William Carlos Williams

Virginia Kouidis (Auburn University)
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William Carlos Williams defined his life and writing against the expatriation of other American modernists. He was especially bitter about the defections of his friends Ezra Pound and H. D. (Hilda Doolittle), as well as T. S. Eliot, whom he singled out as his literary antagonist. Williams admired Eliot’s talent but believed that the pessimism and virtuosity of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915) and

The Waste Land

(1922) subverted and redirected the revolution in American poetry begun by Walt Whitman. Eliot and Pound individually redefined literary tradition so that their own innovative work became its culminating achievement. Williams wanted a more radical break with the past. In the Preface to


he defends his decision to remain in his hometown of Rutherford, New…

2993 words

Citation: Kouidis, Virginia. "William Carlos Williams". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 July 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4739, accessed 30 May 2024.]

4739 William Carlos Williams 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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