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E. E. Cummings Options
Posted: Friday, November 7, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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E. E. Cummings

Cummings was an American writer and painter whose poetry was noted for its eccentricities of typography, language, and punctuation. His publishers often mirrored his atypical style by writing his name in lower case, though Cummings did not endorse this and typically used capital letters in his signature. Many of his poems exude a childlike playfulness and seek to convey a joyful awareness of sex and love. Cummings's celebrated work, The Enormous Room, recounts his experiences where? More...
Posted: Friday, November 7, 2014 2:47:07 AM

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He and a friend, William Slater Brown were arrested by the French military on suspicion of espionage and undesirable activities.They were imprisoned with other detainees in a large room. Cummings was released on December 19, 1917, and Brown was released two months later. Cummings used his prison experience as the basis for his novel, The Enormous Room (1922).
Posted: Friday, November 7, 2014 5:57:40 AM

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The Enormous Room

The Enormous Room is Cummings’s autobiographical narrative of the time he spent in La Ferté Mace, a French concentration camp a hundred miles west of Paris. Cummings and a friend, both members of an American ambulance corps in France during World War I, were erroneously suspected of treasonable correspondence and were imprisoned from August, 1917, until January, 1918. In this book, Cummings describes the prisoners with whom he shared his captivity, the captors who subjected their victims to enormous cruelty, and the filthy surroundings of the prison camp.

Written in the form of a pilgrimage and modeled after John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (1678), Cummings’s narrative also shows the influence of early American black autobiographies. Like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress and the slaves who wrote their own stories, the narrator in Cummings’s self-portrait faces an arduous journey to freedom, a voyage not unlike the ones described in many early black autobiographies also modeled on Bunyan’s classic. In Cummings’s voyage, the autobiographer emphasizes and celebrates his belief in individuality, especially as it is seen in the characters of the prisoners, including the gypsy dubbed Wanderer, the childish giant named Jean le Nègre, and the clownish captive called Surplice.
Posted: Friday, November 7, 2014 9:11:13 AM

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I'm surprised to find he didn't change his name into lower case at all! I've also got a book, a poetry anthology, which makes mention that Cummings changed his name into lower case. Untrue!
Copy/pasted from the article, highlight mine:

In the preface to E. E. Cummings: the growth of a writer by Norman Friedman, critic Harry T. Moore notes "He [Cummings] had his name put legally into lower case, and in his later books the titles and his name were always in lower case."[34] According to Cummings's widow, however, this is incorrect.[33] She wrote to Friedman: "you should not have allowed H. Moore to make such a stupid & childish statement about Cummings & his signature." On February 27, 1951, Cummings wrote to his French translator D. Jon Grossman that he preferred the use of upper case for the particular edition they were working on.[35]
Posted: Friday, November 7, 2014 10:16:18 AM

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Ooh, so he DIDN'T lowercase his name like a total ween. Good to know, because that sort of petulant immaturity would have undermined his integrity as a writer and as an adult.
Posted: Friday, November 7, 2014 1:08:20 PM
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i read some of his work but didn't know he wrote thousands
TB Turtle
Posted: Friday, November 7, 2014 11:32:39 PM

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Monamagda does the research for me again! Thank you.
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