James Merrill

Life and Art

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Author: Langdon Hammer

Publisher: Knopf

ISBN: 0385353081

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 944

View: 6068

Langdon Hammer has given us the first biography of the poet James Merrill (1926–95), whose life is surely one of the most fascinating in American literature. Merrill was born to high privilege and high expectations as the son of Charles Merrill, the charismatic cofounder of the brokerage firm Merrill Lynch, and Hellen Ingram, a muse, ally, and antagonist throughout her son’s life. Wounded by his parents’ bitter divorce, he was the child of a broken home, looking for repair in poetry and love. This is the story of a young man escaping, yet also reenacting, the energies and obsessions of those powerful parents. It is the story of a gay man inventing his identity against the grain of American society during the eras of the closet, gay liberation, and AIDS. Above all, it is the story of a brilliantly gifted, fiercely dedicated poet working every day to turn his life into art. After college at Amherst and a period of adventure in Europe, Merrill returned to the New York art world of the 1950s (he was friendly with W. H. Auden, Maya Deren, Truman Capote, Larry Rivers, Elizabeth Bishop, and other midcentury luminaries) and began publishing poems, plays, and novels. In 1953, he fell in love with an aspiring writer, David Jackson. They explored “boys and bars” as they made their life together in Connecticut and later in Greece and Key West. At the same time, improbably, they carried on a forty-year conversation with spirits of the Other World by means of a Ouija board. The board became a source of poetic inspiration for Merrill, culminating in his prizewinning, uncanny, one-of-a-kind work The Changing Light at Sandover. In his virtuosic poetry and in the candid letters and diaries that enrich every page of this deliciously readable life, Merrill created a prismatic art of multiple perspectives and comic self-knowledge, expressing hope for a world threatened by nuclear war and environmental catastrophe. Holding this life and art together in a complex, evolving whole, Hammer illuminates Merrill's “chronicles of love & loss” and the poignant personal journey they record.

Birthday

Lebenserinnerungen

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Author: Dorothea Tanning

Publisher: Kiepenheuer & Witsch

ISBN: 3462411411

Category: Art

Page: 214

View: 4438

In ihren Erinnerungen schildert die Malerin Dorothea Tanning ihr Leben als Künstlerin und als Ehefrau von Max Ernst. Sie war 34 Jahre lang bis zu seinem Tod 1976 mit ihm zusammen.»Birthday« ist ein ungewöhnlicher Lebensbericht – dicht, farbenreich, von poetischer Kraft, ein surrealistisches Gemälde in literarischer Form.

James Merrill, Postmodern Magus

Myth and Poetics

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Author: Evans Lansing Smith

Publisher: University of Iowa Press

ISBN: 1587297647

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 276

View: 7210

One of the unique voices in our century, James Merrill was known for his mastery of prosody; his ability to write books that were not just collected poems but unified works in which each individual poem contributed to the whole; and his astonishing evolution from the formalist lyric tradition that influenced his early work to the spiritual epics of his later career. Merrill's accomplishments were recognized with a Pulitzer Prize in 1977 for Divine Comedies and a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1983 for The Changing Light at Sandover. In this meticulously researched, carefully argued work, Evans Lansing Smith argues that the nekyia, the circular Homeric narrative describing the descent into the underworld and reemergence in the same or similar place, confers shape and significance upon the entirety of James Merrill’s poetry. Smith illustrates how pervasive this myth is in Merrill’s work – not just in The Changing Light at Sandover, where it naturally serves as the central premise of the entire trilogy, but in all of the poet’s books, before and after that central text. By focusing on the details of versification and prosody, Smith demonstrates the ingenious fusion of form and content that distinguishes Merrill as a poet. Moving beyond purely literary interpretations of the poetry, Smith illuminates the numerous allusions to music, art, theology, philosophy, religion, and mythology found throughout Merrill’s work.

The Consuming Myth

The Work of James Merrill

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Author: Stephen Yenser

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674166158

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 367

View: 8878

"The Consuming Myth" is a discerning account of his work that will well serve amateur and initiate alike. Yenser ranges over all of Merrill's writing to date, from a precocious book printed when its author was fifteen to his most recent publication, a verse play. He writes about both of the poet's novels and pays particular attention to the epic poem "The Changing Light at Santkver" His close readings shed light on Merrill's boldly and subtly original techniques, his kinship with Mallarme, Proust, Yeats, Stevens, and others, and the network of connections among his diverse undertakings."

Elizabeth Bishop and Her Art

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Author: Lloyd Schwartz,Sybil P. Estess

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 9780472063437

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 341

View: 6288

As the first book-length collection to focus on Elizabeth Bishop (1911-79), this book has become an essential resource on this poet now recognized as one of America's greatest artists. The volume includes essays by David Kalstone, Helen Vendler, and Robert Pinsky, among others; a chronology of short articles and reviews, poems, memoirs, and memorials, many by major poets (among them Bishop's three most notable supporters - Marianne Moore, Robert Lowell, and Randall Jarrell); and an illuminating selection of work by Bishop herself.

