A foremost critic of the English language here reflects on beauty and the language that it inspires in authors from Kant to Keats, Hawthorne to Housman.
An excellent and eloquent book.”James Wood, New York Times Book Review
A beautiful book about beauty. Enormously learned, allusive, recuperative, and citational, it is a passionate meditation on what has been said about beauty in the West from the Greeks to the present day.”J. Hillis Miller
Donoghue talks . . . with a delightful informality and absence of dogma. . . . One of the most charming features of Denis Donoghue’s book is his appendix of afterwords,’ brief quotations on beauty from sundry writers.”John Bayley, New York Review of Books
Continuously fascinating, continuously readable, the book speaks of beauty, and of speakers of beauty, in its own calm, steady voice. You won’t want to lay it down.”Hugh Kenner
Donoghue's book, apart from its considerable critical power, is thus a representative document. It is written in Donoghue's firm, chaste -- and rather beautiful -- style and in some ways exhibits the formalities and strictnesses of the ''traditional'' critic, who is recognizably the aging child of the New Criticism. But Donoghue is also hospitable to any theorist or philosopher he can make use of, and his book borrows happily from Adorno, Bourdieu, Lyotard, Levinas, Gadamer and the art historian T. J. Clark. It is at once a book of practical criticism -- there are readings of poems by Herrick and Shakespeare -- and a genuine enactment of cultural studies, for Donoghue moves between discussions of aesthetics, music, art, landscape gardening and architecture, closing with a magnificent chapter on Ruskin. James Wood