Sonnets from the Patagonian: The Street of Little Hotels
Description Sonnets from the Patagonian: The Street of Little Hotels
Sonnets from The Patagonian is a collection of sonnets and the first work published by the short-lived Claire Marie press. Each sonnet is a portrait of someone Evans knows from the Modernist scene just beginning to coalesce in Greenwich Village, and each portrait is dedicated to a completely different acquaintance. (Evans's portraits of his friend Allen Norton are dedicated to the critic Carl Van Vechten, for instance, and his portraits of himself are dedicated to Allen Norton. His portrait of Carl Van Vechten is dedicated to Gertrude Stein.) What emerges is a clever, irreverent, set of early Modernist in-jokes that look forward to the Dadaist and Surrealist movements that would form in Europe after World War I. Giddy, bizarre and deftly constructed, Sonnets from the Patagonian read like nothing else of its time. Evans owned and managed the Claire Marie press and during the year it existed, he published only six titles, including Tender Buttons by Getrude Stein. It is for Tender Buttons that Claire Marie and Donald Evans are best remembered, if they are remembered at all. While it lasted, the press exerted an outsized influence on the world of Modernist art and literature in New York. Evans was an associate of Stein, Van Vechten, Mabel Luhan Dodge, Walter Conrad Arensberg and Wallace Stevens. He published three more books before his death in 1921, allegedly by suicide. Summary by Wes Freeman.