John Gardner | Critical Essay by Benjamin De Mott

This literature criticism consists of approximately 3 pages of analysis & critique of John Gardner.
This section contains 638 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Benjamin De Mott

It's a rule, seemingly, that a Gardner novel will be—in at least one of its dimensions—the story of somebody's intellectual life.

And for part of its extreme length, "Mickelsson's Ghosts" obeys the rule. As with any novel set in academia, there's a measure of plain socializing in its pages (the inevitable stiff academic dinner party) and a good deal of caricature (the inevitable artsy-clerksy faculty musicale). But there's also—highly unusual in academic novels—a serious representation of teaching and thinking….

We're offered a believable account of peaks and pits in the desk life of an academic essayist, and at intervals the novelist engages a genuinely challenging philosophical theme, namely the mind's endless—and doomed—hunt for self-knowledge….

In the early going Gardner works hard and effectively to maintain a tight seal between the...

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This section contains 638 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Benjamin De Mott
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Essay by Benjamin De Mott from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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