West of the American Dream: An Encounter with Texas

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Juni 2001



Like many a pioneer exiting the eastern forests, Paul Christensen felt the strangeness of an alien landscape when he first arrived in Texas in 1974. Schooled in the cool colors of life and poetry in the urban East, he approached his new career in the Southwest with missionary zeal and purpose: to discover the land and the kind of people and poetry it produced.West of the American Dream is a multifaceted account of that search. Christensen shares his feelings of culture shock in east-central Texas as he meets the cowboy version of the blue-collar Texan and his Mexican American neighbors. He introduces readers to the convoluted history of poetry in Texas, which shifted from a focus on the land to the habits of urban living. Christensen assesses the origins of modern poetry, the value of imagination, and what Texas poets achieved and how their work evolved after World War II.Taking a break here and there to describe characters who crossed his path, Christensen then presents three portraits of modern Texas artist/poets -- Vassar Miller, Charles Gordone, and Ricardo Sanchez -- to show twentieth-century poetic evolution in Texas. He concludes that in order for Texas poetry to achieve maturity and fulfillment, writers must turn away from self-reflection and become "new Whitmans" who will instill moral passion into poems that offer a vision of nature and a sense of responsibility for the earth.West of the American Dream will find an appreciative audience in all who respect the deep purpose of environmental action and the important role poets can play in its nurture, in Texas and elsewhere.


Paul Christensen earned his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and has been a professor of English at Texas A&M University since 1974. He is a poet and essayist who lives part of the year in France, where he is a contributing editor to "France"" Today."
EAN: 9780890967539
ISBN: 0890967539
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Juni 2001
Seitenanzahl: 360 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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