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Ozick, Cynthia. THE DIN IN THE HEAD. New York City, NY: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 243 pages. As New/As New.

The author's fifth collection of essays. One of Cynthia Ozick's finest achievements. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Presents twenty essays on subjects as diverse as Franz Kafka and Henry James (her two greatest mentor/idols), Helen Keller, Lionel Trilling, Sylvia Plath, Rudyard Kipling, and Leo Tolstoy, among others, demonstrating a breadth of learning and culture that no longer exists. She writes piercingly and critically, but always with an unself-conscious and un-indulgent sympathy for her subject, against her better judgment, and even while she is tearing him or her to shreds. The Foreword, "On Discord and Desire", presents the context in which the essays were written, a memorial tribute-of-sorts, deeply ambivalent, to Susan Sontag, with whom Ozick apparently quarreled in the lonely privacy of her writing room. For Ozick, Sontag was the dividing line/demarcation between The Old and The New in modern American culture, liberating and devastating at the same time (the title of Sontag's posthumous collection of essays, "At The Same Time", captures her legacy from Sontag's perspective). Sontag was the iconic, charismatic, and seductive champion of the cultural life who was also one of the central figures to undermine and even diminish it with her provocative and ardent championing of popular culture. "Sympathy can be an offense against the truth" (Cynthia Ozick). She is writing in three literary traditions simultaneously, all of them at the most profound level imaginable: The modern European, the ancient Jewish, and the Jamesian American. Hence, the dazzling allusiveness, poignant beauty, and sheer intensity of her work. A masterly collection, this is a "must-have" title for Cynthia Ozick collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black fountain pen on the title page by Cynthia Ozick. This title is now highly collectible. This is one of very few signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition still available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. A very scarce signed copy thus. Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for "Fame & Folly". Finalist for the National Book Award in 1997 for "The Puttermesser Papers". Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2001 for "Quarrel & Quandary". Recipient of the Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. One of the greatest living American writers. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER CYNTHIA OZICK TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0618470506. $50.00

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