his popularity, Heaney’s poetry can be difficult and intractable, not least because it is linked to two rich literary traditions, the English and the Irish.

The time is ripe for a clear, explicatory work that relates the poet to his work. Helen Vendler’s beautifully written book will do precisely this.


Seamus Heaney has dealt unflinchingly with the relationship between the personal and political, the aesthetic and the ethical, over four decades, in work firmly rooted in both the English and Irish literary traditions: his 1995 Nobel Prize fitting recognition of his poetic family farm in Derry. His first collection of poems, 'Death of a Naturalist' (1966), drew heavily upon this rural background for its earthy imagery. But as Northern Ireland descended into violence after 1968, into “a quarter century of life waste and spirit waste”, Heaney was forced to become a poet of public as well as private life, a role whose pressures are reflected in the darkness of works such as the 'North' and 'Station Island'. Helen Vendler traces his development as a poet from 1966 onwards, pausing to look closely at individual poems and at Heaney’s political and literary heritage. An acclaimed poetry critic, Vendler brings to the reader a sense of Heaney’s struggle to be both socially responsible and creatively free, while explaining “as much to myself as to others the power of his extraordinary poetry.”

“Vendler’s 'Heaney' serves as a wonderfully succint road map to the poet’s verse, illuminating the effect that both private and public events have had on the development of his work, while explicating the continual evolution of his style. She shows us how Heaney has pushed the boundaries of the traditional lyric poem in his efforts to articulate his changing vision of the world, even as she helps us to understand his masterly use of sound, symbol, imagery and parable.”

“A compact study that traces the full arc of Heaney’s career with lurid efficiency ... close readings emphasise the literary ancestry of individual poems.”
EDWARD MENDLESON, 'New York Times Book Review'

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Helen Vendler
Publicado por FONTANA PRESS (1999)
ISBN 10: 0006388841 ISBN 13: 9780006388845
Nuevo Tapa blanda Cantidad disponible: 1
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, Estados Unidos de America)

Descripción FONTANA PRESS, 1999. Condición: New. book. Nº de ref. del artículo: M0006388841

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