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The First BookTwentieth-Century Poetic Careers in America$
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Jesse Zuba

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164472

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164472.001.0001

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From Firstborn to Vita Nova

From Firstborn to Vita Nova

Louise Glück’s Born-Again Professionalism

(p.128) 4 From Firstborn to Vita Nova
The First Book

Jesse Zuba

Princeton University Press

This chapter turns to a poet whose work lies at the opposite end of the spectrum, in several respects, from Ashbery's. Here, the chapter focuses on first books to consider subsequent volumes from Louise Glück's oeuvre. The differences between Ashbery and Glück are meant to stress the pervasiveness of the fascination with the vocational trajectory that they share: the same conflicted embrace of career is as legible in the serene disorders of Some Trees as it is in the fierce analyses of Firstborn and throughout the seven collections Glück published leading up to Vita Nova. The logic of Glück's career, the chapter argues, illustrates the double bind of literary professionalism with radical severity.

Keywords:   Louise Glück, Firstborn, Vita Nova, literary professionalism, radical severity, Glück's career

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