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Posts Tagged "william empson"

Check out all of the posts tagged with "william empson".

The Pale, Quiet, Episcopalian Breast: On a Phrase of Jeffrey Eugenides

The title phrase comes from Jeffrey Eugenides’ new book The Marriage Plot. I probably won’t read it.¬†I read a bit of The Virign Suicides and didn’t care for it. My interest in Eugenides now is […]

Dec, 11

Jacob Bronowski, William Empson, Wittgenstein, and Ambiguity

Most of human sentences are in fact aimed at getting rid of the ambiguity which one has unfortunately left trailing in the previous sentence. Now I believe this to be absolutely inherent in the relation […]

Aug, 25

Shakespeare’s Sick, Twisted Measure for Measure

Measure for Measure is a sick and disturbing play. Every change Shakespeare made to the source material, including the shift from tragedy to comedy, made it even more twisted. It’s never a good idea to […]

Jul, 22

Hugh Kenner on Louis Zukofsky, Canadian Proofreading, the MLA, the OED, and Everything Else

Hugh Kenner was a very sharp, eccentric critic best known for his work on James Joyce and Ezra Pound (two writers whose critical apparati seem to welcome eccentrics more than most), but he also was […]

Apr, 24

Many Meanings Can Have One Word: Sigurd Burckhardt

Under the headings pun, rhyme, metaphor, and meter I have in fact already been discussing an aspect of poetic language which, since Empson, no treatment of poetics can afford to ignore: ambiguity. For Empson, ambiguity […]

Mar, 22

Miscellany

Explicably funny: “Ah, daylight: nature’s sunlamp.” (Thanks, G.) Belgian writer Hugo Claus, who wrote the striking, perplexing, and recently translated¬†Wonder (Archipelago), turns out to have dated Sylvia Kristel for a few years in the 1970s. […]

Feb, 18

F.R. Leavis Remembers Wittgenstein

In this essay, literary critic F.R. Leavis recollects his bizarre encounters with Wittgenstein and how his personality was inextricable from his philosophy. That latter point should be already obvious to anyone who’s read Ray Monk’s […]

Feb, 15

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