The just-released H.D. Book, Robert Duncan’s homage to the modernist poet H.D. that eventually developed into a unique quest toward a new poetics, is turning heads in literary circles, and not just because of that handsome photo on the cover.
TNR‘s Jed Perl believes The H.D. Book may even be “the book that could save American art,” saying it “reads like a clarion call. At a time such as ours, when artists are either embattled or co-opted, either locked away in some ivory tower of their own invention or overtaken by market forces and political forces, Duncan argues for the most strenuous artistic ambitions as a dynamic democratic possibility.”
Bookforum’s Erik Davis writes, “Duncan’s enormous daybook crackles with a timeless and disarming wisdom, but in a timely manner appropriate to our era of samples and networks—an era still unsure about how to read those uncanny figures that animate visionary literature as well as the literature of vision.”
PW says “Duncan’s great meditation on modernism’s last remaining question mark finally sees print.”
And in a long and thoughtful review of the book in the February 21 issue of The Nation, Ange Mlinko writes, “As a testimony to poetic vocation, it could not be clearer, and in these confusing times a young poet could use the encouragement…”
Read the first chapter (PDF).