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  • Literature Matters; Lionel Trilling Matters!

He is the author of several books of poetry and criticism, and most recently of a short biography of Benjamin Disraeli. He lives in New York City.

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Skip to main content. Description Reviews Table of Contents. Its subject. As Matthew Arnold served Trilling, so does Trilling serve Kirsch—as a model of literary and humanist heroism.

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Why Trilling Matters is a small but elastic masterwork that enlarges, with crucial immediacy, our own understanding of why literature itself must matter. Adam Kirsch has brought [Trilling] back to us with a balance that his subject would appreciate. The best critics help us understand and even shape our own characters. Like Trilling.

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Like Kirsch. Exile, Writing, and American Identity.

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  8. Gerald Kennedy. Alberto Manguel. Literary History, Romanticism, and the Art of Forgery. Joseph Bristow and Rebecca N. Language, Linguistics, and Literature. He was—with perhaps only the exception of Edmund Wilson—the most well-known and respected American literary critic throughout the nineteen fifties and sixties. He was the first Jewish member of the English faculty at Columbia University, eventually becoming the star of the department.

    He was in many ways a reluctant academic: most of his essays first appeared in small magazines like The Partisan Review, and he had scant interest in literary theory.

    Does Lionel Trilling matter?

    He wrote from the moral standpoint of a responsible citizen, but with the insight of an artist. Why Trilling Matters not only serves as a valuable introduction to an important twentieth century critic: it is also an appeal for the enduring worth of the literary imagination.

    It [the novel] taught us, as no other genre ever did, the extent of human variety and the value of this variety. Jules Lewis is the author of Waiting for Ricky Tantrum. Rebecca Rosenblum What do you most enjoy reading, and how often do you indulge in the habit? Short stories and novels are my staples, mixed in with poetry, plays, and graphic novels. I also adore magazines but try to keep them to a minimum because they will overrun me She now teaches at That other book was Outline. But many will read it with the breathless exhilaration it deserves.