AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL by Kenneth Rexroth

AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Rexroth mentions, somewhere in this ""story of picaresque adventure,"" that his own character was, in his estimation, ""to undergo little change from my thirteenth or fourteenth year to the present day"" Luckily he was (or has been) a prodigious adolescent. By the time he reached his twenty-first year, at the end of this volume in 1927, he gives the impression of having ""done or written or painted or seen"" enough to fill several lifetimes. He has written poems which were to win acclaim upon their publication forty years later, constructed his own mystique for nonobjective painting, met everyone--or almost everyone--in the worlds of avant garde art, radical politics, bootlegging, jazz and Negro nationalism. He shared a jail cell with a Chicago gangster for several months, a blanket with a Navaho princess for several nights, and a hotel room with an Indian revolutionary singer for several weeks. As he drones inexhaustibly through this account, which originated ina series of tape recordings, it takes on the cadence of American tall tale as much as literary memoir. What emerges is not so much a character as a voice, communicating Rexroth's very American sense of spiritual and cultural responsibility, and of participation in a ""spiritual awakening and growth, which he identifies with ""the best of his time."" An overwhelming, occasionally monotonous, supremely-- because unconsciously-egocentric performance.

ISBN: 0811211797
Publisher: Doubleday