Read Genoa: A Telling of Wonders by Paul Metcalf Free Online
Book Title: Genoa: A Telling of Wonders|
The author of the book: Paul Metcalf
Edition: University of New Mexico Press
Date of issue: September 1st 1991
ISBN 13: 9780826313003
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 441 KB
City - Country: No data
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Reader ratings: 4.9
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First published in 1965, this remarkable novel is Paul Metcalf's purging of the burden of his relationship to Herman Melville (his great-grandfather), but it is much broader than that. In the extraordinary style of writing that is now Metcalf's signature, he collages multiple stories. Metcalf explores incidents in the life of Herman Melville, the influence of Columbus on Melville and Melville's use and conversion of the Columbus myth, the influence of Melville on his own life, and the story of Carl and Michael Mills, whose semi-fictional story provides the central structure of the book. The narrator is Michael Mills, a club-footed unfortunate, who holds an M.D. degree but who refuses to practice. It is to search out the reason for this refusal, and to come to terms with the memory of his monstrous older brother, Carl (whose life was terminated by the state before the novel opens), that Michael retreats to his attic, his books, his studies -- Columbus, Melville and others.
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Read information about the authorPaul Metcalf (1917–1999) was an American writer. He wrote in verse and prose, but his work generally defies classification. Its small but devoted following includes Robert Creeley, William Gass, Wendell Berry, Guy Davenport, Howard Zinn, and Bruce Olds. His many books include Will West (1956), Genoa (1965), Patagoni (1971), Apalache (1976), The Middle Passage (1976), Zip Odes (1979), and U.S. Dept. of the Interior (1980).
He was the great-grandson of one of his major literary influences, Herman Melville.
Paul Metcalf was born in 1917 in East Milton, Massachusetts. He attended Harvard but left before graduating. In 1942, he married Nancy Blackford of South Carolina and over the next two decades spent long periods in the South. Metcalf traveled widely through North and South America and these travels figure largely in his work. Among his friends and associates were the poet Charles Olson (whom he met when he was thirteen), the artist Josef Albers, poet and publisher Jonathan Williams and the writer Guy Davenport. Later in his career, Metcalf was a visiting professor at the University of California San Diego, SUNY Albany, and the University of Kansas. He died in 1999, near Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
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