Stephen Vincent Benét

Essays on His Life and Work


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SKU: 9780786413645 Categories: , ,

About the Book

When Stephen Vincent Benét died in 1943 at the age of 44, all of America mourned the loss. Benét was one of the country’s most well known poets of the first half of the twentieth century and as a fiction writer, he had an even larger audience.
This book is a collection of essays celebrating Benét and his writing. The first group of essays addresses Benét’s life, times, and personal relationships. Thomas Carr Benét reminisces about his father in the first essay, and others consider Benét’s marriage to his wife Rosemary; Archibald MacLeish, Thornton Wilder and Benét as friends, liberal humanists and public activists; and his friendships with Philip Barry, Jed Harris, and Thornton Wilder.
The second group contains essays about Benét’s poetry, fiction, and drama. They discuss Benét’s role in the development of historical poetry in America, John Brown’s Body and the Civil War, Hawthorne, Benét and historical fiction, Benét’s Faustian America, the adaptation of “The Devil and Daniel Webster” to drama and then to film, Benét’s use of fantasy and science fiction, and Benét as a dramatist for stage, screen and radio.

About the Author(s)

David Garrett Izzo is an emeritus professor of English who has published 16 books and 60 essays of literary scholarship, as well as three novels and two plays. He lives in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina.
Lincoln Konkle is a professor at the College of New Jersey where he teaches American drama, modern drama, and creative writing. He lives in Ewing, New Jersey.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by David Garrett Izzo and Lincoln Konkle
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: photos, chronology, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1364-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3210-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Introduction     1
Chronology     13
Invocation     15

1 A Son Remembers     19
2 Stephen and Rosemary: A Love Story     37
3 The Yale Club of Benét, Archibald MacLeish, and Thornton Wilder    72
4 The Charmed Circle of Benét: Philip Barry, Jed Harris, Thornton Wilder    92

5 123 College Street: Benét and the Development of an Historical Poetry for America    107
6 John Brown’s Body and the Meaning of the Civil War     128
7 American History in the Short Stories of Benét and Hawthorne     142
8 Waking from Nightmares: Benét’s Faustian America     150
9 American Reincarnations: “The Devil and Daniel Webster” from Fiction to Drama to Film   167
10 Benét in the Twilight Zone: Fantasy and Science Fiction     206
11 Benét as Dramatist for Stage, Screen, and Radio     215

About the Contributors     233
Bibliography     235
Index     241