E.E. Cummings: a life

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
Varies, see individual formats and editions
Pub. Date:
Varies, see individual formats and editions
Language:
English
Description

From the author of American Bloomsbury, Louisa May Alcott , and Home Before Dark , a major reassessment of the life and work of the novelist, painter, and playwright considered to be one of America's preeminent twentieth-century poets. At the time of his death in 1962, at age sixty-eight, he was, after Robert Frost, the most widely read poet in the United States.   E. E. Cummings was and remains controversial. He has been called "a master" (Malcolm Cowley); "hideous" (Edmund Wilson). James Dickey called him a "daringly original poet with more vitality and more sheer uncompromising talent than any other living American writer."   In Susan Cheever's rich, illuminating biography we see Cummings's idyllic childhood years in Cambridge, Massachusetts; his Calvinist father--distinguished Harvard professor and sternly religious minister of the Cambridge Congregational Church; his mother--loving, attentive, a source of encouragement, the aristocrat of the family, from Unitarian writers, judges, and adventurers.   We see Cummings--slight, agile, playful, a product of a nineteenth-century New England childhood, bred to be flinty and determined; his love of nature; his sense of fun, laughter, mimicry; his desire from the get-go to stand conventional wisdom on its head, which he himself would often do, literally, to amuse.   At Harvard, he roomed with John Dos Passos; befriended Lincoln Kirstein; read Latin, Greek, and French; earned two degrees; discovered alcohol, fast cars, and burlesque at the Old Howard Theater; and raged against the school's conservative, exclusionary upper-class rule by A. Lawrence Lowell.   In Cheever's book we see that beneath Cummings's blissful, golden childhood the strains of sadness and rage were already at play. He grew into a dark young man and set out on a lifelong course of rebellion against conventional authority and the critical establishment, devouring the poetry of Ezra Pound, whose radical verses pushed Cummings away from the politeness of the traditional nature poem toward a more adventurous, sexually conscious form.   We see that Cummings's self-imposed exile from Cambridge--a town he'd come to hate for its intellectualism, Puritan uptightness, racism, and self-righteous xenophobia--seemed necessary for him as a man and a poet. Headstrong and cavalier, he volunteered as an ambulance driver in World War I, working alongside Hemingway, Joyce, and Ford Madox Ford . . . his ongoing stand against the imprisonment of his soul taking a literal turn when he was held in a makeshift prison for "undesirables and spies," an experience that became the basis for his novel, The Enormous Room .   We follow Cummings as he permanently flees to Greenwich Village to be among other modernist poets of the day--Marianne Moore, Hart Crane, Dylan Thomas--and we see the development of both the poet and his work against the backdrop of modernism and through the influences of his contemporaries: Stein, Amy Lowell, Joyce, and Pound. Cheever's fascinating book gives us the evolution of an artist whose writing was at the forefront of what was new and daring and bold in an America in transition. (With 28 pages of black-and-white images.)

Also in This Series
More Like This
More Details
ISBN:
9780307379979
9781482958317
9780307908674
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID cfaa2a2e-6258-52c6-d890-583f92df8c02
Grouping Title e e cummings a life
Grouping Author cheever susan
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-09-22 23:50:37PM
Last Indexed 2018-09-21 23:59:18PM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level
accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Cheever, Susan.
author_display Cheever, Susan
available_at_catalog Inglewood
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Inglewood - Adult Non-Fiction, Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description A major reassessment of the life and work of the novelist, painter, and playwright considered to be one of America's preeminent twentieth-century poets. Cummings was and remains controversial--called "a master" or "hideous." In Susan Cheever's rich biography we see his idyllic childhood years in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his sternly religious father and his loving, attentive mother. We see Cummings--slight, agile, playful, a product of a nineteenth-century New England childhood; his love of nature; his sense of fun, laughter, mimicry; his desire from the get-go to stand conventional wisdom on its head. At Harvard, he earned two degrees, discovered alcohol, fast cars, and burlesque, and raged against the school's exclusionary upper-class rule. He grew into a dark young man and set out on a lifelong course of rebellion against conventional authority. Headstrong and cavalier, he volunteered as an ambulance driver in World War I, working alongside Hemingway and Joyce. He permanently fled to Greenwich Village to be among other modernist poets of the day, and we see the development of both the poet and his work against the backdrop of modernism. Cheever's book gives us the evolution of an artist whose writing was at the forefront of what was new and daring and bold in an America in transition.--From publisher description.
format_catalog Book, eAudiobook, eBook
format_category_catalog Audio Books, Books, eBook
id cfaa2a2e-6258-52c6-d890-583f92df8c02
isbn 9780307379979, 9780307908674, 9781482958317
item_details ils:CARL0000427379|35192045174699|Inglewood - Adult Non-Fiction|811.52 C9714c|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf||IN||, ils:CARL0000427379|35192045174707|Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction|811.52 C9714c|||1|false|false|||||Checked Out||MN||, ils:CARL0000427379|QQ00167776|Overton High - Teen Biography|B CHE CUM|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf||6F615||, overdrive:0bb20a51-77ad-453d-b539-70bdf8c38139|-1|Online OverDrive Collection|Online OverDrive|eBook|eBook|1|false|true|OverDrive|||Adobe EPUB eBook,Kindle Book,OverDrive Read|Available Online||||, overdrive:7830306c-c69c-4f28-a7e3-3886ff5cd150|-1|Online OverDrive Collection|Online OverDrive|eAudiobook|Audio Books|1|false|true|OverDrive|||OverDrive MP3 Audiobook,OverDrive Listen|Available Online||||
itype_catalog , Book
last_indexed 2018-09-22T04:59:18.926Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog 811.52 C9714c
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Inglewood, Main Kids, Main Library
primary_isbn 9780307379979
publishDate 2014
record_details ils:CARL0000427379|Book|Books|First edition.|English|Pantheon Books,|[2014]|xvii, 213 pages, 28 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm., overdrive:0bb20a51-77ad-453d-b539-70bdf8c38139|eBook|eBook||English|Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|2014|, overdrive:7830306c-c69c-4f28-a7e3-3886ff5cd150|eAudiobook|Audio Books||English|Blackstone Publishing|2014|
recordtype grouped_work
scoping_details_catalog
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:CARL0000427379 35192045174699 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
ils:CARL0000427379 35192045174707 Checked Out Checked Out false false true false false true
overdrive:0bb20a51-77ad-453d-b539-70bdf8c38139 -1 Available Online Available Online false true true false false false
overdrive:7830306c-c69c-4f28-a7e3-3886ff5cd150 -1 Available Online Available Online false true true false false false
subject_facet Cummings, E. E. -- (Edward Estlin), -- 1894-1962, Poets, American -- 20th century -- Biography
title_display E.E. Cummings : a life
title_full E. E. Cummings A Life, E.E. Cummings : a life / Susan Cheever
title_short E.E. Cummings :
title_sub a life
topic_facet Biography & Autobiography, Cummings, E. E, History, Literary Criticism, Nonfiction, Poets, American