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Two Americas and a Scotland

Nicholas Everett, 27 September 1990

Collected Poems, 1937-1971 
by John Berryman, edited by Charles Thornbury.
Faber, 348 pp., £17.50, February 1990, 0 571 14317 2
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The Dream Songs 
by John Berryman.
Faber, 427 pp., £17.50, February 1990, 0 571 14318 0
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Poems 1959-1979 
by Frederick Seidel.
Knopf, 112 pp., $19.95, November 1989, 0 394 58021 4
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These Days 
by Frederick Seidel.
Knopf, 50 pp., $18.95, October 1989, 0 394 58022 2
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A Scottish Assembly 
by Robert Crawford.
Chatto, 64 pp., £5.99, April 1990, 0 7011 3595 6
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... own experience for the first time; throughout his life, writing and reading apart, teaching – at Wayne State, Harvard, Princeton and, from 1954, Minneapolis – was the activity into which he threw most of his energy. ‘A poet is a man speaking to men’: But I am then a poet, am I not? – Ha ha. The radiator, please. Well, what? Alive now – no ...

I had no imagination

Christian Lorentzen: Gerald Murnane, 4 April 2019

Tamarisk Row 
by Gerald Murnane.
And Other Stories, 281 pp., £10, February 2019, 978 1 911508 36 6
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Border Districts 
by Gerald Murnane.
And Other Stories, 144 pp., £8.99, January 2019, 978 1 911508 38 0
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... as in other books of his middle phase, first-person narration predominates. Murnane subscribes to Wayne Booth’s concept of the implied author – the person the reader imagines to be behind the work. ‘The ghostly outline of this personage has arisen in my mind,’ Murnane writes, ‘as a result of my having read certain details in the text.’ Since ...

Just Two Clicks

Jonathan Raban: The Virtual Life of Neil Entwistle, 14 August 2008

... Chevrolet (and this was the season of Don McLean singing ‘American Pie’), my first phone booth, my first cocktail in the bar of a three-dimensional Howard Johnson’s, my first freeway exit, my first white-shingled house with picket fence. Living the movie, I was in that peculiar no man’s land, half-fact, half-fiction, where I remained for ...

The Excursions

Andrew O’Hagan, 16 June 2011

... Yeats and had the odd experience of Seamus talking between us as well as on a screen cocooned in a booth. Afterwards we walked under the fading sign high on a gable-end for Finn’s Hotel, where Nora Barnacle was working when Joyce first met her. There was a nice wind brewing and Seamus was struggling against it. He said: ‘My father used to say to us in the ...

Fiction and E.M. Forster

Frank Kermode: At the Cost of Life, 10 May 2007

... of a more modern Anglophone way of talking about these formal questions can be dated to 1961 and Wayne Booth’s The Rhetoric of Fiction. Booth has much to say about point of view, but, genially moralistic, declines to deprive the author, or his lay figure the Implied Author, of responsibility for the moral ...

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