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Stevens and the Interpersonal (Princeton Legacy Library)
Stevens and the Interpersonal (Princeton Legacy Library) by Mark Halliday 0691065489 9780691065489
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Stevens and the Interpersonal (Princeton Legacy Library) by Mark Halliday

With Wallace Stevens emerging as a father figure for American poetry of the late twentieth century, Mark Halliday argues that it is time for this poet of ideas to undergo an ethical critique. In this bold, accessible reconsideration of Stevens work, he insists on the importance of interpersonal relations in any account of human life in the modern world. Although Stevens outwardly denies aspects of life that center on such relations as those between friends, lovers, family members, and political constituents, Halliday uncovers in his poetry an anxious awareness of the importance of these relations. Here we see the difficulties Stevens made for himself in wanting to offer a thoroughly satisfying version of secular spiritual health in the modern world without facing up to the moral and psychological implications of his own interpersonal needs, problems, and responsibilities. The final chapter reveals, however, an unusually encouraging avuncular attitude toward the reader of the poetry, which may be felt to redeem Stevens from the alienation observed earlier. Halliday develops his views by way of comparisons between Stevens and other poets, especially Thomas Hardy, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and John Ashbery.

Author: Mark Halliday

Language: English

Edition: First Edition

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 214

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Publication Date: 1991-10-27

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ISBN: 0691065489


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Mark Halliday (Edition: First Edition) Hardcover


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