By Martz, William J.; Berryman, John
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Key dimensions of Thomas Mann's writing and lifestyles are explored during this number of especially commissioned essays. as well as introductory chapters on all of the major works of fiction and the essays and diaries, there are 4 chapters studying Mann's oeuvre relating to significant subject matters. a last bankruptcy appears on the pitfalls of translating Mann into English.
Remembering the edge of male discrimination she again and again persisted in the course of her profession as a newspaper-woman, the writer wistfully recollects the damage of being missed, snubbed, and ribbed by means of her male colleagues
"Lives Like Loaded weapons. .. reads like a superb detective tale. .. [Gordon] takes us into undiscovered territory. " --The Washington Post , a nice significant other to enthusiasts of the film A Quiet Passion, starring Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson. In 1882, Emily Dickinson's brother, Austin, begun an adulterous love affair with the finished and ravishing Mabel Todd, environment in movement a chain of occasions that might endlessly switch the lives of the Dickinson relatives.
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This all too human hunger relates, in turn, to the depths of his own personal insecurities, as might be suggested, for example, by his repeated references to mere sexual conquests, which imply great insecurity and immaturity of personality, not that he does not recognize, simultaneously, the grief of it all and seek, as always, a mature understanding of it. Put another way, there is a strong element of defensiveness in his personality, but since this is coupled with piercing honesty he emerges as a poet who delves into life and takes us with him rather than yielding to what the critic would come to judge as tired formulas.
There is of course a limit to how much of this kind of demand a poem may make on us, for a poem must draw us into an imaginative world, not shut us out. The reader's response is finally dependent upon his orientation to a paradox. Every poem stands lifeless on the page until the reader gives it life by interpreting it, and yet every poem stands on the page only with the life that it inherently contains. In Homage Berryman has extended the typical twentieth-century shift-of-association device to a stylizing or mannering of speech, the intent of which is to create a new dynamics of language.
In 77 Dream Songs Berryman persistently takes the risk of detaching metaphor, broadly construed, from subject. 38 John Berryman That he is talking about psychic reality does not change this fact. The strange thing is that any poem in the volume may seem to have the quality of simultaneously being a metaphor detached from its subject and yet realizing its subject, giving it a treatment that could not be called spasmodic. If, on the whole, the first 77 Dream Songs emerged as metaphors detached from their subjects they would be incomprehensible and fail as poems.