Letters of Wallace Stevens

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University of California Press, 1966 - Literary Criticism - 890 pages
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Long unavailable, now in paperback for the first time, these are the brilliant, subtle, illuminating letters of one of the great poets of the twentieth century. Stevens's famous criterion for poetry--"It should give pleasure"--informed his epistolary aesthetic as well; these letters stimulate one's appetite for poetry as they valorize the imagination and the senses. They also offer fascinating glimpses of Stevens as family man, insurance executive, connoisseur, and friend.
FROM THE BOOK:"Next to the passion flower I love fuchsias, and no kidding. . . . Down among the Pennsylvania Germans there was a race of young men . . . who carved willow fans. These men would take a bit of willow stick about a foot long, peel it and with nothing more than a jackknife carve it into something that looked like a souvenir of Queen Anne's lingerie. The trouble that someone took to invent fuchsias makes me think of these willow fans. However it is a dark and dreary day today and who am I to be frivolous under such circumstances."--from a letter to Wilson Taylor, August 20, 1947 Long unavailable, now in paperback for the first time, these are the brilliant, subtle, illuminating letters of one of the great poets of the twentieth century. Stevens's famous criterion for poetry--"It should give pleasure"--informed his epistolary aesthetic as well; these letters stimulate one's appetite for poetry as they valorize the imagination and the senses. They also offer fascinating glimpses of Stevens as family man, insurance executive, connoisseur, and friend.
FROM THE BOOK:"Next to the passion flower I love fuchsias, and no kidding. . . . Down among the Pennsylvania Germans there was a race of young men . . . who carved willow fans. These men would take a bit of willow stick about a foot long, peel it and with nothing more than a jackknife carve it into something that looked like a souvenir of Queen Anne's lingerie. The trouble that someone took to invent fuchsias makes me think of these willow fans. However it is a dark and dreary day today and who am I to be frivolous under such circumstances."--from a letter to Wilson Taylor, August 20, 1947
  

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Letters of Wallace Stevens

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An author's letters are often more revealing than their prose, or, in Stevens's case, their poetry, and are necessary study for a fuller understanding of the artist. In addition to numerous letters ... Read full review

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About the author (1966)

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) was awarded the Bollingen Prize in Poetry by the Yale University Library in 1949. In 1951 he won the National Book Award in Poetry for The Auroras of Autumn; he won it a second time for The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens, which was also awarded the 1955 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Editor Holly Stevens was his daughter. Poet Richard Howard is University Professor of English at the University of Houston.

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