Revolutionary Memory: Recovering the Poetry of the American Left (Hardback)
  • Revolutionary Memory: Recovering the Poetry of the American Left (Hardback)
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Revolutionary Memory: Recovering the Poetry of the American Left (Hardback)

(author)
£77.99
Hardback 280 Pages / Published: 21/06/2001
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Revolutionary Memory is the most important book yet to be published about the vital tradition of leftwing American Poetry. As Cary Nelson shows, it is not only our image of the past but also our sense of the present and future that changes when we recover these revolutionary memories. Making a forceful case for political poetry as poetry, Nelson brings to bear his extraordinary knowledge of American poets, radical movements, and social struggles in order to bring out an undervalued strength in a literature often left at the canon's edge. Focused in part of the red decade of the 1930s, Revolutionary Memory revitalizes biographical criticism for writers on the margin and shows us for the first time how progressive poets fused their work into a powerful chorus of political voices. Richly detailed and beautifully illustrated with period engravings and woodcuts, Revolutionary Memory brings that chorus dramatically to life and set a cultural agenda for future work.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
ISBN: 9780415930048
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 635 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Cary Nelson's "Revolutionary Memory offers exhaustive scholarship of a genuinely lived kind, as personal interviews and rare artifacts of material poetic culture--texts marked up for performance, poems transcribed onto postcards home, scrapbook entries--reveal the meanings and uses of poetry in people's everyday lives and reflect this book's remarkable level of historical detail."
-"American Literature
"Poetry of the American Left???! Damn Straight. What Cary Nelson has done in this revolutionary book is to demonstrate that the old, contemptuous cold-war dismissals were based on plain ignorance. And he has turned the quite fascinating poetry of the American Left into a weapon to demolish the unexamined assumptions of high modernism, low pedantry, and middle-brow indifference to the power of political verse to engage memory and move people to act on their values."
-Paul Lauter, editor of the Heath Anthology of American Literature
""Revolutionary Memory bravely seeks to remember a truly "lost generation of modernists - partisan poets who protested working conditions in the 1920's, the rise of fascism in Spain, the McCarthyite witch hunts. Cary Nelson makes the unfashionable claim that poetry makes something happen in history, and in the process restores the poetry of the Left to central stage in American culture."
-Michael Davidson, author of Ghostlier Demarcations: Modern Poetry and The Material World
"Cary Nelson, bad-boy avenger of our lost radical poets, is an angry critic; that's what makes him so good... Like an ace reporter, searching archives, attics, and used bookstores for evidence, Nelson locates the material culture of this tradition in the objects, lifestories, and collective struggles of the poets; they offer the way to regain revolution's poetic memory."
-Paula Rabinowitz, author of They Must Be Represented: The Politics of Documentary
"After a century of nearly complete scholarly silence about the poetry of the American left, scholars are now giving this revolutionary literature its due."
-Crete Reord, Crete, IL

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