Fifty-six poems, including "Chinese Ballad" and "A Masque (The Birth of Steel)." "The wrung-out, colloquial dryness of this diction has its own firm music, capable of being heightened, in more elaborate poems, to a grand polyphony."-Robert Fitzgerald, New Republic.
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Sir William Empson (27 September 1906 – 15 April 1984) was an English literary critic and poet.
He is sometimes praised as the greatest English literary critic after Samuel Johnson and William Hazlitt, and widely influential for his practice of closely reading literary works, fundamental to the New Critics. Jonathan Bate has claimed that the three greatest English Literary critics of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries are, respectively, Johnson, Hazlitt and Empson, "not least because they are the funniest".
Empson has been styled a "critic of genius" by Sir Frank Kermode, who qualified his praise by identifying willfully perverse readings of certain authors; and Harold Bloom has stated that Empson is among a handful of critics who matter most to him, because of their force and eccentricity. Empson's bluntness led to controversy both during his life and after his death, and a reputation in part also as a "licensed buffoon" (Empson's own phrase).
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Book Description Harvest Books, 1950. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110156188392