Robert Lowell in a New Century

June 2019
206 pages
9x6 in
Studies in American Literature and Culture
ISBN: 9781640140288
Format: Hardback
Camden House
BISAC LIT004020, POE005010

Robert Lowell in a New Century

European and American Perspectives

Edited by Thomas Austenfeld

New essays providing fresh insights into the great 20th-century American poet Lowell, his writings, and his struggles.

Robert Lowell (1917-1977) holds a place of unchallenged prominence in the poetic pantheon of the twentieth-century United States. He is an essential focal point for understanding the connection between poetry and American history, social justice, and personal identity. A recent spate of publications both by and about him, as well as allusions to him in the work of major American poets such as Wanda Coleman and Claudia Rankine, attest to his continued relevance.
In March 2017, leading Lowell scholars from Europe and America gathered at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland in commemoration of his 100th birthday. The essays deriving from the conference and presented here after careful revision reveal new aspects of Lowell: for instance, the poet's influence on his peers, discussed by Thomas Travisano, the biographer of Elizabeth Bishop; or echoes of Milton in Lowell's work, discussed by Saskia Hamilton, editor of the forthcoming Dolphin Letters between Lowell and Elizabeth Hardwick. Other essays examine Lowell's struggles with bipolar illness, with marriage, and with money; his economic views and his early personality issues with respect to his poetic production; his extended sojourn in Amsterdam; and his special relationship with Ireland. Several essays focus on his 1961 volume Imitations, his major poetic engagement with the European tradition, unjustly neglected in the US. The essays will appeal to the wide audience that Lowell scholarship continues to command.

Contributors: Steven Gould Axelrod, Massimo Bacigalupo, Philip Coleman, Ian D. Copestake, Astrid Franke, Jo Gill, Saskia Hamilton, Frank J. Kearful, Grzegorz Kosc, Diederik Oostdijk, Francesco Rognoni, Tom Travisano, Boris Vejdovsky.

Thomas Austenfeld is Professor of American Literature at the University of Fribourg.

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Table of Contents

Introduction - Thomas Austenfeld
Revisiting Robert Lowell's Mental Hospital Poems - Astrid Franke
Sensual Drift and Ethnic Longing in Robert Lowell - Steven Gould Axelrod
Reworking the Same Water: Robert Lowell Transported - Jo Gill
"Sweet salt embalms me": A Hippocratic Approach to the Role of the Sea in the Poetry of Robert Lowell - Ian D. Copestake
More Delicate Than the Historian's Are the Map-Maker's Colors: Correspondences between Lowell's Poetics of History and Bishop's Poetics of Space - Boris Vejdovsky
Robert Lowell and Ezra Pound's Economics - Grzegorz Kosc
Robert Lowell and Ezra Pound in Washington and Rapallo - Massimo Bacigalupo
"Why Holland?": Robert Lowell in Amsterdam - Diederik Oostdijk
Lowell and Ungaretti: Imitations and Beyond - Francesco Rognoni
Robert Lowell's Credo - Frank J. Kearful
"Marriage? That's another story": Reconsidering the Marital Trope in Robert Lowell's Poetry - Philip Coleman
"Oh No"/"Yes Yes": Lowell and the Making of Mistakes - Saskia Hamilton
Robert Lowell: The Power of Influence - Thomas Travisano
Notes on the Contributors

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