The Necessary Angel: Essays on Reality and the Imagination

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Apr 27, 2011 - Literary Collections - 192 pages
2 Reviews

In this collection of essays, consummate poet Wallace Stevens reflects upon his art. His aim is not to produce a work of criticism or philosophy, or a mere discussion of poetic technique. As he explains in his introduction, his ambition in these various pieces, published in different times and places, aimed higher than that, in the direction of disclosing "poetry itself, the naked poem, the imagination manifesting itself in its domination of words." Stevens proves himself as eloquent and scintillating in prose as in poetry, as he both analyzes and demonstrates the essential act of repossessing reality through the imagination.

 

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User Review  - NielsenGW - LibraryThing

Talking of poetry is a kind of poetry, and Wallace Stevens does his best to assert that. Being a man known for his dense and wildly imaginative poetry, his prose is no different. In the seven essays ... Read full review

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User Review  - Cymie - LibraryThing

Not an easy read; this poet's prose is leaden compared to his verse, but it is worth the work for the brilliant ideas embedded in the rhetoric. Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Wallace Stevens was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, on October 2, 1879, and died in Hartford, Connecticut, on August 2, 1955.  Although he had contributed to the Harvard Advocate while in college, he began to gain general recognition only when Harriet Monroe included four of his poems in a sepcial 1914 wartime issue of Poetry.  Harmonium, his first volume of poems, was published in 1923, and was followed by Ideas of Order (1936), The Man with the Blue Guitar (1937), Parts of a World (1942), Transport to Summer (1947), The Auroras of Autumn (1950), The Necessary Angel (a volume of essays, 1951), The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens (1954), and Opus Posthumous (first published in 1957, edited by Samuel Frued Morse; a new, revised, and corrected edition by Milton J. Bates, 1989).  Mr. Stevens was awarded the Bollingen Prize in Poetry of the Yale University Library for 1949.  In 1951 he won the National Book Award in Poetry for The Auroras of Autumn, in 1955 he won it a second time for The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens, which was also awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1955.  From 1916 on, he was associated with the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company, of which he became vice president in 1934.


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