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Friday, February 03, 2012

Writing the 'realizable actual': William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams, 1954
A very interesting article and review by Adam Kirsch at The New York Review of Books available for you to read now here.

It is really difficult to quote from this article as ideas feed into further ideas, and examples are introduced and utilised so well. Here's one short piece, just to show you the style:

If plants and animals, in poems like “The Horse” and “The Sea-Elephant,” allowed Williams to summon what Gerard Manley Hopkins called “inscape,” his approach to people and places was necessarily more complicated. Another dimension of the “realizable actual,” for Williams, was the local, which for him meant Rutherford, New Jersey, the suburb where he was born and where he spent his entire adult life, in a house at 9 Ridge Road. After training as a doctor in New York City, Williams returned to Rutherford as a general practitioner serving a largely poor and immigrant population—a hard, unglamorous, and unremunerative form of doctoring, and a morally exemplary one.

Interesting picture. I won't hold you up any longer - go there now and enjoy.

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