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i--six nonlectures (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures) Paperback – January 31, 1991


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Six marvelously unconventional lectures… An aesthetic self-portrait and a definition of Mr. Cummings's 'stance' as a writer. Full of originality, high spirits, and aphoristic dicta, they express a credo of intense individualism. (The Atlantic)

What a book, what a poet, what a man, what a patriot, what a proud nation he is the first (and only?) citizen of—no, he didn't discover New Jersey, nuclear fission, or nucoa, just himself. (William Saroyan The Nation)

E. E. Cummings has given so much delight over the years—by his poetry, his painting, and his personality—that a deeply serious side of him, that of the dedicated man, has been overlooked… i: Six Nonlectures should help to bring him into sharper focus; [it is] the autobiography of a man who, through all the strange deviations of a strange age, has remained true to himself—one, moreover, so completely creative that even his lectures, which he calls 'nonlectures,' offer new esthetic experiences… Seldom, indeed, has the subject of the creator and the creative faculty been so frankly and inspiringly present. (Saturday Review)

In flashes of the nonlecturing, and steadily in the readings, the always surprising freshness, the durability, the high-spirited and deep-rooted resources of E. E. Cummings' work are made apparent to us once more. For this sufficient reason, i is a blessing. (New England Quarterly)

About the Author

Poet and Painter e.e. cummings was the Charles Eliot Norton lecturer at Harvard Univeristy for 1952-1953.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures (Book 1995)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; New Ed edition (January 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674440102
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674440104
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

E. E. Cummings (1894-1962) was among the most influential, widely read, and revered modernist poets. His many awards included an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Bollingen Prize. Among his many volumes are The Enormous Room and Tulips & Chimneys.

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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Thomas E. Defreitas on December 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
We learn here from the great Estlin Cummings, if we did not already know, that "Art is a mystery; all mysteries have their source in a mystery-of-mysteries who is love" (note the "who" denoting aliveness, as opposed to "which" denoting undeadness): "and if lovers may reach eternity directly through love herself, their mystery remains essentially that of the loving artist whose way must lie through his art, and of the loving worshipper whose aim is oneness with his god."
For the mature Cummings fan, this volume is a must. It traces the genesis of Cummings as poet and as man. It gives us his opinion (at which sophomores might marvel) that no one should venture free verse until he has MASTERED the sonnet, rondeau, ballade, etc. It gives us a syllabus of poems that he loved in his youth and continued to love in his adulthood: Dante, Swinburne, Shakespeare's 116th sonnet, Charles d'Orleans, Walther von der Vogelweide, Shelley, Keats. There are words of praise for Dante Gabriel Rossetti's sonnets. There are ten of E E Cummings' sonnets included in these lectures (but my copy of "i" contains three significant typographical howlers).
We see the libertarian Cummings, the man who "values freedom" and abominates "the subhuman superstate USSR." We see his almost impenetrable parody of Communism in a snippet of his book EIMI, about a trip to Leninist Moscow. We see bits of the play "Santa Claus," his gleeful proverbs called "jottings," and a few paragraphs in defense of Ezra Pound.
We have in the six nonlectures the heart of a man in love with life and spring and joy and birth and (yes of course) love. "To feel something is to be alive." And woe betide the reader who feels nothing when she or he reads these marvellous pages.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
These six "nonlectures" give more insight into ee cummings than anything else I've ever read about or by him (except, perhaps, for the Enormous Room, also a fantastic book). He talks about his family, his beliefs, and colors it all with true cummings style. It's delightful.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By t-kramer@worldnet.att.net on March 31, 1998
Format: Paperback
Absolutely indispensible for anyone who loves ee cummings-- tells of his history, his family, his dreams and ideas, friendships and schooldays, war and peace, love, life and all the rest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clare Quilty on May 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
[...]

All six nonlectures available on 6 CDs--or sold individually. Each one last about an hour. Great sound quality. Cummings lectures about life and then reads some of his favorite poems by other authors.

It's like discovering a new religion.
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