Frank Brownlow

Frank Brownlow is professor emeritus of English at Mount Holyoke College.

Latest by Frank Brownlow in Chronicles

Results: 35 Articles found.
  • That Bestial Visor
    March 1995

    That Bestial Visor

    In the popular memory the interwar years in Western Europe were a period of instability, inertia, and poverty or, as Auden described the 1930's, "a low dishonest decade."

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  • A Documented Life
    June 1994

    A Documented Life

    Muriel Spark (1992 winner of the Ingersoll Foundation's T.S. Eliot Award) is a prolific writer with some 19 novels to her credit as well as volumes of poetry, short stories, criticism, and biography. Yet she was a surprisingly late starter.

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  • Women and Biographers First!
    July 1993

    Women and Biographers First!

    To be really successful a modern writer must reach and hold a huge audience, and there seems to be essentially two ways of doing it: the journeyman (or tradesman-like) and the heroic-histrionic.

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  • Thoughts of Empire
    February 1993

    Thoughts of Empire

    When Mikhail Gorbachev declared that he was going to withdraw Russian troops from Afghanistan, people were so entranced by his supposed sincerity that they neglected more interesting aspects of the announcement.

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  • A Myth Imagined
    June 1992

    A Myth Imagined

    How quickly living tradition turns into history. The Great War of 1914-18.has almost entirely receded from memory. Very few of that generation are alive to tell their stories, and as for their children, they have their own war, the Second World War, to occupy and puzzle their memories.

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  • Sheer Christianity
    May 1992

    Sheer Christianity

    For a long time after "modern" first came into the language, it was an innocuous little word, the simple opposite of "ancient," and insofar as it had connotations, they were not very good ones. Shakespeare always used it to mean "commonplace," with strong suggestions of the slipshod and the second-rate.

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  • Business as Usual
    September 1991

    Business as Usual

    Shortly before Christmas last, I heard a college president say, gesturing toward a copy of Roger Kimball's Tenured Radicals, "That book is making my job very difficult."

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  • December 1990

    Raptures of High-Mindedness

    Barnard College's "First Year Seminar Committee" has decided to use a grant from the Ford Foundation to encourage the faculty to use the works of "minority women" in their courses.

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  • Death in Disguise
    November 1990

    Death in Disguise

    The 1950's were the high point of D.H. Lawrence's critical reputation. In those days university English professors were keen teachers of Lawrence's message of "life" and emotional honesty, and he was a popular subject for undergraduate theses.

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  • Homme Sérieux
    July 1990

    Homme Sérieux

    Kipling should be a fascinating subject for literary history. He was enormously gifted and successful, the child of a modest, nonconformist Anglo-Scot family that, besides producing him, also produced his cousin, the conservative prime minister Stanley Baldwin.

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  • July 1989

    Merlin of the Woods

    The matter of the Celts has had a strong hold on the English-speaking imagination for a long time, at least since the publication in the mid-18th century of the forged Poems of Ossian.

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  • Reading Swift Straight
    September 1988

    Reading Swift Straight

    Telling truth in the form of a lie is one of the odder things human beings do. It is hard to imagine irony in Paradise, and there can certainly be none in Heaven, where we know even as we are known, and there is nothing to hide and nothing hideable.

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  • In Thrall

    American professors of literature (or a large number of them) have been in thrall for some time to a body of "literary theory" exported from Europe in the late 60's.

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  • National Liberation Literature
    October 1987

    National Liberation Literature

    Years ago, in the North Welsh town of Llanrwst, I bought a copy of Dylan Thomas' Collected Poems, and a 50-year-old Welshman present, a Baptist, teetotalling, nonsmoking, nondancing insurance agent, said, "A wonderful boy and a great poet: a terrible loss to Wales."

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  • January 1987

    A Spymaster Defects

    As a member of the last generation of English middle-class boys brought up on great expectations of prosperity, glamour, and power, John Le Carré first became famous in America when his obsession with the failed promise of his own society supplied an analogy for American middle-class readers jaded by the extravagant claims being made for theirs.

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Results: 35 Articles found.