The The Enormous Room Enormous Room by E. E. Cummings | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Enormous Room

The Enormous Room

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by E. E. Cummings, e e cummings
     
 

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A rambunctious modern novel by the twentieth century's most inventive poet.

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1894, Edward Estlin Cummings rebelled against the prevailing values of his Harvard and Unitarianism-- steeped milieu. His relentless search for personal freedom led him to Greenwich Village in early 1917, where he established himself as a

Overview

A rambunctious modern novel by the twentieth century's most inventive poet.

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1894, Edward Estlin Cummings rebelled against the prevailing values of his Harvard and Unitarianism-- steeped milieu. His relentless search for personal freedom led him to Greenwich Village in early 1917, where he established himself as a Modernist, composing his sui generis poems and abstract paintings. Later that year, he impulsively joined the war, serving in a Red Cross ambulance unit on the Western Front. His free-spirited, combative ways, however, soon got him tagged as a possible enemy of La Patrie, and he was summarily tossed into a French concentration camp at La Ferte-Mace in Normandy.

Unexpectedly, under the vilest conditions, Cummings found fulfillment of his ever-elusive quest for freedom. The Enormous Room (1922), the fictional account of his four-month confinement, reads like a Pilgrim's Progress of the spirit, a journey into dispossession, to a place among the most debased and deprived of human creatures. Yet Cummings's hopeful tone reflects the essential paradox of his experience: to lose everything--all comforts, all possessions, all rights and privileges--is to become free, and so to be saved. Drawing on the diverse voices of his colorful prisonmates--Emile the Bum, the Fighting Sheeney, One-Eyed Dah-veed--Cummings weaves a "crazy-quilt" of language, which makes The Enormous Room one of the most evocative instances of the Modernist spirit and technique, as well as "one of the very best of the war-books" (T. E. Lawrence).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780871406309
Publisher:
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
09/01/1978
Series:
Twentieth-Century Classics
Edition description:
REVISED
Pages:
275
Product dimensions:
8.62(w) x 5.54(h) x 1.07(d)

Meet the Author

E. E. Cummings (1894–1962) was among the most influential, widely read, and revered modernist poets. He was also a playwright, a painter, and a writer of prose. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he studied at Harvard University and, during World War I, served with an ambulance corps in France. He spent three months in a French detention camp and subsequently wrote The Enormous Room, a highly acclaimed criticism of World War I. After the war, Cummings returned to the States and published his first collection of poetry, Tulips & Chimneys, which was characterized by his innovative style: pushing the boundaries of language and form while discussing love, nature, and war with sensuousness and glee. He spent the rest of his life painting, writing poetry, and enjoying widespread popularity and success.

Susan Cheever, a novelist and memoirist and the author of
E. E. Cummings: A Life, lives in New York.

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