Max Nelson

  • Debths

    When she was a teenager in the early Fifties, Susan Howe often asked her father, a legal historian, to check out books for her from Harvard’s Widener Library. In the introduction to The Birth-Mark…

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  • The Last of the Iron Men

    In 1973, the poet Robert Creeley edited a paperback anthology of Walt Whitman’s selected verse. Midway through the introduction to the book, Creeley suggested a respect in which Leaves of Grass had “a very…

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  • To Surprise a Voice

    The subtitles that appear under most foreign-language films in British and American movie theaters tend not to call attention to themselves. Moviegoers only notice them when something goes wrong—when they’ve been rendered bulbously large,…

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  • Paradise Complex

    Robert Lax (1915- 2000) is receiving more than his usual share of attention this year: a series of readings at a non-denominational spiritual retreat in California; a “contemplative performance” of one of his major long poems at the International Thomas Merton Center…

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