THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK VAN DOREN by Mark Van Doren

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK VAN DOREN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mark Van Doren, Pulitzer prize winning poet, critic, and teacher, looks back in this informal autobiography over sixty- five years of accomplishment and growth. Born on an Illinois farm, his childhood memories are rich in American detail -- his father, a country doctor, intense, loving, devoted; his vigorous and wise mother; and always his brothers, Paul, Frank, Guy, and the oldest, Carl, who distinguished himself intellectually and was a constant source of guidance to Mark. Then there are the twenties, an introduction to New York, at that time a fertile ground for idealists and intellectuals, who were young and strong with the conviction that with hope and language they would set the world in order. It was during this period that Van Doren's attachment to such men as Joseph Wood Krutch, Mortimer Adler, Lewis Gannett, Allen Tate, and a whole galaxy of forceful and vocal Americans began, friendships which endure until this day. There was also his marriage to Dorothy Graffe, a co-editor of The Nation and a writer, and the subsequent birth of his two sons, John and Charles. To the reader of Van Doren's poetry, this full and grateful appraisal of a life will do much to illuminate his poems. To the student of Americana, this is a testament to the belief that there is still much in this country to inspire and nurture brave men. To the academician, these reflections of a great teacher are rich with the possibilities to which a teacher can aspire. And to the reader at large the autobiography of Mark Van Doren is a reassuring affirmation of potent good will by a man who chooses as his epitaph the following lines: ""Let this be true, that I have loved all men and things both here and gone; But most the men whose love surpassed my love, and so lives on and on.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1958
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace