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My Business Is To Create

Author: Eric G. Wilson
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1587299917
Size: 16.52 MB
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For William Blake, living is creating, conforming is death, and “the imagination . . . is the Human Existence itself.” But why are imagination and creation—so vital for Blake—essential for becoming human? And what is imagination? What is creation? How do we create? Blake had answers for these questions, both in word and in deed, answers that serve as potent teachings for aspiring writers and accomplished ones alike. Eric G. Wilson’s My Business Is to Create emulates Blake, presenting the great figure’s theory of creativity as well as the practices it implies. In both his life and his art, Blake provided a powerful example of creativity at any cost—in the face of misunderstanding, neglect, loneliness, poverty, even accusations of insanity. Just as Los cries out in Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion, “I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Man's; / I will not Reason and Compare: my business is to Create,” generations of writers and artists as diverse as John Ruskin, William Butler Yeats, Allen Ginsberg, Philip K. Dick, songwriter Patti Smith, the avant-garde filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, and the underground comic-book artist R. Crumb have taken Blake’s creed as inspiration. Unwilling to cede his vision, Blake did more than simply produce iconoclastic poems and paintings; he also cleared a path toward spiritual and ethical enlightenment. To fashion powerful art is to realize the God within and thus to feel connected with enduring vitality and abundant generosity. This is Blake’s everlasting gospel, distilled here in an artist’s handbook of interest to scholars, writing teachers, and those who have made writing their way of life. My Business Is to Create is indispensable for all serious artists who want to transform their lives into art and make their art more alive.

How To Live What To Do

Author: Joan Richardson
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1609385497
Size: 36.13 MB
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How to Live, What to Do is an indispensable introduction to and guide through the work of a poet equal in power and sensibility to Shakespeare and Milton. Like them, Stevens shaped a new language, fashioning an instrument adequate to describing a completely changed environment of fact, extending perception through his poems to align what Emerson called our “axis of vision” with the universe as it came to be understood during his lifetime, 1879–1955, a span shared with Albert Einstein. Projecting his own imagination into spacetime as “a priest of the invisible,” persistently cultivating his cosmic consciousness through reading, keeping abreast of the latest discoveries of Einstein, Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Louis de Broglie, and others, Stevens pushed the boundaries of language into the exotic territories of relativity and quantum mechanics while at the same time honoring the continuing human need for belief in some larger order. His work records how to live, what to do in this strange new world of experience, seeing what was always seen but never seen before. Joan Richardson, author of the standard two-volume critical biography of Stevens and coeditor with Frank Kermode of the Library of America edition of the Collected Poetry and Prose, offers concise, lucid captures of Stevens’s development and achievement. Over the ten years of researching her Stevens biography, Richardson read all that he read, as well as his complete correspondence, journals, and notebooks. She weaves the details drawn from this deep involvement into the background of American cultural history of the period. This fabric is further enlivened by her preparation in philosophy and the sciences, creating in these thirteen panels a contemporary version of a medieval tapestry sequence, with Stevens in the place of the unicorn, as it were, holding our attention and eliciting, as necessary angel, individual solutions to the riddles of our existence on this planet spinning and hissing around its cooling star at 18.5 miles per second.

Miss Stephen S Apprenticeship

Author: Rosalind Brackenbury
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1609385519
Size: 50.54 MB
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During the years leading up to her marriage with Leonard Woolf in 1912, the year in which she finished The Voyage Out and sent it to be published by her cousin at Duckworth’s, the future Virginia Woolf was teaching herself how to be a writer. While her brothers were sent first to private schools, then to Cambridge to be educated, Virginia Stephen and her sister Vanessa were informally educated at home. With this background, how did she know she was a writer? What were her struggles? How did she teach herself? What made Miss Stephen into the author Virginia Woolf? Miss Stephen’s Apprenticeship explores these questions, delving into Virginia Woolf ’s letters and diaries, seeking to understand how she covered the distance from the wistful “I only wish I could write,” to the almost casual statement, “the novels are finished.” These days, the trajectory of a writer very often starts with studying for an MFA. In Woolf ’s case, however, it’s instructive to ask: How did a great writer, who had no formal education, invent for herself the framework she needed for a writing life? How did she know what she had to learn? How did she make her own way? Novelist Rosalind Brackenbury explores these questions and others, and in the process reveals what Virginia Woolf can give to young writers today.

Myself And Some Other Being

Author: Daniel Robinson
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1609382323
Size: 71.77 MB
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"The story of Wordsworth becoming Wordsworth by writing the fragments and drafts of what would become The Prelude, a personal poem addressed to Coleridge that he kept hidden from the public until his death in 1850. Robinson shows that, by writing about himself and that other being, Wordsworth created an innovative autobiographical epic of becoming that is the masterpiece he believed he had failed to write"--