Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

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Acknowledgments

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p. v

I owe thanks to many people, especially helpful editors like Herbert Leibowitz, John Gross, John Palmer, and Stephen Berg who, by requesting some of these essays, in a sense inspired them. This is also a good place to thank my friends William...

Contents

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p. vii

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The Man from Porlock

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pp. 3-14

He woke intending to write a long poem. For during a profound, three-hour sleep, brought on by a prescribed anodyne, he had ' 'the most vivid confidence that he could not have composed less than from two to three hundred lines; if that indeed can...

I

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Ε.P.: The Man Who Cared Too Much

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pp. 17-57

Attempting for the first time to say what Pound means to me, I find myself rehearsing my contacts with him. They were few. Several notes, one of which deserves reproduction for its typical calligraphic flourish. No doubt because of his...

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Wallace Stevens: Lunching with Hoon

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pp. 58-98

After a considerable correspondence relating to the Quarterly Review of Literature, on November 14, 1944, Wallace Stevens wrote to suggest that I visit him at his office. Since my wife and I had recently moved to New Haven with QRL, Hartford was...

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RETROSPECTING THE RETROSPECTIVES

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pp. 99-119

This issue of selected criticism and reviews completes the celebration of QRL's thirtieth anniversary. Originally we had expected to produce only one anthology, a miscellany composed out of all the material...

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The Blight of Modernism and Philip Larkin's Antidote

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pp. 120-130

One can say at once that, on the whole, Anglo-American relations in poetry seem to be at low ebb. Recent English poets have made little visible mark on American poetry's turbulent course. Beyond importations from South American and iron-curtain...

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The Many-sidedness of Modernism

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pp. 131-144

A number of English poets and critics, some of the best among them, have understandably long resented Pound, Eliot, and Yeats as well. Foreigners, they dared to absorb, if not divert, the main stream of English poetry or make it turbulent at least...

II

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The Nonsense of Winters' Anatomy

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pp. 147-176

THERE IS SOMETHING to be said for Winters' critical position; but Winters, as his latest book* copiously illustrates, is not the one to say it. Let me suggest at the outset that Winters, with many other schoolmen, (starting as long ago as The Treason of the Intellectuals), has,...

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Between Two Worlds or On The Move

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pp. 177-204

Anyone acquainted with Donald Davie's work will not be surprised at my calling it one of the more considerable ventures in literature in our time. He has from the start, with Purity of Diction in English Verse (1952), attempted to counteract...

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Τ. S. ELIOT AND THE COURTYARD REVOLUTION

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pp. 205-223

THE revolution began innocently enough, with laudations of Eliot even, as the largest tributes were being heaped upon him. John Crowe Ransom, easily and graciously in The New Criticism among the foremost critics...

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HOW TO END THE RENAISSANCE

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pp. 224-246

ONCE more in old tones of new triumph we are being told by various artists and critics that at last something utterly new, new for the first time in some "40,000 years of aesthetic activity," is being achieved by the most...

III

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Franz Kafka and the Economy of Chaos

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pp. 249-261

A study of the fashions in chaos—that is, its varying dispositions in different times and different societies, might prove extremely revelatory to an understanding of the history of civilization. Applied particularly to the work of...

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Giacomo Leopardi: Pioneer Among Exiles

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pp. 262-271

THE general ignorance of Leopardi in America among even profession»! poetry readers and the easy suffrage, not of Italians alone, that his poetry is, *fter Dante's, the most important in Italy, possibly in the world of his day, in its sophistication and profundity head and shoulders...

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As the Wind Sits: The Poetics of King Lear

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pp. 272-301

Paradox, contradiction, extravagance, outrageous wit loom large among the ways we have of meeting life and Shakespeare at their ripest. And never is life more on the stretch than in King Lear. Blowing from all directions...

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Lucretius: The Imagination of the Literal

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pp. 302-320

Several months before I began writing this paper I mentioned to an old friend how, when I was asked to talk about some poet, * Lucretius first of all, like one of his impetuous atoms, leaped into my mind. My friend said, "Knowing your affection for...