Awful but cheerful, cheerful and awful

Just when I was about to cancel my Sunday subscription to the Los Angeles Times, they go and print a terrific Book Review, including this long piece on James Merrill. (I swear I hadn't seen it before I blogged "The Victor Dog"!) Merrill quote I enjoy: "I believe the secret lies primarily in the nature of poetry — and of science too, for that matter — and that the ability to see both ways at once isn't merely an idiosyncrasy but corresponds to how the world needs to be seen: cheerful and awful, opaque and transparent. The plus and minus of a vast, evolving formula."

"Cheerful and awful," of course, is a shout out to this Elizabeth Bishop poem. But you probably knew that.

Also, while talking litrachur, I have decided to concieve a prejudice against Annie Proulx on the basis of this. It turns out Los Angeles sucks because they won't let you use the bathroom if you get to go to the Oscars.

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