Language, Mind, and Art

Essays in Appreciation and Analysis, in Honor of Paul Ziff

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Author: D. Jamieson

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9401583137

Category: Philosophy

Page: 220

View: 1801

This book is a collection of essays in honor of Paul Ziff written by his col leagues, students, and friends. Many of the authors address topics that Ziff has discussed in his writings: understanding, rules and regularities, proper names, the feelings of machines, expression, and aesthetic experience. Paul Ziff began his professional career as an artist, went on to study painting with J. M. Hanson at Cornell, and then studied for the Ph. D. in philosophy, also at Cornell, with Max Black. Over the next three decades he produced a series of remarkable papers in philosophy of art, culminating in 1984 with the publica tion of Antiaesthetics: An Appreciation of the Cow with the Subtile Nose. In 1960 he published Semantic Analysis, his masterwork in philosophy of lan guage. Throughout his career he made important contributions to philosophy of mind in such papers as "The Simplicity of Other Minds" (1965) and "About Behaviourism" (1958). In addition to his work in these areas, his lec tures at Harvard on philosophy of religion are an underground classic; and throughout his career he has continued to make art and to search for the meaning of life in the properties of prime numbers. Although his interests are wide and deep, questions about language, art, and mind have dominated his philosophical work, and it is problems in these areas that provide the topics of most of the essays in this volume.

What is it Then Between Us?

Traditions of Love in American Poetry

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Author: Eric Murphy Selinger

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9780801484667

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 251

View: 2786

"What Is It Then between Us? marks the appearance of a bright new star in the poetry criticism firmament. Eric Murphy Selinger explores the complex history of American love poetry with panache, acumen, and scholarly precision. His readings of love poems by writers as diverse as Anne Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams, and James Merrill are both nimble and persuasive. Itself written con amore, What Is It Then between Us? is a pioneering study of the imaginative ways our poets have recorded the ordeals and pleasures of love in their verse."--Herbert Leibowitz, Editor and Publisher, Parnassus: Poetry in ReviewTracing the solitude of the American self, the difference between idolatrous and companionate affection, and the dream of an "America of love," Eric Murphy Selinger shows how such concerns can shape a poet's most intimate decisions about genre and form. His lucid, elegant prose illuminates not only well-known love poets, including Emily Dickinson and William Carlos Williams, but also more unexpected figures, notably Wallace Stevens and Mina Loy. Like the poets he discusses, Selinger refuses to view love reductively. Rather, he takes the impulse to debunk love as part of his subject, whether it crops up in Puritan theology or contemporary literary theory. As he details Whitman's courtship of his readers, weighs the restorations of romance in H. D. and Ezra Pound, and demonstrates the bonds between poets as disparate as Robert Creeley and Robert Lowell, Selinger establishes love poetry as an essential American genre.

Between Lives: An Artist and Her World

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Author: Dorothea Tanning

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393062899

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 400

View: 2000

The life and times of one of our most enchanting artists; a twentieth-century fairy tale, lovingly remembered and luminously told. Fourteen years ago, the artist Dorothea Tanning published Birthday, a collection of reminiscences. Now she has expanded it into a memoir of her journey through the last century as confidant, collaborator, and muse to some of its most inspired minds and personalities: a diverse assemblage that ranges from the fathers of dada and surrealism to Virgil Thompson, George Balanchine, Alberto Giacometti, Dylan Thomas, Truman Capote, Joan Miró, James Merrill, and many more. At its center is the relationship, tenderly rendered, between Tanning and her famed husband, the enigmatic surrealist Max Ernst. Whether recalling the poignant presence of her friend Joseph Cornell or simply marveling at the facades along a Venice canal, "their filmy reflections fluttering in the dirty canal like fragile altar cloths hung out to dry," Tanning's writing is beguiling, wry, and shot through with the same eye for pregnant detail and immanent magic that marks her art.

