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By Benedict Giamo

The Homeless of Ironweed is either a meditation on Kennedy's extraordinary novel and a literary and cultural research. Benedict Giamo's explorations of the social stipulations, cultural meanings, and literary representations of vintage and modern homelessness in the US and in a foreign country tell his figuring out of the literary benefit and social resonance of Ironweed. all through Giamo is still grounded in an in depth studying of the radical. He strikes with nice relevance from Dante to Kenneth Burke, from Sartre to Robert Jay Lifton, to find that means and cost within the lives of Kennedy's characters; by means of extension, with intelligence and compassion, he regards the lives of the homeless who wander via our streets and shefters this present day.

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Extra resources for The homeless of Ironweed: blossoms on the crag

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I hope that in combining the two I will be able to strike a rhythm that moves between being under the novel's sway (within the depths of that "sea so cruel") and leaping above it like a dolphin in momentary flight. In addition to having explored the social conditions and cultural significance of both classic and contemporary homelessness over the past years, I have read and worked with a good deal of literature on the homeless outsider in American life. Without hesitation, Ironweed is the best novel I can think of to capture the existential plight of being on the outskirts.

15 A fine statement to clinch that implicit connection between the realms of order and disorder. Page 16 For Francis, the disorder manifested by the "bum" is projected outward and upward, counterbalancing the Reverend's projection of order to all those below. But Francis and his ilk are outnumbered, and they are constantly put in their place reduced by the handy rhetoric of condemnation. "'You're a bum,'" the good Reverend reminds them (I, 43). Disorder is thus classified, made visible, and renounced in ritual fashion.

Shortly after we began, Vince expressed disappointment. He had expected a book of nonfiction, something with "truth'' value, something that had the stamp of reality impressed upon every page. " Vince remained unconvinced, but in time he came to appreciate the imagined life of the novel and relate themes to his own situation and that of his cohorts. In the end, he preferred the film to the book. ) Page xviii As far as planning is concerned, the educational course of study on homelessness that I began unwittingly in the late 1970s was to come to an end by the summer of 1994.

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