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Discovering the Classic: Shakespeare, T. S. Eliot, and William Carlos Williams

Discovering the Classic: Shakespeare, T. S. Eliot, and William Carlos Williams José María Rodríguez García William Carlos Williams has often been represented as an unscholarly and unschooled writer who did not appreciate the more intellectual traditions of English verse. This is one of the reasons why he was neglected by the most important canon-makers of the twentieth century: his contemporaries the New Critics. Williams himself was interested in cultivating a maverick, off-center persona; for example, in the autobiographical "Père Sebastian Rasles" (included in In the American Grain [1925]), he recalls an interview in Paris with the French man of letters, Valéry Larbaud: "Who is this man Larbaud who has so little pride that he wishes to talk to me? [. . .] He is a student, I am a block, I thought. I could see it at once: he knows far more of what is written of my world than I. But he is a student while I am--the brutal thing itself (107). Dwelling on the margins of tradition was part of Williams's conscious attempt to limit the colonization of American literature by various strands of European culture, which for the most part were indifferent to American realities and to the possibilities for cultural renewal inherent in an active http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Discovering the Classic: Shakespeare, T. S. Eliot, and William Carlos Williams

The Comparatist , Volume 27 (1) – Oct 3, 2003

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887
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Abstract

José María Rodríguez García William Carlos Williams has often been represented as an unscholarly and unschooled writer who did not appreciate the more intellectual traditions of English verse. This is one of the reasons why he was neglected by the most important canon-makers of the twentieth century: his contemporaries the New Critics. Williams himself was interested in cultivating a maverick, off-center persona; for example, in the autobiographical "Père Sebastian Rasles" (included in In the American Grain [1925]), he recalls an interview in Paris with the French man of letters, Valéry Larbaud: "Who is this man Larbaud who has so little pride that he wishes to talk to me? [. . .] He is a student, I am a block, I thought. I could see it at once: he knows far more of what is written of my world than I. But he is a student while I am--the brutal thing itself (107). Dwelling on the margins of tradition was part of Williams's conscious attempt to limit the colonization of American literature by various strands of European culture, which for the most part were indifferent to American realities and to the possibilities for cultural renewal inherent in an active

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Oct 3, 2003

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