Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport (1927–2005) was a writer and painter born in Anderson, South Carolina. He attended Duke, Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar, and Harvard (PhD). He taught at Harvard, Haverford, and the University of Kentucky. His awards included the Morton Dawen Zabel Award for Fiction by the American Academy & Institute of Arts and Letters, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

Da Vinci’s Bicycle

Fiction by Guy Davenport

Da Vinci’s Bicycle, Guy Davenport’s second collection of stories, was first published in 1979, and contains some of his most important fiction. Written with tremendous wit, intelligence, and verve, the stories are based on historical figures whose endeavors were too early, too late, or went against the grain of their time. They are all people who see the world differently from their contemporaries and therefore seem absurd, like Pablo Picasso in “Au Tombeau de Charles Fourier,” Leonardo Da Vinci in “The Richard Nixon Freischütz Rag,” James Joyce and Guillaume Apollinaire in the marvelous “The Haile Selassie Funeral Train.…
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The Cardiff Team

Fiction by Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport’s story collection A Table of Green Fields (New Directions, 1993) was praised for its amazing artistry and “stratospheric” literary intelligence (Kirkus Reviews). As The Washington Post noted, “It draws one in with its austere, beautifully formal sentences, its rich pattern of memory.” In Davenport’s follow-up collection, The Cardiff Team, the stories continue in this vein, their texts a wondrous collage of persons, events, and ideas from cultural history. The central theme is that of tribeless people joining, or trying to join, a team, a tribe, or a society.…
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7 Greeks

Poetry by Guy Davenport

Translated by Guy Davenport

Here is a colorful variety of works by seven Greek poets and philosophers who lived from the eighth to the third centuries BC. Salvaged from shattered pottery vases and tattered scrolls of papyrus, everything decipherable from the remains of these ancient authors is assembled here. From early to late, the collection contains: Archilochos; Sappho; Alkman; Anakreon; the philosophers Herakleitos and Diogenes; and Herondas. This composite of fragments translated by Guy Davenport is the most complete collection of its kind ever to appear in one volume.…
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A Table of Green Fields

Fiction by Guy Davenport

From Library Journal: “Connoisseurs of art, history, religion, and literature will revel in this fine collection of ten stories by one of America’s most erudite writers. Although the tone is often playful, Davenport layers each story with a variety of allusions and rather obscure meanings that perhaps only the most scholarly readers will fully appreciate. A wonderful example is “Meleager,’’ in which the sexual play of two boys is juxtaposed with descriptions of geometry.…
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Guy Davenport is among the very few truly original, truly autonomous voices now audible in American letters.
The New Yorker
If you don’t read Greek, read Davenport; if you do, read Davenport and learn to read Greek better.
—D.S. Carne-Ross
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