So, this is very interesting. Vanity Fair’s excerpt of an upcoming Obama book has some letters Obama wrote to one of his girlfriends in college. ABC’s excerpted a few of the letters and provided some academic sources who chime in on the merits of Obama’s analysis.
Here’s what Obama wrote to his girlfriend:
I haven’t read “The Waste Land” for a year, and I never did bother to check all the footnotes. But I will hazard these statements — Eliot contains the same ecstatic vision which runs from Münzer to Yeats. However, he retains a grounding in the social reality/order of his time. Facing what he perceives as a choice between ecstatic chaos and lifeless mechanistic order, he accedes to maintaining a separation of asexual purity and brutal sexual reality. And he wears a stoical face before this. Read his essay on Tradition and the Individual Talent, as well as…
In that post, I mentioned that Pattiann Rogers expands Stevens’ ideas in her essay “Cosmology and the Soul’s Habitation”; however, although her ideas line up and extend Stevens’, she does not specifically mention his name. Perhaps Stevens’ theory has become so ingrained as to be an accepted part of the modern condition of humanity; in Rogers’ words, a piece of our contemporary cosmology.
I know not everyone cares about hearing someone else talk about their thesis – that was so twenty years ago. So, I forked off a new blog, Poetry Thesis Musings, in which I’ll talk about everything thesis related as it occurs to me. I did want to note the first reflective entry on Pattiann Rogers’ essay “Twentieth-Century Cosmology and the Soul’s Habitation,” which has an interesting segment related to the Wallace Stevens Encounters project. It has to do with Stevens’ conception of pressure as a measure of history. More on that to come.
As Part of a class in my MFA program titled Literature for Writers, Professor Janet Peery asked for a final project interrogating our semester-long study of our choice of writer. At the beginning of the seminar, I chose Wallace Stevens as a poet I should probably know more about, as my encounters with him have been few and far between.
After attempting several different projects, including a couple of essays, I decided to go a little more playful: bring Stevens into contemporary America and see what happens. The posts included under this category are the results.