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Alms for Oblivion

Author:

Edward Dahlberg
Foreword by Sir Herbert Read

Alms for Oblivion

“His perceptions are generally brilliant, cogent and refreshingly original, and his use of the language as well as his mastery of English sentence structure make the book worth reading as an example of superlative style if nothing else.”

R. Baird Shuman, South Atlantic Quarterly

This volume makes available in book form a collection of seventeen essays by Edward Dahlberg, who has been called one of the great unrecognized writers of our time. Some of the selections have never been published before; others have appeared previously only in magazines of limited circulation. There is a foreword by Sir Herbert Read.

The individual essays are on a wide range of subjects - literary, historical, philosophical, personal. The longest is a discussion of Herman Melville’s work entitled “Moby-Dick - A Hamitic Dream.” The fate of authors at the hands of reviewers is the subject of the essay called “For Sale.” In “No Love and No Thanks” the author draws a characterization of our time. He presents a critique of the poet William Carlos Williams in “Word-Sick and Place-Crazy,” and a discussion of F. Scott Fitzgerald in “Peopleless Fiction.” In “My Friends Stieglitz, Anderson, and Dreiser” he discusses not only Alfred Stieglitz, Sherwood Anderson, and Theodore Dreiser but other personalities as well. He also writes of Sherwood Anderson in “Midwestern Fable.” In “Cutpurse Philosopher” the subject is William James. “Florentine Codex” is about the conquistadores. Other essays in the collection are the following: “Randolph Bourne,” “Our Vanishing Cooperative Colonies,” “Chivers and Poe,” “Domestic Manners of Americans,” “Robert McAlmon: A Memoir,” “The Expatriates: A Memoir,” and an essay on Allen Tate.

Alms for Oblivion

Edward Dahlberg was an independent literary scholar and critic. He taught literature at New York University and Columbia.

Alms for Oblivion

“His perceptions are generally brilliant, cogent and refreshingly original, and his use of the language as well as his mastery of English sentence structure make the book worth reading as an example of superlative style if nothing else.”

R. Baird Shuman, South Atlantic Quarterly

“In my view, Dahlberg is the sharpest serious critic writing today - and the most necessary.”

Michael Blankfort, Los Angeles Times

“The vigor of expression and thought that characterized the author’s Because I Was Flesh is present in 17 essays devoted to literary criticism and to reminiscences of a New York literary circle that included Sherwood Anderson and Theodore Dreiser.”

Booklist

Alms for Oblivion is exciting, provoking, at times self-contradictory, but always energetic and committed.”

Times Literary Supplement