Hart Crane: After His Lights
by Brian M. Reed
University of Alabama Press. 312 pages, $35.
THE PROJECT of Brian M. Reed’s study of Hart Crane is two-fold: he seeks not only to examine and illuminate the poetry of Hart Crane, but to endorse and revive the practice of literary criticism focused on a single author. Crane’s body of work was spare—he published only two collections of poetry before taking his own life at the age of 32—but by the time of his death his poems had earned the admiration of Allen Tate and Edmund Wilson, among others; and his reputation and influence have only grown in the decades since his death. Reed wants to give Crane his due, and his study is one of the most complete examinations of Crane’s work in more than a decade.