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Weldon Kees and the Midcentury Generation: Letters, 1935-1955

Sprache: Englisch.
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Titel: Weldon Kees and the Midcentury Generation: Letters, 1935-1955
Autor/en: Weldon Kees

ISBN: 080327808X
EAN: 9780803278080
Sprache: Englisch.
Kommentiert von Robert E. Knoll
Herausgegeben von Robert E. Knoll

Juni 2003 - kartoniert - 273 Seiten

Before he vanished in the fog of San Francisco, Weldon Kees (1914-55) was a poet, storyteller, critic, painter, musician, and filmmaker. What remains is a body of work and a large collection of letters that shed light on Kees's complex personality. Robert E. Knoll traces the odyssey of a Nebraska boy who made his way in a fiercely competitive national scene, befriending the movers and shakers of the art worlds on both coasts. Kees's letters--satirical, witty, poetic, gossipy, intensely individual--provide the feel of lives being lived, of a career going forth, and finally, of the darkness that engulfed him when, in Knoll's phrase, he was "ten minutes from triumph."
Robert E. Knoll is D. B. and Paula Varner Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is the author of "Conversations with Wright Morris: Critical Views and Responses" (Nebraska 1977).
"Tender and vulnerable, aggressive and ambitious, above all, finely attuned to the best art of its time, Kees's letters are remarkable documents both of a life and of two decades of the life of art."--Journal of Modern Literature "A smoothly edited and beautifully produced collection of Weldon Kees's evocative letters... The letters are so compelling as to make this book a delight for those without any prior knowledge of or interest in Kees as an artist."--Prairie Schooner "Those who don't know about Kees will be surprised and impressed."--American Literature "This volume of letters from the period 1935-55 is more like a biography, with most of its text made up from letters and other unpublished and published material by and about writer-painter-musician Weldon Kees (1914-55). With his poetry and stories in print, two recently published books on him and his work (William R. Ross's Weldon Kees and Jim Elledge's Weldon Kees: A Critical Introduction) and John McKerman's biography completed, serious consideration of his multifaceted talents is certainly in order: his bitter poems and imaginative prose entitle him to a place in American letters as a fine but minor figure. That he knew just about everyone on the national cultural scene is attested to by the fact that Knoll (University of Nebraska) lists no fewer than 331 persons. Thus this carefully thorough account tells us as much about Kees's life as it does about his friends and associates and, in a limited way, what was going on from Nebraska to New York to Hollywood and San Francisco in his day. Kees's letters are more informative than stimulating, highly sensitive if not exciting. But while we feel the tension in his career and personal affairs, we do not wholly understand his disappearance and supposed suicide from Golden Gate Bridge in July 1955... An essential volume, well written, printed in an attractive format, for all American literature collections whose aim approaches completeness." Choice
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