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Louis Dudek Biography

(1918–2001), East of the City, The Searching Image, Europe, En Mexico, Atlantis, Continuation 1

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Canadian poet, born in Montreal, Quebec, educated at McGill and Columbia Universities. In 1951 he began teaching at McGill University, where he became Professor of English in 1969. Throughout his career at McGill he initiated various publishing ventures, which include the McGill Poetry series (195666) and the Delta Canada Press (1967). East of the City (1946) was his first collection of verse. The influence of Ezra Pound and Imagism becomes clear in The Searching Image (1952), which establishes exploratory free-verse forms and concentrated visual imagery as essential characteristics of his work. Europe (1954) was the first of his long sequences based on ideas of journeying, which also include En Mexico (1958) and Atlantis (1967); these ambitious poems form richly varied expositions of historical, cultural, and philosophical themes. His later collections include Continuation 1 (1981) and Zembla's Rocks (1986); Cross-Section (1980) is a collected edition of his verse since 1940. Dudek's endeavours as a writer and publisher to establish an indigenous modernist mode make him a figure of considerable importance in post-war Canadian literature. His critical writings include The First Person in Literature (1967) and Technology and Culture (1979). DK—Some Letters of Ezra Pound (1974) is an edition of the correspondence with Pound he began in the late 1940s.

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