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Paterson / William Carlos Williams

Main Author Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963 Country Reino Unido. Publication Harmondsworth : Penguin Books, 1983 Description 246 p. ; 20 cm ISBN 0-14-042-316-8 CDU 820(73) WILLIAMS
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Monografia Biblioteca Geral da Universidade do Minho
BGUMD 72676 Available 33505
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Long recognized as a masterpiece of modern American poetry, WIlliam Carlos Williams' Paterson is one man's testament and vision, "a humanist manifesto enacted in five books, a grammar to help us life" (Denis Donoghue).

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

With this appearance of his magnum opus, the publisher's laudable project of republishing Williams's poetic oeuvre in modern scholarly editions has been completed. The high quality of the two volumes of Collected Poems ( LJ 7/88; LJ 10/86) is replicated here. MacGowan's fine edition sorts out the poem's complicated textual history. His notes will be most useful to future readers, students, and scholars, as they elucidate difficulties and clarify the provenance of the many prose excerpts from various sources included in this unique work. A modernist classic, Paterson is a nativist's answer to the cosmopolitan Pound and Eliot, ``a reply to Greek and Latin with the bare hands.'' By exploring the local, Williams sought to descry the universal and to find in city and landscape symbolic analogues for the essential issues of human life. Highly recommended.-- Frank J. Lepkowski, Oakland Univ., Rochester, Mich. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Despite its epic scope, Paterson is often chosen by nonspecialists, such as the social critic Robert Coles, as the way in to a discovery of Williams' exuberant and humane career as a poet. The going is made easier and the way is clarified by this invaluable new edition, for in it Williams' achievement can be seen in its proper context. His social concern, for instance, in contrast to that of other modernists, becomes more apparent. Misprints have been corrected, fugitive verses or sources have been tracked down, tab spaces have been restored and the crowded typography of recent editions has been opened up. Textual notes are thorough. We learn, for instance, that Williams changed the phrase ``seldom dig'' in a letter of Allen Ginsberg's excerpted here to ``seldom did,'' probably because the older poet did not know the Beat usage. Williams at his strongest is as good an American poet as there has been; still, it must be noted that not all of the five books of Paterson (plus fragments of a sixth) are up to that level. Yet, with this edition, the important project of re-editing Williams' poetry is skillfully completed. The work of an experimental master is laid out in a definitive edition. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


MacGowan's enormous undertaking--the preparation of a revised edition of Paterson--will be of interest primarily to Williams scholars and those interested in the process of revising texts. At the end of the five books that constitute Paterson, MacGowan offers three appendixes: Williams's unfinished attempt at a sixth book found after Williams's death and reprinted in the condition in which it was found, with crossouts and misspellings; a story of the tribulations entailed in the collection of relevant resources and the complex kind of decision making necessitated by printing what is believed the author had intended; and a detailed account of the many minute changes from previous editions. Because Paterson is a self-conscious, deliberate poem intimately concerned with the nuances of American idiomatic English in whose every mark of punctuation resides a choice, a statement, sometimes a revolution, MacGowan's meticulous research will no doubt shed light on many passages and possibly stir new debates about some others. Graduate; faculty. D. Coshnear; formerly, City College, CUNY

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Poet, artist, and practicing physician of Rutherford, New Jersey, William Carlos Williams wrote poetry that was experimental in form, ranging from imagism to objectivism, with great originality of idiom and human vitality. Credited with changing and directing American poetry toward a new metric and language, he also wrote a large number of short stories and novels. Paterson (1946--58), about the New Jersey city of that name, was his epic and places him with Ezra Pound of the Cantos as one of the great shapers of the long poem in this century.

National recognition did not come early, but eventually Williams received many honors, including a vice-presidency of the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1952); the Bollingen Prize (1953); the $5,000 fellowship of the Academy of American Poets; the Loines Award for poetry of the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1948); and the Brandeis Award (1957). Book II of Paterson received the first National Book Award for poetry in 1949. Williams was named consultant in poetry in English to the Library of Congress for 1952--53.

Williams's continuously inventive style anchored not only objectivism, the school to which he most properly belongs, but also a long line of subsequent poets as various as Robert Lowell, Frank O'Hara, and Allen Ginsberg. With Stevens, he forms one of the most important sources of a specifically American tradition of modernism.

In addition to his earlier honors, Williams received two important awards posthumously, the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1963) and the Gold Medal for Poetry from the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1963).

(Bowker Author Biography)

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