Thursday, May 12, 2022

Ah, fame …

… How Fame Fed on Edna St. Vincent Millay | The New Yorker. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

During the nineteen-tens and twenties, Millay achieved the kind of fame that was unusual for a poet then and unthinkable now. Before the age of the movie star, she became America’s first starlet. Her books of poems sold out their print runs. She wrote feverishly, working on short stories, plays, a libretto, a novel. She was photographed and interviewed; she was invited to lecture; she won the Pulitzer Prize and became rich. When she published the sonnet sequence “Fatal Interview” (1931), which was inspired by an affair with the much younger poet George Dillon, it sold fifty thousand copies, Great Depression be damned.

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