Leonard Unger, Jay Parini's American Writers: Supplement VIII PDF

By Leonard Unger, Jay Parini

ISBN-10: 0684312301

ISBN-13: 9780684312309

This complement provides 18 acclaimed writers, together with Jim Harrison, Alfred Kazin, Bobbi Ann Mason, Thomas Merton, Gary Snyder and others.

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Extra info for American Writers: Supplement VIII

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He draws little distinction between the two forms, instead always seeing the poetry in the fiction that he writes. It is Harrison's fiction that has received more attention. The body of work the author has published since his debut novel in 1971 exhibits an astounding range of genres, protagonists, settings, and themes: from novel to novella; comic picaro to strong female; wilderness to city to a wasteland somewhere between; food to sex to alcohol to psychosis. Harrison's fiction hauntingly echoes William Faulkner's sense of mortality in As I Lay Dying: survive, and feel life at every moment, in every sinew of your being; once you're dead, you'll stay dead a long time.

But you are welcome to my reflection. " It begins "I hate my verses, every line, every word," yet ends with the self-deprecating but stoic resolution: Better bullets than yours would miss the white breast, Better mirrors than yours would crack in the flame. Does it matter whether you hate your . . self? At least Love your eyes that can see, your mind that can Hear the music, the thunder of the wings. Love the wild swan. The poems in So Forth explore the notion of self-effacement—how one is to handle one's own demise with neither heroic grandeur nor pity.

On the Death of Zhukov" (1974) makes a poignant analogy between the gifts of victory and freedom brought by a great military leader and those brought by a great poet. Heroism and triumph are followed by dishonor and exile. Brodsky admired the nobility of military heroes, and the rhythm of the poem suggests the same interrupted beat of a military funeral march found in a similar elegy by the eighteenth-century Russian poet Derzhavin. Because of his exile from his beloved Florence, Dante has become the patron saint of all modern poets of exile, and Brodsky invokes him strikingly at the end of "The Funeral of Bobo" (1972) an otherwise bitter meditation on death and annihilation: You were all things, Bobo.

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American Writers: Supplement VIII by Leonard Unger, Jay Parini


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