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The Alvarez GenerationThom Gunn, Geoffrey Hill, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Peter Porter$
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William Wootten

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789627947

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789627947.001.0001

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First Reactions: The Review Debate and the Initial Response to The New Poetry

First Reactions: The Review Debate and the Initial Response to The New Poetry

(p.91) Chapter Seven First Reactions: The Review Debate and the Initial Response to The New Poetry
The Alvarez Generation

William Wootten

Liverpool University Press

This chapter considers the debate between A. Alvarez and Donald Davie published in the April/May 1962 issue of poetry magazine The Review. The debate aired some of the more significant thoughts and positions that Davie and Alvarez would develop in opposition to one another over the coming years, albeit in ways that are yet to be fully formed. At the same time, Alvarez and Davie agreed far more than one might expect. The debate also cast Alvarez as the practical man who would go beyond the fiddle of poetry, and Davie as the craftsman and aesthete. Yet it is Alvarez who asks far more of poetry. The remainder of the chapter describes how the debate between Davie and Alvarez differs from a more frequently iterated debate between the Movement and its opposition as well as the the high-profile discussions spawned by the debate.

Keywords:   A. Alvarez, Donald Davie, The Review, poetry, magazine, debates, poems, poets

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