Sir Frank Kermode has been writing peerless literary criticism for more than a half-century. Pieces of My Mind includes his own choice of his major essays since 1958, beginning with his extraordinary study of "Poet and Dancer Before Diaghilev" and ending with a marvelous consideration of Shakespeare's Othello and Verdi-Boito's Otello. Important essays on Hawthorne, on Wallace Stevens, on problems in literary theory and analysis, on Auden, on "Secrets and Narrative Sequence," and three previously unpublished essays (including one on "Memory" and one on "Forgetting") fill out this rich and rewarding volume. Pieces of My Mind also contains recent considerations of the work of major modern writers--Don DeLillo, Raymond Carver, Tom Paulin, and others.
Of Kermode's last book, Shakespeare's Language, Richard Howard wrote that it was "a triumph of inauguration and the crowning action of his splendid career of criticism. It is, and will doubtless remain, the first book one should read about Shakespeare's plays, and with those plays." Pieces of My Mind has equal authority and power, and it will be equally praised.
Pieces of My Mind
Poet and Dancer Before Diaghilev
In the summer of 1955 I wrote a short book called Romantic Image, published in 1957, inspired largely by love of W. B. Yeats. Yeats was keen...