Thomas Merton was an American Trappist monk, theologian, poet, social activist, scholar of comparative religion. On May 26, 1949, he was given the name Father Louis. Merton wrote more than 70 books on spirituality, social justice and a quiet pacifism, as well as scores of essays and reviews. Among Merton's most enduring works is his bestselling autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain, which sent scores of World War II veterans and teenagers flocking to monasteries across the US, was featured in National Review's list of the 100 best non-fiction books of the century. Merton was a keen proponent of interfaith understanding, he pioneered dialogue with prominent Asian spiritual figures, including the Dalai Lama, the Japanese writer D. T. Suzuki, the Thai Buddhist monk Buddhadasa, the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh, authored books on Zen Buddhism and Taoism. In the years since his death, Merton has been the subject of several biographies. Thomas Merton was born in Prades, Pyrénées-Orientales, France, on January 31, 1915, to Owen Merton, a New Zealand painter active in Europe and the United States, Ruth Jenkins, an American Quaker and artist.
He was baptized in accordance with his father's wishes. Merton's father was absent during his son's upbringing. During World War I, in August 1915, the Merton family left France for the United States, they settled first with Ruth's parents on Long Island, New York, near them in Douglaston, New York. In 1917, the family moved into an old house in Flushing, New York, where Merton's brother, John Paul, was born on November 2, 1918; the family was considering returning to France when Ruth was diagnosed with stomach cancer, from which she died on October 21, 1921, in Bellevue Hospital. Merton was six years old. In 1922, Owen Merton and Thomas traveled to Bermuda, where Owen fell in love with the American novelist Evelyn Scott, a married woman. Still grieving for his mother, Thomas never quite warmed to Scott. Happy to get away from Scott, Thomas returned to Douglaston in 1923 to live with his mother's family and his brother. Owen Merton and her husband sailed to Europe and traveled through France, Italy and Algeria.
During the winter of 1924, while in Algeria, Owen Merton became ill and was thought to be near death. The news of his father's illness filled Thomas with anxiety. By March 1925, Owen Merton was well enough to organize a show of his paintings at the Leicester Galleries in London, he returned to New York and took Thomas to live with him in Saint-Antonin, France. Thomas returned to France with mixed feelings, as he had lived with his grandparents for the last two years and had become attached to them. During their travels, Merton's father and Scott had discussed marriage on occasion. After the trip to New York, Owen Merton realized that Thomas would not be reconciled to Scott and broke off his relationship with her. In 1926, when Merton was eleven, his father enrolled him in a boys' boarding school in Montauban, the Lycée Ingres. There, Merton felt lonely and abandoned. During his initial months at the school, Merton begged his father to remove him. With time, however, he grew comfortable with his surroundings.
He befriended a circle of aspiring writers at the Lycée and he himself wrote two novels. Sundays at the Lycée offered a nearby Catholic Mass, but Merton never attended, instead taking an early train home. A Protestant clergyman came Sundays to teach at the Lycée to those who did not attend Mass, but Merton took scant interest. During the Christmas breaks of 1926 and 1927, he spent his time with friends of his father in Murat, Auvergne, he admired the devout Catholic couple, whom he saw as good and decent people, but religion only once came up as a topic between them. Merton expressed his belief that all religions "lead to God, only in different ways, every man should go according to his own conscience, settle things according to his own private way of looking at things." He wanted them to argue with him. As he came to understand they realized that his attitude "implied a fundamental and utter lack of faith, a dependence on my own lights, attachment to my own opinion". In the summer of 1928, he took Merton out of the Lycée Ingres, informing him that they were headed together to England.
