e. e. Cummings: The Enormous Room

(2030 words)

The Enormous Room was written in the fall of 1920 and published by Boni and Liveright in New York in 1922. It is the firsthand account of Cummings’ incarceration in a French military detention centre during World War I. Loosely modelled around John Bunyan’s allegorical narrative The Pilgrim’s Progress, Cummings’ text presents the story of his arrest, imprisonment and release as a journey towards perception. Through a mixture of reportage, poetic prose, interjections in French and line drawings, Cummings creates a series of studies of his captors and fellow inmates, revealing his contempt for cruelty and authority, and his irrepressible delight in the variety of human nature.

When America …

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Hutchison, Hazel McNair. "The Enormous Room". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 March 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=955, accessed 05 July 2015.]