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Early Stevens : the Nietzschean intertext

Author: B J Leggett
Publisher: Durham : Duke University Press, 1992.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In recent years Nietzsche has emerged as a presiding genius of our intellectual epoch. Although scholars have noted the influence of Nietzsche's thought on Wallace Stevens, the publication of Early Stevens establishes, for the first time, the extent to which Nietzsche pervades Steven's early work. Concentrating on poems published between 1915 and 1935--but moving occasionally into later poems, as well as letters and  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Leggett, B. J. (Bobby Joe), 1938-
Early Stevens.
Durham : Duke University Press, 1992
(OCoLC)555586917
Named Person: Wallace Stevens; Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche; Wallace Stevens; Friedrich Nietzsche; Wallace Stevens; Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche; Wallace Stevens; Friedrich Nietzsche
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: B J Leggett
ISBN: 0822312018 9780822312017
OCLC Number: 24430166
Description: x, 270 p. ; 24 cm.
Responsibility: B.J. Leggett.
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Abstract:

In recent years Nietzsche has emerged as a presiding genius of our intellectual epoch. Although scholars have noted the influence of Nietzsche's thought on Wallace Stevens, the publication of Early Stevens establishes, for the first time, the extent to which Nietzsche pervades Steven's early work. Concentrating on poems published between 1915 and 1935--but moving occasionally into later poems, as well as letters and essays--B. J. Leggett draws together texts of Stevens and Nietzsche to produce new and surprising readings of the poet's early work. For instance, "Peter Quince at the Clavier" is read in the light of Nietzsche's discussion of Apollonian and Dionysian art in The Birth of Tragedy; Stevens' early poems on religion, including principally "Sunday Morning," are seen through the perspective of Nietzsche's doctrines of the transvaluation of values, genealogy, and the innocence of becoming; Stevens' notions of femininity, virility, and poetry are examined in relation to Nietzsche's texts on gender and creativity. This intertextual critique reveals previously undisclosed ideologies operating at the margins of Stevens' work, enabling Leggett to read aspects of the poetry that have until now been unreadable. Early Stevens also considers such issues as Stevens' perspectivism, his aphoristic style, the Nietzschean epistemology of his poems of order, and the implications of notions of art, untruth, fiction, and interpretation in both Stevens and Nietzsche. Though many critics have discussed the concept of intertextuality, few have attempted a truly intertextual reading of a particular poet. Early Stevens is an exemplary model of such a reading, marking a significant advance in both the form and substance of our understanding of this quintessential modern poet.

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"This book contributes to a deeper, new understanding both of Stevens and of the current critical scene. Leggett brilliantly teaches how to 'play' a text, exhibiting his clarity of thought and Read more...

 
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