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The Poet's Freedom: A Notebook on Making

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The Poet's Freedom: A Notebook on Making Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the bitterly cold winter of 1943, the Italian countryside is torn apart by violence as partisans wage a guerilla war against the occupying German army and their local fascist allies. In the midst of this conflict, a ragtag group of fascist supporters captures a woman in the late stages of pregnancy. Suspecting her of being in league with the partisans, they hastily put her on “trial” by improvising a war tribunal one night in the choir stalls of the abandoned monastery that serves as their hide-out. This sham court convicts the woman and sentences her to die—but not until her child has been born. When a young seminarian visits the monastery and tries to dissuade the fascist band from executing their sentence, the absurd tragedy of the woman’s fate is cast in stark relief. The child’s birth approaches, an unnerving anticipation unfolds, and tension mounts ominously among the characters and within their individual psyches.          

Based on a number of incidents that took place in Abruzzo during the war, Laudomia Bonanni’s compact and tragic novel explores the overwhelming conflicts between ideology and community, justice and vengeance. The story is embedded in the cruel reality of Italian fascism, but its themes of revenge, sacrifice, and violence emerge as universal, delivered in prose that is at once lyrical and brutal.

In her native Italy, Bonanni, a writer of journalism and critical prose as well as fiction, is hailed as one of the strongest proponents of post-war realism, and this is the first of her novels to be made available to Anglophone readers. Translators Susan Stewart and Sara Teardo render Bonanni’s singular style—both sparse and emotive, frank and poetic—into readable, evocative English.

Synopsis:

Why do we need new art? How free is the artist in making? And why is the artist, and particularly the poet, a figure of freedom in Western culture? The MacArthur Award–winning poet and critic Susan Stewart ponders these questions in The Poet’s Freedom. Through a series of evocative essays, she not only argues that freedom is necessary to making and is itself something made, but also shows how artists give rules to their practices and model a self-determination that might serve in other spheres of work.
Stewart traces the ideas of freedom and making through insightful readings of an array of Western philosophers and poets—Plato, Homer, Marx, Heidegger, Arendt, Dante, and Coleridge are among her key sources. She begins by considering the theme of making in the Hebrew Scriptures, examining their accountof a god who creates the world and leaves humans free to rearrange and reform the materials of nature. She goes on to follow the force of moods, sounds, rhythms, images, metrical rules, rhetorical traditions, the traps of the passions, and the nature of language in the cycle of making and remaking. Throughout the book she weaves the insight that the freedom to reverse any act of artistic making is as essential as the freedom to create.
 
A book about the pleasures of making and thinking as means of life, The Poet’s Freedom explores and celebrates the freedom of artists who, working under finite conditions, make considered choices and shape surprising consequences. This engaging and beautifully written notebook on making will attract anyone interested in the creation of art and literature.

About the Author

Susan Stewart, a poet, critic, and translator,is the Avalon Foundation University Professor in the Humanitiesat Princeton University. Her previous books of poems, The Forest, Columbarium (which won the National Book Critics Circle Award), and Red Rover, and her works of criticism, The Open Studio and Poetry and the Fate of the Senses (which won boththe Christian Gauss Award and the Truman Capote Award), are all published by the University of Chicago Press. 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

On the Method of This “Notebook”

A Sand Castle

1  Beginning 

I The Freedom of the Maker 

II The Creator in Genesis 

2  Praising 

I The Thought of Thankfulness 

II The Birth of a New Song 

3  Freedom from Mood 

I A Sympathetic Nature 

II Metaphor and Music 

4 Freedom from Imagination 

 I Composing Anxiety 

 II The Free Work of Symbols 

5 Forming 

 I Ovids Contests of Making 

 II Forming as Knowing 

 III Gathering toward Abstraction 

6 Rhyming 

 I Rhymes Opening 

 II How Rhymes Rhyme 

7 Meeting 

 I A Freedom of Association 

 II The Visitors 

8 Persons as Makers

 I Conditions of Making

 II Production and Reproduction 

III The Selfs Materials and the Persons Reception 

The Sand Castle 

Endnotes 

Works Cited

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226773872
Author:
Stewart, Susan
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Author:
Bonanni, Laudomia
Author:
Teardo, Sara
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Publication Date:
20111231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Theory and Criticism
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Poetry Criticism
Reference » Rhetoric
Reference » Writing » General

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Product details 176 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226773872 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Why do we need new art? How free is the artist in making? And why is the artist, and particularly the poet, a figure of freedom in Western culture? The MacArthur Award–winning poet and critic Susan Stewart ponders these questions in The Poet’s Freedom. Through a series of evocative essays, she not only argues that freedom is necessary to making and is itself something made, but also shows how artists give rules to their practices and model a self-determination that might serve in other spheres of work.
Stewart traces the ideas of freedom and making through insightful readings of an array of Western philosophers and poets—Plato, Homer, Marx, Heidegger, Arendt, Dante, and Coleridge are among her key sources. She begins by considering the theme of making in the Hebrew Scriptures, examining their accountof a god who creates the world and leaves humans free to rearrange and reform the materials of nature. She goes on to follow the force of moods, sounds, rhythms, images, metrical rules, rhetorical traditions, the traps of the passions, and the nature of language in the cycle of making and remaking. Throughout the book she weaves the insight that the freedom to reverse any act of artistic making is as essential as the freedom to create.
 
A book about the pleasures of making and thinking as means of life, The Poet’s Freedom explores and celebrates the freedom of artists who, working under finite conditions, make considered choices and shape surprising consequences. This engaging and beautifully written notebook on making will attract anyone interested in the creation of art and literature.
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