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Joyce Carol Oates’ Literary Look at Ted Kennedy

9780446539258_94X145.jpgAs public figures remember Senator Edward M. Kennedy, his love of poetry and literature has surfaced in tributes.

In a probing essay for the Guardian, prolific author Joyce Carol Oates used classic literary works by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Joseph Conrad to measure Kennedy’s reputation. It is an tough portrait of the Senator and an exploration of public redemption in America.

Here’s an excerpt from the essay: “One is led to think of Tom and Daisy Buchanan of Fitzgerald’s the ‘Great Gatsby,’ rich individuals accustomed to behaving carelessly and allowing others to clean up after them … The poet John Berryman once wondered: ‘Is wickedness soluble in art?.’ One might rephrase, in a vocabulary more suitable for our politicized era: ‘Is wickedness soluble in good deeds?’” (Via The Awl)

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