Selected Letters of Charles Reznikoff, 1917-1976

Overview

This landmark volume of correspondence by the Objectivist poet Charles Reznikoff (1894-1976) sheds light not only on the difficulties of an artist trying to keep afloat in the modern, materialistic society of the heady 20's and 30's, but also on the relation of poetry to a wider culture during this eventful and turbulent period.

One of Reznikoff's main correspondents is the teacher, writer and Zionist activist Marie Syrkin, who married Reznikoff in 1930. During their courtship ...

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Overview

This landmark volume of correspondence by the Objectivist poet Charles Reznikoff (1894-1976) sheds light not only on the difficulties of an artist trying to keep afloat in the modern, materialistic society of the heady 20's and 30's, but also on the relation of poetry to a wider culture during this eventful and turbulent period.

One of Reznikoff's main correspondents is the teacher, writer and Zionist activist Marie Syrkin, who married Reznikoff in 1930. During their courtship Charles reveals his ambivalent feelings regarding a poet's ability to win his family's bread: "I expect my love for you to feed my work — and my love for my work to feed you."

Another recipient of Charles' letters was his friend Albert Lewin, the film producer, writer, and director. Working for Lewin in Hollywood, Reznikoff first limns im his letters to Syrkin a glamorous, "Arabian nightish" world but concludes that the life of the poet will remain his chosen one: "My instrument is the poem—and of course I rarely succeed. But I try to write some verse every day."

This wonderful "Self-portrait of the Poet" gives an invaluable account of an important young artist eking out a living in a storied era.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
These lettersmostly to poet Reznikoff's wife, Marie Syrkin, and friend Albert Lewin, Hollywood writer, director, and producerreveal some of the poet, but much more of the man. The letters to Syrkin tell of a man who not only admired and loved his wife, but who also considered himself lucky to be her husband. His letters to Lewin disclose a man trying to earn a living while still writing various works, communicate his thoughts on the current theatrical scene and other writers, and offer business advice to Lewin. Editor Hindus has written a long essay on Reznikoff's life and work. The letters themselves are interesting reading, but to be appreciated fully, they certainly require knowledge of the man and his life. A fine companion to The Complete Poems of Charles Reznikoff (Black Sparrow, 1989).Robert L. Kelley, Fort Wayne Community Schs., Ind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574230352
  • Publisher: Godine, David R. Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.34 (d)

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