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Wallace Stevens Paperback – June 30, 1977

ISBN-13: 978-0521291941 ISBN-10: 0521291941 Edition: First Edition, Thus

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; First Edition, Thus edition (June 30, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521291941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521291941
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,785,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

This detailed critical study of Wallace Stevens identifies the major concerns of his poetry. Lucy Beckett presents Stevens as a contemplative poet, engaged on a long enquiry into the nature of the relationship between the creative imagination and the world it illuminates and recreates.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By H. O. Zogott on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
I first read this book when it became available in the US in the 1970's. I found it a concise, no-nonsense approach to Stevens. In many ways, better than Bloom because it was jargon free but just as assured in its understanding and its discussion of the poet. It was one of the first books that intelligently related his prose and letters to a deeper explanation of the poems. Over the years when I returned to reading Stevens I looked for this book to unknot my inability grasp a line or poem--and while not a close reading in the style of Vendler--I always found clarification in the book. I finally found a used copy of my own several years ago. All of which is by way of saying that I am very pleased that the book is back in print and I cannot urge readers of Stevens enough to acquire and read this book. Many books on Stevens since this was written have appeared. Some probe deeply into one or another aspect of Stevens and some authors may even have looked as comprehensively at Stevens. But none, I think, are as well written as a result of Beckett's desire to clarify along with a comprehension that sends you back to the poems with your passion intact and your intellect burnished.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Servius on May 31, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An inspired, impassioned, concise and well-informed guide to Steven's poetry and lifelong dedication to a noble conception of poetry and the role of the poet, the recurrent themes of reality and the imagination, and their exemplification in his work. A book for new admirers of the poetry and a work to return to again and again for its own spiritual and poetic depth and excitement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By stephen on March 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a general book with lots of quotes from his poems - maybe 2 a page, sometimes 5 - and there are general explications of Stevens's meanings.

I like her first half, where she uses Santayana and Matthew Arnold as foils to current theories of language : the former means what he says, the latter says what he means.
(I'm not joking)
Stevens read a lot of Symbolist Poets. He knew french art. Not enough was explored here, even of a general nature.
(Actually, Stevens's frenchness is not explained anywhere in books, in my opinion)

Her comments on Pound, early on in the book, do not remain controversial - and I do not agree with them anyway - if only because Hugh Kenner had contradicted her 20 years earlier.

(She has, however, read Noel Stock)

The book is a good introduction to Stevens.
A better one, though, remains George S Lensing, 'A Poet's Growth'.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas M. Kara on February 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written in the dense and often abstruse style of a doctoral thesis (where the need to impress the committee seems ever in evidence) Lucy Beckett's Wallace Stevens has more scholarly than popular appeal. As a reference work for those seeking to gain insight into the meaning of particular poems, it is indexed with the titles of poems she discusses.
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