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American originality: essays on poetry.
Five decades after her debut poetry collection, Firstborn , Louise Glück is a towering figure in American letters. Written with the same probing, analytic control that has long distinguished her poetry, American Originality is Glück’s second book of essays—her first, Proofs and Theories , won the 1993 PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. Glück’s moving and disabusing lyricism is on full display in this decisive new collection.
From its opening pages, American Originality forces readers to consider contemporary poetry and its demigods in radical, unconsoling, and ultimately very productive ways. Determined to wrest ample, often contradictory meaning from our current literary discourse, Glück comprehends and destabilizes notions of “narcissism” and “genius” that are unique to the American literary climate. This includes erudite analyses of the poets who have interested her throughout her own career, such as Rilke, Pinsky, Chiasson, and Dobyns, and introductions to the first books of poets like Dana Levin, Peter Streckfus, Spencer Reece, and Richard Siken. Forceful, revealing, challenging, and instructive, American Originality is a seminal critical achievement.
- American originality :
American originality : essays on poetry /
"A luminous collection of essays from one of our most original and influential poets. Five decades after her debut poetry collection, Firstborn, Louise Glück is a towering figure in American letters. Written with the same probing, analytic control that has long distinguished her poetry, America...
- Table of Contents
- American originality
- American narcissism
- Ersatz thought
- On Buddenbrooks
- Story tellers
- The culture of healing
- Ten introductions. In the surgical theatre / Dana Levin ; The clerk's tale / Spencer Reece ; The cuckoo / Peter Streckfus ; Crush / Richard Siken ; Green squall / Jay Hopler ; Frail-craft / Jessica Fisher ; The earth in the attic / Fady Joudah ; It is daylight / Arda Collins ; Juvenilia / Ken Chen ; Radial symmetry / Katherine Larson
- Fear of happiness.
- Seven modern American poets : an introduction / Published: (1967)
- Our Andromeda / by: Shaughnessy, Brenda, 1970- Published: (2012)
- Poesía centroaméricana y puertorriqueña : antología esencial / Published: (2013)
- La subversión del espacio poético en el surrealismo español / by: Castro, Elena Published: (2008)
- The new poetries and some old / by: Kostelanetz, Richard Published: (1991)
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American Originality: Essays on Poetry, by Louise Glück
Louise glück’s timeless essays about poetry are piquant declarations, writes david gewanter.
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Critics make expansive claims about poetry, but can get tripped up by poems that refute their thesis. Perhaps our poets can better articulate the climate of opinion on the art and its cultural role. Poetry, after all, is an abstraction, while poems are art-objects. Robert Frost warns that abstractions become “a new toy in the hands of the artists”, yet those hands are richly marked from working on poems. And so we might trust them to grapple with murky Platonic forms, as poet Louise Glück manages in her essays on American versions of originality, narcissism, realism and revenge, along with topics closer to her own verse: estrangement and the fear of happiness.
Glück’s poems shift from mythic re-enactment to dour meditation. Her most famous lines, perhaps, come from the dark petals of Mock Orange : “I hate them as I hate sex,/the man’s mouth/sealing my mouth…”. What, then, to expect in her prose? The essays are quick and associative, darkly amusing, ironic and sceptical. American Originality first depicts “white America’s myth of itself”: “a nation of escaped convicts, younger sons, persecuted minorities, and opportunists”, a myth elaborated in “images and narratives of self-invention”. The old American cult of the new. Readers looking for observations on America’s present identity-melodrama will be disappointed: the title-essay was published in the prelapsarian year of 2001. The other essays are 10-20 years old.
No matter: Glück’s piquant declarations won’t fold like calendar pages. Droll and contrarian, she calls American culture “a curious hybrid of Romanticism and psychiatry” and “almost fascistic in its enforcement of optimism”. This produces “poets looking inward [who] have begun, simultaneously, to watch themselves looking inward”. Glück can be paradoxical (“detachment is entirely preoccupied with the self”), aphoristic (“durability distinguishes the archetypal from the anecdotal”) and, despite winning the Pulitzer, the National Book Award and the US Poet Laureateship, wilfully obscure: “The selflessness, the receptivity, which are, formally, the inventions of this art, are, if one reads closely, slightly tainted by an overriding impression of the autocratic or controlling.”
