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Modern English War Poetry [Paperback]

Tim Kendall

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Book Description

3 May 2009 0199562024 978-0199562022
Tim Kendall's study offers the fullest account to date of a tradition of modern English war poetry. Stretching from the Boer War to the present day, it focuses on many of the twentieth-century's finest poets - combatants and non-combatants alike - and considers how they address the ethical challenges of making art out of violence. Poetry, we are often told, makes nothing happen. But war makes poetry happen: the war poet cannot regret, and must exalt at, even the most appalling experiences. Modern English War Poetry not only assesses the problematic relationship between war and its poets, it also encourages an urgent reconsideration of the modern poetry canon and the (too often marginalised) position of war poetry within it. The aesthetic and ethical values on which canonical judgements have been based are carefully scrutinized via a detailed analysis of individual poets. The poets discussed include Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Wilfred Owen, Charlotte Mew, Edward Thomas, Ivor Gurney, W. H. Auden, Keith Douglas, Ted Hughes, and Geoffrey Hill.

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More About the Author

Tim Kendall was born in Plymouth in 1970. After graduating from Christ Church, Oxford, he studied for a D.Phil on Northern Irish poetry, then held posts in Oxford, Newcastle and Bristol. He joined Exeter as Professor of English Literature in 2006, and became Head of Department in 2009.

His principal area of research is twentieth-century poetry, on which he has published a number of monographs. His latest book is Poetry of the First World War: An Anthology (Oxford University Press, October 2013), and he will be presenting an hour-long documentary for BBC 4 to be broadcast in 2014 titled Ivor Gurney: The Poet Who Loved the War.

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...a feisty book, argumentative and enjoyable... R. K. R. Thornton MLR Kendall's glosses, his gatherings from correspondence, memoir and criticism, his own judgements, urgings and insistences, and the energy of those convictions and his prose are most often impressive. Steven Isenberg, Essays in Criticism Teachers and scholars of modern British poetry will learn a good deal from Kendall...Kendall's comments on both form and content are also penetrating and useful... his discussion of the unique power and problems inherent in war poetry which will give this book a long shelf life... Stephen E. Tabachnick, English Literature in Transition: 1880-1920 This is a feisty book; argumentative, enjoyable and I imagine deliberately contentious...Kendall's assertions and arguments...are complex, detailed, forceful, often persuasive...It moves away from the conventional, argues its case with detail and rigour and delights as much as annoys...this book will become the starting point for many a fruitful discussion. R.K.R.Thornton, Friends of the Dymock Poets Newsletter Simultaneously brilliant, wide-ranging and troubling The Hardy Review ...a valuable contribution to poetry criticism. tout court...enlightening and well-written survey PN review an ambitious and powerful book... James Bridges, The Ivor Gurney Society Journal ...a well-written and clearly argued account... The Hardy Society Journal As a critic unafraid to have opinions...Kendall is unsentimental in discriminating between the strengths and weaknesses of his men. Jeremy Noel-Tod, TLS

About the Author

Tim Kendall was born in Plymouth in 1970. As well as founding and editing the international poetry magazine, Thumbscrew, he has published critical studies of Paul Muldoon and Sylvia Plath. His first book of poetry, Strange Land, was published by Carcanet in 2005. He is Professor of English Literature at Exeter University.

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