Merton and his father moved to the home of Owen's aunt and uncle in West London. Merton was soon enrolled in Ripley Court Preparatory School, another boarding school, this one in Surrey. Merton enjoyed his studies there and benefited from a greater sense of community than had existed at the Lycée. On Sundays, all students attended services at the local Anglican church. Merton began praying, but discontinued the practice after leaving the school. During holidays, Merton stayed at his great-aunt and uncle's home, where his father visited. During Easter vacation in 1929, Merton and Owen went to Canterbury. Merton enjoyed the countryside around Canterbury; when the holiday ended, Owen returned to Merton to Ripley. Toward the end of that year, Merton learned that his father was living in Ealing. Merton went to see him and together they left for Scotland, where a friend had offered his house for Owen's recovery. Shortly after, Owen was taken to London to the North Middlesex Hospital. Merton soon learned.
He took the news badly, but when he visited Owen in hospital, the latter se
Ezra Weston Loomis Pound was an expatriate American poet and critic, a major figure in the early modernist poetry movement. His contribution to poetry began with his development of Imagism, a movement derived from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry, stressing clarity and economy of language, his works include Hugh Selwyn Mauberley and the unfinished 120-section epic, The Cantos. Pound worked in London during the early 20th century as foreign editor of several American literary magazines, helped discover and shape the work of contemporaries such as T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Robert Frost and Ernest Hemingway. Angered by the carnage of World War I, Pound lost faith in Great Britain and blamed the war on usury and international capitalism, he moved to Italy in 1924 and throughout the 1930s and 1940s embraced Benito Mussolini's fascism, expressed support for Adolf Hitler, wrote for publications owned by the British fascist Sir Oswald Mosley. During World War II, he was paid by the Italian government to make hundreds of radio broadcasts criticizing the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Jews, as a result of which he was arrested in 1945 by American forces in Italy on charges of treason.
He spent months in detention in a U. S. military camp in Pisa, including three weeks in a 6-by-6-foot outdoor steel cage, which he said triggered a mental breakdown: "when the raft broke and the waters went over me". The following year he was deemed unfit to stand trial, incarcerated in St. Elizabeths psychiatric hospital in Washington, D. C. for over 12 years. Pound began work on sections of The Cantos while in custody in Italy; these parts were published as The Pisan Cantos, for which he was awarded the Bollingen Prize in 1949 by the Library of Congress, leading to enormous controversy. Due to a campaign by his fellow writers, he was released from St. Elizabeths in 1958 and returned to live in Italy until his death, his political views ensure. Hemingway wrote: "The best of Pound's writing—and it is in the Cantos—will last as long as there is any literature." Pound was born in a small, two-story house in Hailey, Idaho Territory, the only child of Homer Loomis Pound and Isabel Weston. His father had worked in Hailey since 1883 as registrar of the General Land Office.
Both parents' ancestors had emigrated from England in the 17th century. On his mother's side, Pound was descended from William Wadsworth, a Puritan who emigrated to Boston on the Lion in 1632; the Wadsworths married into the Westons of New York. Harding Weston and Mary Parker were the parents of Ezra's mother. Harding spent most of his life without work, with his brother, Ezra Weston, his brother's wife, looking after Mary and Isabel's needs. On his father's side, the immigrant ancestor was John Pound, a Quaker, who arrived from England around 1650. Ezra's grandfather, Thaddeus Coleman Pound, was a Republican Congressman from northwest Wisconsin who had made and lost a fortune in the lumber business. Thaddeus's son Homer, Pound's father, worked for Thaddeus in the lumber business until Thaddeus secured him the appointment as registrar of the Hailey land office. Homer and Isabel married Homer built a house in Hailey. Isabel took Ezra with her to New York in 1887, when he was 18 months old. Homer followed them, in 1889 he found a job as an assayer at the Philadelphia Mint.
The family moved to Jenkintown, in 1893 bought a six-bedroom house in Wyncote. Pound's education began in a series of dame schools, some of them run by Quakers: Miss Elliott's school in Jenkintown in 1892, the Heathcock family's Chelten Hills School in Wyncote in 1893, the Florence Ridpath school from 1894 in Wyncote, his first publication was on 7 November 1896 in the Jenkintown Times-Chronicle, a limerick about William Jennings Bryan, who had just lost the 1896 presidential election: "There was a young man from the West, / He did what he could for what he thought best. The boys wore Civil War-style uniforms and besides Latin were taught English, arithmetic, military drilling and the importance of submitting to authority. Pound made his first trip overseas in mid-1898 when he was 13, a three-month tour of Europe with his mother and Frances Weston, who took him to England, Germany and Italy. After the academy he may have attended Cheltenham Township High School for one year, in 1901, aged 15, he was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania's College of Liberal Arts.
