Shades of the Sublime and the Beautiful by John Kinsella

Reviewed by
June 2008, no. 302
Nicholas Birns reviews 'Shades of the Sublime and the Beautiful' by John Kinsella

Shades of the Sublime and the Beautiful

by John Kinsella

Fremantle Press, $24.95 pb, 111 pp, 9781921361098

Shades of the Sublime and the Beautiful by John Kinsella

Reviewed by
June 2008, no. 302

Another poet might invoke Edmund Burke’s famous treatise on the Sublime and the Beautiful as a piece of phraseology or a pleasing adornment, but with John Kinsella, such a title is dead serious. Elliot Perlman’s superb novel Seven Types of Ambiguity (2003) ingeniously makes the reader think of William Empson’s, and the idea of plural signification it evokes, but not instantly to reread it. Kinsella’s use of Burke’s title prompts one to reread the original – ideally, in a Kinsellan métier, on the internet, late at night. Additionally, the ‘shades’ in Kinsella’s title is an important supplement – shades as variations, colourings, but also shadows, undertones.


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Nicholas Birns reviews 'Shades of the Sublime and the Beautiful' by John Kinsella

Shades of the Sublime and the Beautiful

by John Kinsella

Fremantle Press, $24.95 pb, 111 pp, 9781921361098

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