Last Looks, Last Books: Stevens, Plath, Lowell, Bishop, Merrill (The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts)

Vendler, Helen

Published by Princeton University Press, 2010
ISBN 10: 0691145342 / ISBN 13: 9780691145341
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Princeton: Princeton University Press (2010). First edition. First printing. Hardbound. New/New. A pristine unread copy (without marks or bruises or smells or any other defect). Comes with archival-quality mylar dust jacket cover (not clipped, of course). Shipped in well-padded box. Purchased new and opened only for author to sign, no inscriptions, just the author's name. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page. You cannot find a better copy. Bookseller Inventory #

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In Last Looks, Last Books, the eminent critic Helen Vendler examines the ways in which five great modern American poets, writing their final books, try to find a style that does justice to life and death alike. With traditional religious consolations no longer available to them, these poets must invent new ways to express the crisis of death, as well as the paradoxical coexistence of a declining body and an undiminished consciousness. In The Rock, Wallace Stevens writes simultaneous narratives of winter and spring; in Ariel, Sylvia Plath sustains melodrama in cool formality; and in Day by Day, Robert Lowell subtracts from plenitude. In Geography III, Elizabeth Bishop is both caught and freed, while James Merrill, in A Scattering of Salts, creates a series of self-portraits as he dies, representing himself by such things as a Christmas tree, human tissue on a laboratory slide, and the evening/morning star. The solution for one poet will not serve for another; each must invent a bridge from an old style to a new one. Casting a last look at life as they contemplate death, these modern writers enrich the resources of lyric poetry.

From the Inside Flap:

"Helen Vendler is one of the most lucid and incisive critics with which the art of poetry has been blessed, and this is one of her finest books--brilliant, moving, and a pleasure to read."--James Longenbach, University of Rochester


"This is an elegant, expressive, and often very poignant book. One can only admire Helen Vendler's skill in showing how these American poets confronted their own leave-taking."--Angus Fletcher, City University of New York


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Bibliographic Details

Title: Last Looks, Last Books: Stevens, Plath, ...
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: 2010
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New
Edition: 1st Edition...

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Last Looks, Last Books, the eminent critic Helen Vendler examines the ways in which five great modern American poets, writing their final books, try to find a style that does justice to life and death alike. With traditional religious consolations no longer available to them, these poets must invent new ways to express the crisis of death, as well as the paradoxical coexistence of a declining body and an undiminished consciousness. In The Rock, Wallace Stevens writes simultaneous narratives of winter and spring; in Ariel, Sylvia Plath sustains melodrama in cool formality; and in Day by Day, Robert Lowell subtracts from plenitude. In Geography III, Elizabeth Bishop is both caught and freed, while James Merrill, in A Scattering of Salts, creates a series of self-portraits as he dies, representing himself by such things as a Christmas tree, human tissue on a laboratory slide, and the evening/morning star. The solution for one poet will not serve for another; each must invent a bridge from an old style to a new one. Casting a last look at life as they contemplate death, these modern writers enrich the resources of lyric poetry. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780691145341

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