Profoundly original yet insistent on the derivative quality of his work, transgressive yet affirmative of tradition, Robert Duncan (1919-1988) was a generative force among American poets, and his poetry and poetics establish him as a major figure in mid- and late- 20th-century American letters. This second volume of Robert DuncanÕs collected poetry and plays presents authoritative annotated texts of both collected and uncollected work from his middle and late writing years (1958-1988), with commentaries on each of the five books from this period: The Opening of the Field, Roots and Branches, Bending the Bow, and the two volumes of Ground Work. The biographical and critical introduction discusses Duncan as a late Romantic and postmodern American writer; his formulation of a homosexual poetics; his development of the serial poem; the notation and centrality of sound as organizing principle; his relations with such fellow poets as Robin Blaser, Charles Olson, and Jack Spicer; his indebtedness to Alfred North Whitehead; and his collaborations with the painter Jess Collins, his lifelong partner. Texts include his anti-war poems of the 1960s and 70s, his homages to Dante and other canonical poets, and his translations from the French of GŽrard de Nerval, as well as the complete Structure of Rime and Passages series. Ê
“Robert Duncan is one of the masters of twentieth-century American poetry. His brilliant oeuvre stands as a record of contemporary changes of consciousness and sensibility in spheres that range from the poetic to the political. His subtle, insistent poetry displays a mythic imagination, a sense of intimacy and grandeur, a sexual frankness, and a thrilling attention to layers of language. This is a grand work of self-fashioning and poetic urgency. Peter Quartermain has done a magisterial job of editing this volume, making a major contribution to scholarship, while helping to frame the poetry of our time." Rachel Blau DuPlessis, author of Drafts. “The California edition of the works of Robert Duncan has been eagerly awaited by readers and critics for two decades since the poet’s death, and this collection does not disappoint. It contains everything one could want to have in a reader’s edition of the poet’s work. This volume is especially critical because it contains Duncan’s earlier poems, which are almost uniformly difficult to find; its publication will cause a serious reconsideration of Duncan’s career. Quartermain’s meticulous editing has produced a book that will be hailed by scholars and general readers alike. It is a stellar achievement.”—Stephen Fredman, author of Contextual Practice: Assemblage and the Erotic in Postwar Poetry and Art.
This volume in the Collected Writings of Robert Duncan series gathers a far-reaching selection of Robert Duncan’s prose writings including most of his longer and more well-known essays along with other prose that has never been widely available. Ranging in original publication dates between 1940 and 1985, the forty-one titles reveal a great deal about Duncan’s life in poetry—including his impressions of poets whose work he admires, both contemporaries and precursors. Evocative and eclectic, this work delineates the intellectual contexts and sources of Duncan’s poetics, and opens a window onto the literary communities in which he participated.
Bertholf's selections are so attuned to the essentials of Duncan's writing that even those familiar with the whole body of Duncan's work will become more sensitized to his recurring imagery and consistency of thought pattern throughout this collection. --Publishers Weekly.
"What began in 1959 as a simple homage to the modernist poet H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) developed into an expansive and unique quest for a poetics that would fuel Duncan's great work into the 1960s and 1970s. A meditation on both the roots of modernism and its manifestation in the writings of H.D., Djuna Barnes, Ezra Pound, D.H. Lawrence, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, Virginia Woolf, and many others, Duncan's wide-ranging work is especially notable for illuminating the role women played in creating literary modernism"--Publisher description.
Volume 2 details the CIA's practices of interrogation and cybernetic mind control in their pursuit to weaponize neuropsychology. It covers the art of bio-communication war. Human beings are complex machines but their inner workings have been deciphered. Mind control and brainwashing have been perfected in the last 60 years. Hacking computers and hacking into individual minds are similar. The 21st century will be known as the age of spiritual machines and soulless men.
This study examines the theoretical underpinnings of Robert Duncan’s poetry and poetics. The author’s overriding concern is Duncan’s understanding of excess in relation to poetry and the philosophies of Alfred North Whitehead, William James, and John Dewey.
This self-help book is useful for people who have been brought into a secret government program often described as MKUltra or Monarch mind control programming. The programs have hundreds of purposes and has continued under many budgets and secret project names in the pursuit of the ultimate war weapon and political control.
Robert Duncan’s nine lectures on Charles Olson, delivered intermittently from 1961 to 1983, explore the modernist literary background and influences of Olson’s influential 1950 essay “Projective Verse.” These transcribed talks pay tribute to Olson and expand our knowledge of Duncan’s vision of modernist writing.
This volume presents the complete correspondence between two of the most important and influential American poets of the postwar period. The almost 500 letters range widely over the poetry scene and the issues that made the period so lively and productive. But what gives the exchange its special personal and literary resonance is the sense of spiritual affinity and shared conviction about the power of the visionary imagination. Duncan and Levertov explore these matters in rich detail until, under the stress of dealing with the Vietnam War in poetry, they discover deep-seated differences in the religious and ethical convictions underlying their politics and poetic stance. The issues that drew them together and those that drove them apart create a powerful personal drama with far-reaching historical and cultural significance. The editors have provided a critical Introduction, full notes, a chronology, and a glossary of names.
