Keith Brown’s literary essays, published at intervals over the course of a long career, are marked by their engaging flair and independence from intellectual fashion. They often explore aspects of the interaction of craftsmanship and ideas that are unnoticed or ignored in the mainstream of critical debate. However, the full potential of his approach only emerges when these essays are taken together. A notable concern of Brown’s critical method is to uncover the latent organising principles – naturally as various as the author’s intentions – that lie beneath the surface of any worthwhile extended literary work. His ‘sightings’ reveal the actual contours of literary landscapes seen dimly before.
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2008. 270 pp., 7 ill.
Contents: Moral Quality versus Moral Content – ‘Form and Cause Conjoin’d’: Hamlet and Shakespeare’s Workshop – Polonius,
and Fortinbras: and Hamlet? – Hamlet’s Place on the Map – Construction and Significance in Shakespearean Drama – Shakespeare’s
Master Piece? – ‘More light, more light!’ – Visualising Hobbes – A Short Course of the Belles Lettres for Keatsians?
– Art for Ernest’s Sake – An Offering to the Goddess: Mrs. Dalloway on Mount Caburn – Welsh Red Indians: D. H. Lawrence and
St. Mawr – Dealing with Durrell.