(Click for larger image)

Parks, Tim. HELL AND BACK: REFLECTIONS ON WRITERS AND WRITING FROM DANTE TO RUSHDIE. New York City, NY: Arcade Publishing, 2001. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 341 pages. Fine/Fine.

Collection of literary essays. The first appearance of the title in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Nineteen essays by polymath/novelist/translator/critic Tim Parks, many of which first appeared in the New York Review of Books. In intelligent and readable discourses, Parks writes on authors as diverse as Dante, Jorge Luis Borges, Giacomo Leopardi, W. G. Sebald, and Salman Rushdie, a breathtaking range. The essays aim at a deeper understanding of the author in question, not at popularizing the works. In one essay, Parks discusses how he was prompted to discuss translation when one of his students failed to recognize the Italian version of a novel she had read in English translation. In another, he asks whether creative writing doesn't by nature involve "rancour" with other writers, a sort of occupational hazard. Offers a wide range of wonderfully challenging, always provocative reflections on literature and the art of writing. The lead essay on Dante sets the tone for the entire collection: Erudite, contemplative, witty, and meticulous, it constantly offers new insights on "The Inferno", one of the world's greatest poem cycles. Mixing biographical background with astute literary detection, Parks writes also of Samuel Beckett, Henry Green, Jose Saramago, Christina Stead, Giovanni Verga, among many others. His essay on the art of translation (he is an eminent translator of Italian literature) is quite simply, a masterpiece. A "must-have" title for Tim Parks collectors. This title has been out-of-print as a hardcover for a long time and is now collectible. This is one of relatively few copies of the First American Edition still available online and is in fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A scarce copy thus. One of the finest living writers. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER TIM PARKS TITLE IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 1559706104. $20.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on August 05, 2020.