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by Duncan Wu
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History & Criticism
  • Author:
    Duncan Wu
  • ISBN:
    0199588848
  • ISBN13:
    978-0199588848
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Oxford University Press (December 19, 2010)
  • Pages:
    592 pages
  • Subcategory:
    History & Criticism
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1555 kb
  • ePUB format
    1699 kb
  • DJVU format
    1745 kb
  • Rating:
    4.8
  • Votes:
    318
  • Formats:
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William Hazlitt was an extraordinary man of letters and life

William Hazlitt was an extraordinary man of letters and life. He was more successful in the former than the latter. No academic, I came to this book because of something Hazlitt wrote: "Words are the only things that last forever. These words have been attributed to many people, including Winston Churchill. Wu's case for Hazlitt as the first 'modern' man rests on the fact that he saw clearly what could be: a world in which birthright did not determine status or success, and where a man (or woman) could succeed on his or her own merits without having to grovel and win patronage from his social superiors but intellectual inferiors.

Romanticism is where the modern age begins, and Hazlitt was its most articulate spokesman. No one else had the ability to see it whole; no one else knew so many of its politicians, poets, and philosophers

Romanticism is where the modern age begins, and Hazlitt was its most articulate spokesman. No one else had the ability to see it whole; no one else knew so many of its politicians, poets, and philosophers. By interpreting it for his contemporaries, he speaks to us of ourselves - of the culture and world we now inhabit. Perhaps the most important development of his time, the creation of a mass media, is one that now dominates our lives

Start by marking William Hazlitt: The First Modern Man as Want to Read .

Start by marking William Hazlitt: The First Modern Man as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. It's unfortunate that Hazlitt's works are not given the same esteem as some of his contemporaries and his name remains unfamiliar to many. Hazlitt's writing might not be everyone's cup of tea, (which Hazlitt drank copious amounts), but anyone with an interest in the Romantics should read Wu's book as it offers a different perspective on many of the well-known writers of the time. Perhaps the most important development of his time, the creation of a mass media, is one that now dominates our lives. Hazlitt's livelihoo wasdependent on it.

His latest volume, William Hazlitt: The First Modern Man, was published by Oxford University Press in the UK. .William Hazlitt : The First Modern Man. OUP Oxford.

His latest volume, William Hazlitt: The First Modern Man, was published by Oxford University Press in the UK on 20 October 2008. He is also Vice-Chairman of The Charles Lamb Society, Trustee of The Keats-Shelley Memorial Association, and a founder member and former Chairman of The Hazlitt Society In other media.

William Hazlitt: The First Modern Man. Rónán McDonald. In addition he was, variously, a painter, philosopher, memoirist, political radical and biographer. He knew, and often managed to incense, the most prominent writers, politicians and wits of the Romantic era.

Romanticism is where the modern age begins, and Hazlitt was its most articulate spokesman

Part I: The Road to Nether StoweyPart II: Beyond XanaduPart III: A Philosopher in Grub StreetPart IV: The Plain SpeakerPart V: The New PygmalionPart VI: Mr Hazlitt's Grand TourPart VII: London SolitudeEpilogue.

Items related to William Hazlitt: The First Modern Ma.

Items related to William Hazlitt: The First Modern Man. Duncan Wu William Hazlitt: The First Modern Man. ISBN 13: 9780199549580.

Duncan Wu examines Hazlitt's early aspirations to become a painter, his engagement with revolutionary politics, his rise to prominence as one of England's greatest literary critics, and the disillusionment. ISBN13:9780199588848.

Hailed as "excellent" (Harper's), "distinctly eye-opening" (WashingtonPost.com), and "astonishingly detailed" (Wall Street Journal), this marvelous biography draws on over a decade of archival research to explore all aspects of William Hazlitt's life. Duncan Wu examines Hazlitt's early aspirations to become a painter, his engagement with revolutionary politics, his rise to prominence as one of England's greatest literary critics, and the disillusionment and poverty of his final years. Along the way, Wu reveals countless new details concerning Hazlitt's relationships with Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, William Godwin, J. M. W. Turner, and other important figures of the Romantic era. But Wu sees Hazlitt as an essentially modern writer who took political sketch-writing to a new level, invented sports commentary as we know it, and created the essay-form as it is practiced in our own time. Painstakingly researched and filled with original insight, this biography benefits also from Wu's New Writings of William Hazlitt, many of which make their appearance here, illuminating obscure passages of Hazlitt's life.

