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by Joseph Epstein

  • ISBN: 0618721932
  • Category: Fiction
  • Author: Joseph Epstein
  • Subcategory: Essays & Correspondence
  • Other formats: txt doc lrf rtf
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (September 6, 2007)
  • Pages: 410 pages
  • FB2 size: 1612 kb
  • EPUB size: 1253 kb
  • Rating: 4.7
  • Votes: 698
Download In a Cardboard Belt!: Essays Personal, Literary, and Savage fb2

Joseph Epstein's personal essays revealed much about the man that I did not know. Wonderful, biting essays about famous writers and philosophers, together with laugh-aloud humor-what more could I ask for?

Joseph Epstein's personal essays revealed much about the man that I did not know. Wonderful, biting essays about famous writers and philosophers, together with laugh-aloud humor-what more could I ask for? I highly recommend In a Cardboard Belt.

Joseph Epstein has been called America’s "liveliest, most erudite and engaging essayist (James Atlas), and In a Cardboard Belt! provides ample proof for the claim. Joseph Epstein has been called America’s "liveliest, most erudite and engaging essayist (James Atlas), and In a Cardboard Belt! provides ample proof for the claim. Taking his title from the wounded cry of the once great Max Bialystock in The Producers - "Look at me now! Look at me now! I’m wearing a cardboard belt!

In a Cardboard Belt! book. Joseph Epstein has been called America’s liveliest, most erudite and engaging essayist (James Atlas), and In a Cardboard Belt! provides ample proof for the claim

In a Cardboard Belt! book. Joseph Epstein has been called America’s liveliest, most erudite and engaging essayist (James Atlas), and In a Cardboard Belt! provides ample proof for the claim. Taking his title from the wounded cry of the once great Max Bialystock in The Producers - Look at me now! Look at me now! I’m wearing a cardboard belt!

Essays Personal, Literary, and Savage. I'm wearing a cardboard belt!" - the charming essayist Joseph Epstein gives us his largest and most adventurous collection to date

Essays Personal, Literary, and Savage. I'm wearing a cardboard belt!" - the charming essayist Joseph Epstein gives us his largest and most adventurous collection to date.

In a Cardboard Belt!: Essays Personal, Literary, and Savage (2007).

In September 1970, Harper's Magazine published an article by Epstein called "Homo/Hetero: The Struggle for Sexual Identity" that was criticized for its perceived homophobia. Epstein wrote that he considered homosexuality "a curse, in a literal sense" and that his sons could do nothing to make him sadder than "if any of them were to become homosexual. In a Cardboard Belt!: Essays Personal, Literary, and Savage (2007).

I’m wearing a cardboard belt! - the charming essayist Joseph Epstein gives us his largest and most adventurous collection to date

I’m wearing a cardboard belt! - the charming essayist Joseph Epstein gives us his largest and most adventurous collection to date. In deeply considered examinations of writers from Paul Valéry to Truman Capote, in incisive take-downs of such cultural pooh-bahs as Harold Bloom and George Steiner, and in personally revealing essays about his father and about his years as a teacher, this remarkable collection from one.

In a Cardboard Belt!," his 10th collection of essays, is vintage Epstein: elegantly written, charming, candid . The literary essays in this book reveal more about their author than they do about the writers he profiles

In a Cardboard Belt!," his 10th collection of essays, is vintage Epstein: elegantly written, charming, candid, curmudgeonly, mordant, and, alas, malicious. The charming curmudgeon struts his stuff in an octet of autobiographical essays. The literary essays in this book reveal more about their author than they do about the writers he profiles. Literature, these days, often gets lost in interpretation. Like Auden, Epstein believes in "the baffle of being," the impenetrable mystery of existence.

Joseph Epstein (born January 9, 1937) is a Chicagoan essayist, short story . Essay collections and books Essays Personal, Literary, and Savage" (2007) "Fred Astaire" (2008). hort story collections.

Essay collections and books Essays Personal, Literary, and Savage" (2007) "Fred Astaire" (2008). The Goldin Boys: Stories " (1991) "Fabulous Small Jews" (2003).

In a Cardboard Belt! by. Joseph Epstein. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit (2011). Essays in Biography (2012). Distant Intimacy: A Friendship in the Age of the Internet (with Frederic Raphael) (2013). A Literary Education and Other Essays (2014). Short story collections. The Goldin Boys: Stories (1991).

