According to an often repeated story, Robert Graves, when first meeting Ezra Pound, “plump, hunched, … and ill at ease,” approached T. E Lawrence and asked, “What’s wrong with that man?” Lawrence’s answer: “Pound has spent his life trying to live down a family scandal: he’s Longfellow’s grand-nephew.” Though Lawrence’s claim has since been debunked, the anecdote itself remains relevant: Longfellow’s shadow hovers uneasily behind literary modernism, as a constant embarrassment. Or does it? Send inquiries and abstracts for papers on any aspect of Longfellow’s modernity (or lack thereof) by December 20, 2010 to Christoph Irmscher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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