A many-windowed house : collected essays on American writers and American writing /

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Main Author: Cowley, Malcolm, 1898-1989.
Other Authors: Piper, Henry Dan.
Format: Book
Published:Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, 1970.
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Main Author:Cowley, Malcolm, 1898-1989.

The fourteen essays selected and edited by Henry Dan Piper present for the first time together Malcolm Cowley's critical assessments of major nineteenth and early twentieth-century American writers. Larger in scope than Think Back on Us , in which were published Mr. Cowley's pieces about the 1930s, principally from the New Republic , the present volume draws from his amazingly wide and varied literary understanding. These essays recapture parts of America's past and anticipate its uncertain future.


The book's final essay, from which the metaphoric title is derived, provides a key to Mr. Cowley's critical attitude: it is an attitude of positive eclecticism, essentially humanistic, and anti-scientific. To write about the man behind the pen, Mr. Cowley looks through many windows, and is able to see more than many of his fellow practitioners of literary criticism.

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Physical Description:xviii, 261 p. ; 23 cm.
Author Notes:

Malcolm Cowley, critic, poet, editor, and translator, was an influential figure in American letters. The son of a Pittsburgh physician, Cowley studied at Harvard University and the University of Montpelier, "starved" in Greenwich Village, and lived in France, where he met the Dada crowd and worked on two expatriate magazines, Secession and Broom.

From 1929 to 1944, he was associate editor of The New Republic. Perhaps the most famous work he wrote was his early book of poetry entitled, Blue Juniata (1929). As an editorial consultant to Viking Press, he pushed for the publication of Jack Kerouac's On the Road. His book The Faulkner-Cowley File: Letters and Memories, 1944-1962 documents his early recognition of William Faulkner. The Portable Faulkner was published at Cowley's instigation and under his editorship in 1946, when all 17 of Faulkner's books were out of print. Its publication had a profound effect -- virtually creating Faulkner's literary revival.

Cowley died in 1989. (Bowker Author Biography)

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