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Title: Toward spring and all : the gestation of William Carlos Williams' poetic
Author: Figgis, Sean Edward
ISNI:       0000 0001 3464 4662
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 1988
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This thesis argues that Williams struggled against the spectres of nationaI and personal influence in order to make his poetry both original and relevant to the modern American condition. He worked in a context of great cultural upheaval during the first wave of Modernist experimentation, toward self-definition in a state of existential anxiety. It was the defensive strategy he adopted to combat both the threat of insignificance, and imposed European cultural value, which shaped his mature poetic. Section One introduces Williams' quest for identity, working against what he called "the traditionalists of plagiarism". There is also a brief discussion of other texts which have examined this phase of Williams' development. Section Two investigates the cultural milieux, including movements such as Imagism and Dada which had a profound effect on Williams. It examines such figures as Pound, Eliot and Stein whose influence he was unable to avoid. The availability of a native tradition in the work of Whitman and Dickinson is encountered in Section Three, which also provides the opportunity to develop further the argument that WilIiams' need to disguise evidence of influence in his work actually shaped his art. Section Four introduces the surfacing of American Modernism in the pages of such little magazines as Camera Work, Poetry, Others and The Little Review. It presents Williams' growing confidence in the company of such innovative contemporaries as Mina Loy, Marianne Moore and Alfred Kreymborg (editor of Others). Williams' maturity is linked, in Section Five, with the publication of Spring and All in 1923. The collection is examined as a culmination, a confident and conscious exhibition of the poetic as having come of age.
Supervisor: Osborne, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: American studies