Fictive Certainties: Essays

Robert Duncan, Author New Directions Publishing Corporation $9.95 (234p) ISBN 978-0-8112-0944-1
While Duncan has long been admired among poets, particularly the iconoclastic school that traces its ""New American'' lineage from Whitman to Pound to Olsen, he is little known by the general public. On first glance at the intriguing titles of the essays collected here``The Truth and Life of Myth,'' ``The Sweetness and Greatness of Dante,'' ``The Self in Postmodern Poetry''one anticipates revelations. But, sad to say, the essays are turgid and tedious, however erudite. Duncan's attempt to create his own mythopoetics is ambitious, but his poetics ineluctably reminds us of the the simpler, more straightforward documents of Keats, Wordsworth and Eliotwhose ideas have provided the foundation for modern poetryand Duncan seems anemic in comparison. While these essays provide several points of reference for reading the poet's own work, they don't deliver the insights they promise. November
Reviewed on: 11/01/1985
Release date: 11/01/1985
Paperback - 234 pages - 978-0-8112-0949-6
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