To My Mind

By Omar Sabbagh

Suggested price: $20.00 $20.00

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Whiskey Tit is pleased to present our first collection of unrelenting Literary Criticism from outside the usual hellish circles.  From the preface:

In the work that follows, a compilation of predominantly previously-published essays on literature, ranging from bona fide scholarly interventions, to reflective articles and review-essays which I deem to be of substantial enough worth, both as themselves and as regarding their objects – I hope to have shown most pressingly a capacity for insight.  When speaking of insight, Lonergan sees this phenomenon of rigorous awareness as the pivot and mediator between the concrete and the abstract.  And, with due (and ludic, no doubt) humility, I couldn’t agree more.  To penetrate individual literary artefacts with one’s reading-mind, to unravel and then re-construct their general dynamics so to speak, has been to date my most flourishing gift.  And in so far, following Lonergan, as insight is ‘a function not of outer circumstances but of inner conditions,’ I hold that in coming to know the various works discussed in the book of essays pursuant, among others, I have always been at the same time coming to know myself. 



ISBN: 978-1-7329596-3-7

Publication date: 02 January 2020

Paperback price: 18


‘Omar Sabbagh penetrates to the heart of every text he analyses and appraises so sensitively. His essays are eclectic, original and profound.’

– Patricia McCarthy, editor of Agenda

‘Why literature?’ Omar Sabbagh asks in his opening essay, ‘Water in the Desert’. This book provides its own answer. International in its scope, breathtaking in its ambition, Sabbagh’s essays combine thrilling erudition and an overwhelming conviviality, to draw the reader in and provoke them to think and think again. Not so much water in a desert, as an ocean of ideas in which to submerge oneself.

– PETER SALMON, author of The Coffee Story and An Event, Perhaps: A Biography of Jacques Derrida

Omar Sabbagh is in the tradition of Clive James, John Updike and TS Eliot: the practitioner-critic who brings an intimate knowledge of the creative process to bear on his texts, in concert with an incisive academic mind - and perhaps most importantly, a boyish love of reading. It's rare for the university to foster readable prose - let alone prose of this wit and sparkle - and yet when it happens, as in these essays, it's a marvellous thing.

– CHRISTOPHER JACKSON, author of poetry collections The Gallery and The Monkey Fragment as well as critically acclaimed biographies of Theresa May and Roger Federer. 

Omar Sabbagh is a literary flâneur dipping in and out of a wide variety of texts/authors with ease and erudition. Whether it is the critical imagination of George Steiner, or aspects of humanism in Henry Miller, or G K Chesterton’s London, or even Geoffrey Hill’s poetry — his pedagogic stance does not flag or falter. To My Mind or Kinbotes is a delightful romp through the world of contemporary literature.

– SUDEEP SEN, author of Fractals (London Magazine Editions), EroText (Vintage: Penguin Random House) & The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (editor).