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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Less Than One. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1986. Watermark. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992. On Grief and Reason. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1995. Title essay reprinted in Homage to Robert Frost: Joseph Brodsky, Seamus He any, Derek Walcott. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1996. PLAYS Mramor. : Ardis, 1984. Trans, by Alan Myers and the author as Marbles: A Play in Three Acts. In Comparative Criticism. Vol. 7. Cambridge University Press, 1985. Reissued, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1989.

The child's mother, whom Brodsky never married, is addressed as M. B. in dozens of poems. One of the most moving of these poems is "Odysseus to Telemachus" (1972). " But the conclusion is particularly grim, as the heroic world of Homer is invaded by the urban world of Sophocles: ". . " It is a disturbing view of human relationships, one in which exile may actually be a better alternative than family or home. " Brodsky demythologizes the iconography of death and renders it inescapably ordinary and human: "Scythe, skull, and skeleton—an absurd pack of lies.

Brodsky's remains were kept in a mausoleum in New York for year and then transferred to Venice for burial. " Brodsky's poetry attempts to embody in the fierce rhythms of his lyric language the acceleration of time and escape from the confines of space. For Brodsky, immortality was but ubiquity in time. Brodsky treated exile with ironic detachment, often adopting mythic personae in his handling of theme. In Brodsky's hands, exile became the condition of modern JOSEPH BRODSKY / 23 man seeking freedom from all forms of coercion and rootedness.

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