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By Peter Meinke

Howard Nemerov - American Writers 70 was once first released in 1968. Minnesota Archive variations makes use of electronic know-how to make long-unavailable books once more obtainable, and are released unaltered from the unique collage of Minnesota Press versions.

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Journal of the Fictive Life is the record of a disturbed man who turns the rather awesome battery of his intelligence inward on his own mind, seeking the source of his disturbance. But the source is, simply, his humanness; here also is the source of reconciliation, as the Journal ends with the birth of Nemerov's son and a hopeful pointing toward the "magical poetry" of Shakespeare's Last Plays. Nemerov's latest work, The Blue Swallows, is a worthy successor. It has the variety, wit, and technical skill we have come to expect; it is also full of wisdom and gentleness: .

Ciardi, John. "Dry and Bitter Dust," Saturday Review, 44:66 (February 11, 1961). Daiches, David. "Some Recent Poetry," Yale Review, 40:352-57 (Winter 1950Dickey, James. Babel to Byzantium. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1968. Pp. 35-41. Eberhart, Richard. "Five Poets," Kenyan Review, 14:168-76 (Winter 1952). Elliott, George P. "Fiction Chronicle," Hudson Review, 10:288-95 (Summer WfiFitts, Dudley. "Poetry Chronicle," Partisan Review, 22:542-48 (Fall 1955). Flint, R. W. "Poetry," New York Review of Books, 1:26-27 (Special Issue i963)Foster, Richard.

Because Nemerov looks on fate as inexorable, enigmatic, and accidental, and sees man as a victim of this fate, his writing must be either tragic or comic; it cannot be heroic or sentimental. Basically speaking, Nemerov's prose is comic; Nemerov's poetry is tragic: both come from the same fatalistic philosophy, representing the two ways that the "opposed elements" of his character show their responsibility to the human drama. In Journal of the Fictive Life Nemerov attempts to fuse these elements by plunging into confession and self-analysis written in a cross between poetry and prose.

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