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Angels have soared through Western culture and consciousness from Biblical to contemporary times. But what do we really know about these celestial beings? Where do they come from, what are they made of, how do they communicate and perceive? The celebrated essayist Eliot Weinberger has mined and deconstructed, resurrected and distilled centuries of theology into an awe-inspiring exploration of the heavenly host.
From a litany of angelic voices, Weinberger's lyrical meditation then turns to the earthly counterparts, the saints, their lives retold in a series of vibrant and playful capsule biographies, followed by a glimpse of the afterlife.
Threaded throughout Angels & Saints are the glorious illuminated grid poems by the eighteenth-century Benedictine monk Hrabanus Maurus. These astonishingly complex, proto-"concrete" poems are untangled in a lucid afterword by the medieval scholar and historian Mary Wellesley.
New Directions Publishing Corporation
September 01, 2020
6.7 X 9.0 X 0.7 inches | 1.05 pounds
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About the Author
Eliot Weinberger's books of literary essays include Karmic Traces, An Elemental Thing, The Ghosts of Birds, and Angels & Saints. His political writings are collected in What I Heard About Iraq and What Happened Here: Bush Chronicles. The author of a study of Chinese poetry translation, 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei, he is a translator of the poetry of Bei Dao and the editor of The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry. He was formerly the general editor of the series Calligrams: Writings from and on China and the literary editor of the Murty Classical Library of India. Among his many translations of Latin American poetry and prose are The Poems of Octavio Paz, Paz's In Light of India, Vicente Huidobro's Altazor, Xavier Villaurrutia's Nostalgiafor Death, and Jorge Luis Borges' Seven Nights and Selected Non-Fictions. He has been publishing with New Directions since 1975.
Mary Wellesley is a former research affiliate at the British Library, where she still teaches medieval language and literature. A frequent contributor to the London Review of Books, she completed her PhD at University College London. She lives in London.
Like Thomas Aquinas before him, Weinberger is a brilliant scholar in a dark age.
My favorite essayist is Eliot Weinberger. His remarkable breadth of calm concern is impressive.--Gary Snyder
Eliot Weinberger is a master essayist, a furious thinker and an exceptionally elegant writer.--Jenny Diski