Biography Delmore Schwartz
- Time Period1913 - 1966
- PlaceNew York
- CountryUnited States
Delmore Schwartz was born December 8, 1913, in Brooklyn to Romanian immigrant parents. Their marriage however failed and this affected him all his life.
Inspite of his unhappy and unsettled childhood though he was was a gifted and intellectual young student. He enrolled early at Columbia University, and also studied at the University of Wisconsin, eventually receiving his bachelor's degree in 1935 in philosophy from New York University.
In 1936 he won the Bowdoin Prize in the Humanities for his essay Poetry as Imitation. In 1937 his short story In Dreams Begin Responsibilities was published in Partisan Review a left wing magazine.The following year his first book-length work, also titled In Dreams Begin Responsibilities was published and received much praise.
He never finished his advanced degree in philosophy at Harvard, but was hired as the Briggs-Copeland Lecturer, and later given an Assistant Professorship.
In 1947 Schwartz ended his twelve-year association with Harvard and returned to New York City. His book of short stories The World is a Wedding was published the following year. Time compared Schwartz to Stendhal and Anton Chekhov. By this same time his work was widely anthologized. He was publishing critical essays on other important literary figures and cultural topics, and was the poetry editor at Partisan Review, and later also at New Republic.
He took on a number of teaching positions at Bennington College, Kenyon College, Princeton University, the writer's colony Yaddo, and at Syracuse University.
In 1960 Schwartz became the youngest poet ever to win the Bollingen Prize. His friend Saul Bellow wrote a semi-fictional memoir about Schwartz called Humboldt's Gift, which won the Pulitzer Prize.
In the summer of 1966 Schwartz checked into the Times Squares hotel, to focus on his writing. He worked continuously but on July 11 he got a heart attack in the lobby of the hotel.