Pound met Hilda Doolittle at Pennsylvania in 1901, she became his first serious romance. In 1911 she became involved in developing the Imagism movement. Between 1905 and 1907 Pound wrote a number of poems for her, 25 of which he hand-bound and called Hilda's Book, in 1908 he asked her father, the astronomy professor Charles Doolittle, for permission to marry her, but Doolittle dismissed Pound as a nomad. Pound was seeing two other women at the same time—Viola Baxter and Mary Moore—later dedicating a book of poetry, Personae, to the latter, he asked Moore to marry him too. His parents and Frances Weston took Pound on an
In publishing, a colophon is a brief statement containing information about the publication of a book such as the place of publication, the publisher, the date of publication. A colophon may be emblematic or pictorial in nature. Colophons were printed at the ends of books, but in modern works they are located at the verso of the title-leaf; the term colophon derives from the Late Latin colophōn, from the Greek κολοφών. It should not be confused with Colophon, an ancient city in Asia Minor, after which "colophony", or rosin, is named; the existence of colophons can be dated back to antiquity. Zetzel, for example, describes an inscription from the 2nd century A. D. transmitted in humanistic manuscripts. He cites the colophon from Poggio's manuscript, a humanist from the 15th century:Statili / maximus rursum emdaui ad tyrone et laecanianu et dom̅ & alios ueteres. III. Colophons can be categorized into four groups. Assertive colophons provide the contextual information about the manuscript. Expressive colophons wishes.
Directive colophons make the reader do something, the declarative colophons do something with the reader. Example of expressive colophons: Finit dicendo: Ludid. Quicunque scriptor scribit / Leti ut scribunt scribae. Example of directive colophons: O beatissime lector, lava manus tuas et sic librum adprehende, leniter folia turna, longe a littera digito pone. Example of directive and declarative colophons: Si quis et hunc sancti sumit de culmine galli / Hunc Gallus paulusque simul dent pestibus amplis The term is applied to clay tablet inscriptions appended by a scribe to the end of an Ancient Near East text such as a chapter, manuscript, or record; the colophon contained facts relative to the text such as associated person, literary contents, occasion or purpose of writing. Colophons and catch phrases helped the reader organize and identify various tablets, keep related tablets together. Positionally, colophons on ancient tablets are comparable to a signature line in modern times. Bibliographically, they more resemble the imprint page in a modern book.
Examples of colophons in ancient literature may be found in the compilation The Ancient Near East: Supplementary Texts and Pictures Relating to the Old Testament. Colophons are found in the Pentateuch, where an understanding of this ancient literary convention illuminates passages that are otherwise unclear or incoherent. Examples are Numbers 3:1, where a chapter division makes this verse a heading for the following chapter instead of interpreting it properly as a colophon or summary for the preceding two chapters, Genesis 37:2a, a colophon that concludes the histories of Jacob. An extensive study of the eleven colophons found in the book of Genesis was done by Percy John Wiseman. Wiseman's study of the Genesis colophons, sometimes described as the Wiseman hypothesis, has a detailed examination of the catch phrases mentioned above that were used in literature of the second millennium B. C. and earlier in tying together the various accounts in a series of tablets. In early printed books the colophon, when present, was a brief description of the printing and publication of the book, giving some or all of the following data: the date of publication, the place of publication or printing, the name of the printer, the name of the publisher, if different.
