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The Enormous Room : Penguin Classics - E. E. Cummings

The Enormous Room

Penguin Classics

Paperback Published: 1st May 1999
ISBN: 9780141181240
Number Of Pages: 384
For Ages: 18+ years old

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Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1894, Edward Estlin Cummings rebelled against the prevailing values of his Harvard and Unitarianism-steeped milieu. His relentless search for personal freedom led him to Greenwich Village in early 1917, where he established himself as a Modernist, composing his sui generis poems and abstract paintings. Later that year, he impulsively joined the war, serving in a Red Cross ambulance unit on the Western Front. His free-spirited, combative ways, however, soon got him tagged as a possible enemy of La Patrie, and he was summarily tossed into a French concentration camp at La Ferte-Mace in Normandy.

Unexpectedly, under the vilest conditions, Cummings found fulfillment of his ever-elusive quest for freedom. The Enormous Room (1922), the fictional account of his four-month confinement, reads like a Pilgrim's Progress of the spirit, a journey into dispossession, to a place among the most debased and deprived of human creatures. Yet Cummings's hopeful tone reflects the essential paradox of his experience: to lose everything -- all comforts, all possessions, all rights and privileges -- is to become free, and so to be saved. Drawing on the diverse voices of his colorful prisonmates -- Emile the Bum, the Fighting Sheeney, One-Eyed Dah-veed -- Cummings weaves a "crazy-quilt" of language, which makes The Enormous Room one of the most evocative instances of the Modernist spirit and technique, as well as "one of the very best of the war-books" (T. E. Lawrence).

Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Text
I Begin a Pilgrimagep. 3
En Routep. 18
A Pilgrim's Progressp. 29
Le Nouveaup. 47
A Group of Portraitsp. 86
Apollyonp. 112
An Approach to the Delectable Mountainsp. 134
The Wandererp. 164
Zoo-Loop. 175
Surplicep. 192
Jean Le Negrep. 204
Three Wise Menp. 223
I Say Good-bye to La Miserep. 238
Glossaryp. 253
App: Introductionp. 273
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780141181240
ISBN-10: 0141181249
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 1st May 1999
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 20.32 x 13.97  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.25