De Casseres, Benjamin (1873–1945) By Stratton, Matthew
Benjamin De Casseres was an American poet, literary and cultural critic, and satirist whose career spanned four decades and two countries. Born in Philadelphia on 3 April 1873, De Casseres left the public school system at thirteen and at sixteen began a lifelong career in journalism. However, he always conceived of himself less as a journalist than as a singularly misunderstood literary and philosophical genius whose full recognition was thwarted by incompetent publishers, cultural devolution, and pervasive imbecility. As a literary and philosophical provocateur and early promoter of the aesthetic avant-garde, he wrote reams of essays and poems for publications ranging from now-forgotten little magazines to national magazines and newspapers.