A comprehensive compilation of essays by the renowned author of Snobbery and Friendship includes deft writings about his father and his years as a teacher, critical analyses of the work of writers from Paul Valéry to Truman Capote, keen observations on such cultural critics as Harold Bloom and George Steiner, and more.
Reviews about In a Cardboard Belt!: Essays Personal, Literary, and Savage (7):
Saithinin
Epstein is a perennial winner. He would very much like to be a bad boy of letters but a prissy grace stops him from being acerbic rather than cautionary. He is a clever observer of the times and our literature. He has no time for self-preening authors. A man of considerable talent as an essayist and the occasional writer of a clever short story.
Hadadel
Epstein saved me when I was in the bush of Jamaica WI for two years. I read every essay he wrote. I have never missed any of his books since, it's so much like hanging with a friend whose foibles and brilliance you, meaning I, already know.

Maybe because I've read him so closely, wherever his essays and stories appear, I felt at times like I had read essays here before. Maybe they were published elsewhere? If so, I didn't find that written into the book. Or, more likely, I just know his stories, proclivities and his style so well.

In a time when few read the great writers of yore, you can learn so much from any of Joseph Epstein's essay books. How much he loves Henry James and why, for example. Anyway, the "kid's turning 70" and all his readers care.

Now, one thing I always marvel over his Epstein's genuine good humor. He's a kinda mild guy. Anyone more prone to rage would not be so sanguine about The American Scholar which he edited for almost 23 years and then was fired. Man, one huge mistake imo. Sorry, Joseph E., you would never write IMO but then again, you probably do not come to Amazon to check your readers' comments. All I can say is that you are so smart and not just a little famous either. You matter to readers everywhere, so I believe. (Another line that would have the writer of these essays cringing.)
Wenyost
This collection of essays is incredibly solid. There were a small handful of mediocre essays, but no dogs. Most of the essays are incredibly entertaining, erudite, and witty. Epstein fans won't be disappointed.
FLIDER
Joe Epstein is an outstanding exponent of the essay- for his readers they entertain and inform about subjects that range across the spectrum of subjects.
Malaunitly
Joseph Epstein's personal essays revealed much about the man that I did not know. Wonderful, biting essays about famous writers and philosophers, together with laugh-aloud humor--what more could I ask for? I highly recommend In a Cardboard Belt.
Daigrel
I started with those essays flagged as "attacks" (on Mortimer Adler, Harold Bloom, and Edmund Wilson, respectively), because - let's be honest - a skillful intellectual skewering of a suitably pompous target is usually pretty entertaining. But Epstein wields a bludgeon, not a rapier, and his animosity against his targets feels way too personal. For one thing, Adler is a former boss of his, and he doesn't seem to realise that trying to settle scores with a former employer through public attack just makes him (Epstein) look petty. Particularly when part of the attack is to ridicule Adler for his physical clumsiness, and for his failure to pass Columbia's mandatory swim test.

Epstein is also way too fond of the throwaway remark that plunges the stiletto into the ribcage. For instance:

"I do not know of any genuine contribution that Mortimer Adler made to serious philosophy.."
"I don't believe Susan Sontag's celebrity finally had much to do with the power or cogency of her ideas."
"Wisdom, in a critic, is never excess baggage. Edmund Wilson, it begins to be clear, traveled light", having previously characterized Wilson as "a bald, pudgy little man with a drinking problem, a nearly perpetual erection, and a mean streak".

There are far too many of these - often completely gratuitous - asides, whose characteristic feature, aside from the nastiness, appears to be that they are invariably directed at people who have been more successful than Epstein.

And for all that he purports to take down others for the 'pompous' nature of their writing, his own tone in the essays "The Perpetual Adolescent" and "The Culture of Celebrity" pretty much defines old fogeydom. So that it wasn't particularly surprising to read, in the final essay, documenting his tenure as editor of "The American Scholar", that:

"In my twenty-three years as editor, the title 'Ms' never appeared in its pages"
"I moved slowly ... on changing from 'Negro' to 'black'"
"I was not big on 'gay' either.."

Unfortunately, by the time I got through these pieces, I had developed an antipathy to Epstein that made it almost impossible to be enthusiastic about the other essays I tried. (I didn't read the 'personal' pieces). Though I did quite like the essays on Auden and Keats.

In hindsight, it might have been better to read the "personal" essays before the attack pieces, as it would have given a greater chance of developing some sympathy with Epstein. But the bitterness and gratuitous nastiness (poking fun at people for their physical defects is simply indefensible) were a real turnoff, as was the air of smug superiority that pervades these essays.

I will not be seeking out other work by this author.

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