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The Cambridge Introduction to Robert Frost (Cambridge Introductions to Literature) [Paperback]

Robert Faggen
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

11 Sep 2008 0521670063 978-0521670067 1st Paperback Edition
Robert Frost is one of the most popular American poets and remains widely read. His work is deceptively simple, but reveals its complexities upon close reading. This Introduction provides a comprehensive but intensive look at his remarkable oeuvre. The poetry is discussed in detail in relation to ancient and modern traditions as well as to Frost's particular interests in language and sound, metaphor, science, religion, and politics. Faggen both looks back to the literary traditions that shape Frost's use of form and language, and forward to examine his influence on poets writing today. The recent controversies in Frost criticism and in particular in Frost biography are brought into sharp focus as they have shaped the poet's legacy and legend. The most accessible overview available, this book will be invaluable to students, readers and admirers of Frost.

Frequently Bought Together

The Cambridge Introduction to Robert Frost (Cambridge Introductions to Literature) + Student Guide to Robert Frost (Student Guide) + Oxford Student Texts: Robert Frost: Selected Poems
Price For All Three: 32.82

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Product details

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1st Paperback Edition edition (11 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521670063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521670067
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Book Description

Robert Frost is one of the most popular American poets and remains widely read. This Introduction provides a comprehensive but intensive look at his remarkable oeuvre. The most accessible overview available, this book will be invaluable to students, readers and admirers of Frost.

About the Author

Robert Faggen is Barton Evans and H. Andrea Neves Professor of Literature at Claremont McKenna College.

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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Cambridge Introduction to Rober Frost 3 May 2009
Format:Paperback
The book, required for my daughter's A Levels, meets the requirement and was delivered in good condition.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frost as a consummate craftsman of psychologically engaging poetry... 16 April 2009
By R. Neil Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
With the sturdy binding and beautifully illustrated cover -- Thomas Hart Benton's oil painting, "Haystack" (1938) -- this is an inviting introduction to Robert Frost's life, poetry and critical reputation.

Robert Faggen, Professor of Literature at Claremont McKenna College, contends that Frost's popularity and notority from some of his best known and loved poems obscure the real range of his work and achievements. Offers an excellent biographical introduction, then focuses on Frost's major poetry. Finds that while he was "a consummate craftsman and maker of some of the most psychologically engaging and artistically beguiling poetry of his or any time," a careful look at his life and work also reveals him to be "a far more elusive shapeshifter and trickster, a learned and trenchant intellectual with a sometimes terrifyingly bleak vision of human existence."

Named after Robert E. Lee, Robert Lee Frost lived a long life, long enough to endure seeing his sister committed to a mental institution (where she died in 1929), the death of four of his children, the suffering of two with mental illness, the horror of losing a son to suicide, and lose his wife, Elinor, to cancer and a series of heart attacks in 1938. "He long outlived his wife and fell into an affair with a woman who would not leave her husband."

We learn that this poor poet-farmer, was actually greatly assisted financially by his grandfather, was educated at Harvard in psychology, philosophy and geology by some of the most recognized teachers of his time, and spent much of his early career teaching literature and psychology before traveling to England and mingling with such luminaries as: Ezra Pound, William Butler Yeats, T.E. Hulme, and Ford Madox Ford.

I enjoyed the sections of the book that offered a biographical or period-context for Frost's poetry, that discussed his interest and roots in the writings of Longfellow, William Cullen Bryant, Emerson, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Wordsworth, Thoreau, and Emerson. And, I thought Faggen did a good job of discussing Frost's literary reputation in the context of his time and contemporaries.

From the perspective of undergraduate students using the book to write a paper -- it would have been helpful if Frost's major poems were reprinted in full and the discussion of the broader thematic elements incorporated into the explications that are typically found following the snippets of text of the poem discussed.

Also, the inclusion of illustrations and photographs to break up the text would have made the interior of the book more enticing to undergraduates. And, while I liked the inclusion of a "Further Reading" bibliography in the back, I was surprised that the titles of Frost's poems were not included alphabetically in the index; instead, one has to go to the entry for "Frost, Robert", and then look for the title and page references there.

Still, these are minor issues and due most likely to the series format. As such, I enthusiastically recommend this title as being a well-written, interesting and very useful introduction to the life and work of one of the most influential and important American writers of the 20th century.

Highly recommended for college and university libraries and large public libraries supporting local high school students writing papers on literary topics.

R. Neil Scott
Middle Tennessee State University
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