Washington Post: “The Geography of the Imagination” shows off the stylish brilliance of Guy Davenport, a writer who contained multitudes

January 12, 2024

Our Nonpareil title, The Geography of the Imagination, just received a well-deserved rave review….

The Geography of the Imagination, his masterwork, is as protean and plentiful as its author….What aren’t the 40 essays in it about? Davenport was too delighted in ‘rhymes, or affinities,’ as he put it, to tackle one subject at a time. Accordingly, a rumination on cave painting is also a reflection on Pablo Picasso; a musing on the 19th-century art critic John Ruskin is also a meditation on labyrinths….He did not write to impress or intimidate — though he may have done both inadvertently — but rather to articulate his awe. The same man who enjoyed explicating the most arcane allusions in Pound’s impenetrabilia also observed, earnestly and beautifully, ‘Two lives we lead: in the world and in our minds. Only a work of art can show us how to do it.’ ”
Washington Post

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