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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. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Tim Parks' "Hell And Back". Nineteen essays by polymath/novelist/translator/critic, 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 magisterial. An absolute "must-have" title for Tim Parks collectors. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing (American) still available online and is in fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Copies available online have serious flaws, are subsequent printings, or are remainder-marked. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A scarce copy thus. One of the finest writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER TIM PARKS TITLE IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 1559706104. $20.00

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