Inward of Poetry: George Johnston & Wm. Blissett in Letters

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The Porcupine's Quill, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 431 pages
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An essential part of the folklore of Canadian academia in the 1950s and 60s, George Johnston's poems were recited with glee by readers largely unaware of their publication abroad in the New Yorker, Partisan Review, Poetry (Chicago) and The Spectator. This book shows the making of those poems, and several hitherto unpublished ones, forged in the hard craft of Icelandic saga, American Imagism, and in the voices of family and community Johnston took as his material.

William Blissett enjoys a unique presence in academic folklore today, having seeded it with his perceptions and sayings for over sixty years as an authority on Wagner and the shape of literary modernism, Renaissance epic and drama; the work of his friend, the modernist poet David Jones, and his friend, George Johnston, whose poems he frequently critiqued in draft.

Sean Kane, once a student of both Johnston and Blissett, engagingly presents a friendship told in fifty years of letters between the two men, set in the affectionate, gossipy, aspiring world of English Studies in Canada when it was ruled by A.S.P. Woodhouse and Northrop Frye.

 

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Contents

I
11
II
17
III
39
IV
77
V
135
VI
177
VII
225
VIII
237
IX
257
X
281
XI
305
XII
339
XIII
383
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

George Johnston was born in Hamilton, Ontario, on October 7, 1913. Johnston knew early on that he wanted to be a writer, and published early poems (often comic-satiric), as well as newspaper columns, film reviews and plays, during his years at the University of Toronto's Victoria College, where he studied philosophy and English.When war was declared, he joined the RCAF and served four and a half years, including thirteen months as a reconnaissance pilot in West Africa. He returned to

William Blissett was born in Saskatchewan on October 11, 1921. Reading the modernist poets at age sixteen, he wrote his first published scholarly essay, on T.S. Eliot, while still an undergraduate at UBC. He met George Johnston in graduate school at U of T where Northrop Frye supervised both their theses. Following ten years at the University of Saskatchewan and five at Western, Blissett returned to the University of Toronto in 1965, becoming a long-serving editor of the University of Toro

Sean Kane took his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, which led to a tenure-track position in the Department of English there. He left to become the founding chair of Cultural Studies at Trent University. Kane still teaches and writes at Trent, where he is emeritus professor of English and Cultural Studies. He is the author of Spenser's Moral Allegory (1989), Wisdom of the Mythtellers (1998), and Virtual Freedom, a comic novel that was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock

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