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Many critics have noticed the paradoxes and contradictions in the work of William Carlos Williams, but few have analysed them in detail. Professor Ahearn argues that Williams criticism has not gone far enough in recognizing the uses Williams saw for contradiction. He contends that Williams began to acquire his own voice as a poet when he recognized that he could be a vehicle for contending voices. His reading departs from previous examinations of the early poetry in the emphasis it places on the poems as expressions of Williams's personal struggles with himself, his parents, his domestic role and his social position. We find a Williams whose contribution to modernism came not through a radical break with tradition or a rejection of inherited poetic norms alone, but rather in a cultivation of tension, conflict, and a kind of poetic 'crisis' that could be held forth as the metier of the modernist writer. The reconciliation of things as old as civilization itself with the newest form of poetry, Ahearn argues is the principal theme of Williams early poetic practice.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521062107
ISBN-10: 0521062101
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 12mm)
Pages: 200
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 15-May-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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