Books May 2017
Teaser & dreamer
A review of On Empson (Writers on Writers) by Michael Wood.
When Sir William Empson died in 1984 in his seventy-eighth year, he had published four books of literary criticism (Seven Types of Ambiguity, Some Versions of Pastoral, The Structure of Complex Words, and Milton’s God), a Collected Poems, a long introduction to a selection of Coleridge’s poems, and a quantity of miscellaneous periodical essays. Subsequently, another nine books have appeared, gathering the essays, many extensively revised, with some hitherto unpublished pieces including, as recently as last year, a completely new book, The Face of the Buddha, long lost but rediscovered in 2005. In addition, John Haffenden, who edited many of those posthumous volumes, has published a two-volume biography (2005, 2006), a hefty selection of Empson’s...
New to The New Criterion?
Subscribe for one year to receive ten print issues, and gain immediate access to our online archive spanning more than four decades of art and cultural criticism.Subscribe