American Originality features astute readings of accomplished poets such as Stephen Dobyns, Robert Pinsky and Frank Bidart – and the craggy shadows behind them, Rainer Maria Rilke, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. Glück’s court of inquiry also turns towards her younger self, cataloguing her climb out of revenge impulses and the safety of despair.
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Originality is not found in experimental poetics: “no showy contempt for grammar, no murky lacunae, no cult of logic”. Rather, it reveals the “instinct, guesswork, nerve” of an idiosyncratic mind. But rather than sail away on theories of original poetry, Glück grounds her claims in 10 essays introducing the Yale Younger Poets series that she chose and edited extensively – her commitment to the art and to emerging artists, which she calls “one of the great experiences of my life”.
In all, Glück’s prose answers her poems’ crystalline hardness in a quieter tone: compassion. “By giving form to devastation, the poem rescues the reader from a darkness without shape or gravity…an island in a free fall.”
David Gewanter is a professor of English at Georgetown University . His latest book of poems is Fort Necessity (2018).
American Originality: Essays on Poetry By Louise Glück Farrar, Straus & Giroux 208pp, £18.80 and £12.15 ISBN 9780374299552 and 9780374537463 Published 4 March 2018
Print headline: Chapters on abstract verse
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American Originality: Essays on Poetry
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“By giving form to devastation, the poem rescues the reader from a darkness without shape or gravity; it is an island in a free fall; it becomes his companion in grief, his rescuer, a proof that suffering can be made somehow to yield to meaning.” Louise Glück’s second book of essays is both conversational and erudite, discussing new and emerging literary figures of American poetry and topics such as originality, narcissism, and healing. The book also includes a section with introductions to the first books of poets Ken Chen, Dana Levin, Spencer Reece, Richard Siken, and others.
More Best Books for Writers
American originality Essays on poetry
Louise Glück, 1943-
Book - 2017
"A luminous collection of essays from one of our most original and influential poets. Five decades after her debut poetry collection, Firstborn, Louise Glück is a towering figure in American letters. Written with the same probing, analytic control that has long distinguished her poetry, American Originality is Glück's second book of essays--her first, Proofs and Theories, won the 1993 PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. Glück's moving and disabusing lyricism is on full display in this decisive new collection. From its opening pages, American Originality forces readers to consider contemporary poetry and its demigods in radical, unconsoling, and ultimately very productive ways. Determined to wrest ample, often co ... ntradictory meaning from our current literary discourse, Glück comprehends and destabilizes notions of "narcissism" and "genius" that are unique to the American literary climate. This includes erudite analyses of the poets who have interested her throughout her own career, such as Rilke, Pinsky, Chiasson, and Dobyns, and introductions to the first books of poets like Dana Levin, Peter Streckfus, Spencer Reece, and Richard Siken. Forceful, revealing, challenging, and instructive, American Originality is a seminal critical achievement"-- more
2nd Floor Show me where
- American Originality
- American Narcissism
- Ersatz Thought
- On Buddenbrooks
- Story Tellers
- The Culture of Healing
- 3. Ten Introductions
- Author's Note
- In the Surgical Theatre
- The Clerk's Tale
- Green Squall
- The Earth in the Attic
- It Is Daylight
- Radial Symmetry
- Fear of Happiness
AUGUSTOWN, by Kei Miller. (Vintage, $16.) When Kaia, a schoolboy, comes home with his dreadlocks shorn off - a violation of his Rastafari beliefs - his town in Jamaica erupts, setting in motion a reckoning of the humiliations its people have suffered at the hands of the establishment, which they call Babylon. "Each observant sentence in this gorgeous book is a gem," our reviewer, V. V. Ganeshananthan, wrote. THE UPSTARTS: Uber, Airbnb, and the Battle for the New Silicon Valley, by Brad Stone. (Back Bay/Little, Brown, $17.99.) Stone, of Bloomberg News, offers a balanced view of these companies' spectacular rise: On one side, the disruption ushered in a new era of freedom regarding the services people use; on the other, the start-ups' growth represents "the overweening hubris of the techno-elite." THE ROMANCE READER'S GUIDE TO LIFE, by Sharon Pywell. (Flatiron, $16.99.) The plot of a purloined novel, "The Pirate Lover," runs parallel to the lives of Neave and Lilly, two sisters in working-class Massachusetts. An unusual narrative device - Lilly's sections are told from beyond the grave - helps keep the story interesting, and Pywell clearly has fun riffing on the romance genre's tropes and overstuffed language. THE STORIED CITY: The Quest for Timbuktu and the Fantastic Mission to Save Its Past, by Charlie English. (Riverhead, $17.) Timbuktu, in