» » The Glass House: The Life of Theodore Roethke

Download The Glass House: The Life of Theodore Roethke epub

by Allan Seager

The first detailed biography of this renowned American poet
Download The Glass House: The Life of Theodore Roethke epub
ISBN: 0472064541
ISBN13: 978-0472064540
Category: Literature
Subcategory: History & Criticism
Author: Allan Seager
Language: English
Publisher: University of Michigan Press; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (June 21, 1991)
Pages: 320 pages
ePUB size: 1268 kb
FB2 size: 1272 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 217
Other Formats: docx lit lrf lrf

This is an absolute must-have biography for those interested in the life of the man described by a former poet laureate as the greatest poet America has produced. It is primarily thus because it is the only Roethke biography to date. The book was criticized upon publication by friends and colleagues who knew Roethke for being a PG-version of a life that was far more complex and rollicking. Also, it is quite unusual to produce a biography about a poet that doesn't contain any of his actual work for reader context or reference.

Get it. Read it. Enjoy it. It's a passable placeholder until a more accurate and definitive is work is produced.
The author writes about Roethke from the viewpoint of a colleague, fellow writer, and friend. Seager divides the book into 15 chapters: Roethke's Birthplace, Roethke's Family, Childhood, His Father's Death, College, The Beginnings of Poetry, Trouble, The First Book, The Lost Son and Other Poems, Working Methods, The West Coast, Marriage and the Pulitzer Prize, The Prizes, the Awards, and The last years.

Seager's Roethke emerges as a man of contradictions. Moreover, in many cases, says Seager, Roethke outright lied in order to forge himself ahead; yet the reader comes away with the suspicion that Roethke never really lied, that either he believed what he was saying was true or that it could have been true under the right circumstances.

Seager doesn't so much discuss Roethke's work as he sets the stage for how Roethke's work came to be and how he wrestled with what it means to be a poet. During the course of the book, Seager considers Roethke's birthplace, his time of birth, his family, his education, and, finally, Roethke's need to find his noblest self. The introduction by Donald Hall is both informative and revealing as well.

At the center of Seager's discussion of Roethke's poetry career is Roethke's mental illness which may have accounted for both the best and worst moments of Roethke's too short life.

This is a book for Roethke's fans, those who love authors and literature, and/or those who are writers. Writers, especially, will be intrigued, I think. Seager's handling of the subject matter is as grand as his subject.
Ted Roethke springs to life from these pages-brilliant, astonishingly arrogant and hugely insecure. Seager links this combination to Roethke's father's death, but acknowledges a great deal of it was either innate or due to Ted having grown up as a sensitive boy in a very non-literary area of the world. Ted believed his poetry was consistently undervalued. Seager labels Ted as an "operator," by which he means that Ted strived in his poetry, not just to improve his skill, but also to bring it to the attention of poets who might critique it, publish it, review it, award him prizes for it, or otherwise be useful in his career. He worked tirelessly on improving his poetry and pushing the envelope OF poetry, while at the same time shamelessly promoting his own work and striving to become known as a poet. In between all this he suffered episodes of mania which led to various periods in institutions. A former co-worker of Roethke's, Seager paints an unforgettable portrait of the man behind the poems. A must-read for any Roethke acolyte.