Tuesday, March 13, 2012

News at Eleven: [Irving Layton's] continuing relevance,

a century after his birth, stems from his assertion that modern poetry had failed to respond to the crisis of man in the 20th century. He criticized, as he put it, "The sweatless paganism of Wallace Stevens . . . Eliot's weary Anglicanism. Yeats's fairytale Byzantium . . . Frost's jaunty pastoralism." None of these poets, according to Layton, had dealt with "man, tortured, humiliated and crucified." None had provided a portrait of man "that might have stiffened us for the cruelty, perversion, systematic lying and monstrous hypocrisy of the totalitarian regimes . . . or the no less damnable perversions and hypocrisies of the European bourgeois and imperialist."

from National Post: The Afterword: Irving Layton at 100
then The Globe and Mail: Why Irving Layton still matters


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