This 900-page survey of world literature, "From Confucius' Day to Our Own" (as the subtitle reads), was the last book written by Ford Madox Ford, one of the seminal figures of the modernist period. Written for general readers rather than scholars and first published in 1938, The March of Literature is a working novelist's view of what is valuable in literature, and why. Convinced that scholars and teachers give a false sense of literature, Ford brings alive the pleasures of reading by writing about books he is passionate about.
Beginning at the beginning - with ancient Egyptian and Chinese literature and the Bible - Ford works his way through classical literature, the writings of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, continuing up to the major writers of his own day like Ezra Pound, Henry James, and Joseph Conrad.
With his encyclopedic reading and expertise in the techniques of writing, Ford is a reliable and entertaining guide. Ford also includes a chapter on publishers and booksellers, noting the key roles they play in literature's existence.
Novelist Alexander Theroux (Darconville's Cat, An Adultery) has written an insightful introduction for this reissue, the first time this monumental book has been made available in paperback.
A survey of world literature, beginning with ancient Egyptian and Chinese literature, as well as the Bible, through classical, Middle Ages, Renaissance, and modern works. In putting together this work, Ford was trying to convey to readers his great love of books; he felt that academicians of the time were trying to cram down their pupils' throats too many "dry bones," too many books that had lost their worth as works of literature and had nothing to say to their readers. Ford chose as his examples of lasting literature books that instilled in him, and other artists, a passion for reading.
- Literary Criticism, Literary Collections
- Essays, General
- July 1, 1994
- July 1, 1994
- Ford Madox Ford