4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Takes arbitrariness to a whole new level,
This review is from: The Oxford Companion to English Literature (Hardcover)
The English complexion of this volume is debatable and its function, I suspect, purely notional. Alfred de Vigny? Garcia Marquez?? Alfonso Gatto??? We are referred from Perec to OuLiPo (a point for that) yet Gautier and Gaudier-Brzeska get separate entries instead of referring us respectively to 'art for art's sake' and Vorticism. Stravinsky gets a long entry, on frankly tenuous grounds. There's a general air of tuft-hunting, barrel-scraping and sheer bumbling amateurism. Benjamin West (American painter, d.1820) gets in ('an important turning point in taste') yet of Hopper, Pollock and Warhol there is no sign, let alone (Heaven forfend!) Jeff Koons. The cross-reference from Gertrude Stein to Picasso leads to - a dead end
Without clear focus the internet has made this kind of thing redundant, other than to furnish a room. But people have no space (place a flag in your window instead). I'm told the first edition was better, if you're of a historicist bent - like the old DNB. For normal mortals the Cambridge Guide is streets ahead. You should find any edition (there have been three) a real pleasure to consult. It has pics too!!!