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The Glass House: The Life of Theodore Roethke Paperback – June 21, 1991
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Seager's Roethke emerges as a man of contradictions. Moreover, in many cases, says Seager, Roethke outright lied in order to forge himself ahead; yet the reader comes away with the suspicion that Roethke never really lied, that either he believed what he was saying was true or that it could have been true under the right circumstances.
Seager doesn't so much discuss Roethke's work as he sets the stage for how Roethke's work came to be and how he wrestled with what it means to be a poet. During the course of the book, Seager considers Roethke's birthplace, his time of birth, his family, his education, and, finally, Roethke's need to find his noblest self. The introduction by Donald Hall is both informative and revealing as well.
At the center of Seager's discussion of Roethke's poetry career is Roethke's mental illness which may have accounted for both the best and worst moments of Roethke's too short life.
This is a book for Roethke's fans, those who love authors and literature, and/or those who are writers. Writers, especially, will be intrigued, I think. Seager's handling of the subject matter is as grand as his subject.
Get it. Read it. Enjoy it. It's a passable placeholder until a more accurate and definitive is work is produced.