Another Music: Polemics and Pleasures

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-07-15
  • Publisher: Routledge

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As the essays in this book attest, in a time of specialization John McCormick chose diversification, a choice determined by a life spent in many occupations and many countries. After his five years in the U. S. Navy in the Second World War, the academy beckoned by way of the G. I. Bill, graduate training, and a career in teaching. Prosperity in the American university at the time meant setting up as a "Wordsworth man," a "Keats man," or a "Dr. Johnson man": all chilling to the author. He chose self-exile in which he disguised himself as an "Americanist" saleable in Europe, and lectured happily in comparative studies: literature, history, and philosophy. Thus the broad range of this volume, both in subject matter and in the span of time it covers. The essays are divided into three sections. First are general and personal essays on a variety of topics, followed by work on individual writers, and third, writings on criticism and theory. A section on Santayana reflects his eight years of research for Santayana's biography. The writings on Spain and toreo (bullfighting) result from another long-held interest, together with the author's attempt to alter some of the romantic nonsense about the running of the bulls in Pamplona, too often the entire substance of what the general public knows about Spain. McCormick has long been convinced that without knowledge of bullfighting, the foreigner cannot comprehend arcane and wonderful aspects of the Spanish character. The coda, "Another Music," is an old man's attempt to solve the mysterious algebra of how the world turns now, and how the young appear to the aged. While the volume is diverse in its range of writers-from Whitman in America to Santayana in Europe, taken as a collectivity, these essays provide a sense of the grandeur as well as the decadent in twentieth century politics and aesthetics alike.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vii
General and Personal
The Berlin Uprising: Cold War Turning Point?p. 3
The United Snopes Information Servicep. 17
Federal Censorshipp. 33
Gott Mit Whom?p. 37
A Most Mysterious Disasterp. 47
On Tastep. 51
Down Low and Hard Upp. 57
Snobbery and the American Scenep. 61
Individual Writers
The Rational Shelleyp. 67
Walt Whitman: Orientalist or Nationalist?p. 71
The Urban and the Urbane: Iris Murdoch and Saul Bellowp. 85
An English Bohemian in Spain: Gerald Brenanp. 91
Lorca in Our Timep. 95
Philip Larkin: An American Viewp. 103
James Joyce and Hermann Broch: From Influence to Originalityp. 115
Literary Criticism and Theory
Problems of "Poetic Prose" in English and Frenchp. 127
Down with Translationp. 131
Toward a Comparative American Literary Historyp. 135
Problems and Occasions for the American Scholarp. 145
A Novel of Ideasp. 149
Santayana's Idea of the Tragicp. 153
The Last Puritan Once Morep. 165
Santayana's Reading of Freudp. 171
Santayana and Ezra Poundp. 183
Santayana's The Sense of Beauty: Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theoryp. 199
Mnemosynep. 205
Benedetto Croce's AEsthetic: An Introductionp. 211
Franco, Spain, and the Third Reichp. 217
Antonio Ordonez and Othersp. 221
The Bullfight Gentrifiedp. 227
Coda: Another Musicp. 235
Name Indexp. 245
Title Indexp. 251
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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