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Collected Poetry and Prose Stevens, Wallace/ Kermode, Frank (EDT)/ Richardson, Joan (EDT) 1 of 1
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FORMAT: Hardcover
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Product Details:

Format: Hardcover
ISBN-10: 1883011450
ISBN-13: 9781883011451
Sku: 30317957
Publish Date: 10/1/1997
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8.5H x 5.5L x 1.25T
Pages:  1030
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Here are all of Stevens' published books of poetry, side-by-side for the first time with the haunting lyrics of his later years and early work that traces the development of his art. From the rococo inventiveness of Harmonium, his first volume (including such classics as "Sunday Morning", "Peter Quince at the Clavier", and "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird"), through "Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction", "Esthetique du Mal", "The Auroras of Autumn", and the other large-scale masterpieces of his middle years, to the austere final poems of "The Rock", Stevens' poetry explores with unrelenting intensity the relation between the world and the human imagination, between nature as found and nature as invented, and the ways poetry mediates between them. This volume presents over a hundred poems uncollected by Stevens, including early versions of often discussed works like "The Comedian as the Letter C" and "Owl's Clover". Also here is the most comprehensive selection available of Stevens' prose writings. The Necessary Angel (1951), his distinguished book of essays, joins nearly fifty shorter pieces, many previously uncollected: reviews, speeches, short stories, criticism, philosophical writings, and responses to the work of Eliot, Moore, Williams, and other poets. The often dazzling aphorisms Stevens gathered over the years are included, as are his plays and selections from his poetic notebooks. Rounding out the volume is a fifty-year span of journal entries and letters, newly edited from manuscript sources, which provide fascinating glimpses of Stevens' thoughts on poetry and the creative process.
From the Publisher:
Here are all of Stevens' published books of poetry, side-by-side for the first time with the haunting lyrics of his later years and early work that traces the development of his art. From the rococo inventiveness of Harmonium, his first volume (including such classics as "Sunday Morning", "Peter Quince at the Clavier", and "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird"), through "Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction", "Esthetique du Mal", "The Auroras of Autumn", and the other large-scale masterpieces of his middle years, to the austere final poems of "The Rock", Stevens' poetry explores with unrelenting intensity the relation between the world and the human imagination, between nature as found and nature as invented, and the ways poetry mediates between them. This volume presents over a hundred poems uncollected by Stevens, including early versions of often discussed works like "The Comedian as the Letter C" and "Owl's Clover". Also here is the most comprehensive selection available of Stevens' prose writings. The Necessary Angel (1951), his distinguished book of essays, joins nearly fifty shorter pieces, many previously uncollected: reviews, speeches, short stories, criticism, philosophical writings, and responses to the work of Eliot, Moore, Williams, and other poets. The often dazzling aphorisms Stevens gathered over the years are included, as are his plays and selections from his poetic notebooks. Rounding out the volume is a fifty-year span of journal entries and letters, newly edited from manuscript sources, which provide fascinating glimpses of Stevens' thoughts on poetry and the creative process.The only complete anthology of the twentieth-century American modernist's poetry includes more than fifty poems not previously collected, early versions of famous poems, and the most comprehensive selection of his prose writings yet published.
Annotation:
Stevens's perennial concern was the role of the artist in the society in which he lives: What is the connection between the imagination and the real world? His conclusion, that the creation of art and the appreciation of beauty provide the source of meaning and order, is also an answer to his other major preoccupation, which is the quest for meaning in a world without God. Stevens's work is private, cerebral, and full of fine discriminations of feeling; it is also characterized by the vast resources of his vocabulary. Many of his poems take the form of theme and variations--most notably his famous work, "13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird."
Author Bio
Wallace Stevens
After an uneventful childhood in Reading, Pennsylvania, where he was born in 1879, Wallace Stevens went off to Harvard as a special non-degree student. There he encountered the philosopher and psychologist William James and the aesthetician George Santayana, both of whom had formative effects on his thinking. After school, Stevens moved to New York City, where he worked halfheartedly for the New York Tribune. He had relatively more enthusiasm for his hobbies: reading poetry and philosophy, smoking cigars, and taking long walks, occasionally finding himself deep into New Jersey at sundown. His bohemian inclinations, however, couldn't stand up to the work ethic his Presbyterian upbringing instilled in him, and he entered New York Law School in 1901, graduating and passing the bar in 1903. In 1909, against his family's strident protests, he married Elsie Kachel, a Reading native, and in 1916 they moved to Hartford, Connecticut, where Stevens settled into a career at Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company. All the time his business career was taking off, Stevens was writing poems. He'd often think them up as he walked to work, jot them down at the office, and hand them over to his secretary, who was the only person at the office who knew he wrote. Stevens's poems evince a cosmopolitan aesthetic, suggesting that a passion for foreign travel and for exotic experiences lay beneath the veneer of his business life. In fact, Stevens never traveled outside of the country except for two brief trips to Cuba. His Francophilia, for instance, was never consummated with a visit, but fed off his readings in French and his arrangement with a French art dealer, who periodically bought French paintings for Stevens's collection. For several years, Stevens vacationed in Key West, which he thought of as an almost foreign place and mythologized in his poems, but after a few too many drunken nights--one of which culminated in a fistfight with Ernest Hemingway--Stevens decided Florida made him too decadent, and he confined himself to the Northeast for the rest of his life, content simply to travel in his imagination. He died in Hartford of cancer in 1955, shortly after winning his second National Book Award and his first Pulitzer Prize (both for his COLLECTED POEMS). Stevens was a professed atheist all his adult life, claiming for poetry the powers that once were ascribed to religion, so it surprised many when a Catholic priest reported that Stevens converted to Catholicism on his deathbed, a report that Holly Stevens, the poet's only daughter, angrily disputes.
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