In the Company of William Hazlitt

Thoughts for the 21st Century

Author(s): WHELAN, Maurice
ISBN13/Barcode: 9780850365535

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William Hazlitt – essayist, critic, associate of Coleridge and Wordsworth, died in a Soho lodging house in 1830 at the age of 52. His final words, ‘Well, I’ve had a happy life,’ astonished his listeners, for his life- had not been easy, and pain and suffering were his frequent companions. Whelan imaginatively takes hold of his subject and firmly places him at the beginning of the 21st century, approaching his subject from a fresh point of view. Not only is Hazlitt presented as a great investigator of the inner world and as a precursor to Freud but also as going beyond the founder of psychoanalysis and anticipating modern developments in that field.

The author argues strongly for Hazlitt to be taken seriously as a thinker and writer of extraordinary relevance to our present world, a true spirit for our age. Hazlitt is alive and well in the 21st Century: anthologies of his writings are available from Penguin, Oxford, and others; he features widely on reading lists of 19th century English literature. In his own lifetime and since, he was regarded as one of the greatest writers of prose in the English language, who drew on experiences in County Cork, in Philadelphia, Boston and London; a man of diverse experience including that of being imprisoned, briefly, for debt. He was also a thorn in the side of the establishment: opposing slavery, critical of Wordworth’s poetry glorifying war, defending civil liberties, arguing against the British dispossession of Ireland and for Catholic Emancipation.

‘Hazlitt is presented here as a great investigator of the inner world and as a precursor to Freud, but also as going beyond the founder of psychoanalysis and anticipating modern developments in that field.’ Read Ireland; ‘

Whelan writes engagingly in a spirit of dialogue with both Hazlitt and the reader, so the book is not only for scholars and students. It is both an excellent introduction to Hazlitt and also a distinguished contribution to scholarship. ‘ R.S. White, Professor of English at University of Western Australia; ‘

One only has to think of Swift, Wilde, Yeats, Shaw, Beckett and Heaney. Maurice would not wish to insinuate himself into such company, but he does belong to a tradition of Irish eloquence. It’s a conversational eloquence and this is above all a companionable book.’ Psychoanalysis Downunder

Contents: In the Company of William Hazlitt; Hazlitt’s Life and Times; The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules the World; A Freudian John The Baptist ; Ronald Fairbairn and Vanity; The Art of Criticism; Independence of Mind; Liberty, Equality, Fraternity; On the Love of Words; A Compass of Soul; Remembrance of Things Present; A Spirit for our Age, Endnotes, Bibliography, Index.

Additional Information

ISBN13/Barcode 9780850365535
ISBN10 0850365538
Author WHELAN, Maurice
Binding Paperback
Date Published 15 Feb 2005
Frequency No
Report Date N/A
Pages 206
Publisher Merlin Press

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