An autobiography by the eminent English literary critic traces his childhood on the Isle of Man, his work on ferryboats around Liverpool, his editorship of Encounter, and his embattled years at Cambridge University.
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Frank Kermode has written and edited many works, including Forms of Meaning and The Oxford Book of Letters. He lived in Cambridge, England, and taught frequently in the United States.From Publishers Weekly:
In this enchanting, episodic memoir, Kermode chronicles the unusual course of events that carried him from a parochial childhood on the Isle of Man to international recognition as a literary critic. A modest, at times dolefully confessional raconteur, Kermode elides most details about his marriages and children, focusing instead upon his own perpetual feelings of dislocation and his lack of "entitlement" to cultural and familial attainments. Raised in a world of tenements, gaslights and ancient prejudices, the sensitive Kermode joined the navy at the outset of WWII, serving as clerk to a series of "mad captains" (including two Sisyphian years in Iceland building a naval defense that was never completed). Kermode next drifted into graduate school, later teaching at Reading, Bristol and University College of London, eventually becoming King Edward VII Professor of English at Cambridge, a post he resigned during a much-publicized controversy over post-structuralism during the early 1980s. Kermode also details the flap over his editorship of the cultural journal Encounter, which he left on principle in 1967 when it was revealed to be CIA-funded. And, through a marvelous prism of literary and cultural observations, Kermode, whose most famous book is The Sense of an Ending, affectingly ponders his own sense of mortality.
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