Howard Nemerov (Pamphlets on American Writers) by Peter Meinke

By Peter Meinke

Howard Nemerov - American Writers 70 was once first released in 1968. Minnesota Archive versions makes use of electronic know-how to make long-unavailable books once more available, and are released unaltered from the unique collage of Minnesota Press variations.

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Howard Nemerov (Pamphlets on American Writers)

Howard Nemerov - American Writers 70 was once first released in 1968. Minnesota Archive variations makes use of electronic expertise to make long-unavailable books once more available, and are released unaltered from the unique college of Minnesota Press variations.

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Unsentimental, without illusions, Nemerov's comic viewpoint presents man as hopelessly inept and at the same time unquenchably enduring. There has been some development in Nemerov's prose, though not so striking as in his poetry, but even in his first novel his salient qualities are apparent: humor, intellectual precision, fantasy, and a smooth, "classical" prose style. The Melodramatists (1949) is a wild first novel. Stylistically it is an odd but appealing mixture: a Trollope bitten by a Heller, perhaps, or vice versa, combining a slow, old-fashioned elegance of prose with comic, almost surrealistic events.

Wallace Stevens wrote that poetry makes our completely inexplicable lives acceptable; humor has this function in Nemerov's novels. " For example, the death of Susan Boyne in The Melodramatists is tragic and unexpected, and yet ludicrous; it has a lot in common with the death of Jerry in Albee's Zoo Story. Both are semi-suicides which take the action out of the realm of dialectic: death, at least, is real. Unsentimental, without illusions, Nemerov's comic viewpoint presents man as hopelessly inept and at the same time unquenchably enduring.

Johnson, W. R. "Review," Carleton Miscellany, 4:120-24 (Spring 1963). Kizer, Carolyn. "The Middle of the Journey," Poetry, 92:178-81 (December 1958). , Jr. "Renewal of Illusion," Christian Century, 80:84-85 (March 20, 1963). Kunitz, Stanley. "Many Exertions, Some Excellencies," New York Times Book Review, July 21, 1963. P. 4. 47 PETER M E I N K E Mizener, Arthur. "Spring Fiction," Kenyan Review, 19:484-93 (Summer J 957)Rosenthal, M. L. " 'False Wentletrap! Avaunt,' " Nation, 187:27-28 (August 16, 1958).

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