Sometimes additional information, such as the name of a proofreader or editor, or other more-or-less relevant details, might be added. A colophon might be emblematic or pictorial rather than in words; the normal position for a colophon was after the explicit. After around 1500 these data were transferred to the title page, which sometimes existed in parallel with a colophon. Colophons sometimes contained book curses, as this was the one place in a medieval manuscript where a scribe was free to write what he wished; such curses tend to be unique to each book. In Great Britain colophons grew less common in the 16th century; the statements of printing which appeared on the verso of the title-leaf and final page of each book printed in Britain in the 19th century are not speaking and are better referred to as "printers' imprints" or "printer statements". In some parts of the world, colophons helped fledgling printers and printing companies gain social recognition. For example, in early modern Armenia printers used colophons as a way to gain "prestige power" by getting their name out into the social sphere.
The use of colophons in early modern Armenian print culture is significant as well because it signalled the rate of decline in manuscript production and scriptoria use, conversely the rise and perpetuation of printing for Armenians. With the development of the private press movement from around 1890, colophons became conventional in private press books, in
New York City
The City of New York called either New York City or New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles, New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, exerts a significant impact upon commerce, research, education, tourism, art and sports; the city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, each of, a separate county of the State of New York. The five boroughs – Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898; the city and its metropolitan area constitute the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. New York City is home to more than 3.2 million residents born outside the United States, the largest foreign-born population of any city in the world. In 2017, the New York metropolitan area produced a gross metropolitan product of US$1.73 trillion. If greater New York City were a sovereign state, it would have the 12th highest GDP in the world. New York is home to the highest number of billionaires of any city in the world. New York City traces its origins to a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan.
The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York. New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790, it has been the country's largest city since 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the U. S. by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is an international symbol of the U. S. and its ideals of liberty and peace. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability, as a symbol of freedom and cultural diversity. Many districts and landmarks in New York City are well known, with the city having three of the world's ten most visited tourist attractions in 2013 and receiving a record 62.8 million tourists in 2017. Several sources have ranked New York the most photographed city in the world. Times Square, iconic as the world's "heart" and its "Crossroads", is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, a major center of the world's entertainment industry.
The names of many of the city's landmarks and parks are known around the world. Manhattan's real estate market is among the most expensive in the world. New York is home to the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia, with multiple signature Chinatowns developing across the city. Providing continuous 24/7 service, the New York City Subway is the largest single-operator rapid transit system worldwide, with 472 rail stations. Over 120 colleges and universities are located in New York City, including Columbia University, New York University, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top universities in the world. Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, the city is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. In 1664, the city was named in honor of the Duke of York.
James's older brother, King Charles II, had appointed the Duke proprietor of the former territory of New Netherland, including the city of New Amsterdam, which England had seized from the Dutch. During the Wisconsinan glaciation, 75,000 to 11,000 years ago, the New York City region was situated at the edge of a large ice sheet over 1,000 feet in depth; the erosive forward movement of the ice contributed to the separation of what is now Long Island and Staten Island. That action left bedrock at a shallow depth, providing a solid foundation for most of Manhattan's skyscrapers. In the precolonial era, the area of present-day New York City was inhabited by Algonquian Native Americans, including the Lenape, whose homeland, known as Lenapehoking, included Staten Island; the first documented visit into New York Harbor by a European was in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano, a Florentine explorer in the service of the French crown. He named it Nouvelle Angoulême. A Spanish expedition led by captain Estêvão Gomes, a Portuguese sailing for Emperor Charles V, arrived in New York Harbor in January 1525 and charted the mouth of the Hudson River, which he named Río de San Antonio.
The Padrón Rea
As a physical object, a book is a stack of rectangular pages oriented with one edge tied, sewn, or otherwise fixed together and bound to the flexible spine of a protective cover of heavier inflexible material. The technical term for this physical arrangement is codex. In the history of hand-held physical supports for extended written compositions or records, the codex replaces its immediate predecessor, the scroll. A single sheet in a codex is a leaf, each side of a leaf is a page; as an intellectual object, a book is prototypically a composition of such great length that it takes a considerable investment of time to compose and a still considerable, though not so extensive, investment of time to read. This sense of book has an unrestricted sense. In the restricted sense, a book is a self-sufficient section or part of a longer composition, a usage that reflects the fact that, in antiquity, long works had to be written on several scrolls, each scroll had to be identified by the book it contained.
