Between History and Poetry Between History and Poetry

Between History and Poetry

The Letters of H.D. And Norman Holmes Pearson

H. D. and Others
    • $35.99
    • $35.99

Publisher Description

“These letters reveal wonderfully how Hilda Doolittle the woman became the poet/novelist/prose fiction writer H.D...Absorbing reading.”—Library Journal

“A treasure-trove for admirers of H.D.'s verse, historians of twentieth-century literature, and psychologists of the creative process.”—Susan Gubar, Indiana University

“This is surely one of the most important books on any American poet that has appeared within the last fifty years. It is unique in its revelation of the creative relationship between the poet and the perceptive reader who became her close friend, sponsor, and adviser, without whom her finest poems would never have been completed. At the same time the letters illuminate many aspects of Ezra Pound, giving the best account we have of his situation at St. Elizabeths. The editing is a work of creative scholarship, with revealing biographical linkages and rich annotation. Every student of American poetry must have this book at hand.”—Louis Martz, Yale University

From 1937 until her death in 1961, Norman Holmes Pearson and poet H.D. engaged in a prolonged and wide-ranging relationship vital to her development as a writer. Perhaps because she was absent from the American scene, H.D. was eager from more contact with American writing, and Pearson became her literary adviser, agent, executor, confidant, close friend, and self-styled “chevalier.”

In her letters to him H.D. confided details about her works in progress, commented on her reading, and gossiped about members of her widespread literary circle. Pearson's responses sparked the conception of specific works and contributed to the form of others; he influenced the cycle of romances that reflected H.D.'s war experience and its parallels in history and, most significantly, was the catalyst for her return to poetry. His long-standing commitment to her work as reflected in these learned, witty, sometimes poignant letters ensured that H.D. would take her place as one of the major poets of this century.

In Between History and Poetry: The Letters of H.D. and Norman Holmes Pearson, editor Donna Krolik Hollenberg has selected and annotated more than a thousand of their letters. This volume documents the dynamic between H.D. and Pearson, who became an influential literary critic, and situates it within the broaders literary conversation.

In making her selection, Donna Hollenberg focused on letters about H.D.'s creative process, her reading, and the publication of her work within the context of this developing friendship. As the years passes, Pearson's mediation enabled this immensely gifted poet to maintain the psychological equilibrium crucial to her integrity and her art.

Biographies & Memoirs
August 1
University of Iowa Press
Chicago Distribution Center

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