The Enormous Room (Dover Thrift Editions)

The Enormous Room (Dover Thrift Editions)

E.E. Cummings

Language: English

Pages: 208

ISBN: 0486421201

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


One of the most important and popular American poets of the 20th century, e. e. cummings is best known for his brilliant and innovative verse and its distinctive lack of uppercase letters and conventional grammar. He was also a Cubist painter and a World War I veteran. At the age of 23, he abandoned his artistic pursuits for voluntary service as an ambulance driver in France. His military career culminated in a comedy of errors leading to his arrest and imprisonment for treason, as he memorably recounts in The Enormous Room. Cummings transforms a tale of unjust incarceration into a high-energy romp and a celebration of the indomitable human spirit that ranks with the best of its contemporaries, including the works of Hemingway and Dos Passos. This edition restores a significant amount of material deleted from the book's initial publication in 1922.

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suggestion; it shall be done immediately; yes indeed. Do let me show you the—it’s just outside—’ and he bowed them out with no little skill. And the door SLAMMED behind Apollyon and the Three Wise Men. This, as I say, must have occurred toward the last of November. For a week we waited. Jan had already left us. Fritz, having waited months for a letter from the Danish consul in reply to the letters which he, Fritz, wrote every so often and sent through le bureau—meaning the secrétaire —had

grey box at random certain (to me) more or less astonishing toys; which may or may not please the reader, but whose colours and shapes and textures are a part of that actual Present—without future and past—whereof they alone are cognizant who, so to speak, have submitted to an amputation of the world. I have already stated that La Ferté was a Porte de Triage—that is to say, a place where suspects of all varieties were herded by le gouvernement français preparatory to their being judged as to

and jerkily related how only the day before he had repulsed the painfully obvious solicitations of a Madame Potiphar by turning his back, like a good Christian, upon temptation and marching out of the room, broom tightly clutched in virtuous hands. ‘M’sieu Jean’ (meaning myself) ‘savez-vous’—with a terrific gesture which consisted in snapping his thumbnail between his teeth—‘ÇA PUE!’ Then he added: ‘And what would my wife say to me, if I came home to her and presented her with that which this

visit to La Ferté, I had innocently supposed that in referring to women as ‘the weaker sex’ a man was strictly within his rights. La Ferté, if it did nothing else for my intelligence, rid it of this over-powering error. I recall, for example, a period of sixteen days and nights spent (during my stay) by the woman Lena in the cabinot. It was either toward the latter part of October or the early part of November that this occurred, I will not be sure which. The dampness of the autumn was as

a half-hour’s intensive conversation. So far as directness, accuracy and speed are concerned, between the method of language and the method of The Zulu there was not the slightest comparison. Not long after The Zulu arrived I witnessed a mystery: it was toward the second Soupe, and B. and I were proceeding (our spoons in our hands) in the direction of the door, when beside us suddenly appeared The Zulu—who took us by the shoulders gently and (after carefully looking about him) produced from, as

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