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David Holbrook (David Kenneth Holbrook) Biography

(1923– ), (David Kenneth Holbrook), Imaginings, Against the Cruel Frost, Object Relations, Chance of a Lifetime

British poet, critic, and novelist, born in Norwich, educated at Downing College, Cambridge, where he was appointed Director of English Studies in 1981. His collections of poetry include Imaginings (1961), Against the Cruel Frost (1963), Object Relations (1967), Chance of a Lifetime (1978), and Selected Poems 1961–1978 (1980). He has stated that in his poetry and prose fiction he is ‘trying to find what meaning there might be in normal, everyday existence’. Many of his poems combine emotional candour and lyrical tenderness in their treatments of domestic incidents which form the basis for wider philosophical speculation. His novels include A Play of Passion (1978), Flesh Wounds (1987), A Little Athens (1990), Jennifer (1991), and Even if They Fall (1994). Dylan Thomas: The Code of Night (1972) and Sylvia Plath: Poetry and Existence (1976) reflect his urgent concern to identify viable cultural values. His opposition to what he has termed the ‘new Barbarism’ of contemporary society is clear in such books as Sex and Dehumanization (1972) and Education, Nihilism, and Survival (1977). Amongst recent critical works are The Skeleton in the Wardrobe (1990), an exploration of the fantasy world of C. S. Lewis; Where D. H. Lawrence was Wrong about Women (1991); Edith Wharton and the Unsatisfactory Man (1991); Charles Dickens and the Image of Woman (1993); and Creativity and Pop Culture (1994).

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: John Hersey Biography to Honest Man's Revenge