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The Numinous Moose

Helen Vendler, 11 March 1993

Elizabeth Bishop: Life and the Memory of It 
by Brett Millier.
California, 602 pp., £18.50, April 1993, 0 520 07978 7
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... with Thackeray, the Brownings with each other – and now, somewhere, we might add, Bishop with Moore and Lowell. It eliminates nothing that literature confronts – ‘deaths, deaths and sicknesses’, all the flowing and flown knowledge – but it represents it as an assuaging continuum of ‘things cleared up finally’, expressed in ‘A sharp, indrawn ...

Malfunctioning Sex Robot

Patricia Lockwood: Updike Redux, 10 October 2019

Novels, 1959-65: ‘The Poorhouse Fair’; ‘Rabbit, Run’; ‘The Centaur’; ‘Of the Farm’ 
by John Updike.
Library of America, 850 pp., £36, November 2018, 978 1 59853 581 5
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... forbade him – we are less undefended now than in his day. Too bad. I could have told him that Lorrie Moore once lingered so long over these pages that they gave her a papercut. It’s still a good story, I ought to have said. ‘Naturals know. It’s all in how it feels,’ Updike writes in Rabbit, Run. ‘It seemed silly for the crowd to applaud or ...

The South

Colm Tóibín, 4 August 1994

One Art: The Selected Letters of Elizabeth Bishop 
Chatto, 668 pp., £25, April 1994, 0 7011 6195 7Show More
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... phrases, are quoted in Brett Millier’s biography, in David Kalstone’s Becoming a Poet and in Lorrie Goldensohn’s Elizabeth Bishop: The Biography of a Poetry. ‘What one seems to want in art, in experiencing it, is the same thing that is necessary for its creation, a self-forgetful, perfectly useless concentration,’ she wrote; or ‘I have a vague ...

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