Hart Crane, by Brom Weber
The best reason for being interested in Hart Crane is that he was a superb lyric poet, one of the most gifted America has produced. But he can also be studied for another reason. Crane supersedes all earlier figures as the most painful symbol of the tragedy of the artist in America. The period of the 20′s simultaneously stimulated and stifled American culture to an exceptional degree, and the higher the potential achievement, the more menacing the environment proved to be. This is well understood in the case of those poets of the period who attempted to save themselves by exile; it is easier to see Crane’s as simply a morbid personal tragedy, without reckoning how much the period contributed to his brief exaltations, confusion, and final total estrangement.
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