By Paul Mariani
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Extra resources for A Usable Past: Essays on Modern and Contemporary Poetry
But literary infighting, the politics of art, did have its grinding effect on Williams, as it had its effect on Eliot and Pound and Hart Crane and others. And even Gerard Manley Hopkins, who published virtually nothing in his lifetime, could feel a critic's barb by inference and smile sardonically to his friend Robert Bridges that, if such oblique references and dismissal constituted fame, he wanted no part of it. For Williams, however, the case was far more interesting and severe, for it was once easy in American literary circles to laugh Williams off.
To watch all the dust reassemble again in a new configuration, and one which seemed to suit the dust more fully. Harold Bloom speaks of the anxiety of the later poet coming into the presence of the father's text. But that is as nothing to Ptolemy's meeting up with a Galileo, the son who would rearrange the sense of the world according to his own discoveries and his own imagination. , one's interested readers) is satisfied with the illusion the biographer has given it and which can then pass for what one thinks of when one thinks of Sub- Page 20 ject X?
The Beats, especially Kerouac and Ginsberg, might conceivably have done this for me as well. " I was from Page 5 working-class stock, bluest of blue collar, obedient to the fathers, bent on entering, not leaving, mainstream America, at least as my family understood the values of upward mobility, none of us at that point having tasted the so-called good life. Now Williams, on the other hand, like Wallace Stevens, was essentially American middle class, professional, in the most immediate sense, and, as Creeley might say, ''useful" to society.
A Usable Past: Essays on Modern and Contemporary Poetry by Paul Mariani