In Love, in Sorrow: The Complete Correspondence of Charles Olson and Edward Dahlberg

Charles Olson, Author, Paul Christensen, Editor, Edward Dahlberg, With Paragon House Publishers $22.95 (231p) ISBN 978-1-55778-202-1
Begun in rapt affection in 1936, ending two decades later in bitter vituperation, the correspondence between Edward Dahlberg ( Can These Bones Live ) and Charles Olson ( The Maximus Poems ) presents an entertaining display of literary fireworks, edited and annotated by a professor at Texas A & M University. Both writers distrusted the Anglo-American literary tradition as a product of imperialism. Poet-essayist Olson found mythic inspiration in Melville, while Dahlberg saw himself as a Midwestern Ishmael wandering in the deserts of America. Despite common ground, their father-son relationship was rocked by Dahlberg's paternalistic bullying, Olson's suppressed frustrations and a deep underlying rift over contemporary culture, with Dahlberg, the antimodernist excavator of polytheistic Mediterranean civilizations, pitted against Olson, who wanted to restore archaic vision to the New World. Dahlberg's baroque sallies and Olson's more even-tempered letters sustain a cross-fire of praise, invective and brilliant polemic. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
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