By Adam Kirsch
A choice of essays from a “great poet-critic-intellectual” (Daily Beast).
Adam Kirsch has been defined as "elegant and astute…[a] critic of the first actual order" (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times). In those extraordinary, wide-ranging essays, released over the past 8 years within the New Republic, The New Yorker, and in other places, Kirsch indicates how literature can remove darkness from questions of which means, ethics, and politics, and the way these questions form the best way we enjoy artwork. In Rocket and Lightship he examines the paintings and lifetime of writers prior and current, from intellectuals Susan Sontag, Hannah Arendt, and Walter Benjamin to novelists together with E. M. Forster, David Foster Wallace, and Zadie Smith. Kirsch prices G. M. Hopkins: "Nor rescue, purely rocket and lightship, shone." So shines literature, in those unflinchingly daring and provocative essays—as an illuminating, regenerative, and immortalizing force.