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Honorable Mention, Literature, 2012 PROSE Awards, Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers2012 Outstanding Academic Title, Choice MagazineIn one of his letters Hart Crane wrote, “Appollinaire lived in Paris, I live in Cleveland, Ohio,” comparing—misspelling and all—the great French poet’s cosmopolitan roots to his own more modest ones in the midwestern United States. Rebelling against the notion that his work should relate to some European school of thought, Crane defiantly asserted his freedom to be himself, a true American writer. John T. Irwin, long a passionate and brilliant critic of Crane, gives readers the first major interpretation of the poet’s work in decades. Irwin aims to show that Hart Crane’s epic The Bridge is the best twentieth-century long poem in English. Irwin convincingly argues that, compared to other long poems of the century, The Bridge is the richest and most wide-ranging in its mythic and historical resonances, the most inventive in its combination of literary and visual structures, the most subtle and compelling in its psychological underpinnings. Irwin brings a wealth of new and varied scholarship to bear on his critical reading of the work—from art history to biography to classical literature to philosophy—revealing The Bridge to be the near-perfect synthesis of American myth and history that Crane intended.Irwin contends that the most successful entryway to Crane’s notoriously difficult shorter poems is through a close reading of The Bridge. Having admirably accomplished this, Irwin analyzes Crane’s poems in White Buildings and his last poem, "The Broken Tower," through the larger context of his epic, showing how Crane, in the best of these, worked out the structures and images that were fully developed in The Bridge.Thoughtful, deliberate, and extraordinarily learned, this is the most complete and careful reading of Crane’s poetry available. Hart Crane may have lived in Cleveland, Ohio, but, as Irwin masterfully shows, his poems stand among the greatest written in the English language.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. iii-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-ix
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Part One: The Bridge
  2. p. 1
  1. § 1: The Pictorial and the Poetic; The Bridge as a Prophetic Vision of Origins
  2. pp. 3-7
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  1. § 2 The Visual Structure of Prophetic Vision; a Simultaneous Glimpse Before and Behind
  2. pp. 7-23
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  1. § 3 Spengler’s Reading of Perspective as a Culture-Symbol
  2. pp. 23-29
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  1. § 5 Counterpoint in The Bridge
  2. pp. 36-45
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  1. § 6 Foreshadowing and Lateral Foreshadowing; the Grail Quest; Eliot’s The Waste Land
  2. pp. 46-53
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  1. § 7 The Return to Origin; the Total Return to the Womb; the Primal Scene; Vision and Invisibility; the Dual Identification
  2. pp. 53-65
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  1. § 9 Crane’s Dream of His Mother’s Trunk in the Attic
  2. pp. 76-86
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  1. § 13 “Three Songs”; Golden Hair; “Quaker Hill” and the Motherly Artist; the Return of the Golden Age; Astraea and Atlantis
  2. pp. 121-125
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  1. § 14 Epic Predecessors: Aeneas and Dido; Survival through a Part-Object; Stellar Translation and the Golden-Haired Grain
  2. pp. 125-135
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  1. § 16 Nietzsche and the Return of the Old Gods; Zarathustra and Quetzalcoatl; the Eagle and the Serpent; the Dance
  2. pp. 148-157
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  1. § 17 The Aeneid, Book 6, and “The Tunnel”; “Cutty Sark” and Glaucus in Ovid; Burns’s “Tam o’ Shanter”; Glaucus in Keats’s Endymion
  2. pp. 158-163
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  1. § 18 Time and Eternity in “Cutty Sark”; Stamboul Rose, Atlantis Rose, and Dante’s Rose; Moby-Dick and “Cutty Sark”
  2. pp. 163-170
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  1. § 19 The Historical Cutty Sark; Hero and Leander; Jason and the Argo; Dante and the Argo
  2. pp. 170-192
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  1. § 20 Constellations and The Bridge
  2. pp. 178-186
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  1. § 21 Constellations Continued; Panis Angelicus
  2. pp. 186-196
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  1. § 22 Time and Eternity; Temporal Narrative and Spatial Configuration; the Bridge as Memory Place; “Atlantis”; One Arc Synoptic of All Times
  2. pp. 196-207
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  1. § 23 “Atlantis” and the Image of Flight; Shelley’s “To a Skylark”; Pater and the Tears of Dionysus
  2. pp. 207-212
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  1. § 25 Three Structures; the Visualization of the Womb Fantasy in The Last Judgement; the Transumptive Relationship
  2. pp. 224-253
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  1. § 26 Michelangelo’s Self-Portrait; Marsyas and the Suffering Artist
  2. pp. 253-42
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  1. Part Two: White Buildings and “The Broken Tower”
  2. p. 243
  1. § 1 “Legend,” “Black Tambourine,” “Emblems of Conduct,” “My Grandmother’s Love Letters,” “Sunday Morning Apples”
  2. pp. 245-255
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  1. § 2 “Praise for an Urn,” “Garden Abstract,” “Stark Major,” “Chaplinesque”
  2. pp. 255-268
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  1. § 3 “Pastorale,” “In Shadow,” “The Fernery,” “North Labrador”
  2. pp. 268-273
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  1. § 4 “Repose of Rivers,” “Paraphrase,” “Possessions”
  2. pp. 273-289
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  1. § 5 “Lachrymae Christi”
  2. pp. 289-304
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  1. § 6 “Passage”
  2. pp. 304-313
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  1. § 7 “The Wine Menagerie,” “Recitative”
  2. pp. 313-326
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  1. § 8 “For the Marriage of Faustus and Helen”
  2. pp. 326-342
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  1. § 9 “At Melville’s Tomb,” “Voyages I, II, III”
  2. pp. 343-359
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  1. § 10 “Voyages IV, V, VI”
  2. pp. 359-371
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  1. § 11 “The Broken Tower”
  2. pp. 371-383
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 385-398
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 399-403
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 405-424
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781421403601
Related ISBN
9781421402215
MARC Record
OCLC
798295734
Pages
440
Launched on MUSE
2012-02-08
Language
English
Open Access
No
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