Mali, had long been home to thousands of ancient African documents on everything from politics to science to religion. When A1 Qaeda arrived in 2012, intent on destroying anything that did not adhere to its vision of Islam, a heroic effort was started to move and save the manuscripts. English places this story of Timbuktu's libraries in the city's remarkable history. SYMPATHY, by Olivia Sudjic. (Mariner, $14.99.) After Alice Hare, a lonely and adrift 23-year-old, arrives in New York from London, she becomes infatuated via social media with Mizuko, a Japanese writer. As Alice's obsession intensifies, she attempts to force a friendship - to a devastating end. This debut novel deals with the particular heartbreak of unrequited affection and jilted friendship in the internet age. AMERICAN ORIGINALITY: Essays on Poetry, by Louise Glück. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $16.) The author, a Pulitzer Prize winner and former poet laureate, assesses contemporary poetry in this brief volume, with an eye to broader questions of American identity. Our reviewer, Craig Morgan Teicher, praised the collection, writing, "In the guise of a poetry critic, Glück shows herself to be a kind of dark contemporary conscience."
National Book Award-winning Glück's (Faithful and Virtuous Night, 2014) poems are vital palimpsests; so, too, are her essays, penetrating inquiries stoked by immersive reading and rigorous thinking. Her second prose collection begins with two astute, mind-expanding dissections of two facets of our national identity and literature. In the title piece, Glück tests America's ardor for originality, which she freshly redefines and identifies as a source of hope and possibility, qualities essential to democracy. In American Narcissism, she considers how the American character is reflected in the projection of the self in the work of poets ranging from Whitman to Mark Strand, C. K. Williams, and John Ashbery. She writes of her joy in serving as a judge for major first-book poetry prizes and presents 10 expert and exuberant introductions to such exciting poets as Dana Levin, Spencer Reece, and Arda Collins. Glück then wraps up her incisive and sophisticated volume with piquant personal essays on writing for revenge and learning how not to fear happiness.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2017 Booklist
In Glück's second book of essays (after Proofs and Theories), she carefully considers the makeup of the American aesthetic as a doctor would diagnose a patient. She begins with pragmatism, noting that an alternative interpretation of "self-made" is to make oneself up; in other words, create a self that is a lie. In discussing contemporary poetic narcissism's historical roots, Glück denounces weak imitations of Dickinson and Rilke. She explores uses of non sequitur, both effective, such as by Frank O'Hara, and ineffective, as vehicles for "intellectual fraud." Glück's characteristic wit and incisiveness are ever present. In highlighting C.K. Williams's ability to contain multiple universes of alternate scenarios, she declares these poems to "have more other hands than a Hindu god." In "Fear of Happiness," Glück explores the artistic fixation on suffering, arguing that the artist who insists on pain as a prerequisite to creation is locked in a cycle of dependency and-even worse-banality. The middle section contains introductory essays culled from a decade of judging first-book poetry prizes, including illuminating analysis of Dana Levin, Richard Siken, and Jessica Fisher, among others. This is advanced literary theory, requiring careful reading and a fair amount of background knowledge of contemporary poetry, but Glück's tone is conversational and accessible, and her opinions are invaluable. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Celebrated poet Glück's second book of essays is a study of contemporary American poetry. It explores the lingering and sometimes overwhelming influence of such figures as Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, as well as offering a generous introduction to several poets who are probably unknown to most readers. These introductions offer an open window on the current state of poetry and allow us the opportunity to peer inside, with the help of an intelligent and engaging guide. Glück's originality isn't so much in how she sees but in what she sees, and her openness permits her to observe things readers might gloss over. In particular, the essay "American Narcissism" is a masterpiece of critical insight, finding its most powerful focus in the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke in a moment of pure brilliance. Without denigrating Rilke's many gifts, Glück connects the voyeuristic trend in American poetry (a tendency to prize "fastidious aesthetics" and "the exposure of the secret") to his influence. VERDICT Seemingly free of literary prejudice or poetic theory, Glück looks at poetry with open eyes, seeking that which catches her off guard or excites her soul. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 10/3/16.]--Herman Sutter, St. Agnes Acad., -Houston © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
