Ecstasy and Terror: From the Greeks to Game of Thrones

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Product Details

$18.95  $17.62
New York Review of Books
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.4 X 0.8 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Daniel Mendelsohn teaches at Bard and is Editor-at-Large at The New York Review of Books. His books include An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic (2017); The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million (2006); How Beautiful It Is and How Easily It Can Be Broken: Essays (2008), and, from New York Review Books, Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture (2012).


"One of the great critics of our time . . . revelatory." --Craig Taylor, The New York Times Book Review

"Mendelsohn, a classicist by training, may be criticism's answer to Michael Jordan; highbrow, lowbrow, antiquity, modernity, Sappho, 'Suits'--he can do all the moves, as these essays, sparkling with insight and erudition, show." --The New York Times Book Review

"The pieces in Ecstasy and Terror . . . range magnificently in topic to include Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, the poetry of Sappho and Cavafy, the assassination of JFK, the Boston bombings, and Hanya [Yanagihara]'s A Little Life. [Daniel Mendelsohn's] work is a much-needed reminder that it is possible to be fair, thoughtful, and accurate while nevertheless offering a definitively positive or negative critique. It is a pleasure to think with him." --Vanity Fair

"A must-read in this age where expertise is so often airily dismissed . . . Lots of critics routinely make light references to Greek myth and literature, but in Mendelsohn's writing such connections mean something, they illuminate more . . . To read a signature Mendelsohn essay is to be educated and entertained, and, always, freshly aware of how much more there is to read and know." --Maureen Corrigan, NPR

"[A] master class in criticism, a rangy, perspicacious, occasionally spiky excursion into cultures both ancient and contemporary. His breadth of reference is characteristically formidable--'From the Greeks to Game of Thrones' (the book's subtitle), 'from Corneille to "The Crown"'--and put to good use. He knows that a well-chosen example, especially one that collapses traditional distinctions between high and popular culture, can be erudite, authoritative, even cool, all at once...To read Mendelsohn is to gain a synoptic view of a subject, whether it's the novels of Ingmar Bergman, 'the Sappho wars' or the unexpected relationship between robots and Homer." --Charles Arrowsmith, The Washington Post

"Daniel Mendelsohn is not only an incisive critic and elegant prose stylist but also a brilliant translator. . . . Even in his criticism, Mendelsohn brings a translator's sensibility to the texts, films and plays he approaches." --Donna Zuckerberg, The Times Literary Supplement

"Mendelsohn's points are always passionately argued. He strikes the perfect balance between learned and playful . . . One fascinating essay after another from one of America's best critics." --Kirkus, starred review

"Mendelsohn takes the classical costumes off figures like Virgil and Sappho and gives them a vivid urgency for the present moment . . . He writes about things so clearly they come to feel like some of the most important things you have ever been told." --Sebastian Barry