E. E. Cummings: Selected Works (Norton Critical Editions) (Paperback)
“This ample, authoritatively edited collection represents Cummings’s work in all its variety and dynamism. We find here not only Cummings the poet—rebel and curmudgeon, lyric writer and satirist—but also Cummings the painter, the memoirist, the playwright, the letter writer, and the essayist. It’s exciting to encounter both familiar and little known works. They are sure to delight and instruct, to puzzle and surprise. While revealing the modernist’s historical contexts, these pages help to bring to life Cummings’s spatial and typographical innovations, his visual energy and verbal wit.” —JAHAN RAMAZANI, University of Virginia
This Norton Critical Edition includes:
- 166 poems spanning the range of Cummings’s career, selections of his prose and dramatic writing, twelve paintings and sketches, and three facsimiles of his drafts—the first ever annotated and cross-genre collection of his work aimed at student readers.
- Annotations, headnotes, and a thorough introduction by Milton A. Cohen, along with an essay by Cohen chronicling the development of Cummings’s idiosyncratic style.
- Four contemporary reviews and six critical essays—by Randall Jarrell, Edmund Wilson, Isabelle Alfandary, and Michael Webster, among others—prefaced by an overview.
- Comparative studies of two poems—featuring five different responses to each—designed to promote classroom discussion.
- A chronology, a selected bibliography, and an index of the poems.
About the Series
Read by more than 12 million students over fifty-five years, Norton Critical Editions set the standard for apparatus that is right for undergraduate readers. The three-part format—annotated text, contexts, and criticism—helps students to better understand, analyze, and appreciate the literature, while opening a wide range of teaching possibilities for instructors. Whether in print or in digital format, Norton Critical Editions provide all the resources students need.
About the Author
E. E. Cummings (1894–1962) was among the most influential, widely read, and revered modernist poets. He was also a playwright, a painter, and a writer of prose. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he studied at Harvard University and, during World War I, served with an ambulance corps in France. He spent three months in a French detention camp and subsequently wrote The Enormous Room, a highly acclaimed criticism of World War I. After the war, Cummings returned to the States and published his first collection of poetry, Tulips & Chimneys, which was characterized by his innovative style: pushing the boundaries of language and form while discussing love, nature, and war with sensuousness and glee. He spent the rest of his life painting, writing poetry, and enjoying widespread popularity and success.
Milton A. Cohen is Professor of Literary Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. He is the author of books on E. E. Cummings’s early aesthetics, modernist groups before World War I, Hemingway’s in our time, and four modernist poets in the 1930s. His most recent book is The Pull of Politics: Steinbeck, Wright, Hemingway, and the Left in the Late 1930s. He has also curated an exhibition of paintings by E. E. Cummings and written several plays, including the prize-winning The Five Knob Radio.
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