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The Broken Tower: The Life of Hart Crane
Few poets have lived as extraordinary and fascinating a life as Hart Crane, the American poet who made his meteoric rise in the late 1920s and then as suddenly flamed out, killing himself at the age of thirty-two and thus turning his life and poetry into the stuff of myth.
Paperback, 512 pages
Published April 17th 2000 by W. W. Norton & Company
(first published 1999)
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I had never read any of Hart Crane’s poems before picking up this biography, and I haven’t read any since finishing it. Although Mariani does a meticulous job describing Crane’s visionary quest to transcend the negativity of T.S. Eliot with an American poetry that “moved the mind beyond despair, towards awe,” I found the poetry itself to be cryptic and inaccessible. Crane’s pathology also made him hard to like. Persistent in his vision, charismatic and adventurous, he was also demanding, self-in ...more
"A life extraordinary" as the cover says Crane's was not. If you expect to find a story as powerful as Crane's poetry, or insights into why he wrote the way he did, you will be disappointed. That said, it seems to be the most accorate and up to date biography and hence a must for a serious Crane reader.