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Judiciously annotated with a biographical glossary of correspondents and an indispensable chronology, this volume may well...

Letters illuminate the life of an iconic American poet.

As Sheehy (English/Edinboro Univ.), Richardson (English/Doshisha Univ.) and Faggen (Literature/Claremont McKenna Coll.) note, in the 1980s, Robert Frost (1874–1963) received a blow to his reputation from a castigating biography by Lawrance Thompson. The publication of Frost’s letters, which follows collections of his prose (2007) and notebooks (2006), contributes to a reassessment of the poet’s stature and significance. The collection begins with 12-year-old Frost’s endearing note to a “childhood sweetheart” and ends with the poet at 46, his prestige established by acclaim from such critics as Ezra Pound and William Butler Yeats, whom Frost met in England in 1913. He liked Yeats: “[H]is manner is like that of a man in some dream he cant [sic] shake off.” Pound, though, tried to bully him. “The fact that he discovered me gives him the right to see that I live up to his good opinion of me,” Frost remarked. The best among these hundreds of letters reveal candid self-reflections. Feeling like a “fugitive,” he retreated to farming “to save myself and fix myself before I measured my strength against all creation.” He brought to his writing “an almost technical interest” in the cadences and rhythms of people’s speech. If he was not gregarious, still his friendships were deep: When poet Edward Thomas was killed in battle in 1917, Frost was disconsolate. Thomas, he told British writer Edward Garnett, “was the only brother I ever had.” Frost shows himself to be playful, sly, caring and supremely serious about his art in his letters to poets Amy Lowell, Louis Untermeyer, Edward Arlington Robinson and Harriet Monroe; publishers Alfred Knopf and Henry Holt; former students; his daughter; and many friends.

Judiciously annotated with a biographical glossary of correspondents and an indispensable chronology, this volume may well inspire a Frost renaissance.

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-674-05760-9

Page Count: 822

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2013

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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