MuthologosFront Cover

ISBN: 9780889226395 | paperback / softback

$39.95 | 496 pages | Pub. Date: 2010 | Edition # 1
6.00 W × 9.00 H × 1.15 D inches
Non-Fiction | Backlist | Bisac: LIT014000
ISBN 13: 9780889226395 | Rights: WORLD

Muthologos
Lectures and Interviews
By Charles Olson
Edited by Ralph Maud

Charles Olson’s insistence that the public value of any articulation is inseparable from the particulars of the time and place of its origins resulted in the proprioceptive methodology of his composition—in his speech and his writing, in both poetry and prose. Olson did not “lecture”—he “talked.” His encyclopedic knowledge of the subjects that interested him engaged in a manner always as surprising to himself as to his listeners. This element of discovery was to him a true measure of what is authentic in language, and it exhibits itself most in the impromptu exchanges of which Muthologos is mainly composed. Olson once de?ned “Muthologos” as “what is said about what is said,” which encompasses a breadth of discourse that would de?ne the near and far range of where the poet’s mind went in a lifetime’s intent to go places. In this new compilation of Charles Olson’s transcribed lectures and interviews, we ?nally get all of what is preserved of a life of talk, allowing Muthologos to stand, along with The Maximus Poems, Collected Poems, Collected Prose and Selected Letters as one of the “standard texts” of this great poet’s oeuvre.

Ralph Maud’s second edition of Muthologos, some thirty years after George Butterick’s ?rst, adds several new items: “At Goddard College, April 1962”; a second Vancouver 1963 discussion, “Duende, Muse, and Angel”; a short addition to the “BBC Interview”; a second “On Black Mountain”; and a further hour of Olson’s conversation with Herb Kenny. In addition, all the available tapes of these talks and interviews have been listened to again, and many of their previous transcription errors have been corrected. Textual notes to each piece identify these corrections, and also reveal the provenance of the tapes and the particular way in which each transcription was created.

“Maud depicts [Olson] functioning remarkably as a public poet, a poet thinking on his feet, and being absolutely delightful.”
Pacific Rim Review of Books

“By re-inserting, and supplementing, the tape-recorded era of Olson’s poetic life, Ralph Maud continues to sustain this material as consequential and amazing.”
Fred Wah

By Charles Olson

Charles Olson (1910–1970) was a giant of a man in physical stature, critical and intellectual range, and imaginative power. His masterwork, The Maximus Poems, stands beside Ezra Pound’s The Cantos as one of the two great American long poems of the twentieth century – indeed, it can be seen as a democratic and relativist response to Pound’s absolutist manifesto. Olson’s boundless energy, penetrating curiosity, and limitless dedication to his craft made him and his work the syncretic centre of the evolving discourse of mid-twentieth century poetics in English.

Read more about Charles Olson


Edited by Ralph Maud

Ralph Maud (1928–2014) was the author of a number of books on Charles Olsen as well as the editor of a number of books on Dylan Thomas. He was also a noted ethnographer and editor of ethnographic books. Maud was a professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Read more about Ralph Maud


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