October 22, 2014

Levin Publishes Essay on Robert Frost

Provost Jonathan Levin’s essay “Robert Frost and Pragmatism” appears in Robert Frost in Context, edited by Mark Richardson (Cambridge University Press, 2014).  The essay focuses especially on Frost’s relationship with Harvard psychologist, philosopher, and public intellectual William James, whose influence on American literary modernism  Levin addresses more generally in his 1999 book The Poetics of Transition: Emerson, Pragmatism, and American Literary Modernism.  This new critical volume, part of the Literature in Context series from Cambridge, offers a fresh, multifaceted assessment of Robert Frost’s life and works. Nearly every aspect of the poet’s career is treated: his interest in poetics and style; his role as a public figure; his deep fascination with science, psychology, and education; his peculiar and difficult relation to religion; his investments, as thinker and writer, in politics and war; the way he dealt with problems of mental illness that beset his sister and two of his children; and, finally, the complex geo-political contexts that inform some of his best poetry.

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