Wallace Stevens: A Celebration

By Robert Buttell, Frank Doggett

From the Princeton Legacy Library.

Honoring the centennial of Stevens' beginning, this quantity offers unique essays via lots of Stevens' best-known critics. additionally integrated are 128 formerly unpublished strains that seem within the poet's From the magazine of Crispin" (an early model of "The comic because the Letter C"); 3 endings composed for "A acquire of Philosophy"; the total Adagia entries from Stevens' notebooks; and 13 letters to enterprise affiliate Wilson E. Taylor.

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Thesis on Stevens] used to be performed . . . I despatched him a replica. . . . He learn it, and beloved it a great deal, and invited me to have lunch with him the subsequent time he used to be in manhattan, while he could provide it again to me. Heringman sketches the courteous Stevens, "gracious with­ out being in any respect condescending. " He can be as considerate as he used to be abrupt. once they met for lunch, Stevens acted as though I have been as wealthy and courtly etc as he, and he questioned if the Passy will be more than enough. He al­ lowed it wasn't so reliable because it was, yet there were not too many talkative ladies. . . . It used to be a really friendly lunch. . . . He had a true grace. He requested me if i would like a drink first. He used to be taking me to lunch; i could not have probably afforded that kind of a lunch. . . . I acknowledged, "Well, PETER A. BRAZEAU definitely, if i will percentage one with you? " So he ordered one for himself, too. . . . I realized someday later within the con­ versation a similar day that his surgeon had informed him to not drink till dinnertime. In different phrases, he had a drink . . . broke his doctor's orders as a way to placed me comfortable. . . . [He] later pointed out it completely by accident. . . . That touched me. through the lengthy lunch that ensued, Stevens, so frequently curt whilst quizzed approximately his paintings, confirmed his willingness to dis­ cuss his poetry with one whom he felt will be between that choose workforce of readers he valued, these "very few readers who choose up the emotions that one places into one's poems" (L i43 6): He was once a bit wary with me firstly, yet it sounds as if I had the precise questions or the appropriate demeanour or anything, and he instantly took to me, as i'll assemble. We by no means grew to become in any respect in my view pleasant; I suggest there has been a good reserve approximately him. yet for him, he was once very inti­ mate, i'd consider, and pleasant, enticing, prepared to speak about no matter what we pointed out. It appeared to me no longer correct to make it a strictly interview luncheon, so . . . i did not organize an inventory of questions: I had a few preparatory notes, yet not anything a lot. a number of excerpts from Heringman's reminiscences of the discus­ sion of poetry, in response to notes made quickly after the lunch, in­ dicate the diversity of Stevens' dialog approximately his paintings. [He] desires to do a hymn to Johannes Zeller, no longer his mother's father yet an previous ancestor . . . who came visiting within the moment wave of German immigration . . . for reli­ gious purposes. . . . I requested in regards to the identify "John Rocket": an arbitrary identify . . . "MacCullough" additionally an arbitrary identify, he acknowledged. . . . I requested approximately "Major guy. " [His] solution: "Nearest factor to God there's. " I requested in regards to the hazard of "Peter Quince" being in quartet constitution. No, yet he was once considering by way of musical pursuits, a kind of libretto, he acknowledged. a visit IN A BALLOON (125) notwithstanding Stevens used to be particularly keen to elucidate components of his poetry to this younger pupil, Heringman recollects a "rough citation" of Stevens at the query of his poetic obscurity: Stevens says his "poems aren't vague. He writes a few­ factor he sees or has visible or recognized, basically. the most factor is to have it correct for your self.

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