The Improved Binoculars

The Improved Binoculars

by Irving Layton



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780889841017
Publisher: Porcupine's Quill, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/28/1989
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 5.54(w) x 8.69(h) x 0.44(d)

About the Author

Irving Layton (Israel Lazarovitch) was born March 12, 1912 in Tirgu Neamt, Romania. Layton came to Montreal with his family before he was one. He attained a BSc in agriculture at Macdonald College in 1939. Following a stint in the Canadian Army, he did graduate work in political science at McGill. A poet, short-story writer, and essayist, Layton is perhaps the most well-known of the Montreal poets, a group of young poets who engaged in a battle against romanticism in poetry in the 1940's. La

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William Carlos Williams

'What else are you going to say about a man whose work you whole-heartedly admire than that he is a good poet? If you consider yourself a critic of poetry, which I do, all the more reason for speaking with all the force you can command in his support. You would be a fool to do less. When I first clapped eyes on the poems of Irving Layton, two years ago, I let out a yell of joy. He was bawdy but that wasn't why I gave him my recognition. But for the way he greeted the world he was celebrating, head up, eyes propped wide, his gaze roving round a wide perimeter -- which merely happened to see some sights that had never been disclosed to me so nakedly or so well.'


'The publication of The Improved Binoculars, in 1956 with an introduction by William Carlos Williams was a vitamin pill that restored my faith in mankind when the assaulting voices had become too loud and noisy. Invitations to give readings in the USA and to submit poems to American magazines and journals soon followed.

'New Directions, some years later, published a Selected Poems with an introduction by Hugh Kenner. Not surprisingly, some of my fiercest and most raucous critics in Canada began to discover virtues in my work they had hitherto overlooked.

'The chorus of disapproval that greeted my writing has abated somewhat but not entirely, I'm proud and happy to say. In a world of rapid change and dislocation it is indeed a comfort to know some things never change, some things are eternal: lousy taste, philistinism, smuggery and the vapourings of the half-alive.'

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