Nkeiy
Professor Duncan Wu has written an accessible and thoughtful book about a brilliant and complex writer (essayist) and thinker. William Hazlitt was an extraordinary man of letters and life. He was more successful in the former than the latter. No academic, I came to this book because of something Hazlitt wrote: "Words are the only things that last forever." These words have been attributed to many people, including Winston Churchill. From there, I wanted to know more about the man and his body of work, as well as to understand Romanticism as an artistic movement.

What I got was a detailed history of the politics, cultural and literary scene of that time. This is a well researched, well-written book. Hazlitt got the biographer (serious and perceptive) that he deserves!
Uanabimo
A very good biography of an interesting figure in the history of Romanticism. Wu is strong on anecdote, which makes the book particularly enjoyable to read and makes Hazlitt and his period more vivid for me.
Voodoosida
Fine, well-written biography about a little-known but very influential man of letters.
energy breath
i think Wu forces the issue and never really establishes the criteria or proves the issue when it comes to Hazlitt. In the sheer range of Hazlitt's writings whether on art, the theatre, Shakespeare or his own contemporaries, the criticism is sharp, precise, and should be considered as a standard of good sense.
Falya
terrific biography
Gela
I've long loved Hazlitt's essays, and one of my most cherished possessions is a first edition of his Surrey Institute lectures on the English poets. But until now I had waited in vain for a biography that would do justice to this remarkable figure and the world he inhabited.

Wu is unabashed partisan of Hazlitt (which is probably why he undertook this task in the first place; Hazlitt is one of those figures now largely overlooked, along with Leigh Hunt, as the spotlight shines on the Romantic poets rather than on their prose-writing counterparts) and that enthusiasm for sharing Hazlitt's side in any quarrel can sometimes become a bit wearying. (I'm a fan of Hazlitt's, but find it hard to muster up much enthusiasm for HIS enthusiasm for Napoleon, for instance.) But where Wu succeeds brilliantly is in bringing alive the spirit of the age in which Hazlitt lived and wrote: the era which saw the triumph of the American Revolution (some of his earliest years were spent in the just-born United States) and then the French Revolution, followed by a British crackdown on anything that smelled like 'subversion'. Wu's case for Hazlitt as the first 'modern' man rests on the fact that he saw clearly what could be: a world in which birthright did not determine status or success, and where a man (or woman) could succeed on his or her own merits without having to grovel and win patronage from his social superiors but intellectual inferiors.

A testimony to the power of this biography is the fact that weeks after reading it, the events that Wu describes -- Hazlitt's financial struggles, his occasional triumphs, his tendency to become his own worst enemy and his lack of discretion -- continue to resonate in my memory. I'll be reading or thinking about something completely different, and suddenly a stray word or idea will push my mind back to Hazlitt and his falling out with some of his earliest friends, such as Coleridge, or to his friendship with Charles and Mary Lamb, or his fascination with the theater and his ability to spot some of his era's biggest talents the first time they strode across the stage. Best of all, Wu captures the discomfort of a young man, raised in a non-conformist yet religious household, who loses his faith, who must carve out a place for himself as a 'jobbing writer' in a world that has no place for non-conformists, whether that non-conformity is religious or social in nature. While reading this, I feel as if I inhabited the streets in which my prized first edition was printed.

Even if you're not interested in Hazlitt the person, this book is a great introduction to his times -- his path crossed that of all the great literary figures of his generation, and he engaged in his writings all the major themes, from the need for 'gusto' in life to the individual experience of nature that was part of the romantic era. (Hazlitt himself, however, still strikes me as more professional skeptic than a classic Romantic -- or perhaps, a Curmudgeonly Romantic?) And even if you're not interested in reading about the late 18th and early 19th century literary world, do pick up some of Hazlitt's essays. They are, indeed, treasures in their own right.

Highly recommended to anyone interested in this era, and in the Romantic poets or essay-writing.
Fhois
A detailed academic biography of a long-dead English essayist and journalist. Professor Duncan Wu, while certainly an expert on his subject, comes across as an unwavering apologist for the difficult Mr. Hazlitt: a man who was a consistent financial deadbeat, who lacked good moral behavior toward women, who often was malicious in print towards friends and acquaintances, and who was a big fan of the dictator Napoleon.

That Mr. Hazlitt was an excellent writer and championed many good causes (e.g., attacking the emptiness of the British monarchy and supporting the right to free speech) hardly justifies him in having been a first-class jerk.

As for the subtitle of the book "The First Modern Man", it is quite a claim and one I think wildly overstated.

If you have a keen interest in William Hazlitt's life, read this book.
If not, which is probably most of the world, you can safely take a pass.