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Words Made Fresh: Essays on Literature and…
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Words Made Fresh: Essays on Literature and Culture (utgåvan 2011)

av Larry Woiwode

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
8132252,202 (2.85)6
Through the mediums of literary analysis, cultural reflection, and personal memory, these ten essays trace Woiwode's work and thought on such topics as the redemptive fiction of John Gardner, the ownership of guns, the faith of William Shakespeare, and even the difference in news as reported by CNN versus Bob Dylan.… (mer)
Medlem:kpjackson
Titel:Words Made Fresh: Essays on Literature and Culture
Författare:Larry Woiwode
Info:Crossway Books (2011), Hardcover, 192 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:**
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Words Made Fresh: Essays on Literature and Culture av Larry Woiwode

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Visa 1-5 av 34 (nästa | visa alla)
I really wanted to like this book,and there are parts that I really do enjoy, especially those about enjoying the outdoors. However, as much as I appreciate and respect other people's points of view, even if they were not mine, I had a hard time with the conservative and christian overtones.
  O2atAPAAH | Mar 17, 2014 |
Engaging collection of essays from a fine writer. Woiwode tackles guns, Wendell Berry, education, and literature, among other things. I found the first several essays paled in comparison to the later ones - sis more generally cultural pieces come across as the considered opinions of a cultured man; his essays on literature and literary figures have the stamp of authority. Woiwode is at his best in the field of American literature, and his writings on Gardner and Updike were tremendously helpful. I can't imagine not reading the works that he highlights. The book itself is an unusual step for the Christian publisher Crossway, but may be one of the most beautiful books (in terms of physical craftsmanship) that they have ever issued. A stimulating and worthwhile read. ( )
  cjsdg | Feb 18, 2013 |
There is Truth, insight, even freshness, in this collection of Larry Woiwode’s essays, just as its title promises.

I’ve known of Woiwode’s writing for some time, but had not read him before getting an advance proof to review. Now, having sought out and accepted a chance to read these ten, mostly short pieces (the longest 20, 42 and 30 pages each; the others, 14 pages or less), I’m intrigued by what I find.

Less than two dozen pages into the book, I was moved. I’m predisposed to share values that are plainly evident here; but Woiwode’s frank discussion of his Christian faith, its centrality for him and his family’s life, and the reality that not everyone else would approve, afforded a welcome context and perspective for understanding his remaining essays, both as they each were originally written, and as reworked for the present volume.

Two quotes from Woiwode’s second essay (“Homeplace, Heaven or Hell? On the Order of Existence”) in particular still resonate:

“In the first sentence of The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom states, ‘There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative.’ Albert Einstein said, ‘The theory of relativity refers to physics, not morals.” [p. 29? p. 25 in Advance Proof.]

“If values evolve from traditions and common sense, then when values start clashing, we need a judge or referee, as we do when we turn to a dictionary to define words. Otherwise, any individual value is as valid as another. Without an outside guide we’re in Babel, where everyone is talking nonsense, because everybody is using words that have meaning only to themselves, and, as Einstein has pointed out, ‘It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the basic evil nature of man.’” [p. 34? p. 30 in Advance Proof.]

A second, significant aspect of the anthology that I find appealing is Woiwode’s take on aspects of contemporary American letters and society. I wasn’t expecting reflections on Wendell Berry, John Gardner, Reynolds Price, and John Updike (each admired, warts and all); but having five pieces devoted these authors, offered through the lens of Woiwode’s experience and perspective, was a delight in itself. The remaining essays concern guns as “an American Icon”; places we would identify as “home”; religion in contemporary education; news media, or – more accurately – a lack of news in the media; and the abiding nature of Shakespeare and his plays, four hundred years later. These are not necessarily topics I would have sought out (even if I do concur), but they’re nonetheless rewarding for Woiwode having shares his thoughts.

Some of the essays, particularly the shorter ones, are quick and easy to read, but Woiwode doesn’t shy away from approaching complex ideas. The longest and most demanding essay is an extended treatment of Updike’s life and work, in all its variety, inconsistencies, and ambiguity. That Woiwode would venture thoughts on spiritual, even metaphysical, aspects of Updike’s work in a (relatively) small format seems to be an impressive undertaking itself.

As with any anthology of pieces written over time, then later assembled and presented as a single volume, these essays don’t form a coherent whole, united by a common thread or thesis woven through them. As discrete works viewed together, they do give a picture of Woiwode’s particular interests and progression over thirty years, and a framework for further reading of his earlier work. That’s another way in which this little volume offers Woiwode’s “Words Made Fresh.” ( )
  jasbro | Apr 19, 2012 |
This book was okay. I usually enjoy collections of essays like this one, but, as other reviewers have pointed out, the efforts here are very uneven. There are some excellent pieces, some decent/average pieces, and some downright awful pieces. Woiwode's take on many issues is interesting, though flawed, but his writing is what makes this book most difficult to recommend. ( )
  kpjackson | Apr 3, 2012 |
A decent, thought provoking collection of essays that focus mostly on literature & American culture. Not being a literary scholar, I didn't enjoy teh literary criticism as much as I did the ones on American society.
  manatree | Jan 10, 2012 |
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My title is meant to echo the incarnation, because it was with the incarnation that writers outside the scope of the Hebrew or Greek texts began to understand how a metaphor of words could contain the lineaments and inner workings of a human being.
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In the first sentence of The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom states, "There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative." Albert Einstein said, "The theory of relativity refers to physics, not morals." [29? p. 25 in Advance Proof]
We should expect to give an account, according to a teaching of Jesus, for every idle word that comes out of our mouths. That's a weighty responsibility for a writer. [30-31]
If values evolve from traditions and common sense, then when values start clashing, we need a judge or referee, as we do when we turn to a dictionary to define words. Otherwise, any individual value is as valid as another. Without an outside guide we're in Babel, where everyone is talking nonsense, because everybody is using words that have meaning only to themselves, and, as Einstein has pointed out, "It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the basic evil nature of man." [34? p. 30 in Advance Proof]
One of the rewards of being a fairly faithful reader arrives when you open a book and realize it's the one you've been reading toward for years. [37]
Why should a writer be concerned with place? As surely as a plant won't grow without soil, or even a fake substitute for soil, so no fictional character of any stature has risen, or will rise, from a vacuum. Place is the foundation of fiction. [64]
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Through the mediums of literary analysis, cultural reflection, and personal memory, these ten essays trace Woiwode's work and thought on such topics as the redemptive fiction of John Gardner, the ownership of guns, the faith of William Shakespeare, and even the difference in news as reported by CNN versus Bob Dylan.

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