By Christopher Benfey

ISBN-10: 0472033999

ISBN-13: 9780472033997

ISBN-10: 0472116266

ISBN-13: 9780472116263

One of many premiere critics in modern American letters, Christopher Benfey has lengthy been recognized for his exceptional and incisive essays. showing in such courses because the manhattan evaluation of Books, the hot Republic, and the days Literary complement, Benfey's writings have helped us reimagine the yankee literary canon. In American Audacity, Benfey gathers his best writings on eminent American authors (including Emerson, Dickinson, Whitman, Millay, Faulkner, Frost, and Welty), bringing to his subjects---as the recent York instances ebook evaluate has stated of his previous work---"a scholar's thoroughness, a critic's astuteness and a storyteller's feel of drama."Although Benfey's pursuits diversity from paintings to literature to social heritage, this assortment specializes in specific American writers and many of the ways that an American identification and tradition tell their paintings. damaged into 3 sections, "Northerners," "Southerners," and "The Union Reconsidered," American Audacity explores a number of canonical works, previous (Emerson, Dickinson, Millay, Whitman), sleek (Faulkner, Dos Passos), and extra modern (Gary Snyder, E. L. Doctorow).Christopher Benfey is the writer of various very hot books, together with Emily Dickinson: Lives of a Poet; The Double lifetime of Stephen Crane; Degas in New Orleans: Encounters within the Creole global of Kate Chopin and George Washington Cable; and, so much lately, the good Wave: Gilded Age Misfits, eastern Eccentrics, and the hole of outdated Japan; and A summer season of Hummingbirds. Benfey's poems have seemed within the Paris assessment, Pequod, and Ploughshares. He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim origin, the nationwide Endowment for the arts, and the yank Council of realized Societies. presently he's Mellon Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College."A talented literary historian and critic."---The ny overview of Books "Longer than e-book reports and shorter than long reappraisals of a poet or critic, the person essays show a convinced, if modest, contact . . . His unadorned sentences . . . will inspire readers to shop for books through the bibliographers and students he experiences in addition to go back readers to the audacious figures that contain America's literary history."---Larry T. Shillock, Bloomsbury Review"In its energetic and unique feedback of yank writers, Christopher Benfey's American Audacities monitors its personal audacities on each page."---William H. Pritchard

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Many of these are short passages of verse, couplets and triplets, set apart from the prose of Dickinson’s letters, like this typical example from the early 1860s: 42 No Rose, yet felt myself a’bloom, No Bird—yet rode in Ether— Franklin’s research has led him to conclude that certain texts previously published as separate poems are in fact fragments of other poems. ”) Other poems, previously thought to be parts of the same poem, are now separated. And ‹ve texts treated as poems by Johnson, such as the rhythmic letter to Austin that is the second poem in the Johnson edition (“There is another sky, ever serene and fair, and there is another sunshine, though it be darkness there”) are excluded by Franklin, since they are not arranged as verse in Dickinson’s manuscript.

Smith, Howe, and their supporters, who have now formed the Dickinson Editing Collective, deserve credit for raising questions about Dickinson’s writing practices. But their some-assembly-required procedures, where the reader is invited to “coauthor” Dickinson’s poems, are not how most readers expect to encounter poetry. ”) The end result of such technological innovations will be to make a poet already regarded as eccentric seem even more so. 4. Martha Nell Smith wants to undo the “‹xity and ‹nality” of the poems as printed by Johnson and others.

But I think there will be wide agreement regarding most of Franklin’s editorial decisions. He states his principles clearly and does not conceal his uncertainties (about the dating of individual poems, for example). He is deeply respectful of Dickinson’s writing practices, following her often erratic spelling and, “within the capacity of standard type,” her capitalization and punctuation. His textual apparatus is informative without being intrusive, and includes such useful information as where Dickinson broke her lines on her manuscript sheets, as well as any other information—pinned attachments, tears in the paper, and the like—that might have a bearing on interpretation.

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American Audacity: Literary Essays North and South (Writers on Writing) by Christopher Benfey


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