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October 11, 2010 12:11 PM   Subscribe

Britain’s Frank Kermode is, sadly, dead, aged ninety. I was reading the obits, and memories, and definitely agreeing with the general sentiment that literary criticism (and all of the rest of us) had lost a giant.
posted by JL Sadstone (12 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Frank had none of Eliot’s chilly hauteur, nor his taste for provocation for its own sake, but he was, in his attentive, conversable prose, a wonderful illustration of Eliot’s mot.

very nice.

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posted by clavdivs at 12:36 PM on October 11, 2010


I read Kermode's Romantic Image last month when I heard he had died. The first four chapters are a nice exploration of the way an artist is perceived by society, and how they want to be perceived by society - sort of a push and pull between action and inaction. It's really the last chapter where he takes the gloves and lets his opinions fly. Not many people could get away with calling out fellow critics the same way he did.
posted by Think_Long at 12:45 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, I'd somehow missed that fantastic collection of reminiscences from the LRB. Thanks.
posted by RogerB at 12:45 PM on October 11, 2010


Kermode's 2001 book Shakespeare's Language is superb. It's highly readable, full of unexpected insights and guaranteed to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the plays. It's an absolute masterpiece.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:55 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mr. Kermode gave me my favorite anecdote for my absolute favorite poet. If there's a better gift, I can't think of one.
posted by steef at 1:00 PM on October 11, 2010


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posted by Iridic at 1:04 PM on October 11, 2010


Not many people could get away with calling out fellow critics the same way he did.

I don't have anything specific at hand, like a link, but if you dig around in the LRB archive, Kermode really gives it to Hugh Kenner in his review of the latter's Ulysses. He had a reputation for expressing his dislikes subtly, but I suppose the exceptions prove the rule.
posted by cobra libre at 1:23 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


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posted by OmieWise at 2:24 PM on October 11, 2010


He was one of the few literary critics I thoroughly respected and looked forward to reading. (Interesting fact: he, unlike almost everyone else, pronounced his name with the stress on the first syllable, like Kermit the Frog but with a -d at the end.)
posted by languagehat at 3:04 PM on October 11, 2010


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posted by smoke at 3:53 PM on October 11, 2010


What Paul Slade said.
posted by OHenryPacey at 5:56 PM on October 11, 2010


And Mark Kermode lives on. There really is no justice in this world.
posted by seanyboy at 11:36 PM on October 11, 2010


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