The Collected Prose of Robert Frost

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9780674034679: The Collected Prose of Robert Frost
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During his lifetime, Robert Frost notoriously resisted collecting his prose--going so far as to halt the publication of one prepared compilation and to "lose" the transcripts of the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures he delivered at Harvard in 1936. But for all his qualms, Frost conceded to his son that "you can say a lot in prose that verse won't let you say," and that the prose he had written had in fact "made good competition for [his] verse." This volume, the first critical edition of Robert Frost's prose, allows readers and scholars to appreciate the great American author's forays beyond poetry, and to discover in the prose that he did make public--in newspapers, magazines, journals, speeches, and books--the wit, force, and grace that made his poetry famous.

The Collected Prose of Robert Frost offers an extensive and illuminating body of work, ranging from juvenilia--Frost's contributions to his high school Bulletin--to the charming "chicken stories" he wrote as a young family man for The Eastern Poultryman and Farm Poultry, to such famous essays as "The Figure a Poem Makes" and the speeches and contributions to magazines solicited when he had become the Grand Old Man of American letters. Gathered, annotated, and cross-referenced by Mark Richardson, the collection is based on extensive work in archives of Frost's manuscripts. It provides detailed notes on the author's habits of composition and on important textual issues and includes much previously unpublished material. It is a book of boundless appeal and importance, one that should find a home on the bookshelf of anyone interested in Frost.

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About the Author:

Mark Richardson is Professor of English at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan.

Review:

As a near-comprehensive, definitive, and convenient edition of Frost's prose, The Collected Prose of Robert Frost is an invaluable tool. Its critical introduction and notes are superb--graceful, perspicacious, focused, discriminating, and deeply informed. This edition offers accurate texts and more of Frost's prose than has been gathered elsewhere. It will be definitive. (David Cowart, University of South Carolina)

A major contribution to the field, The Collected Prose of Robert Frost is a first-rate work of editorial scholarship, that gains from the editor's comprehensive and intimate familiarity with Frost's life and work, as well as with the vast secondary literature on both. The textual notes provide the best and in many cases, only available account of the textual history of Frost's prose. This volume will fill an important need for anyone interested in Frost's poetry and prose. (Jonathan Levin, author of The Poetics of Transition: Emerson, Pragmatism, and American Literary Modernism)

Frost was a highly prolific if disorganized, writer of prose, penning pieces for newspapers, magazines and events that were never collected in book form during his life. Following The Notebooks of Robert Frost, this volume brings together all the prose written for publication by America's most famous poet...Frost's earthy voice and rigorous intellect are on full display in this essential book for poetry lovers. (Publishers Weekly (starred review) 2007-10-22)

The book's chronological order and broad scope provide the reader with a full view of Frost's prose. Richardson's real contribution to the field of Frost literature is his enlightening notes section. (Paolina Taglienti Library Journal 2008-02-01)

An untidy but wonderful heap of introductions, dedications, lists, autobiographical sketches and aphorisms. There are stories for children and pieces for presidential inaugurations. (Niall Griffiths Daily Telegraph 2008-01-19)

This book contains a lot of interesting and important insights into poetry, into the processes of poetic composition and poetic form, poetic influence and structure and meaning...This is the first collection of Frost's prose--the stories, the lectures, the prefaces, the essays--and is a significant addition to the long and growing shelf of Frost scholarly editions and criticisms...There is page after page in the Collected Prose of this slightly grand and teasing and ironic sort of talk...Reading the prose, finding him saying one thing in terms of another, the pleasure of ulteriority is ours also. In the Collected Prose we find, to borrow a phrase from his poem "Two Tramps in Mud Time," "The lurking frost in the earth beneath." (Ian Sansom The Guardian 2008-01-12)

Mark Richardson has brought together, in one meticulously edited volume, all the articles, introductions, press releases, and lectures, along with some especially significant letters, which Frost himself readied for print but never saw fit to publish...Frost's startling insights into the poetic process, as well as his frequent jokes, are all the more effective for being bluntly delivered...[Richardson's] extensive notes offer a wealth of information, often drawn from unpublished sources, which wonderfully illuminate Frost's intentions. (Eric Ormsby New York Sun 2008-02-13)

Mark Richardson...has an alert and discriminating mind. In the course of his 130 pages of explanatory notes, Mr. Richardson had the wit to include selections from conversations with Frost that Frost's biographer, Lawrance Thompson, wrote down but unaccountably didn't include or take into consideration for the biography...Even though Frost is the least obviously obscure and difficult of the major 20th-century American poets, he is also the least clearly understood of them, perhaps because of the enduring darkness and confusion that he asks us to accept...and accept with grace. It should also be said of these writings that Frost is a very natural and elegant prose stylist in many forms, not least in the charming and light-fingered, sleight-of-hand stories, included here, that he wrote for his own children. In or out of prose, he honors our lonely freedom enough to leave many sayings for his reader to finish for himself. (Robert Ganz Washington Times 2008-03-02)

This [is a] welcome edition of Frost's prose, 76 items ranging from a paragraph to a few pages, edited by Mark Richardson in exemplary fashion...One hundred years later we have not taken the measure of many of the radical thoughts that fill these meditative monologues. (William H. Pritchard Boston Globe 2008-03-02)

Mark Richardson has given us the fullest critical edition of Frost's prose ever published, including everything "Frost is known to have prepared for print, major and minor items alike." Beginning with pieces he wrote while in high school, The Collected Prose of Robert Frost presents his stories, speeches, talks and essays. Examples of his wit and insight abound. (Ron Charles Washington Post Book World 2008-04-20)

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