The Art of Language: Selected Essays (Paperback)
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Literary Nonfiction. Edited with an introduction by Jenny Penberthy, and an afterword by August Kleinzahler. This volume gathers twenty-four essays by the English critic Kenneth Cox (1916-2005) on various writers, including James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Basil Bunting, Louis Zukofsky, and Lorine Niedecker. In each case, Cox's exposition proves rigorous, idiosyncratic, drily passionate, and full of keen insights. Always, he proceeds with an emphasis on literature as the art of language. Thom Gunn declared, I have learned more from Kenneth Cox's essays than from any other living critic of twentieth-century poetry. He writes with masterly directness about the masters of indirection, and his summarizing power rivals that of Samuel Johnson.