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Confined to a private edition for decades, this volume sheds further light on E.E. Cummings’s prodigious vision and imagination.
Formally fractured and yet gleefully alive and whole, E.E. Cummings’s groundbreaking modernist poetry expanded the boundaries of language. In A Miscellany, originally released in a limited run in 1958, Cummings lent his delightfully original voice to “a cluster of epigrams”, forty-nine essays, a poem and three speeches from an unfinished play. Seven years later, George J. Firmage broadened the scope of this idiosyncratic collection, adding seven poems and essays, and many of Cummings’s unpublished line drawings.
Together, these pieces paint a distinctive portrait of Cummings’s eccentric genius. His essays explore everything from Cubism to the circus, analyse his poetic contemporaries and satirise New York society. As Cummings wrote in his original foreword, A Miscellany “contain[s] a great deal of liveliness and nothing dead.” This remains true today.
“Cummings was one of the most spirited and original American writers of the 20th century.” — The Wall Street Journal
“Mr. Cummings is not merely the perfect acrobat or the genius carefully, yet easily and very skillfully inhabiting everything which we really are and everything which we never quite live. His intention is not to be serious, but to be very serious and get away with it.” — Louis Zukofsky, Exile
“In prose as much as in poetry, Cummings’s lines are a vehicle for typographical leaps of daring, experiments with and distortions of syntax. Even at its most controlled, it is distinctively a poet’s prose, looking to forge a new sound from language.” — The San Franciso Chronicle