A celebrated poet collects some recent essays on theory, craft, and other poets.In her second essay collection, after Proofs and Theories (1994), Glck (English and Creative Writing/Yale Univ.; Faithful and Virtuous Night, 2014, etc.), who has won about every major poetry prize, delivers a generous variety of pieces. Some deal with the current state of American poetry; some are admiring assessments of her fellow poets (Emily Dickinson, Robert Pinsky, Stephen Dobyns, Dan Chiasson); and one group of 10 comprises introductions to first books by new poets, artists whose work Glck has evaluated for various writing contests. These pieces, unsurprisingly, are uniformly laudatory ("mastery of tone and diction"; "haunting, elusive, luminous")though, as the essays clearly reveal, the poets themselves are hardly uniform. These pieces also feature many quoted passages. Of course, the more heavily theoretical pieces will appeal primarily to Glck's fellow poets and to the literati. The author observes, for example, that recent poetry "affords two main types of incomplete sentences: the aborted whole and the sentence with gaps. In each case, the nonexistent, the unspoken, becomes a focus; ideally, a whirling concentration of questions." Near the end are more personal essays that deal with Glck's childhood, her years in psychoanalysis, and her insights about the varying effects of happiness and despair on poets. She convincingly argues that happiness is the more beneficial, productive emotion, for it does not deny the writer access to the dark side. Another entertaining and revelatory piece explores the author's childhood revenge fantasies and how, uniquely, they accelerated her journey into the world of poetry. And there are smiles (maybe even a guffaw or two) in some of her observationse.g., that Rilke could be "oddly masturbatory." A love of poetryof the poet's lifeinfuses these essays and brings a glow to the theoretical and a bright flame to the personal. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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Faithful and virtuous night
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WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE A luminous collection of essays from Louise Glück, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and one of our most original and influential poets Five decades after her debut poetry collection, Firstborn , Louise Glück is a towering figure in American letters. Written with the same probing, analytic control that has long distinguished her poetry, American Originality is Glück's second book of essays—her first, Proofs and Theories , won the 1993 PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. Glück's moving and disabusing lyricism is on full display in this decisive new collection. From its opening pages, American Originality forces readers to consider contemporary poetry and its demigods in radical, unconsoling, and ultimately very productive ways. Determined to wrest ample, often contradictory meaning from our current literary discourse, Glück comprehends and destabilizes notions of "narcissism" and "genius" that are unique to the American literary climate. This includes erudite analyses of the poets who have interested her throughout her own career, such as Rilke, Pinsky, Chiasson, and Dobyns, and introductions to the first books of poets like Dana Levin, Peter Streckfus, Spencer Reece, and Richard Siken. Forceful, revealing, challenging, and instructive, American Originality is a seminal critical achievement.
- Release date: April 18, 2017
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American Originality: Essays on Poetry
A luminous collection of essays from one of our most original and influential poets Five decades after her debut poetry collection, Firstborn, Louise Glück is a towering figure in American letters. Written with the same probing, analytic control that has long distinguished her poetry, American Originality is Glück’s second book of essays?her first, Proofs and Theories, won the 1993 PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. Glück’s moving and disabusing lyricism is on full display in this decisive new collection. From its opening pages, American Originality forces readers to consider contemporary poetry and its demigods in radical, unconsoling, and ultimately very productive ways. Determined to wrest ample, often contradictory meaning from our current literary discourse, Glück comprehends and destabilizes notions of “narcissism” and “genius” that are unique to the American literary climate. This includes erudite analyses of the poets who have interested her throughout her own career, such as Rilke, Pinsky, Chiasson, and Dobyns, and introductions to the first books of poets like Dana Levin, Peter Streckfus, Spencer Reece, and Richard Siken. Forceful, revealing, challenging, and instructive, American Originality is a seminal critical achievement.
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Deep Dives Into How Poetry Works (and Why You Should Care)
By Craig Morgan Teicher
- Aug. 4, 2017
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A LITTLE BOOK ON FORM An Exploration into the Formal Imagination of Poetry By Robert Hass 446 pp. Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers. $29.99.
