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Posts Tagged ‘John Berryman’

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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Can Sobriety Change a Writing Career?

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When poet John Berryman, short story master Raymond Carver, and novelist John Cheever (pictured, via his recent biography) quit drinking, the effects of sobriety were profound.

Author and Daily Beast contributor Tom Shone published an Intelligent Life essay about what happened to the work of alcoholic writers when they stopped drinking. For too many writers, drinking and writing are intertwined–his essay takes a look at this fundamental myth.

Here’s an excerpt from the article: “[S]obering up is one of the more devastating acts of literary criticism an author can face. John Cheever‘s alcohol counsellors noted: ‘He dislikes seeing self negatively and seems to have internalised many rather imperious upper-class Boston attitudes which he ridicules and embraces at the same time’–which must rank among the sternest reviews he ever got.” (Via The Daily Beast)