Poetics of Place: The Poetry of Ralph Gustafson

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 1991 - Literary Criticism - 323 pages
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Dermot McCarthy has made extensive use of manuscripts, correspondence, and other archival material to uncover the complexity and genius of Gustafson's creativity. He traces Gustafson's development from an early, adolescent romanticism to his later modernist and post-modernist approaches, and situates this progression in the context of the general shifts in poetic approach and theory which took place during the same period. A Poetics of Place surveys not only the life of a poet but the evolution of literary sensibilities from the thirties to the eighties. Rather than force Gustafson's work into a theoretical matrix, McCarthy has avoided critical jargon and fads of literary theory and has focused on Gustafson as a writer, providing a perceptive and detailed analysis of all the major poems and volumes. McCarthy shows Gustafson's appreciation of the local -- his "poetics of place" -- to be a distinguishing feature of his genius. McCarthy allows the reader to return to the poetry itself.
 

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Contents

Unauthorized Words
12
The Contradictory Lens
39
The Concentric Poet
87
Toward Plain Statement
133
To Give Intuition a Certitude
177
Earthly Music
229
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About the author (1991)

Dermot McCarthy was born in Marthyr Tydfil in Wales in 1948. He is now a professor of English at Huron College.

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