Something Said (Magill's Literary Annual 1986)
Gilbert Sorrentino is best known as a novelist whose darkly comic writing draws its inspiration from the extravagant Irish genius of James Joyce and Flann O’Brien. Among his many novels are Mulligan Stew (1979), Aberration of Starlight (1980), Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things (1971), Crystal Vision (1981), and Blue Pastoral (1983). In addition, he has published several books of poetry. As a poet he works consciously in the tradition of William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, Charles Olson, and the so-called Black Mountain School that Olson inaugurated in recent American verse. Olson’s pupils have included Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Jonathan Williams, and Ed Dorn, all accorded honorific treatment by Sorrentino. Currently, Sorrentino is a professor of English at Stanford University.
This collection demonstrates Sorrentino’s talents as a critic and literary essayist. Whenever “real writers” turn their attention to criticism, one is interested in learning more of their preferences and in following the profession of their aesthetic creed, but critical essays rarely do more than gloss aspects of a writer’s “real” works—that is, his novels, stories, poems, and plays. Or perhaps one might consult such a writer’s critical essays for suggestions on other writers to read (or not to read)....
(The entire section is 2083 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1986)
Booklist. LXXXI, January 15, 1985, p. 680.
Kirkus Reviews. LII, October 15, 1984, p. 1001.
Library Journal. CIX, December, 1984, p. 2280.
Los Angeles Times Book Review. March 3, 1985, p. 7.
The New York Times Book Review. XC, March 3, 1985, p. 19.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXVI, October 12, 1984, p. 48.
Washington Post Book World. XV, February 10, 1985, p. 3.
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