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The First Book
Author: Jesse Zuba

ISBN: 9780691164472
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 232
Published: 6 October 2015
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.5
Description:


"We have many poets of the First Book," the poet and critic Louis Simpson remarked in 1957, describing a sense that the debut poetry collection not only launched the contemporary poetic career but also had come to define it. Surveying American poetry over the past hundred years, The First Book explores the emergence of the poetic debut as a unique literary production with its own tradition, conventions, and dynamic role in the literary market. Through new readings of poets ranging from Wallace Stevens and Marianne Moore to John Ashbery and Louise Gluck, Jesse Zuba illuminates the centrality of the first book to twentieth-century American literary culture, where it serves as the site of complex struggles for legitimacy on the part of poets, critics, and publishers alike.

Zuba investigates poets' diverse responses to the question of beginning a career in an increasingly professionalized literary scene that threatened the authenticity of the poetic calling. He shows how modernist debuts evoke markedly idiosyncratic paths, while postwar first books evoke trajectories that balance professional imperatives with traditional literary i...

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