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David Hallman is professor of English at James Madison University.
The old saw tells us that all things come to those who wait. And what a joy it is to find Andrew Lytle, in his vigorous 80's, receiving his just due, however late.
Brooks still has the capacity to surprise and delight. The doyen of the New Criticism and one who has been called "our best reader," he has now turned his talents—as an "enthusiastic amateur"—to the relationship be tween linguistic study and literary criticism.
Nothing is more dangerous for the critic than taking a book cover at face value. But when the blurbs compare the author to William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and Saul Bellow, the challenge is irresistible.
The career as man of letters, has proved especially congenial to the Southern intellectual in the 20th century.
Both poets sustained a remarkably passionate lyricism in their verse until the ends of their careers, and both were inspired by a mystical concept of the poetic process and of poetry as a higher truth. At this point, though, the comparison breaks down.
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