Front cover image for On grief and reason : essays

On grief and reason : essays

On Grief and Reason is the second volume of Joseph Brodsky's essays, and the first to be published since he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987. In addition to his Nobel lecture, the volume includes essays on the condition of exile, the nature of history, the art of reading, and the idea of the poet as an inveterate Don Giovanni, as well as a homage to Marcus Aurelius and an appraisal of the case of the double agent Kim Philby (the last two were selected for inclusion in the annual Best American Essays volume). The title essay is a consideration of the poetry of Robert Frost, and the book also includes a fond appreciation of Thomas Hardy, a "Letter to Horace", a close reading of Rilke's poem "Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes", and a memoir of Stephen Spender. Among the other essays are Mr. Brodsky's open letter to Czech President Vaclav Havel and his "immodest proposal" for the future of poetry, an address he delivered while serving as U.S. Poet Laureate. In his Nobel lecture, Mr. Brodsky declared that "verse really does, in Akhmatova's words, grow from rubbish; the roots of prose are no more honorable"--But his own prose's flowering in these essays gives us thought and language at their noblest
Print Book, English, 1995
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1995
484 pages ; 22 cm
9780374234157, 9780374525095, 0374234159, 0374525099
Spoils of war
The condition we call exile
A place as good as any
Uncommon visage
Acceptance speech
After a journey
Altra ego
How to read a book
In praise of boredom
Profile of Clio
Speech at the stadium
Collector's item
An immodest proposal
Letter to a President
On grief and reason
Homage to Marcus Aurelius
A cat's meow
Wooing the inanimate
Ninety years later
Letter to Horace
In memory of Stephen Spender