So, for instance, each part of Aristotle's Physics is called a book, as of course the Bible encompasses many different books. In the unrestricted sense, a book is the compositional whole of which such sections, whether called books or chapters or parts, are parts; the intellectual content in a physical book need not be a composition, nor be called a book. Books can consist only of drawings, engravings, or photographs, or such things as crossword puzzles or cut-out dolls. In a physical book the pages can be left blank or can feature an abstract set of lines as support for on-going entries, i.e. an account book, an appointment book, a log book, an autograph book, a notebook, a diary or day book, or a sketch book. Some physical books are made with pages thick and sturdy enough to support other physical objects, like a scrapbook or photograph album. Books may be distributed in electronic form as other formats. Although in ordinary academic parlance a monograph is understood to be a specialist academic work, rather than a reference work on a single scholarly subject, in library and information science monograph denotes more broadly any non-serial publication complete in one volume or a finite number of volumes, in contrast to serial publications like a magazine, journal, or newspaper.
An avid reader or collector of books or a book lover is a bibliophile or colloquially, "bookworm". A shop where books are bought and sold is a bookstore. Books are sold elsewhere. Books can be borrowed from libraries. Google has estimated that as of 2010 130,000,000 distinct titles had been published. In some wealthier nations, the sale of printed books has decreased because of the use of e-books, though sales of e-books declined in the first half of 2015; the word book comes from Old English "bōc", which in turn comes from the Germanic root "*bōk-", cognate to "beech". In Slavic languages "буква" is cognate with "beech". In Russian and in Serbian and Macedonian, the word "букварь" or "буквар" refers to a primary school textbook that helps young children master the techniques of reading and writing, it is thus conjectured. The Latin word codex, meaning a book in the modern sense meant "block of wood"; when writing systems were created in ancient civilizations, a variety of objects, such as stone, tree bark, metal sheets, bones, were used for writing.
A tablet is a physically robust writing medium, suitable for casual transport and writing. Clay tablets were flattened and dry pieces of clay that could be carried, impressed with a stylus, they were used as a writing medium for writing in cuneiform, throughout the Bronze Age and well into the Iron Age. Wax tablets were pieces of wood covered in a thick enough coating of wax to record the impressions of a stylus, they were the normal writing material in schools, in accounting, for taking notes. They had the advantage of being reusable: the wax could be melted, reformed into a blank; the custom of binding several wax tablets together is a possible precursor of modern bound books. The etymology of the word codex suggests that it may have developed from wooden wax tablets. Scrolls can be made from papyrus, a thick paper-like material made by weaving the stems of the papyrus plant pounding the woven sheet with a hammer-like tool until it is flattened. Papyrus was used for writing in Ancient Egypt as early as the First Dynasty, although the first evidence is from the account books of King Nefertiti Kakai of the Fifth Dynasty.
Papyrus sheets were glued together to form a scroll. Tree bark such as lime and other materials were used. According to Herodotus, the Phoenicians brought writing and papyrus to Greece around the 10th or 9th century BC; the Greek word for papyrus as writing material and book come from the Phoenician port town Byblos, through which papyrus was exported to Greece. From Greek we derive the word tome, which meant a slice or piece and from there began to denote "a roll of papyrus". Tomus was used by the Latins with the same meaning as volumen. Whether made from papyrus, parchment, or paper, scrolls were the dominant form of book in the Hellenistic, Chinese and Macedonian culture
The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, or scientific advances. The will of the Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel established the five Nobel prizes in 1895; the prizes in Chemistry, Peace and Physiology or Medicine were first awarded in 1901. The prizes are regarded as the most prestigious awards available in the fields of chemistry, peace activism and physiology or medicine. In 1968, Sweden's central bank, Sveriges Riksbank, established the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, although not a Nobel Prize, has become informally known as the "Nobel Prize in Economics"; the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Nobel Prize in Physics, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Between 1901 and 2018, the Nobel Prizes were awarded 590 times to 935 organizations. With some receiving the Nobel Prize more than once, this makes a total of 27 organizations and 908 individuals.