James Merrill

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Author: Ross Labrie

Publisher: Boston : Twayne Publishers

ISBN: N.A

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 166

View: 2318

Jede Liebesgeschichte ist eine Geistergeschichte

David Foster Wallace. Ein Leben

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Author: Daniel Max

Publisher: Kiepenheuer & Witsch

ISBN: 3462308416

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 512

View: 7108

»Wenn Sie Wallaces Werk lieben, müssen Sie dieses Buch lesen, lieben Sie Wallaces Werk nicht, müssen Sie es sogar unbedingt lesen!« Tom Bissell »Fiction’s about what it is to be a fucking human being.« David Foster WallaceMit Unendlicher Spaß wurde David Foster Wallace über Nacht zum Superstar der amerikanischen Literaturszene.2008 nahm sich der begnadete Schriftsteller das Leben.D.T. Max hat sich auf die Suche nach dem einzig wahren David Foster Wallace gemacht, herausgekommen ist dabei ein facettenreiches Porträt über einen Mann voller Widersprüche: Aufgewachsen als Sohn eines Collegeprofessors und einer grammatikfanatischen Englischlehrerin in einer Kleinstadt im Mittleren Westen, war er ein begabter Teenager, Tennis-Nerd und Klassenclown, später dann Überflieger, großer Stilist, die Stimme einer Generation. Es war ein Leben, geprägt von Alkoholismus, Drogenabhängigkeit, Panikattacken und »der üblen Sache«, wie David Foster Wallace seine Depressionen selbst nannte – ein andauernder Tanz am Abgrund.Es ist ein Leben zwischen den Extremen, das D.T. Max auf der Suche nach David Foster Wallace gefunden hat: Mit all seinen Entdeckungen und Dramen, der Verliebtheit, der Liebe, der Langeweile, den Ängsten und Krankheiten, den Glücksfällen und Fehlentscheidungen, den Sehnsüchten – eine Geschichte von den dunkelsten und den hellsten Tagen.Mit Jede Liebesgeschichte ist eine Geistergeschichte legt D.T. Max eine Biographie über David Foster Wallace vor, die sich liest wie ein Roman – ein unverzichtbares Buch!

William James and the Art of Popular Statement

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Author: Paul Stob

Publisher: MSU Press

ISBN: 162895048X

Category: Philosophy

Page: N.A

View: 9955

At the turn of the twentieth century, no other public intellectual was as celebrated in America as the influential philosopher and psychologist William James. Sought after around the country, James developed his ideas in lecture halls and via essays and books intended for general audiences. Reaching out to and connecting with these audiences was crucial to James—so crucial that in 1903 he identified “popular statement,” or speaking and writing in a way that animated the thought of popular audiences, as the “highest form of art.” Paul Stob’s thought-provoking history traces James’s art of popular statement through pivotal lectures, essays, and books, including his 1878 lectures in Baltimore and Boston, “Talks to Teachers on Psychology,” “The Varieties of Religious Experience,” and “Pragmatism.” The book explores James’s unique approach to public address, which involved crafting lectures in science, religion, and philosophy around ordinary people and their experiences. With democratic bravado, James confronted those who had accumulated power through various systems of academic and professional authority, and argued that intellectual power should be returned to the people. Stob argues that James gave those he addressed a central role in the pursuit of knowledge and fostered in them a new intellectual curiosity unlike few scholars before or since.

Eine Vision

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Author: William Butler Yeats

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9783520138019

Category:

Page: 334

View: 8184

Between Lives

An Artist and Her World

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Author: Dorothea Tanning

Publisher: Northwestern University Press

ISBN: 0810120852

Category: Art

Page: 384

View: 8784

The entrancing memoir of one of America's leading surrealist painters.

Critical Essays on James Merrill

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Author: Guy L. Rotella

Publisher: Twayne Publishers

ISBN: N.A

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 251

View: 4176

Each volume in this series provides an introduction tracing the subject author's critical reputation, trends in interpretation, developments in textual and biographical scholarship, and reprints of selected essays and reviews, beginning with the author's contemporaries and continuing through to current scholarship. Many volumes also feature new essays by leading scholars and critics, specially commissioned for the series.

Shelf Life

Literary Essays and Reviews

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Author: William H. Pritchard

Publisher: Univ of Massachusetts Press

ISBN: 9781558493759

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 303

View: 1338

In this collection of essays and reviews, William H. Pritchard focuses on the work of English and American writers, most of them from the twentieth century. At a time when English studies in the academy seems increasingly impelled by historical and political concerns, Pritchard's aim is to reinstate the aesthetic as the major motive for literary study. Indeed "study" may be the wrong word for it, as the poet Philip Larkin made forcefully evident when he once snapped at an interviewer, "Oh, for Christ's sake one doesn't study poets. You read them and think, that's marvelous, how is it done, could I do it?"

Violence, the Arts, and Willa Cather

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Author: Joseph R. Urgo,Merrill Maguire Skaggs

Publisher: Associated University Presse

ISBN: 9780838641576

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 320

View: 3556

From her childhood explorations with vivisection through her adult sense that human life was characterized by cyclical encounters with death and disaster, Willa Cather was devoted to making art in the face of violence. Twenty-three critics contribute to the fullest explication to date of Cather, violence, and the arts, exploring thematic representations of violence in war, suicide, sexual trauma, shame, and rage as well as aesthetic responses to violence through literary choreographies and encounters with kind and unkind things. In this volume, Willa Cather emerges as a resource for survival in an age of terror, an artist who encourages her readers to feel at home in the nexus of creativity and terror, and to seek creative responses to the horror of human life. According to the critics gathered here, Cather's aesthetic is built upon surfaces below which are violent and deadly depths, and about which her best lives attempt to soar.

James Merrill's Poetic Quest

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Author: Don Adams

Publisher: Praeger Pub Text

ISBN: N.A

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 173

View: 3294

Provides the first comprehensive look at Merrill's difficult symbolic system, allowing readers to view individual works as part of the larger picture of Merrill's quest to save his life through his art.