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Distributed for University College Dublin Press

John Berryman’s Public Vision

Relocating the Scene of Disorder

Drawing on published and previously unpublished manuscript sources in poetry and prose, John Berryman’s Public Vision offers an original reappraisal of an important twentieth-century American poet’s work. Challenging the confessional labelling of him that has dominated his critical reception and popular perception for decades, the book argues that Berryman (1914-72) had a far greater concern for developments in the public sphere than has previously been acknowledged. It reassesses the poet’s engagements with W.B. Yeats and Robert Bhain Campbell in the 1940s and offers radical re- contexualisations of Berryman’s work from every stage of his career. Concluding with an account of Berryman’s influence on contemporary writing on both sides of the Atlantic, John Berryman’s Public Vision provides a detailed and comprehensive reconsideration of the poet’s achievement in his centenary year.

260 pages

History: British and Irish History


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Abbreviations Illustrations Prologue - ’A force of nature, unique and new’? Part I - Relocating ’the scene of disorder’ Confessionalism and its Discontents ’Formal Elegy’ and John Berryman in the Public Sphere Part II - John Berryman’s Public Vision Writing the ’decade of Survival’ - 1938-48 Projecting ’nightmares of Eden’ - 1949-59 ’Mr Heartbreak, the New Man’ - 1960-69 Questions ’of priesthood & of State’ - 1970-72 Epilogue - Holding with Berryman Works Cited Notes Index.

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