• The Selected Letters of George Oppen

    Editor(s): Rachel  Blau DuPlessis
    Published: 1990
    Pages: 471
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $99.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-1017-4
  • Paperback: $29.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-1024-2
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  • Introduction  vii
    Editorial Comments  xxi
    Acknowledgments  xxix
    1931–1934  1
    1958  7
    1959  18
    1960  36
    1961  44
    1962  55
    1963  76
    1964  97
    1965  109
    1966  126
    1967  150
    1968  172
    1969  182
    1970  206
    1971  223
    1972  234
    1973  251
    1974  273
    1975  295
    1976  315
    1977  332
    1978  343
    1979–1981  346
    Correspondents  354
    Notes  363
    Index  427
  • Winner, 1992 Choice Outstanding Academic Books

    Awards

  • Winner, 1992 Choice Outstanding Academic Books

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  • Description

    Objectivist poet George Oppen (1908–1984), along with his contemporaries Lorine Niedecker, Charles Reznikoff, and Carl Rakoski, provide an important bridge between the vanguard modernist American poets and the later works of poets such as Robert Creeley. In work often compounded by the populist urbanity of city lives, the Objectivists explored the social statements poetry can make. Because Oppen wrote only one essay and one essay-review, his correspondence, in effect, constitutes his essays. Oppen is emerging as one of the major poets of the postwar era; he was the recipient of an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award, the PEN/West Rediscovery Award, and a Senior Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His collection Of Being Numerous received the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
    These working papers include a rich correspondence, letters which provide access to the sustained, perceptive body of critical and aesthetic thinking of Oppen’s poetic career. Provocative and witty comments on poetry and poetics, especially interesting for the development of an Objectivist aesthetics, and shrewd, deeply felt assessments about the politics of the twentieth century and its moral dilemmas are some of the issues attended to. This edition offers primary documentation about an influential poetics, a little-known movement, and its active figures. Given the aggressive studies of the politics of canon-formation, the interest in describing a historical context for individual literary achievement, and current debates about mainstream poetry, the rethinking of the Objectivist movement, and the collection of documents contributing to its poetics, is an important achievement in literary scholarship.

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