Lucchesi and the Whale - CL

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Dezember 2000



A midwestern college professor finds a rationale for a life lived with literture by embarking on a quest for the secret meaning of Melville's, MOBY DICK.


Frank Lentricchia is Katherine Everett Gilbert Professor of Literature at Duke University and author of such books as "After the New Criticism, Critical Terms for Literary Study, Introducing Don DeLillo, " and "Ariel and the Police. "He is also the author of a memoir, "The Edge of Night, "and several works of fiction, including the novels "Johnny Critelli, The Knifemen, " and "The Music of the Inferno."


"A festive series of literary and intellectual forays by the ever groundbreaking Frank Lentricchia. Through all the comings and goings, we sense the presence of a very agile authorial mind as it takes stock of itself."- R.W.B. Lewis "In Lucchesi and The Whale, with a daring that verges on recklessness, Frank Lentricchia closes the traditional gaps dividing critical practice from creative writing. One has encountered intertextuality before; this is something more adventurous: inter-genre. Only a great literary critic could pull off the fictional tricks on display here. The ambition of this remarkable work is summed up in one of the hero-narrator's Melvillean instructions: 'A word to my students: live like a no-holds-barred autobiography of yourself, hide nothing, so that you'll be free for serious writing.' This is very serious writing."- John Sutherland, University College London "A hybrid of literary comment and fictional creation, this latest from ... Lentricchia perfectly captures the voice of the critic agonistes: the once-detached scholar no longer hiding, or hiding behind, his judgements and values... Lentricchia proclaims his aesthetic autonomy in a work that crosses genres with alacrity. As fiction, it's bold and challenging; as criticism, it belongs right next to the unconventional Melville commentary of Charles Olsen and Paul Metcalf. In short--and it is short--this demanding book rewards those willing to take a chance."--Kirkus Reviews "By turns satiric and surreal, the novel addresses ethnicity in fantasies about opera and the Mafia."--Publishers Weekly "[A]cademic readers will be impressed and moved by [Lentricchia's] passionate conviction that language transcends its human bearers, and that, as Lucchesi concludes, 'the actual death of a man is incidental to his true life in culture and history.' "--Elaine Showalter, The Chronicle of Higher Education "Lucchesi and The Whale is a paradoxical text--an experimental hybrid of literary comment and fiction--that ridicules academic criticism at the same time that it is so dense with allusion, so elliptical, and so full of intertextuality, that it fairly begs to be deconstructed... Can we read [Lentricchia's] novel with unconditional love--the love of words, of literature--without resorting to disassembling his text to see how it works? ... Through his self-involved, isolated and loveless protagonist, the author cleverly conflates unconditional love as it applies to people with unconditional love as it applies to literature. If we cannot love literature without tearing it apart and putting it back together in a way that suits us, how can we love people without doing the same to them?"--Mark W. Hornburg, The Independent Weekly (Durham) "[Lentricchia's] wordplay on the dark side of the mind forges a new way of reading and writing. We have seen the dark side emerge in his previous fictions, but in this new work, we come to understand that, like Edgar Alan Poe, Lentricchia is fascinated with the grotesque, and Lucchesi and The Whale takes us into the grottos where secret artists once practiced their trade by light of fire, where visions come to loners and sacred visitations to the holy."--Fred L. Gardaphe, Fra No: Chicagoland's Italian American Voice "Lentricchia ... has melded the genres of literary criticism and fiction in the rarest of ways--one that works. In a fragmentary fictional structure, Lentricchia waxes philosophical about language, the act of writing, and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick... [He] wedges a brilliant riff on Moby-Dick into the voice of Lucchesi... [V]oyage with Lucchesi and Lentricchia and you'll emerge with a new, broader understanding of Melville, Moby-Dick, and perhaps even the immortality of writing."--Grant Gallicho, Commonweal "This is a provocative novel--if 'novel' is the word--about writing on the edge... What seems of deepest interest in Lucchesi and The Whale is this treatment of advanced art as a mortal repression, refusal of world and flesh, the human's overcoming of itself."--R. M. Berry, American Book Review "What criticism is, at its best, is the joy at the heart of all reading--an agile mind interacting with a text that helps to inspire that agility. Lucchesi's take on Moby-Dick may be profound revelation or deconstructionist over-reading, but it is most definitely a pleasure."--T. J. Gerlach, Review of Contemporary Fiction "This is ... Thomas Lucchesi ... A man who can deal more aptly with art than with life. A man whose passion to create can, time and again, isolate him and saddle him with anxiety. A self-fashioned 'mad Ahab of reading,' who searches desperately, in heartfelt scholarly prose, for the meaning within Melville's Moby-Dick. A man who sometimes sees his world through the prism of Ludwig Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. But, above all, a man whose love for life, for his intimates, and for himself, endures."--Philip Tinari, Duke Magazine "Lentricchia provided the first comprehensive American look at critical conversations that were taking formal English study by storm... Lentricchia has now long been ensconced as a major American critical voice... Lucchesi and The Whale is Lentricchia's most complex fictional piece to date, as he fiercely and bleakly continues to explore the writerly self while seeking a form in which to write cultural and literary criticism."--Chris Messenger, Voices in Italian America "Frank Lentricchia is a contemporary critic who has successfully made the transition from the study to the creation of literature. This is a rare thing... Lucchesi and The Whale is as clearly an amazing feat of critical interpretation and theory... This is a tour de force in experimenting with point of view and narrative voice... I think it is the most original reading of [Moby-Dick] ever."--Daniel T. O'Hara, Temple University Faculty Newsletter
EAN: 9780822326540
ISBN: 082232654X
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Dezember 2000
Seitenanzahl: 128 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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