Gallery of clouds

by Rachel Eisendrath | 11 May 2021
PAPERBACK
Largely unknown to readers today, Sir Philip Sidney's sixteenth-century pastoral romance Arcadia was long considered one of the finest works of prose fiction in the English language. Shakespeare borrowed an episode from it for King Lear; Virginia Woolf saw it as "some luminous globe" wherein "all the seeds of English fiction lie latent." In Gallery of Clouds, Renaissance scholar Rachel Eisendrath has written an extraordinary homage to Arcadia in the form of a book-length essay divided into passing clouds: "The clouds in my Arcadia, the one I found and the one I made, hold light and colour. They take on the forms of other things: a cat, the sea, my grandmother, the gesture of a teacher I loved, a friend, a girlfriend, a ship at proud sail, my mother. These clouds stay still only as long as I look at them, and then they change." Gallery of Clouds opens in New York City with a dream, or a vision, of meeting Virginia Woolf in the afterlife. She holds out her manuscript to her-an infinite moment passes-and Woolf takes it and begins to read. From here, in this act of magical reading, the book scrolls out in a series of reflective pieces connected through an association of metaphors and ideas. Golden threadlines tie each part to the next: a rupture of time in a Pisanello painting; Montaigne's practice of revision in his essays; a segue through Vivian Gordon Harsh, the first African-American librarian in the Chicago public library system; a fragment of Spenser; a brief history of prose style; a meditation on the active versus the contemplative life; the story of Sarapion, a fifth-century monk; the persistence of the pastoral; image-making and thought; reading Willa Cather to her grandmother in her Chicago apartment; the deviations of Benjamin's "scholarly romance" The Arcades. Eisendrath's wondrously woven hybrid work extols the materiality of reading, its pleasures and delights, with wild leaps and bounding grace.
€25.19
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Largely unknown to readers today, Sir Philip Sidney's sixteenth-century pastoral romance Arcadia was long considered one of the finest works of prose fiction in the English language. Shakespeare borrowed an episode from it for King Lear; Virginia Woolf saw it as "some luminous globe" wherein "all the seeds of English fiction lie latent." In Gallery of Clouds, Renaissance scholar Rachel Eisendrath has written an extraordinary homage to Arcadia in the form of a book-length essay divided into passing clouds: "The clouds in my Arcadia, the one I found and the one I made, hold light and colour. They take on the forms of other things: a cat, the sea, my grandmother, the gesture of a teacher I loved, a friend, a girlfriend, a ship at proud sail, my mother. These clouds stay still only as long as I look at them, and then they change." Gallery of Clouds opens in New York City with a dream, or a vision, of meeting Virginia Woolf in the afterlife. She holds out her manuscript to her-an infinite moment passes-and Woolf takes it and begins to read. From here, in this act of magical reading, the book scrolls out in a series of reflective pieces connected through an association of metaphors and ideas. Golden threadlines tie each part to the next: a rupture of time in a Pisanello painting; Montaigne's practice of revision in his essays; a segue through Vivian Gordon Harsh, the first African-American librarian in the Chicago public library system; a fragment of Spenser; a brief history of prose style; a meditation on the active versus the contemplative life; the story of Sarapion, a fifth-century monk; the persistence of the pastoral; image-making and thought; reading Willa Cather to her grandmother in her Chicago apartment; the deviations of Benjamin's "scholarly romance" The Arcades. Eisendrath's wondrously woven hybrid work extols the materiality of reading, its pleasures and delights, with wild leaps and bounding grace.
Quantity:
In stock online
Delivery in 2-3 working days
Eligible for free delivery
75 Reward Points

Any purchases for more than €10 are eligible for free delivery anywhere in the UK or Ireland!

€25.19
In stock online
Delivery in 2-3 working days
Eligible for free delivery
Quantity:
75 Reward Points

Any purchases for more than €10 are eligible for free delivery anywhere in the UK or Ireland!

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