The Theatre of E. E. Cummings by E. E. Cummings

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The complete collection of E. E. Cummings’s writing for the stage, from the most inventive poet of the twentieth century.

The Theatre of E. E. Cummings collects in their entirety Cummings’s long out-of-print theatrical works: the plays HIM (1927), Anthropos (1930), and Santa Claus (1946), and the ballet treatment Tom (1935). In HIM, a creatively blocked artist and his lover, Me, struggle to bridge the impasse in their relationship and in his art. In Anthropos, a Platonic parable, three “infrahumans” brainstorm slogans while a man sketches on a cave wall; and in Santa Claus, Death and Saint Nick exchange identities. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is reimagined as dance, transforming the novel into a symbolic attack against Evil itself. Cummings’s prodigious creativity is on display in each of these works, which are ultimately about the place of the artist outside of society. “DON’T TRY TO UNDERSTAND IT, LET IT TRY TO UNDERSTAND YOU,” Cummings famously wrote about his intentions for the stage. Thoughtful and witty, Cummings’s dramas are an integral part of his canon.

About E. E. Cummings

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E. E. Cummings (1894-1962) was among the most influential, widely read, and revered modernist poets. His many awards included an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Bollingen Prize. Among his many volumes are The Enormous Room and Tulips & Chimneys. Norman Friedman is an emeritus professor of English at Queens College.
Published January 7, 2013 by Liveright. 223 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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