A Miscellany

E. E. Cummings (Author), George James Firmage (Editor)

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A Miscellany, confined to a private edition for decades, sheds further light on the prodigious vision and imagination of the most inventive poet of the twentieth century: E.E. Cummings.

Formally fractured and yet gleefully alive and whole, E. E. Cummings’s groundbreaking modernist poetry expanded the boundaries of language. In A Miscellany, originally released in a limited run in 1958, Cummings lent his delightfully original voice to “a cluster of epigrams,” a poem, three speeches from an unfinished play, and forty-nine essays—most of them previously written for or published in magazines, anthologies, or art gallery catalogues. Seven years later, George J. Firmage—editor of much of Cummings’s work, including Complete Poems—broadened the scope of this delightfully eclectic collection, adding seven more poems and essays, and many of Cummings’s unpublished line drawings.

Together, these pieces paint a distinctive portrait of Cummings’s eccentric, yet precise, genius. Like his poetry, Cummings’s prose is lively; often witty, biting, and offbeat, he is an intelligent observer and critic of the modern. His essays explore everything from Cubism to the circus, equally quick to analyze his poetic contemporaries and satirize New York society. As Cummings wrote in his original foreword, A Miscellany contains “a great deal of liveliness and nothing dead.” This remains true today, more than fifty years after its original publication.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • July 2018
  • ISBN 978-0-87140-653-8
  • 5.8 × 8.6 in / 384 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“One of America’s great technical innovators, an iconoclastic opponent of convention, power, and hypocrisy. . . . [Cummings worked] with a memorable formal dexterity, a new way to arrange and frame experience on a page.” — Stephen Dunn

“Cummings was one of the most spirited and original American writers of the 20th century.” — Wall Street Journal

“In prose as much as in poetry, Cummings’s lines are a vehicle for typographical leaps of daring, experiments with and distortions of syntax. Even at its most controlled, it is distinctively a poet’s prose, looking to forge a new sound from language.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“[Cummings] is unsurpassed in his special field, one of the masters.” — Malcolm Cowley

“Mr. Cummings is not merely the perfect acrobat or the genius carefully, yet easily and very skillfully inhabiting everything which we really are and everything which we never quite live.  His intention is not to be serious, but to be very serious and get away with it.” — Louis Zukofsky, in Ezra Pound’s magazine, Exile

Also by E. E. Cummings All

  1. Book Cover22 and 50 Poems

    Paperback

  2. Book Cover73 Poems

    Paperback

  3. Book Cover95 Poems

    Paperback

Also by George James Firmage All

  1. Book Cover22 and 50 Poems

    Paperback

  2. Book CoverE. E. Cummings: Complete Poems, 1904–1962

    Hardcover

  3. Book CoverThe Enormous Room

    Paperback