Literary Criticism

Conversations with William Maxwell by William Maxwell

By William Maxwell

Conversations with William Maxwell collects thirty-eight interviews, public speeches, and feedback that span 5 many years of the esteemed novelist and New Yorker editor's profession. The interviews jointly deal with the whole lot of Maxwell's literary work—with in-depth dialogue of his brief tales, essays, and novels together with They got here Like Swallows, The Folded Leaf, and the yank publication award-winning goodbye, See You Tomorrow—as good as his forty-year tenure as a fiction editor operating with such luminaries as John Updike, John Cheever, Eudora Welty, Vladimir Nabokov, and J.D. Salinger.

Maxwell's phrases spoken ahead of a crowd, a few formerly unpublished, pay relocating tribute to literary acquaintances and mentors, and provide reflections at the inventive lifestyles, the method of writing, and his Midwestern historical past. All maintain the reserved poignancy of his fiction.

The quantity publishes for the 1st time the entire transcript of Maxwell's vast interviews together with his biographer and, in an creation, correspondence with writers together with Updike and Saul Bellow, which enlivens the tales in the back of his interviews and appearances.

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Furthermore, Artaud assumes that one of the existing arts m ust soon recover from its fa ilure of nerve and become the total art form , wh ich ·will absorb all the others. Artaud's l i feti me of work may be described as the sequence of his efforts to formulate and inhabit this master art, heroically following out his conviction that the art he sought could hardly be the one-i nvolving language alone-in which his gen ius was principally confined. /30 Approaching Artaud The parameters of Artaud's work in all the arts are iden· tical with the different crit ical distances he maintains from the idea of an art that is language only-with the d iverse forms of his li felong "revolt aga inst poetry" ( the title of a prose text he wrote in Rodez i n 1 944) .

Through the exclusiveness of his commitment to paroxysmic art, Artaud shows himself to be as much of a moralist about art as Plato-but a moralist whose hopes for art deny j ust those distinctions in which Plato's view is grounded. As Artaud opposes the separation between art and l i fe, he opposes all theatrical forms that imply a differ­ ence between reality and representation. He does not deny the existence of such a difference. But this difference can be vaulted, Artaud impl ies, if the spectacle is sufficiently­ that is, excessively-violent.

Artaud's most ambitious, fully articulated production of the Theater of Cruelty, h i s own The Cenci, lasted for seventeen days in the spring of 1935. But had i t run for a year he would probably have been equally con· vi nced that he had failed. In modern culture, powerful machi nery has been set up whereby dissident work, a fter gaining an initial semi -offi· cia] status as "avant·garde," is gradually absorbed and ren· dered acceptable. But Artaud's practical activities in the theater barely quali fied for this kind of cooptation.

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