Creationists PDF/EPUB ↠ Hardcover

Creationists ❰EPUB❯ ✼ Creationists Author E.L. Doctorow – Thomashillier.co.uk E L Doctorow is acclaimed internationally for such novels as Ragtime Billy Bathgate and The March Now here are Doctorow's rich revelatory essays on the nature of imaginative thought In Creationists Do E L Doctorow is acclaimed internationally for such novels as Ragtime Billy Bathgate and The March Now here are Doctorow's rich revelatory essays on the nature of imaginative thought In Creationists Doctorow considers creativity in its many forms from the literary Melville and Mark Twain to the comic Harpo Marx to the cosmic Genesis and Einstein As he wrestles with the subjects that have teased and fired his own imagination Doctorow affirms the idea that we know by what we create Just what is Melville doing in Moby Dick And how did The Adventures of Tom Sawyer impel Mark Twain to radically rewrite what we know as Huckleberry Finn Can we ever trust what novelists say about their own work How could Franz Kafka have written a book called Amerika without ever leaving Europe In posing such uestions Doctorow grapples with literary creation not as a critic or as a scholar but as one working writer frankly contemplating the work of another It's a perspective that affords him both protean grace and profound insight Among the essays collected here are Doctorow's musings on the very different Spanish Civil War novels of Ernest Hemingway and Andre Malraux; a candid assessment of Edgar Allan Poe as our greatest bad writer; a bracing analysis of the story of Genesis in which God figures as the most complex and riveting character Whether he is considering how Harpo Marx opened our eyes to surrealism the haunting photos with which the late German writer W G Sebald illustrated his texts or the innovations of such literary icons as Heinrich von Kleist Harriet Beecher Stowe and Sinclair Lewis Doctorow is unfailingly generous shrewd attentive surprising and preciseIn examining the creative works of different times and disciplines Doctorow also reveals the source and nature of his own artistry Rich in aphorism and anecdote steeped in history and psychology informed by a lifetime of reading and writing Creationists opens a magnificent window into one of the great creative minds of our time.


10 thoughts on “Creationists

  1. Michael Cabus Michael Cabus says:

    Why is there such a strong anti intellectual strain in America? America seems forever fixated on emotion and that fixation discourages deepening wisdom The hurry to do something makes the delay of developing a philosophy almost sinful It's just a hypothesis and books like the Creationists try to slow time down briefly to offer testimonials in favour of American intellectual life It's not an easy task but Doctorow succeeds by giving it to us in all its messiness At heart this book is about the act of artistic creation anti evolutionists were bound to be disappointed It's a life outside of life a choice that means everything in ways other choices do not To be reminded that Americans can claim that messy experimental novel Moby Dick; that we can claim the mystic and reclusive Poe; that we've a history of pushing up against racism even as we seemed to accept it as imperfect as that effort has been this matters because it offers some identity we can point to beyond the surface level awareness full of misinformation we seem unable to escape Having a literary tradition is not icing; it's the feast the wine the beauty of life The rest is as Austen said busy nothings Let's have of these books And a tradition worth reflecting on If you're reading this I suppose it continues with you and me Welcome have a seat A


