By Louis MacNeice
Written among August and December 1938, Autumn Journal continues to be one of the main useful and relocating testaments of dwelling throughout the thirties via a tender writer.
It is a checklist of the author's emotional and highbrow event in the course of these months, the minutiae of daily residing set opposed to the occasions of the realm outdoor, the payment in Munich and gradual defeat in Spain.
[Reprint from a booklet first released in 1939.]
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I read it all the time, in the tub, on the tube; I always had about me my Edmund Wilson — or my William Empson. I took it seriously. We all did. We hung around the place talking about literary criticism. K. Wimsatt and G. Wilson Knight, about Richard Hoggart and Northrop Frye, about Richard Poirier, Tony Tanner and George Steiner. It might have been in such a locale that my friend and colleague Clive James first formulated his view that, while literary criticism is not essential to literature, both are essential to civilization.
At St Louis, Missouri, I feared that Robert Bly's daughter (who is on the faculty) might be in the audience. She wasn't there. Robert Bly's daughter wasn't there at Harvard, either. But Robert Bly was. At the close of the talk I invited his rebuttal. Standing tall, Bly asked me why I was so frightened of male grandeur. ] London Review of Books December 1991 I Am in Blood Stepp'd in So Far Hollywood vs. America by Michael Medved In the cinema, if not elsewhere, violence started getting violent in 1966.
The violent know this. Essentially they are taking you to where they feel at home. You are leaving your place and going over to their place. Screen violence, we might notice, has close affinities with the weapons business, and, to borrow an ageing phrase from the nuclear-arms community, is often technology-led. Bullitt (1968) is justly remembered for its car chase, which, astonishingly, remains unsurpassed, despite bigger budgets, bigger engines, and the existence of furiously literal-minded actors willing to spend years of their lives bonding with racing drivers and crash dummies.