Collected Prose

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University of California Press, Dec 19, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 382 pages
The prose writings of Charles Olson (1910–1970) have had a far-reaching and continuing impact on post-World War II American poetics. Olson's theories, which made explicit the principles of his own poetics and those of the Black Mountain poets, were instrumental in defining the sense of the postmodern in poetry and form the basis of most postwar free verse.

The Collected Prose brings together in one volume the works published for the most part between 1946 and 1969, many of which are now out of print. A valuable companion to editions of Olson's poetry, the book backgrounds the poetics, preoccupations, and fascinations that underpin his great poems. Included are Call Me Ishmael, a classic of American literary criticism; the influential essays "Projective Verse" and "Human Universe"; and essays, book reviews, and Olson's notes on his studies. In these pieces one can trace the development of his new science of man, called "muthologos," a radical mix of myth and phenomenology that Olson offered in opposition to the mechanistic discourse and rationalizing policy he associated with America's recent wars in Europe and Asia.

Editors Donald Allen and Benjamin Friedlander offer helpful annotations throughout, and poet Robert Creeley, who enjoyed a long and mutually influential relationship with Olson, provides the book's introduction.

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Collected prose

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Poet and critic Olson wrote in a muscular style, one as individualistic as it is exasperating. Yet his writings changed the way literature is written and read: his essay "Projective Verse" gives a ... Read full review

Collected prose

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Poet and critic Olson wrote in a muscular style, one as individualistic as it is exasperating. Yet his writings changed the way literature is written and read: his essay "Projective Verse" gives a ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Editors Preface
ix
Introduction
xi
Call Me Ishmael
1
On Melville Dostoevsky Lawrence and Pound
107
David Young David Old
109
The Materials and Weights of Herman Melville
113
Equal That Is to the Real Itself
120
Dostoevsky and The Possessed
126
Quantity in Verse and Shakespeares Late Plays
270
Introduction to Robert Creeley
283
Poems 19501960
285
Paterson Book V
288
Ed Sanders Language
291
Space and Time
293
Introduction to The SutterMarshall Lease
295
A Bibliography on America for Ed Dorn
297

D H Lawrence and the High Temptation of the Mind
135
The Escaped Cock
138
This Is Yeats Speaking
141
GrandPa GoodBye
145
Human Universe
153
Human Universe
155
Footnote to HU lost in the shuffle
167
The Gate and the Center
168
The Resistance
174
Cy Twombly
175
Proprioception
179
Place Names
200
you cant use words
202
The Present Is Prologue
203
The Present Is Prologue
205
Stocking Cap
208
Mr Meyer
213
The Post Office
217
Poetry Poets
237
Projective Verse
239
Letter to Elaine Feinstein
250
On Poets and Poetry
253
Notes on Language and Theater
256
Against Wisdom as Such
260
Theocritus
265
A Foot Is to Kick With
269
Billy the Kid
311
Brooks Adams The New Empire
315
Captain John Smith
318
Five Foot Four but Smith Was a Giant
322
The Contours of American History
324
The Vinland Map Review
326
Other Essays Notes and Reviews
337
Ernst Robert Curtius
339
It Was But It Aint
342
Homer and Bible
345
Bill Snow
349
A House Built by Capt John Somes 1763
351
The Advantage of Literacy Is That Words Can Be on the Page
353
Review of Eric A Havelocks Preface to Plato
355
A Further Note on the Critical Advantages of Eric Havelocks Preface to Plato
359
Statement for the Cambridge magazine
360
A comprehension a measure that
361
CLEAR SHINING WATER De Vries says
364
Whats Back There
367
The Animate versus the Mechanical and Thought
368
Continuing Attempt to Pull the Taffy off the Roof of the Mouth
373
Abbreviations
375
A Note on Olsons Sources
377
Editors Notes
379
Index
465
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Donald Allen was a longtime friend, editor, and publisher of Charles Olson. He has also edited The New American Poetry, 1945–1960, The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara, and the writings of Lew Welch. He is currently CEO of Grey Fox Press in San Francisco. Benjamin Friedlander is the author of several books of poetry and editor of Area Lights Heights: Writings 1954–1989 by Larry Eigner. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the State University of New York, Buffalo. Robert Creeley is Samuel P. Capen Professor of Poetry and the Humanities at the State University of New York, Buffalo.

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