Not Entitled: A Memoir
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Not Entitled: A Memoir

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  22 ratings  ·  6 reviews
From a great critic of english literature, a different kind of text: a luminous account of his own life. Throughout this uniquely personal work, Frank Kermode touches on the deeper, lighter, ineffable issues of autobiography, and he does so with his characteristic grace, precision, and amused wisdom. Tracing his life from his childhood through his six years in the Royal Na...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 4th 1999 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published November 1995)
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Usually a biography is an intimate reflection of a life lived. This being an Autobiography vs. a Biography it is usually expected to be reflective to the point that the reader can’t close the book without coming away with a better insight into the writer. In this biography that is certainly not the case. I wondered at the conclusion why Mr. Kermode had written it. That being said it is a very good refection on a life of an academic, but not one wears his heart on his sleeve or who suffers "fools...more
Phil Mullen
I read this due to having come across his name in my Milton reading; & also to having read articles in the NY Review of Books.

John Updike called it "a witty & rueful exercise in self-deprecation," & that it surely is. It is also decidedly odd, as a "memoir," in that it leaves out all description of his three (?) wives & his children.

Instead, it talks a great deal about his role in the Second War -- in some ways as unwarlike an account of that stupendous conflict as I've ever come...more
Lora Cooper
I was interested in this book only because I learned that Frank Kermode also spent his childhood on the Isle of Man where Fletcher Christian lived as a boy, of course many years previously. However I got a feel for
earlier times in that place and discovered that Kermode's parents were still speaking Manx when he was young. When he joined the service I quit reading the book.
Stan Lanier
I like Kermode's criticism, particularly The Sense of an Ending and The Genesis of Secrecy and his articles in the New York Review of Books, so I enjoyed learning a bit about him from his own perspective.
Kermode has a wry manner of representing his boyhood on the Isle of Man and a life that held many twists and surprises.
This is a great memoir.

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Sir John Frank Kermode was a highly regarded British literary critic best known for his seminal critical work The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction, published in 1967 (revised 2003).
More about Frank Kermode...
The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction Shakespeare's Language The Age of Shakespeare (Modern Library Chronicles) The Genesis of Secrecy: On the Interpretation of Narrative (Chas Eliot Norton Lecture) The Oxford Anthology of English Literature: Volume I:  The Middle Ages through the Eighteenth Century: 1

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