Selfwolf

University of Chicago Press
1
Free sample

In his third book of poems, Mark Halliday grapples with the endless struggle between self-concern and awareness of the rights of others. Through humor, ironic twists, and refreshing candor, these poems confront a variety of situations—death, divorce, artistic egotism and envy, personal relationships—where the very idea of self is under siege.

"If Selfwolf were a pop music CD, it would be hailed as Mark Halliday's breakthrough album. . . . This third collection of poems teems with unsparing confessions of misdirected lust, lost faith, regret and a winningly goofy cheerfulness in the face of all that bad stuff. . . . The informal, conversational quality of Halliday's work almost hides its artfulness, which seems to be precisely his intention."—Ken Tucker, New York Times Book Review

"With unflinching, often comic honesty about how 'ego-fetid, hostile, grasping' we are, Halliday exposes the self's wolfish hungers and weaknesses."—Andrew Epstein, Boston Review

"Mark Halliday's new book offers more of his trademark riffs on self-consciousness. His subversive, surprising, hugely enjoyable poems will make you laugh out loud, squirm in uncomfortable recognition, and appreciate anew the comedy of our daily battles for self-preservation. . . reading Halliday is pure delight. . . . I love the daring and intelligence with which Halliday skates along the shifting boundary between self within and world outside. Selfwolf slows down our habitual negotiations between 'in here' and 'out there,' exposing the edgy comedy of how we survive."—Damaris Moore, Express Books
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About the author

Mark Halliday is distinguished professor of English at Ohio University.

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Reviews

3.0
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Apr 15, 2010
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Pages
88
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ISBN
9780226313887
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Language
English
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Genres
Poetry / American / General
Poetry / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Mark Halliday
With Wallace Stevens emerging as a father figure for American poetry of the late twentieth century, Mark Halliday argues that it is time for this "poet of ideas" to undergo an ethical critique. In this bold, accessible reconsideration of Stevens' work, he insists on the importance of interpersonal relations in any account of human life in the modern world. Although Stevens outwardly denies aspects of life that center on such relations as those between friends, lovers, family members, and political constituents, Halliday uncovers in his poetry an anxious awareness of the importance of these relations. Here we see the difficulties Stevens made for himself in wanting to offer a thoroughly satisfying version of secular spiritual health in the modern world without facing up to the moral and psychological implications of his own interpersonal needs, problems, and responsibilities. The final chapter reveals, however, an unusually encouraging "avuncular" attitude toward the reader of the poetry, which may be felt to redeem Stevens from the alienation observed earlier. Halliday develops his views by way of comparisons between Stevens and other poets, especially Thomas Hardy, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and John Ashbery.

Originally published in 1991.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Mark Halliday
With Wallace Stevens emerging as a father figure for American poetry of the late twentieth century, Mark Halliday argues that it is time for this "poet of ideas" to undergo an ethical critique. In this bold, accessible reconsideration of Stevens' work, he insists on the importance of interpersonal relations in any account of human life in the modern world. Although Stevens outwardly denies aspects of life that center on such relations as those between friends, lovers, family members, and political constituents, Halliday uncovers in his poetry an anxious awareness of the importance of these relations. Here we see the difficulties Stevens made for himself in wanting to offer a thoroughly satisfying version of secular spiritual health in the modern world without facing up to the moral and psychological implications of his own interpersonal needs, problems, and responsibilities. The final chapter reveals, however, an unusually encouraging "avuncular" attitude toward the reader of the poetry, which may be felt to redeem Stevens from the alienation observed earlier. Halliday develops his views by way of comparisons between Stevens and other poets, especially Thomas Hardy, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and John Ashbery.

Originally published in 1991.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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