In 1948, Robinson Jeffers submitted the manuscript for 'The Double Axe and Other Poems' to Random House. During the months that followed, a controversy arose between Saxe Commins (his editor), Bennett Cerf (president of Random House), and the author, concerning the political nature of poetry. The end result was the deletion of 10 poems, the changing of several others, and the unusual situation of the publication of a book with a disclaimer from the publisher. What troubled Commins and Cerf about the manuscript was that it revealed so much of Jeffers' stark philosophy. In order to illustrate his idea that man is basically inhuman, the poet used well-known contemporaries in negative examples. Post-war America simply was not ready to accept Jeffers' belief that its own leaders were self-seeking and really no better than Hitler or Stalin.'In This Wild Water' is the story of 'The Double Axe.' In addition to chronicling the publication of the book, it includes the correspondence between Jeffers and Random House and offers a close look at each of the deleted poems (never before published) as well as the original versions of the altered poems. It also traces the development of Jeffers' philosophy of inhumanism, with a look at his early life and the events and circumstances that contributed to his ideas.
Politics-Social-Sciences, Politics-Government, Specific-Topics, Censorship,