Guy Davenport occupies a rare position in American letters, since he is renowned in so many diverse areas. Not only was he one of contemporary American literature’s most complex short-story writers, but also he was one of its most influential literary critics, translators, and classical scholars. He published more than seventy stories in several collections. In the first four collections, he supplied his own distinctive black-and-white illustrations. He also published a collection of poems and translations, entitled Thasos and Ohio: Poems and Translations (1986), and an early volume of poems, Flowers and Leaves (1966).
Besides his collections of short fiction and poetry, Davenport published highly acclaimed translations of Heraklitus, Diogenes, and the poets Sappho and Archilochus. He also published a number of critically praised nonfiction works: The Geography of the Imagination (1981), Every Force Evolves a Form (1987), The Hunter Gracchus, and Other Papers on Literature and Art (1996), and Objects on a Table: Harmonious Disarray in Art and Literature (1998). These volumes contain essays which cover such challenging thinkers as James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Charles Olson, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and the late work of Samuel Beckett, to mention but a few. He also edited a selection of writings on Swiss naturalist Louis Agassiz.