Wallace Stevens: The Later Years, 1923-1955 Summary

Joan Richardson


Through her two-volume of Wallace Stevens’ works, Joan Richardson has pursued three aims: to provide a psychobiography of the author, to write a history of the United States between 1879 and 1955 as reflected in Stevens’ life and writings, and to analyze Stevens’ often difficult poetry. Because Stevens came late to poetry--he did not publish anything until he was thirty-five, and his first book did not appear for almost another decade--the first volume of Richardson’s biography (published in 1986) concentrates on the first two purposes. While this second volume continues to treat Stevens’ family difficulties and his relationship to his era, the poet’s work fittingly receives far more attention.


(The entire section is 298 words.)