By Thomas J. Reigstad
In August 1869, a thirty-three-year-old journalist named Samuel Clemens - or as he was once later recognized, Mark Twain - moved to Buffalo, manhattan. on the time, he had excessive hopes of building himself as a profitable newspaper editor of the Buffalo Morning Express within the thriving, up-and-coming city on the finish of the Erie Canal. during this attractive portrait of the well-known writer at a formative and critical juncture of his lifestyles, Thomas J. Reigstad--a Twain scholar--details the household, social, studies of Mark Twain whereas he lived in Buffalo.
Based on years of getting to know historic files, combing via microfilm of the Express whilst Twain used to be editor, or even interviewing descendants of Buffalonians who knew Twain, Reigstad has exposed a wealth of interesting info. The publication attracts a bright portrait of Twain's paintings surroundings on the Express. colourful anecdotes approximately his colleagues and his quirky paintings conduct, besides unique Twain tales and illustrations now not formerly reprinted, provide readers a brand new realizing of Twain's dedication to full-time newspaper work.
Full of attention-grabbing vignettes from the illustrious writer's lifestyles, in addition to infrequent photos, Scribblin' for a Livin' will entice Mark Twain fanatics, scholars and students of yankee literature, and an individual with an curiosity within the background of Western long island.
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Extra resources for Scribblin' for a Livin': Mark Twain's Pivotal Period in Buffalo
A common early misperception about the New York School was that they were, as Ihab Hassan wrote in his guide to Contemporary American Literature, “anti-formalist[s] in a sense, inventors of new open styles” (124). Other guidebooks describe their “open, chaotic, and informal aesthetic” (“New York Poets” 209) and stress that “Free verse predominates their work” (“New York School” 176). What this emphasis on “anti-formalism” misses is that fact that Ashbery, O’Hara, Schuyler, and Guest regularly wrote sonnets, sestinas, and pantoums, and that Koch’s first major work, the epic poem Ko, or a Season on Earth (1959), was written in strict ottava rima (modeled on Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso).
It is not that these texts don’t look like “the world” (which can be conceived as infinitely complex in its possible permutations of stimuli) but that they don’t look like the world as mimetically represented in realist or organic texts. This divergence is naturally problematic for readers who expect texts to yield stable, unified meanings, and can certainly help explain some of the very negative early criticism the New York School received. As David Perkins notes in his History of Modern Poetry, New York School poetry was frequently written off as trivial, nonsensical, and “frivolously nihilistic” (528).
He is precious and puerile when he is not merely futile and noisy, seldom if ever writing two consecutive lines that can . . be called even lazy verse, as Max Eastman describes that phenomenon. ” cries one review of Schuyler’s Freely Espousing. “I suggest you pass this book up; there are, surely, enough collections of poetry which locate and attack substantial reality” (Regan). Critics responded less damningly, but in a similar vein, to O’Hara’s work, which was frequently trivialized (according to one New York Review of Books critic in 1966, his poetry is “amiable and gay, like streams of crepe paper, fluttering before an electric fan” [Bewley]) as a way of highlighting its lack of depth.