The gnomon is the part of a sundial that casts its shadow, and Gnomon: Essays on Contemporary Literature represents, in its author’s words, a report on ten years watching of shadows. Collecting the earliest short essays and reviews by a man who was arguably the greatest English-landguage critic-scholar of the twentieth century, Gnomon not only provides valuable, entertaining, and often scabrous insights into the workings of literature, as well as the books of such modern giants as William Carlos Williams, Ford Madox Ford, Wyndham Lewis, and Ezra Pound, but is itself a cross-section of the the development of Kenner’s own body of work, which inits beauty, irreverence, and disregard for convention proves him as much an artist as the men and women he spent his life championing.
Hugh Kenner (1923-2003) was one of America’s great literary critics. He wrote on a range of subjects that includes Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, and geodesic domes.