Modernist Quartet is a study of the four major American modernist poets (Frost, Stevens, Pound, Eliot) in various historical environments (literary, philosophical, gender relations, the business of capitalist economics) with special attention given to their central poetic texts as they both reflect and shape our understanding of those environments. Frank Lentricchia presents the poems as stories, sometimes only implicit, of the poets seeking to sustain a life in non-commercial writing, in a culture that is hospitable only (for the most part) to commercial art. Central chapters give a synoptic vision of the lives and literary careers of the four poets in question.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 517 g
Dimensions: 225 x 145 x 28 mm
"I can't think of any piece of recent literary criticism that more astutely and usefully combines text and context, close readings of selected poems (and acute, telling remarks about many, many others) with salient readings of American culture...At times, as I read passages where Lentricchia really lets himself go...pushes his subject beyond where you'd expect him to push it at these times, I thought of R.P. Blackmur....This is major criticism of high imaginative power, about as inclusive as one could hope for." C. William Pritchard, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, author of Lives of the Modern Poets
"Lentricchia's erudite and vigorous prose results in a thought-provoking examination of modernism." B. Quinn, Choice