Banerjee, Amitava Books
Dr. Amitava Banerjee is Research Fellow at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. He is Professor Emeritus of English at Kobe Jogukin University in Japan. He has previously taught at universities in India, the US, Britain, and Ghana. Dr. Banerjee's articles have appeared in a wide variety of critical journals, and he is the author of Spirit Above Wars, D.H. Lawrence’s Poetry: Demon Liberated, and An Historical Revaluation of Thomas Hardy’s Poetry.2001 0-7734-7721-7
This volume collects critical essays on Hardy’s poetry, from Edmund Gosse (1918) to Samuel Hynes (1997), which reflect not only the diverse nature of Hardy’s poetry but also show how critics of different generations have added to our understanding and appreciation of it. Some articles are concerned with Hardy’s relationship with other poets like Wordsworth, Housman, Yeats, and Larkin.
“The range of commentary covers just about every perspective the twentieth century has had to offer on Hardy, and this commentary issues from some of the best observers. The collection confirms that as well as being a popular poet, Hardy has always been a poet’s poet. Hence, along with the specially well chosen academic offerings, we find essays by T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, John Crowe Ransom, and W. H. Auden from the earlier part of the century, and appreciations by Philip Larkin, Thom Gunn, Donald Davie, and Seamus Heaney from the later part. In addition to the valuable service he performs in bringing these distinguished voices together, Amitav Banerjee himself provides a fine, balanced, and helpful introduction to the whole.” – John Roe
“. . . a magnificent compendium of criticism of Hardy’s verse, with commentators ranging from Gosse, Eliot, and Pound early in the century to Seamus Heaney, Hillis Miller, and M. L. Rosenthal in recent years. Not only Hardy enthusiasts but educated readers in general will be grateful for the bright and various light these essays shed on the oeuvre of a great poet.” – Victor Strandberg2006 0-7734-5732-1
This book of essays on a number of major British and American writers highlights the extraordinary versatility of twentieth-century literature. It was a period during which not simply one or two, but all the major genres flourished. The editor illustrates this convincingly by selecting a range of poets, novelists and dramatists, and often by focusing on individual writers’ achievements in genres other than those for which they have received the most recognition. The novelist Thomas Hardy, for example, is considered as a poet; another major novelist, D.H. Lawrence, is treated both as a dramatist and as a literary critic, while Ernest Hemingway is discusses as a war correspondent.
The special merit of this collection is that, unlike a great deal of modern literary criticism, it treats literature as a humanist project – by concerning themselves with fundamental truths, these writers have produced works of abiding interest and value. The editor particularly demonstrates that even in the bleak landscape of twentieth-century literary wasteland, there are clear signs of hope. Hemingway’s belief that an individual may be destroyed but not defeated is shown to be fully upheld by major writers on both sides of the Atlantic.