Joined: Apr 2008 Posts: 2955 Location: Randolph Center, VT
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Just to get us started --
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Born October 14, 1894(1894-10-14)
Died September 3, 1962 (aged 67)
North Conway, New Hampshire
Cause of death Stroke
Anne Minnerly Barton
Edward Estlin Cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962), popularly known as E. E. Cummings, with the abbreviated form of his name often written by others in all lowercase letters as e. e. cummings, was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. His body of work encompasses approximately 2,900 poems, an autobiographical novel, four plays and several essays, as well as numerous drawings and paintings. He is remembered as a preeminent voice of 20th century poetry, as well as one of the most popular.
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Having read the letters which make up the Foreword to this book, I can only think how fortunate ee cummings was to have someone who cared enough to advocate for his release. and how lucky we are as well .. we may have lost a great poet before he had a chance to write a huge body of poetry. its pretty clear that the French authorities had no idea where he was or whether he was dead or alive. i wonder how being written off as dead and then 'coming back to life' influenced his later writing? and the apparent indifference of both the US and French authorities to his fate may have influenced his thinking as well.
Joined: Jan 2009 Posts: 324 Location: Vancouver, BC
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This is really just a general comment about the book as a whole so I don't know that it really belongs here but:
I have to say that while I recognize the wonderful job Cummings has done as a writer, and also the cleverness of using The Pilgrim's Progress to underscore his moral message, I just don't like the book. I don't like being told what I must do to be a good person. I am not everyman and neither is anyone else. I much prefer a book that says here is this person and who she is and what she has faced and this is what she decided to do about those things and here is how it effected her and the people around her. When I get a pile of books like that I can think about how what I have faced fits into the various characters' life and whether I can learn from them either as an example of what to do or what not to do. I can extrapolate from there to the larger social issues. I have the mental capacity to do that. Cummiing's book seems to assume I am one heck of dumb bunny and need to be given a one-size-fits-all moral prescription to take with my morning tea. I mean I get that he thought that the civilization he knew was morally bankrupt and I get that his religion seems to side on the one-size-fits-all theology but if a book of instructions was all it took to get people to act morally then either the right book hasn't been written yet or people need more than “do it this way.” So despite the fact that I like many of the specifics of the the book and what the writer has accomplished, I am most assuredly not persuaded by the moral argument.
_________________ I've always found it rather exciting to remember that there is a difference between what we experience and what we think it means.
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