  2. Charles Matthews Charles Matthews says:

    If you pick up this book expecting EL Doctorow to weigh in on “intelligent design” or other anti Darwinian controversies you’ll be disappointed It’s a book of essays mostly about literature Poe Melville Twain Malraux Kleist Kafka et al Doctorow calls it “a modest celebration of the creative act” Creationists is a whimsical title; Doctorow doesn’t have much in common with the creationists who use the Bible to make an end run around science But he does give his collection a biblical structure It begins with an essay on the book of Genesis and ends with an apocalypse an essay on the threat of nuclear holocaust And he does sense that creativity has a fundamental mysteriousness about it As he puts it “the act of writing when it is going well seems no than the dutiful secretarial response to a silent dictation” This idea of the seeming autonomy of the imagination gets its strongest expression not in an essay on literature but in one on science “Einstein Seeing the Unseen” “Einstein’s theory of relativity was an arduous work of self expression no less than that of a great writer or painter” Doctorow says referring to “the occasion of lightning clarity when that formula Emc2¬ wrote itself in his brain the moment of creative crisis the eureka moment” On the analogy of the cosmic creative moment known as the Big Bang Doctorow calls this “the Little Bang of the writer’s or scientist’s inspiration” in which in the writer’s case “from the slightest bit of material a whole novelistic world is created” And he notes that “the writers of the ancient texts the sacred texts of our religions” were “so awed by the mystery of their own creative process” that they “attributed the Little Bang of their own written cosmologies to God” From Welcome to Hard Times to The March and especially in such novels as The Book of Daniel Ragtime and Billy Bathgate Doctorow’s own creativity has been fired by American history by the West the Civil War the Cold War by gangsters and rebels and immigrants So some of the most provocative things he has to say in these essays are about the writer’s relationship to America – or in the case of Franz Kafka to Amerika a novel that foundered because Kafka’s claustrophobic Old World imagination was stymied by the immensity of the country As Doctorow says Kafka “held his book together as long as he’d ignored the true scale of the American continent” but “the minute he tried to fold our vast openness into his conceit he was finished” But even American writers come to grief Harriet Beecher Stowe may have touched the American conscience with Uncle Tom’s Cabin but Doctorow faults the book for “the implicit racism of Stowe’s stereotypes” of black people “It is an indication of how tortuous is the moral progress of a culture where even the religiously driven protest the aesthetically organized act of moral intellect assumes the biases of the system it would overthrow” And Stowe is not the only transgressor when it comes to racial stereotyping that ironically works against the author’s message Doctorow faults Mark Twain for letting Tom Sawyer take over the latter part of Huckleberry Finn – this is “terrible for American literature” he says not only because it turns a grown up book into juvenile fiction but also because it weakens the rapport between Huck and Jim And the portrayal of Jim troubles him as much as Stowe’s stereotyping Huck Doctorow notes “struggles against the white s of his time to help the black man Jim escape from slavery but it is Huck’s progenitor” – Twain himself – “who portrays Jim in minstrelese as a gullible black child man led by white children” Doctorow rejects Hemingway’s famous assertion “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn” Instead he says “It begins with Moby Dick the book that swallowed European civilization whole” The essay on Moby Dick may be the best in the book exuberant cheerleading for Melville’s daunting masterpiece “I don’t know any other writer in history as uncannily able to parody Shakespeare – at moments to be eual to him – with his monologues and scenes but also to so successfully adopt the social structuring of his characters their hierarchies of rank comedy and tragedy their parallel relationships to those in the master’s plays” he writes Throughout the book Doctorow reminds us of the necessity of fiction that “Stories connect the visible with the invisible the present with the past They propose life as something of moral conseuence Stories were the first repositories of human knowledge They were as important to survival as a spear or a hoe” This book is also a reminder if one is needed that good storytellers often make very good critics The essays in Creationists are probing subtle and smart You might even say that they’re intelligently designed


  3. Bookmarks Magazine Bookmarks Magazine says:

    The brevity of these essays doesn't prevent E L Doctorow Ragtime; The March 12 Selection NovDec 2005 from writing with strength and intensity though it does occasionally make it hard to feel deeply engaged by the material Doctorow treats his fellow authors with uniform respect one of several ways that he differs from writers who focus on literary criticism His approach is freuently both analytic and personal as he discusses the ways each creation is assembled and explores his own connections with it Written clearly and with passion this collection will please both casual readers and those who share Doctorow's deep and abiding love for great creations and fascination with their creatorsThis is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine


  4. Noreen Noreen says:

    A collection of Doctorow's incisive and thought provoking essays on the art of fiction with a brilliant introduction on writing in which he asks Why compose fiction when you could be devoting your life to your appetites? Why wrestle with a book when you could be amassing a fortune? Why write when you could be shooting someone?


  5. Sue Smith Sue Smith says:

    Beautifully written thoughts and analysis of several classic books and their authors Can't say enough about his style so fluid and thought provoking He even makes me want to read Moby Dick he's that convincing His ponderings are proof that reading a book with the intent to learn from it is wonderful Reading a book with a group with this intent is so


  6. Mark Valentine Mark Valentine says:

    I greatly admire Doctorow especially for his recent novel March But having this collection of his readings of other great and not as great authors gives a clear appreciation into the mind of a man who is himself a creationist


  7. William William says:

    Doctorow's essays on the creative process as exemplified through the lives of writers are lively and enlightening Doctorow's prose is always elegant his insights entertaining I particularly liked the essays on Dos Passos Hemingway and Kafka's Amerika


  8. Hammerhead Hammerhead says:

    Fascinating in its treatment of the personalities that created iconic works of literature the prose style and incisive observations of a great American novelist make this a book well worth reading It strangely lapses into an essay on the meaning of life in a nuclear age but that too is well researched and constructed A lot of substance for such a uick read


  9. Stephen Gibbs Stephen Gibbs says:

    First time reading Doctorow; his essays read like a lit crit academic attempting to distill his discipline's high brow ideas into uotidian language for the common man The bland result satisfies no one I imagine


  10. Nance Nance says:

    Not a humble guy that EL Doctorow He is in turns dismissive contemptuous forgiving fawning appreciative reductive etc He projects a certainty as to each author’s aim feelings and thoughts that seem a bitwell could Doctorow sometimes be wrong? For some of the criticisms I hope so


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