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Robert Frost: The Poet as Philosopher [Hardcover]

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Item description for Robert Frost: The Poet as Philosopher by Peter Stanlis...

Robert Frost is by far the most celebrated major American poet of the twentieth century. In part, this is because his poetry seems, on the surface, to be so accessible, even homey. But Frost was not just a powerful writer of popular lyric and narrative verse, argues Peter J. Stanlis in this major contribution to American literary study and philosophy. Rather, his work is deeply rooted in a complex philosophical dualism that opposes both idealistic monism, centered in spirit, and scientific positivism, which posits that the universe can be understood as nothing but matter.
In Robert Frost: The Poet as Philosopher, Stanlis shows how Frost's philosophical dualism of spirit and matter is perceived through metaphors and applied to science, religion, art, education, and society. He further argues that Frost's dualism provides a critique of the monistic forces that were instrumental in the triumph of twentieth-century totalitarianism. Thoroughly informed by his twenty-three year friendship and correspondence with Frost, Stanlis's landmark volume is the first attempt to deal with the poet's philosophy in a systematic manner. It will appeal not only to fans of Frost but to all who understand poetry as a form of revelation for understanding human nature.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   350
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6.4" Height: 1.2"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2007
Publisher   Intercollegiate Studies Institute
ISBN  1933859202  
ISBN13  9781933859200  

Availability  0 units.

More About Peter Stanlis

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Peter J. Stanlis is Distinguished Professor of Humanities, Emeritus, at Rockford College. The author of "Edmund Burke and the Natural Law," which appeared in 1955 and revolutionized the way Burke was viewed by scholars, he promised Frost in 1944 that he would someday write the best book about Frost's art and thought that he had it in him to write. Stanlis's previous monograph on Frost is titled "Robert Frost: The Individual and Society."

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > English > American Literature
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > History & Criticism > General
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Robert Frost: The Poet as Philosopher?

A Break-through Book for Lovers of Frost's Poetry  Feb 7, 2008
For all who have been captivated by Robert Frost's poetry, Peter Stanlis's break-through book "The Poet as Philosopher" offers a unique overview of the philosophical underpinnings that shed a clear light on the issues and beliefs imbedded in Frost's poetry. Other scholars have chosen to view Frost primarily as a monist, that is either as a God-centered spiritualist or a science-based materialist, quoting passage after passage of his poetry in support of their positions. But Stanlis squarely faces what Frost called "contraries." In this book, Stanlis presents a convincing array of evidence for Frost as a dualist. In his first chapter, Stanlis sets his own high standard for what "is required for a thorough and valid comprehension of Frost's dualism." "Nothing short," he maintains, "of a complete natural history of his life and thought."
And that is precisely what he gives us in this monumental study of everything that Frost said, thought, did, and wrote relevant to his philosophical thinking, correlating it all to such thinkers as Darwin, the Huxleys, Lovejoy, and Einstein, and to such fields as education, religion, science, politics, and poetics.
At the same time, his book is a concise review of Western philosophy all the way from the Greeks to quantum physics. As an esteemed scholar of Edmund Burke, Stanlis's perspective of the field is masterful. No one is better qualified to write about Frost and philosophy than Stanlis who combines his academic expertise with the direct experience he had with Frost's thoughts during their long friendship.
According to Stanlis, Frost's dualism rejects the resolution of reality into oneness, but views the world in pairs of opposition that are never completely resolved. His "melancholy dualism" is balanced in a sort of play. The sense of play permeates his poetry and way of looking at life. Stanlis presents us with a Frost who had a very eclectic but sophisticated and far reaching world view.
As someone who has taught Frost's poetry in the college classroom for over thirty years, I know the myriad questions that inevitably come up about what did Frost really believe. This book provides insights that can help Frost readers better understand the poet they already respond to and admire. The necessarily complex ideas Stanlis covers are organized effectively. They are expressed clearly and concisely without the jargon often associated with philosophical writing. Dr. Peter Stanlis has combined meticulous scholarship with what he learned from his personal friendship with Frost to write a much needed book, one that provides a valuable new perspective for academics but is also meaningful and accessible for the general reader. I highly recommend it to all who want to deepen their appreciation of Frost the poet and to enrich their understanding of one aspect of Frost that has too often been overlooked, his philosophical beliefs.

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