SELECTED LETTERS OF E. E. CUMMINGS by F. W. & George Stade--Eds. Dupee


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E. E. Cummings' first letter written at the age of five was all in upper case--""I AM SORRY DEAR NANA BUT I WILL BE A GOOD BOY."" By the time he went over there during World War I (""I am having the time of my life"") his typography, punctuation and puns had come into his own. Many of the letters (to his family in particular) were written in French. Actually he spelled miserably in both languages. Sometimes he wrote poems or limericks of a playful nature. For the most part he is casual and open although one might question the ""disciplined"" which the editors apply to the ""spontaneity."" Sometimes he is ecce e. e. cummingsesque: ""Tomorrow at niyuntoiti am due at Noodleville (Opytahl Amer.) for a W or violt rae on my longsincealmostbut not quite-curedfoot."". . . Always, he is eye-catching and the letters however marginal in content (acknowledged by the editors) and of special appeal to those who have followed Cummings' works, have been chosen by the editors from a far greater volume of correspondence (those to his first and second wives have disappeared). Friends and co-litterateurs figure: Dos Passos (whom he knew at Harvard); Lachaise; Pound, etc. and the time range is some sixty years. Along with the editors' introduction, there is a chronological chart of primary events and characters.

Pub Date: May 21st, 1969
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World