The Beauty of Living: E. E. Cummings in the Great War Audiobook, by J. Alison Rosenblitt Play Audiobook Sample

The Beauty of Living: E. E. Cummings in the Great War Audiobook

The Beauty of Living: E. E. Cummings in the Great War Audiobook, by J. Alison Rosenblitt Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: David Colacci Publisher: Highbridge Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 6.67 hours at 1.5x Speed 5.00 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: August 2020 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781684579839

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

43:59 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

09:22 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

22:19 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Publisher Description

Intimate and richly detailed, The Beauty of Living begins with E. E. Cummings's Cambridge upbringing and his relationship with his socially progressive but domestically domineering father. It follows Cummings through his undergraduate experience at Harvard, where he fell into a circle of aspiring writers including John Dos Passos, who became a lifelong friend. Steeped in classical paganism and literary Decadence, Cummings and his friends rode the explosion of Cubism, Futurism, Imagism, and other "modern" movements in the arts. As the United States prepared to enter World War I, Cummings volunteered as an ambulance driver, shipped out to Paris, and met his first love, Marie Louise Lallemand, who was working in Paris as a prostitute. Soon after reaching the front, however, he was unjustly imprisoned in a brutal French detention center at La Ferté-Macé. Through this confrontation with arbitrary and sadistic authority, he found the courage to listen to his own voice.

Probing an underexamined yet formative time in the poet's life, this deeply researched account illuminates his ideas about love, justice, humanity, and brutality. J. Alison Rosenblitt weaves together letters and journal entries with astute analyses of poems that span Cummings's career, revealing the origins of one of the twentieth century's most famous poets.

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“A perceptive, captivating portrait…Besides insightful analyses of Cummings’s poetry, Rosenblitt presents him as an accomplished artist…A graceful, sympathetic biography of an innovative American poet.”

— Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 


  • “With grace and intelligence, Rosenblitt brings the worlds of Harvard, Cambridge, and ‘the Front’ to vivid life…The brilliance of this work may reestablish his place as a poet of towering importance.”

    — Library Journal (starred review)
  • “Incisive…[Rosenblitt’s] richest observations concern Cummings’s psychological motivations…[An] illuminating look at how Cummings acquired his ‘fearlessness’ as a writer.”

    — Publishers Weekly


  • A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week
  • A New York Times pick of Best Books Now in Paperback

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About J. Alison Rosenblitt

J. Alison Rosenblitt is the author of The Beauty of Living: E. E. Cummings in the Great War and E. E. Cummings' Modernism and the Classics: Each Imperishable Stanza. She is the director of studies in classics at Regent's Park College, University of Oxford.

About David Colacci

David Colacci is an actor and director who has directed and performed in prominent theaters nationwide. His credits include roles from Shakespeare to Albee, as well as extensive work on new plays. As a narrator, he has won numerous Earphones Awards, earned Audie Award nominations, and been included in Best Audio of the Year lists by such publications as Publishers Weekly, AudioFile magazine, and Library Journal. He was a resident actor and director with the Cleveland Play House for eight years and has been artistic director of the Hope Summer Rep Theater since 1992.