How Robert Frost Made Realism Matter. By Jonathan N. Barron. Columbia: Univ. of Missouri Press. 2015. x, 336 pp. Cloth, $60.00; e-book, $60.00.
When studying American literary realism, scholars have mostly focused on fiction rather than poetry. This book seeks to fill the gap by looking at Frost’s early poetry, or what Barron calls his “magazine years,” spanning 1894 to 1915. Responding to a poetic milieu that overlooked instruction for delight, Frost—as Barron argues—gave poetry a “realist renewal,” reclaiming poetry’s ability to critique society. It was also the crucible of realism that allowed Frost to simultaneously strive for both popularity and intellectual appeal, leading to his enduring resonance in American culture.
The Critics and Hemingway, 1924–2014: Shaping an American Literary Icon. By Laurence W. Mazzeno. Rochester, NY: Camden House. 2015. 302 pp. $85.00.
Since scholars first started writing about Ernest...