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Owen the poet /

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: University of Georgia Press, 1986
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Review by Choice Review

This significant addition to Owen studies is partly an intellectual biography of the poet's development. Working principally from manuscripts, Hibberd studies the embryonic origins of the celebrated war poems, the unity and continuity of Wilfred Owen's work, and the sources of persistent imagery and themes. The Romantic obsession with pain and physical sensation, the theme of lost young male beauty, images of darkness, fire, and blood, and the persistence of guilt and desire are persuasively detailed. The book is important for its attention to the generally unstudied earlier work, but literary parallels, derivations, and often pointed influences are traced throughout Owen's career. The bearing of ``Romantic dedication, Victorian energy, Evangelical fervour, the French and English Decadence, and Georgian innovation,'' as well as the examples of Laurent Tailhade, Siegfried Sassoon, and the regional surveys of ``Ergotherapy'' at Craiglockhart hospital are clearly demonstrated. Particular focus is given such poems as ``Strange Meeting'' and ``Spring Offensive.'' Appendixes include biographical notes, Owen's manuscripts, and the hospital journal Hydra: there are notes, a general index, and an index of poems. This thorough, detailed, carefully argued, and unstodgy study is unhesitatingly recommended for graduate and upper-division undergraduate students.-L.K. Mackendrick, University of Windsor

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Drawing on his detailed knowledge of Owen's personal library, letters, and manuscripts, Hibberd traces the development of the poet's imaginative life. The book deals less with Owen the man than with Owen the writer, showing how various biographical and literary influences shaped what Owen called his ``poethood.'' Hibberd gives considerable attention to Owen's juvenilia, which he regards as a foundation for the small body of mature work Owen wrote near the end of his brief life. Since it covers ground not covered in other studies, including Jon Stallworthy's standard biography ( Wilfred Owen , 1975) this book is an important addition for academic subject collections. Michael Hennessy, English Dept., Southwest Texas State Univ., San Marcos (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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