Revolutionary Memory: Recovering the Poetry of the American Left / Edition 1

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Revolutionary Memory is the most important book ever published about the vital tradition of left-wing American poetry. Cary Nelson demonstrates that when we recover these revolutionary memories everything changes -- our sense of the present and future as well as our image of the past. Making a forceful case for political poetry as poetry, Nelson brings to bear his extraordinary knowledge of American poets, radical movements, and social struggles in order to bring out an undervalued strength in a literature often left at the canon's edge. With its particular attention to the "red decade" of the 1930s, Revolutionary Memory revitalizes biographical and historical criticism for writers on the margin. Cary Nelson also shows us for the first time how progressive poets are best considered in concert, by fusing their work into a powerful chorus of political voices. This way of reading literature and social history will have profound implications for all future studies of politics in the arts. Illustrated with period engravings and woodcuts, Revolutionary Memory opens a window onto an important and overlooked chapter in American culture.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415930055
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/15/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Cary Nelson is Jubilee Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He is the editor of the Anthology of Modern American Poetry (Oxford). He has co-authored or co-edited several books for Routledge, including Academic Keywords, Madrid 1937, and Cultural Studies.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Modern Poems We Have Wanted to Forget 11
A Postry Dossier 11
Establishment Memory and Political Poetry 55
The Assault on Langston Hughes 66
Naming Names 75
2 From the Great Depression to the Red Scare: The Poetry of Edwin Rolfe 87
Poetry as Lived History 87
The Lessons of Spain 108
Poetry Against McCarthyism 125
3 Poetry Chorus: The Politics of Revolutionary Memory 141
The Community of the Left 141
Tillie Olsen's Sweat Shop Poem 159
Revolution's Collective Voice 165
4 Poetry Chorus: How Much for Spain? 181
Don Quixote in Prison 181
When Madrid Was the Tomb of Fascism 190
A Lament for Garcia Lorca 226
Exile without End 234
Notes 245
Index 263
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