Rapture and Melancholy: The Diaries of Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St Vincent Millay

Rapture and Melancholy: The Diaries of Edna St. Vincent Millay

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The first publication of Edna St. Vincent Millay's private, intimate diaries, providing "a candid self-portrait of the 'bad girl of American letters'" (Kirkus Reviews)

"Endlessly intriguing and illuminating. The publication of Edna St. Vincent Millay's diaries is a major literary event, providing astonishing insight into the great poet's art and life."--Chloe Honum, author of The Tulip-Flame

The English author Thomas Hardy proclaimed that America had two great attractions: the skyscraper, and the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay. In these diaries the great American poet illuminates not only her literary genius, but her life as a devoted daughter, sister, wife, and public heroine; and finally as a solitary, tragic figure.

This is the first publication of the diaries she kept from adolescence until middle age, between 1907 and 1949, focused on her most productive years. Who was the girl who wrote "Renascence," that marvel of early twentieth-century poetry? What trauma or spiritual journey inspired the poem? And after such celebrity why did she vanish into near seclusion after 1940? These questions hover over the life and work, and trouble biographers and readers alike. Intimate, eloquent, these confessions and keen observations provide the key to understanding Millay's journey from small-town obscurity to world fame, and the tragedy of her demise.

Full Description
Published by: Yale University Press
Pub date: 03/08/2022
Binding type: Hardcover
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780300245684
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  • Description
    The first publication of Edna St. Vincent Millay's private, intimate diaries, providing "a candid self-portrait of the 'bad girl of American letters'" (Kirkus Reviews)

    "Endlessly intriguing and illuminating. The publication of Edna St. Vincent Millay's diaries is a major literary event, providing astonishing insight into the great poet's art and life."--Chloe Honum, author of The Tulip-Flame

    The English author Thomas Hardy proclaimed that America had two great attractions: the skyscraper, and the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay. In these diaries the great American poet illuminates not only her literary genius, but her life as a devoted daughter, sister, wife, and public heroine; and finally as a solitary, tragic figure.

    This is the first publication of the diaries she kept from adolescence until middle age, between 1907 and 1949, focused on her most productive years. Who was the girl who wrote "Renascence," that marvel of early twentieth-century poetry? What trauma or spiritual journey inspired the poem? And after such celebrity why did she vanish into near seclusion after 1940? These questions hover over the life and work, and trouble biographers and readers alike. Intimate, eloquent, these confessions and keen observations provide the key to understanding Millay's journey from small-town obscurity to world fame, and the tragedy of her demise.