AMERICAN ORIGINALITY Essays on Poetry By Louise Glück 190 pp. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $24.
Poetry is a bit like Dungeons & Dragons, scuba diving or gardening in that its adherents love nothing more than geeking out over its rules, necessary gear and best practices. To the uninitiated, these conversations might sound like a cacophony of meaningless jargon. But poets aren’t talking about unearthed arcana, buoyancy compensators or controversies over Roundup. When poets jabber about clerihews, tetrameter and negative capability, they’re exchanging trade secrets about the most definitive and common of human paraphernalia: emotion, thought and, perhaps, the soul itself, things everybody can relate to. Two of our best and most famous poets, Robert Hass and Louise Glück, both former United States poets laureate, have new books of prose that delve deeply into the esoterica of the poetic craft, which, for some, will be as necessary as a diving regulator.
Hass’s “Little Book on Form” is no normal prosody guide. Unlike classic books by Mary Kinzie, John Hollander and Mary Oliver, it will not be of practical use to students hoping to write sonnets, elegies or iambic pentameter (though it’s packed with plenty of examples of each). This is not a handbook or instruction manual. Instead, Hass aims to help readers deeply fathom poetry through considering how a poem’s formal structure, and its interaction with poetic history, enable the poem to embody “the energy of the gesture of its making.” This is the subjective pursuit of a practitioner rather than that of a scholar. It’s also, at more than 400 pages, not a little book. Hass gives innumerable answers to the questions that obsess poets and readers of poetry: What is poetry, and why does it do what it does?
He begins with a primer on stanzas, organized by the number of lines and the uses of those stanza lengths in poetry from various cultures. He stops at stanzas of four lines, though of course poets can use much longer stanzas, too. But, Hass says of four, “this number expresses and stands for evenness and completeness.” Next, Hass moves on to a section on form, beginning with blank verse (think of Shakespeare), followed by a lengthy explanation and history of the sonnet, “the one durable, widely used form in English poetry in the last 500 years.”
Hass is so supremely learned about and so deeply immersed in poetry, he is able to comport himself not just with incredible authority but also with casual humor. Of the Pindaric ode, one of the earliest incarnations of the ode, he writes, “As a strict form, it has not had legs.” He explains, with startling clarity, Gertrude Stein and others’ forays into abstraction, which are at the roots of pretty much all experimental poetry. Stein, he says, worked to “discover by experiment … that syntax was the formal principle that organized language.” Hass concludes with a guide to understanding the workings of stress in poetry, one of the most confusing technical aspects of poetics.
Disguised as a reference book, this is actually a friendly tour of one poet’s mind. Along the way, Hass offers glancing insights like this, on the difference between visual arts and literature: “Form in the visual arts is spatial and in literature it is temporal. A poem has a beginning, a middle and an end. A work of art — whether sculpture or painting — has edges.” In this way, the book isn’t merely a master class on form. It’s a jump-starter for that most necessary of tools for the artist or lover of art, if not for everyone: the sensibility.
Few would debate Louise Glück’s stature as one of America’s most extraordinary poets. Unlike many of her peers, though (Hass among them), Glück has not made a habitual practice of prose writing. She is a writer for whom, one feels, words are always scarce, hard won and not to be wasted. Prose is most likely at least as difficult for her to write as poetry, and she has professed that poetry is very hard for her to write. “American Originality” is only her second slim volume of essays, containing 10 mostly short, starkly titled pieces — “On Realism,” “On Revenge” — as well as 10 introductions to debut volumes by other poets.
Fans of Glück’s own poems will recognize her trademark severity. In her extreme focus and clipped, uncompromising sentences, Glück recalls no one so much as Susan Sontag. Like Sontag, Glück assumes her readers know the texts under consideration — she often omits the customary quotations critics use to illustrate their points. Yet she writes with such mesmerizing authority that her claims feel unimpeachable.
Unlike Sontag, Glück has not cultivated the ability to write about any subject; she confines herself to the practice of poetry in America. Yet her thought accommodates extrapolation in many directions, toward broader aspects of American identity. When she writes that “original work, in our literature, must seem somehow to break trails, to found dynasties … be capable of replication,” it’s hard not to remember that we were, relatively recently, “the new world,” and that mass production was born here.
