A Thickness of Particulars: The Poetry of Anthony Hecht (Paperback)
  • A Thickness of Particulars: The Poetry of Anthony Hecht (Paperback)
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A Thickness of Particulars: The Poetry of Anthony Hecht (Paperback)

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Paperback 320 Pages / Published: 26/07/2018
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A Thickness of Particulars: The Poetry of Anthony Hecht is the first book-length study of one of the great formal poets of the later twentieth century (1923-2004). Making use of Hecht's correspondence, which the author edited, it situates Hecht's writings in the context of pre- and post-World-War II verse, including poetry written by W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, James Merrill, and Richard Wilbur. In nine chapters, the book ranges over Hecht's full career, with special emphasis placed on the effects of the war on his memory; Hecht participated in the final push by the Allied troops in Europe and was involved in the liberation of the Flossenburg Concentration Camp. The study explores the important place Venice and Italy occupied in his imagination as well as the significance of the visual and dramatic arts and music more generally. Chapters are devoted to analyzing celebrated individual poems, such as "The Book of Yolek" and "The Venetian Vespers" ; the making of particular volumes, as in the case of the Pulitzer-Prize-winning "The Hard Hours"; the poet's mid-career turn toward writing dramatic monologues and longer narrative poems ("Green, An Epistle," "The Grapes," and "See Naples and Die") and ekphrases; the inspiring use he made of Shakespeare, especially in "A Love for Four Voices," his delightful riff on "A Midsummer Night's Dream"; and his collaboration with the artist Leonard Baskin in the "Presumptions of Death" series from "Flight Among the Tombs." The book seeks to unfold the itinerary of a highly civilized mind brooding, with wit, over the dark landscape of the later twentieth century in poems of unrivalled beauty.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198828280
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 438 g
Dimensions: 216 x 142 x 16 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This is the first book-length study by a single author to consider the full range of Hecht's production... The author is undoubtedly the person best suited to the task ... The chapter centered on [Hecht's "Venetian Vespers"], and on the eponymous volume that contained it, is perhaps the richest in the book. It is certainly the most detailed and penetrating account of Hecht's narrative poem that I have read, and it is a poem that has garnered a good deal of critical attention over the years... Post succeeds in making the case that it is no exaggeration to talk of a "Shakespearean stamp" when discussing Hecht's greatest poetry. And I think it fair to say that we can talk of a Hechtian stamp on his own book; this is clearly a study by a critic who feels a profound sympathy with his subject, and who often seems endowed with Hecht's own power to illuminate even when exploring the darkest events of human history. * Gregory Dowling, Modern Philology *
Throughout the book, Post's erudite and scholarly analysis of Hecht's considerable corpus illuminates the formal power, moral depth, and intellectual brilliance of this important American poet. * Adrienne Leavy, First Things *

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