by Richard Ellman
Paperback, 122 pages
9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
$8.95 (Can. $10.95)
In these brief, elegant essays Richard Ellmann illumines the life and work of four great Irish writers of our time --- Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett. One of the most important scholars of this period and the author of the definitive biography of Joyce, Ellmann brings to these pieces a keen insight into various crucial aspects of his subject: Wilde's intellectual formation at Oxford under the influence of John Ruskin and Walter Pater; the beauty and darkness of Yeats's last great poems; Joyce's insistence on a new language and his determination to change the way we view ourselves; and Beckett as the playwright of unheroics who has "transmuted the destitution of modern man into his exaltation." As Ellmann acknowledges the connections between them, we are made to see anew just how extraordinary is the art of these Celtic writers who have forever changed the landscape of literature.
Richard Ellmann was Goldsmiths’ Professor at Oxford University and Woodruff Professor at Emory University. He achieved world fame for his biography of Joyce and wrote many scholarly and critical works, including two on Yeats.