Glück’s 20th-century America is fallen, equipped with — and diminished by — the tools of modernism, especially psychoanalysis. “Contemporary literature,” she writes, is “a literature of the self examining its responses.” Modernity strove to explain our dreams, always the province of poetry, and so perhaps explained away their magic. Glück’s analyses seem to derive from this grief; she is wary, and sometimes darkly funny about, poetry’s temptation toward grandiosity. “We have made of the infinite a topic,” she notes. “But there isn’t, it turns out, much to say about it.” And yet, one also always feels that, for Glück, poetry is a matter of life or death, the only salvation.
So when Glück writes that “contemporary poetry affords two main types of incomplete sentences: the aborted whole and the sentence with gaps,” one senses a heavy moral choice behind her distinction. This is not just a description of how American poets write; it’s a mandate for rigorous, difficult, even painful reasoning over lazy, incomplete thinking. Specifically, she is differentiating between the fragment in poetry and the non sequitur, which she calls “a more complicated maneuver.” Non sequitur, she writes, “is lively, volatile, skirmishing, suggesting (at its best) simultaneity or multiplicity, loosing a flurry of questions.”
Of course, this could also be said of Twitter “at its best,” while, at their worst, both Twitter and fragmentary poetry can “begin to seem like swimmers competing to see how long they can stay underwater without breathing.” The frenzy of social media doesn’t explicitly enter into Glück’s essays. But, in the guise of a poetry critic, Glück shows herself to be a kind of dark contemporary conscience. “The glory of the lyric,” she claims in a review of recent books by her peers Robert Pinsky and Stephen Dobyns, “is that it does what life cannot do.” Put that way, poetry sounds like something everyone can use.
Craig Morgan Teicher’s latest book of poems is “The Trembling Answers.”
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Essays on poetry.
by Louise Glück ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 14, 2017
A love of poetry—of the poet’s life—infuses these essays and brings a glow to the theoretical and a bright flame to the...
A celebrated poet collects some recent essays on theory, craft, and other poets.
In her second essay collection, after Proofs and Theories (1994), Glück (English and Creative Writing/Yale Univ.; Faithful and Virtuous Night , 2014, etc.), who has won about every major poetry prize, delivers a generous variety of pieces. Some deal with the current state of American poetry; some are admiring assessments of her fellow poets (Emily Dickinson, Robert Pinsky, Stephen Dobyns, Dan Chiasson); and one group of 10 comprises introductions to first books by new poets, artists whose work Glück has evaluated for various writing contests. These pieces, unsurprisingly, are uniformly laudatory (“mastery of tone and diction”; “haunting, elusive, luminous”)—though, as the essays clearly reveal, the poets themselves are hardly uniform. These pieces also feature many quoted passages. Of course, the more heavily theoretical pieces will appeal primarily to Glück’s fellow poets and to the literati. The author observes, for example, that recent poetry “affords two main types of incomplete sentences: the aborted whole and the sentence with gaps. In each case, the nonexistent, the unspoken, becomes a focus; ideally, a whirling concentration of questions.” Near the end are more personal essays that deal with Glück’s childhood, her years in psychoanalysis, and her insights about the varying effects of happiness and despair on poets. She convincingly argues that happiness is the more beneficial, productive emotion, for it does not deny the writer access to the dark side. Another entertaining and revelatory piece explores the author’s childhood revenge fantasies and how, uniquely, they accelerated her journey into the world of poetry. And there are smiles (maybe even a guffaw or two) in some of her observations—e.g., that Rilke could be “oddly masturbatory.”
Pub Date: March 14, 2017
Page Count: 208
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2017
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017
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by Louise Glück
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by E.T.A. Hoffmann ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 28, 1996
This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)
Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996
Page Count: 136
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996
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by E.T.A. Hoffmann ; adapted by Natalie Andrewson ; illustrated by Natalie Andrewson
by E.T.A. Hoffmann & illustrated by Julie Paschkis
TO THE ONE I LOVE THE BEST
Episodes from the life of lady mendl (elsie de wolfe).
by Ludwig Bemelmans ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 23, 1955
An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.
Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955
Page Count: -
Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955
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developed by Ludwig Bemelmans ; illustrated by Steven Salerno
by Ludwig Bemelmans ; illustrated by Steven Salerno
by Ludwig Bemelmans
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