SINGING WITH WHITMAN'S THRUSH Itineraries of the Aesthetic

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This is a collection of personal essays (on multinational sensibility; the godmaking impulse), letters (a mini-Bildungsroman in personal correspondence), scholarship (a study of several Marxist social critics; extended queries into Whitman's thrush-theme), and a tale (of revolutionary intensity in the contemporary city). The lead essay `Rearranging my shelves', is a prolonged meditation on book-classification , and all it involves in implicit assumptions about the organization of the intelligible world. The book probes the interrelations of loss and redemption, in art and the religious, and argues complexly for the notion of the artist as a priest. Finally, it brings to the surface fresh understandings of the tension between beauty and goodness, a perennial polarity for critical understanding.

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