Title: Charles Olson: The Allegory of a Poet's Life
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: 1991
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good
Edition: 1st Edition
Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 403 p. Audience: General/trade. The life of Olson was excessive and complex. For anyone interested in knowing post-modern American poetry, Clark's book should be required reading. Very good in very good dust jacket. Slight wear to page edges. Spine slightly cocked. First edition. First Edition, First Printing. Bookseller Inventory # Alibris.00010000262
Synopsis: Charles Olson (1910-1970) was a mass of contradictions -- at once egalitarian and elitist, as desperate for the love of a devoted woman as he was haunted by homosexual urges, a lapsed Catholic who eventually drifted into Islamic mysticism and Sumerian studies. In this provocative biography of a poet both feared and revered, Tom Clark shows how these conflicts troubled Olson's life even as it fueled his art.
From Publishers Weekly:
An incandescent biography of the inventor of "projective" verse, this comprehensive portrait distinguishes the convivial, bluff public figure from the tormented inner man. A lapsed Catholic, Olson (1910-1970) turned to Sumerian myths, Mayan legends and Islamic mysticism for cosmic insights that would inform poems of cyclic sweep. Torn by contradictory feelings toward his proud, stern father--a Swedish immigrant postman in Worcester, Mass.--the poet found a father-figure in mentor Edward Dahlberg and later in Ezra Pound. Reclusive self-absorption sapped his two common-law marriages; he harbored enormous guilt over his neglect of his two children and over second wife Betty Kaiser's death (in a car accident), which may have been self-inflicted during a severe depression. Clark, author of books on Kerouac, Celine and Ted Berrigan, reveals that Olson grappled with homosexual impulses, took hallucinogens and dominated those around him, seeking periodic release from inner demons in frenzied floods of images.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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