The prize ceremonies take place annually in Sweden. Each recipient receives a gold medal, a diploma, a sum of money, decided by the Nobel Foundation. Medals made before 1980 were struck in 23-carat gold, in 18-carat green gold plated with a 24-carat gold coating; the prize is not awarded posthumously. A prize may not be shared among more than three individuals, although the Nobel Peace Prize can be awarded to organizations of more than three people. Alfred Nobel was born on 21 October 1833 in Stockholm, into a family of engineers, he was a chemist and inventor. In 1894, Nobel purchased the Bofors iron and steel mill, which he made into a major armaments manufacturer. Nobel invented ballistite; this invention was a precursor to many smokeless military explosives the British smokeless powder cordite. As a consequence of his patent claims, Nobel was involved in a patent infringement lawsuit over cordite. Nobel amassed a fortune during his lifetime, with most of his wealth coming from his 355 inventions, of which dynamite is the most famous.
In 1888, Nobel was astonished to read his own obituary, titled The merchant of death is dead, in a French newspaper. As it was Alfred's brother Ludvig who had died, the obituary was eight years premature; the article made him apprehensive about how he would be remembered. This inspired him to change his will. On 10 December 1896, Alfred Nobel died in his villa in San Remo, from a cerebral haemorrhage, he was 63 years old. Nobel wrote several wills during his lifetime, he composed the last over a year before he died, signing it at the Swedish–Norwegian Club in Paris on 27 November 1895. To widespread astonishment, Nobel's last will specified that his fortune be used to create a series of prizes for those who confer the "greatest benefit on mankind" in physics, physiology or medicine and peace. Nobel bequeathed 94 % of 31 million SEK, to establish the five Nobel Prizes; because of skepticism surrounding the will, it was not until 26 April 1897 that it was approved by the Storting in Norway. The executors of Nobel's will, Ragnar Sohlman and Rudolf Lilljequist, formed the Nobel Foundation to take care of Nobel's fortune and organised the award of prizes.
Nobel's instructions named a Norwegian Nobel Committee to award the Peace Prize, the members of whom were appointed shortly after the will was approved in April 1897. Soon thereafter, the other prize-awarding organizations were designated; these were Karolinska Institute on 7 June, the Swedish Academy on 9 June, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on 11 June. The Nobel Foundation reached an agreement on guidelines for. In 1905, the personal union between Sweden and Norway was dissolved. According to his will and testament read in Stockholm on 30 December 1896, a foundation established by Alfred Nobel would reward those who serve humanity; the Nobel Prize was funded by Alfred Nobel's personal fortune. According to the official sources, Alfred Nobel bequeathed from the shares 94% of his fortune to the Nobel Foundation that now forms the economic base of the Nobel Prize; the Nobel Foundation was founded as a private organization on 29 June 1900. Its function is to manage the finances and administration of the Nobel Prizes.
In accordance with Nobel's will, the primary task of the Foundation is to manage the fortune Nobel left. Robert and Ludvig Nobel were involved in the oil business in Azerbaijan, according to Swedish historian E. Bargengren, who accessed the Nobel family archives, it was this "decision to allow withdrawal of Alfred's money from Baku that became the decisive factor that enabled the Nobel Prizes to be established". Another important task of the Nobel Foundation is to market the prizes internationally and to oversee informal ad
Wallace Stevens was an American modernist poet. He was born in Reading, educated at Harvard and New York Law School, he spent most of his life working as an executive for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his Collected Poems in 1955. Stevens' first period of writing begins with his 1923 publication of the Harmonium collection, followed by a revised and amended second edition in 1930, his second period occurred in the eleven years preceding the publication of his Transport to Summer, when Stevens had written three volumes of poems including Ideas of Order, The Man with the Blue Guitar, Parts of the World, along with Transport to Summer. His third and final period of writing poems occurred with the publication of The Auroras of Autumn in the early 1950s followed by the release of his Collected Poems in 1954 a year before his death, his best-known poems include The Auroras of Autumn, "Anecdote of the Jar", "Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock", "The Emperor of Ice-Cream", "The Idea of Order at Key West", "Sunday Morning", "The Snow Man", "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird".
