Your New Reading List: Fred Inglis’ Picks

Many of our authors’ reading suggestions this summer have been seasoned classics and old favorites, but there’s nothing quite like picking up a recently-published book and unexpectedly discovering that it’s refreshingly delightful – Fred Inglis knows what we mean.  He has recently uncovered some new gems and wants to share them with you:

Fred says, “First, Christopher Ricks’s wonderful study, just out, of the poets Anthony Hecht, Geoffrey Hill, and Robert Lowell, ‘under the sign of Eliot and Pound’ as Ricks puts it, and of which the title is True Friendship, the friendship in question being the use to which fine poets put their complicated, ambivalent and devout admiration of mighty predecessors in the making of their own utterly different poetry and its purposes.  The thing is carried off with all Ricks’s extraordinary subtlety, punning and mischievously high sense of the comic, along with his similarly high seriousness and exquisite prose.

Second , Simon Critchley’s The Book of Dead Philosophers, also new, which does just that: reports on the end of the great thinkers with deadpan (as you might say) equanimity, on how they met their end (and implicitly of course), [and] on what corroboration those ends gave to the ends of life they each in their work commended. Thus Zeno was stabbed trying to bite off a tyrants ear in which he promised to whisper the secret of life, Empedocles chucked himself into Etna, Diderot died eating an apricot to try to prove to his wife that he was fine and not in the least ill, and my hero, Hume, died exemplarly and in ‘great good humour’ refusing his young friend Boswell’s efforts to convert him on his deathbed.”

Along with the two above mentioned books, you can pick up a copy of Fred’s latest PUP title, A Short History of Celebrity, hot off the presses.  You can also learn more about the book and become a fan on Facebook.

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