World Outside the Window: The Selected Essays of Kenneth Rexroth

Bradford Morrow, Editor, Kenneth Rexroth, Author New Directions Publishing Corporation $24.95 (326p) ISBN 978-0-8112-1024-9
Rexroth (1905-1982) saw the modern poet as the enemy of the privileged and the powerful, since poetry is disruptive to rigid systems and ideas. In these pieces, he finds ties between Dylan Thomas's lyrics and Charlie Parker's saxophone solos, reads D. H. Lawrence's free verse as an odyssey of personal salvation and portrays Rimbaud as a capitalist adventurer. Twenty-seven essays bristle with Rexroth's wit and wide-ranging intellect. Whether he is unravelling the close links between Jewish mysticism and Gnostic sects, or satirizing the hippies' sell-out to conspicuous consumption, Rexroth challenges conventional dogma and makes startling connections. This poet-critic tweaks the American poetry establishment. He analyzes the police as a socially isolated group and looks at alienation in all facets of American life. This companion volume to his earlier essay collections, Bird in the Bush and Assays, is a literary event. Morrow is Rexroth's literary executor. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
Paperback - 340 pages - 978-0-8112-1025-6
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