Stevens was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1879 into a Lutheran family in the line of John Zeller, his maternal great-grandfather, who had settled in the Susquehanna Valley in 1709 as a religious refugee. The son of a prosperous lawyer, Stevens attended Harvard as a non-degree three-year special student from 1897 to 1900. According to his biographer Milton Bates, Stevens was introduced to the philosopher George Santayana living in Boston at the time and was influenced by Santayana's book Interpretations of Poetry and Religion. Holly Stevens, his daughter, recalled her father's long dedication to Santayana when she posthumously reprinted her father's collected letters in 1977 for Knopf. In one of his early journals, Stevens gave an account of spending an evening with Santayana in early 1900 and sympathizing with Santayana regarding a poor review, published at that time concerning Santayana's Interpretations book. After his Harvard years, Stevens moved to New York City and worked as a journalist.
He attended New York Law School, graduating with a law degree in 1903 following the example of his two other brothers with law degrees. On a trip back to Reading in 1904, Stevens met Elsie Viola Kachel, a young woman who had worked as a saleswoman and stenographer. After a long courtship, he married her in 1909 over the objections of his parents, who considered her poorly educated and lower-class; as The New York Times reported in an article in 2009, "Nobody from his family attended the wedding, Stevens never again visited or spoke to his parents during his father's lifetime." A daughter, was born in 1924. She was baptized Episcopalian and posthumously edited her father's letters and a collection of his poems. In 1913, the Stevenses rented a New York City apartment from sculptor Adolph A. Weinman, who made a bust of Elsie, her striking profile was used on Weinman's 1916–1945 Mercury dime design and for the head of the Walking Liberty Half Dollar. In years, Elsie Stevens began to exhibit symptoms of mental illness and the marriage suffered as a result, but the couple remained married.
In his biography of Stevens, Paul Mariani relates that the couple was estranged, separated by nearly a full decade in age, though living in the same home by the mid-1930s stating, "...there were signs of domestic fracture to consider. From the beginning Stevens, who had not shared a bedroom with his wife for years now, moved into the master bedroom with its attached study on the second floor." Helen Vendler in her study of Stevens indicated that his marriage to a woman with a ninth-grade education was not without concern for Stevens, physically twice the size of his diminutive wife, nearly a full foot shorter in height than her husband and weighed over 100 pounds less than the large framed Stevens. After working in several New York law firms between 1904 and 1907, he was hired in January, 1908, as a lawyer for the American Bonding Company. By 1914 he had become vice-president of the New York office of the Equitable Surety Company of St. Louis, Missouri; when this job was made redundant after a merger in 1916, he joined the home office of Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company and moved to Hartford, where he would remain for the rest of his life.
His career as a businessman-lawyer by day and a poet during his leisure time has received significant attention as summarized in the Thomas Grey book dealing with his insurance executive career. Grey has summarized parts of the responsibilities of Stevens' day-to-day life which involved the evaluation of surety insurance claims by stating: "If Stevens rejected a claim and the company was sued, he would hire a local lawyer to defend the case in the place where it would be tried. Stevens would instruct the outside lawyer through a letter reviewing the facts of the case and setting out the company's substantive legal position. From 1924 to 1932 he resided at 735 Farmington Avenue. In 1932 he purchased a 1920s Colonial at 118 Westerly Terrace where he resided for the remainder of his life. According to his biographer Paul Mariani, Stevens was financially independent as an insurance executive earning by the mid-1930s "$20,000 a year, equivalent to about $350,000 today, and this at time when many Americans were o