Original bestselling biography of the original band by former Creem editor and "World's Leading Authority on the Rock Group Kiss" Robert Duncan. Revealing encounters with Gene, Paul, Peter and Ace. Heroic tales of the hungry years. Handwriting analysis. Even comedy. Said a topknot-scratching Gene: "Robert really worked the strange stuff." First published in 1978, this unauthorized bio sold 400,000 copies around the world. Out-of-print for 25 years, and now a collectible, Robert Duncan's KISS is reissued here, with a new intro by the author, in print and, for the first time, e-book.
A distinguished group of critics examine the close association between Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov, two poets central to the American postwar period, and the issues of form and meaning that drew them together and then split them apart, especially the question of the relation between poetry and politics, the private and public responsibilities of the poet.
How the poet Robert Duncan and the artist Jess made the household part of their separate and collaborative creative practice. “I'm a householder,” the poet Robert Duncan once explained. “My whole idea of being able to work was to have a household.” In this book, Tara McDowell examines the household (physical and conceptual) that Duncan established with the artist Jess, beginning in 1951 when the two men exchanged marriage vows, and ending with Duncan's death in 1988. For Duncan and Jess, the household—rather than the studio, gallery, or collective—provided the support structure for their art. Indeed, McDowell argues convincingly, their work was coextensive with their household. The material surroundings of their house in San Francisco and the daily rhythms of their domestic lives became part of their creative practice. Duncan wrote poetry that is romantic, ornate, and obscure; Jess (born Burgess Franklin Collins) created multi-imaged, complex collages and assemblages. McDowell explores their life and work—reading Duncan and Jess with and against each other, in alignment and misalignment. She examines their illustrated book Caesar's Gate, a collaborative effort that led them to reject collaboration; considers each man's lifelong preoccupation with an unfinished project, Jess's Narkissos and Duncan's The H.D. Book; and discusses their “origin myths” and self-made genealogies, describing them as a form of witness in the face of the calamities of the twentieth century. Duncan and Jess made the household a necessary precondition for their art making. Doing so, they reclaimed and rehabilitated the domestic—from which gay couples were traditionally excluded—for their own uses. The household permitted them to reimagine the world. McDowell's portrait of a couple expands to encompass broader issues, urgent in midcentury America and still resonant today: belonging and kinship, alienation, and catastrophe.
The correspondence of Robert Duncan and Charles Olson is one of the foundational literary exchanges of twentieth-century American poetry. The 130 letters collected in this volume begin in 1947 just after the two poets first meet in Berkeley, California, and continue to Olson’s death in January 1970. Both men initiated a novel stance toward poetry, and they matched each other with huge accomplishments, an enquiring, declarative intelligence, wide-ranging interests in history and occult literature, and the urgent demand to be a poet. More than a literary correspondence, An Open Map gives insight into an essential period of poetic advancement in cultural history.
In Reading Duncan Reading, thirteen scholars and poets examine, first, what and how the American poet Robert Duncan read and, perforce, what and how he wrote. Harold Bloom wrote of the searing anxiety of influence writers experience as they grapple with the burden of being original, but for Duncan this was another matter altogether. Indeed, according to Stephen Collis, “No other poet has so openly expressed his admiration for and gratitude toward his predecessors.” Part one emphasizes Duncan’s acts of reading, tracing a variety of his derivations—including Sarah Ehlers’s demonstration of how Milton shaped Duncan’s early poetic aspirations, Siobhán Scarry’s unveiling of the many sources (including translation and correspondence) drawn into a single Duncan poem, and Clément Oudart’s exploration of Duncan’s use of “foreign words” to fashion “a language to which no one is native.” In part two, the volume turns to examinations of poets who can be seen to in some way derive from Duncan—and so in turn reveals another angle of Duncan’s derivative poetics. J. P. Craig traces Nathaniel MacKey’s use of Duncan’s “would-be shaman,” Catherine Martin sees Duncan’s influence in Susan Howe’s “development of a poetics where the twin concepts of trespass and ‘permission’ hold comparable sway,” and Ross Hair explores poet Ronald Johnson’s “reading to steal.” These and other essays collected here trace paths of poetic affiliation and affinity and hold them up as provocative possibilities in Duncan’s own inexhaustible work.
A Study Guide for Robert Duncan's "An African Elegy," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Poetry for Students. This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Poetry for Students for all of your research needs.
"This is a book of wonders, beautifully written and brilliantly researched. Lisa Jarnot offers a work of devotion to the truth and spirit of Robert Duncan's life and art, the result of twenty years of study and reflection. A great story as well as a rigorous exploration of the poet's art of the imagination, it will pull readers back into Duncan's poetry at the same time that it recounts his rich, adventurous, and always creative life."--Robert Adamson, author of The Goldfinches of Baghdad. "Lisa Jarnot's biography of Robert Duncan represents an essential contribution to our understanding of this complex, inspirited man, his life and art, and the many circles in which he moved through the years. It is one of those rare works that melds scholarly diligence with poetic comprehension."--Michael Palmer, author of Thread. "Robert Duncan was a poet of enormous means and complexity, one of the last to pursue a truly cosmological poetics. In that pursuit he was a poet (even a great poet), who created - like Whitman before him - his own life with all its openings & pitfalls as beyond all else a life-of-poetry. Lisa Jarnot's biography now gives us a first, richly detailed depiction of that life, a powerful and necessary complement to Duncan's poetry itself. A product of the century behind us, it offers up a lasting legacy for the century to come."--Jerome Rothenberg, author of Technicians of the Sacred.