Chapter

From Ladd's Hill to Land's End (and Back Again): Narrative, Rhythm, and the Transatlantic Occasions of “Misanthropos”

Joshua Weiner

in At the Barriers

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780226890432
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226890371 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226890371.003.0008
From Ladd's Hill to Land's End (and Back Again): Narrative, Rhythm, and the Transatlantic Occasions of “Misanthropos”

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“Misanthropos,” a poem understood to be central to Gunn's body of work, is not one that has been very well served by a previous generation of critics. Gunn did not try to explore experience through an open lyric sequence (as did Robert Duncan), nor through extensive meditations on culture and history (as did Eliot, Pound, and, later, Charles Olson), nor through a reimagining of historical space (as did W. C. Williams). With “Misanthropos,” he worked through an essentially narrative enterprise: to show how a character finds an ethical solution to a social problem, a solution that comes from feeling one's way toward acting in the world. The process of discovery may be interior to the self, but the problem is one of social relation.

Keywords: Misanthropos; narrative; rhythm; Thom Gunn; poetry

Chapter.  8627 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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