Trying It Out in America: Literary and Other Performances

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Macmillan, 2003年5月16日 - 332 頁
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The experimental genius of American artists-interpreted by one of our most dependably brilliant critics.

Richard Poirier suggests, in the title of his new book, that the United States has been uncommonly hospitable to literary and artistic experimentation, to innovation and daring. Just as the nation likes to imagine itself as always in a state of becoming and renewal, some of its greatest writers seem willing to accept a measure of neglect during their lifetimes while remaining confident of posthumous triumph. With analytical daring and shrewd literary delicacy, Poirier advances these themes in essays ranging from Emerson and Whitman to "those avowed imperialists of the novelistic imagination Herman Melville, Henry James, and Norman Mailer," along with kindred twentieth-century figures such as T. S. Eliot and Frank O'Hara, Gertrude Stein and Marianne Moore.

Poirier's explorations of the American scene are not limited to poets and novelists. His moving account of the American ballets of George Balanchine, of Bette Midler in performance, of the reclusive Arthur Inman-whose immense diary offers incomparable glimpses into daily life during World War II-and his challenging refutations of some persistent myths of American "manhood" and of America itself, by outside observers like Jean Baudrillard or Martin Amis, will bring readers to a new appreciation of the most interesting (and difficult) features of American culture.

 

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Trying it out in America: literary and other performances

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Poirier is a distinguished and perceptive critic of American literature. These 19 essays, many of which appeared originally as book reviews, are loosely organized around the notion that American ... 閱讀評論全文

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內容

Accurate Gusto
3
Elusive Whitman
20
Reaching Frank OHara
36
Balanchine in America
55
The Hidden T S Eliot
78
Bette Midler in Concert
104
Erasing America
115
Martin Amiss Inferno
127
Is There an American Manhood?
165
Manly Agitations
183
Emersons Steinian Question
203
Truman Capote
218
Mailers Strangest Book
226
Henry and William James
238
Melvilles Vanity of Failure
254
The End Game
277

Peter Conrads Confusions
134
Vidals American Empire
145
The Case of Arthur Inman
155
Acknowledgments
297
Index
299
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關於作者 (2003)

Richard Poirier is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University, chairman of the board of The Library of America, founding editor of Raritan Quarterly, and the author of many books on American and twentieth-century literature.

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