American Writers: Supplement VIII by Leonard Unger, Jay Parini

By Leonard Unger, Jay Parini

This complement provides 18 acclaimed writers, together with Jim Harrison, Alfred Kazin, Bobbi Ann Mason, Thomas Merton, Gary Snyder and others.

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Welcome to the phone book that stars your name. Digits are democracy's secret aim. Welcome to your claim to fame. The colloquial tone and phrasing, combined with the somewhat prophetic though awkward formality, has a chilling effect. A cosmic perspective of human meaninglessness invades the optimism of late twentieth-century democracy. Brodsky's penchant for verbal play is also in evidence in the colloquial and ironic use of "stars" as a verb. In this book, as in his first over forty years earlier, the "star" is also a cosmic symbol of material power and indifference that will outlast individuals and mankind: And here are your stars which appear still keen on shining as though you had never been.

Uraniia. : Ardis, 1984. Reissued, St. Petersburg: Pushkin Fund, 2000. Trans, by multiple translators as To Urania. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1988. ) Chast' rechi: hbrannye stikhi 1962-1989 (A part of speech: selected poems). Moscow: Khudozhestvennaia literatura, 1990. ) Sochineniia losifa Brodskogo (The works of Joseph Brodsky). Vol. I-IV. St. Petersburg: Pushkin Fund, 1992-1996. Rev. , 1997-1998. Vol. V, 1999. Vol. VI, 2000. Vol. VII, forthcoming. Rozhdestvenskii stikhi. Moscow: Nezavisimaia Gazeta, 1992.

I suppose it was that I was neither pro-Soviet nor anti-Soviet. I was simply a-Soviet. They are used to dealing with either-or situations. In a system like that a human being is either a slave or an enemy. " Brodsky viewed poetry as inherently threatening both to the state and the status quo. As he wrote in an introduction to a collection of Osip Mandelstam's poetry, "A poet gets into trouble because of his linguistic, and, by implication, his psychological superiority, rather than his politics.

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