Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The ordeal of faith …

… Review: ‘The Whole Harmonium: The Life of Wallace Stevens’ by Paul Mariani - The Atlantic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… The problem with Stevens as a biographical subject is that, unlike many other modernists, he did not publicize either his religious or his artistic struggles. (On his deathbed, it’s worth noting, he took Communion from a Catholic priest.) If he had lived a more literary existence—if he had written essays, taken part in controversies, joined and quit movements, the way poets like Eliot and Pound so publicly did—then his life would have reflected his thought. But Stevens preferred to keep life and thought basically separate, and until he was elderly—when the honorary degrees and prizes started to roll in—he avoided most of the obligations and occupations of the professional writer. Meanwhile, he never missed the Harvard-Yale game.

No comments:

Post a Comment