Wallace Stevens: The Plain Sense of Things [NOOK Book]


'This distinguished book sets forth the Stevens that we will be reading for at least the next three decades: a Stevens in close touch with political and social conditions, a Stevens whose poetry arises from the texture of his times.'-Louis Martz
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Wallace Stevens: The Plain Sense of Things

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'This distinguished book sets forth the Stevens that we will be reading for at least the next three decades: a Stevens in close touch with political and social conditions, a Stevens whose poetry arises from the texture of his times.'-Louis Martz
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Longenbach has crafted a strong personal interpretation of Stevens' poetry that deserves a place among the half-dozen major studies of Stevens on our shelves."—Wallace Stevens Journal

"An intelligent in-depth study."—Ken Norris, University of Maine

"Deftly mixes biography and criticism....Longenbach himself writes a plain, clear prose, which keeps his arguments refreshingly clear."—Washington Post Book World

"In convincingly linking Stevens' work with world events and movements, Longenbach may succeed in stripping some of the otherworldly aura from Stevens' work and encourage even non-academics to listen more closely to the blue guitar."—Hartford Courant

"Closely reasoned, clearly recited, Mr. Longenbach's purposes are severe and designed: he would read Stevens with the undistracted assumption that, as the poet said at the end, 'there is a conflict, there is a resistance involved.' This comes to no less, and no worse, than proposing against the three famous stipulations for a Supreme Fiction (pleasure, change, abstraction), three ulterior demands for responses to pain, sameness, plain sense. Ransacking (and often overruling) a whole library of critics and biographers, though always with amenity, Longenbach tenably proposes a Stevens on the wrong side of Paradise, and reminds us as he proceeds that we now read our greatest (twentieth-century American) poet as we have learned to read Dante, against the grain of his ideas and his time, treasuring, at last, the contingencies we once thought it was such a glory to transcend. Per astra ad ardua.—Richard Howard

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198023319
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1991
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 594 KB

Meet the Author

University of Rochester
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Table of Contents

I The First Silence
1 Pecksniff and Politics 3
2 The Literary Profession 14
3 Populism and Imperialism 24
II Thinking About War
4 The Great War and Post-Romantic Ambition 41
5 Writing War Poetry 53
6 The Fellowship of Men that Perish 65
7 Postwar Comedian 83
III The Second Silence
8 Surety and Fidelity Claims 105
9 Paris and the Florida Land Boom 120
IV Poetry and Social Change
10 Lefts and Lefts 135
11 Ideas of Ambiguity 148
12 The Politics of Despair 176
V Rethinking War
13 Violence Within, Violence Without 199
14 It Must Be Masculine 222
15 The Heart of the Debacle 237
16 It Must Be Humdrum 249
VI The Affluent Mundo
17 The Ultimate Politician 277
18 A New Knowledge of Reality 293
Notes 307
Index of Works 331
General Index 334
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