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« "Grafitti" [by Lisa Gorton] | Main | From a work in progress [by Mitch Sisskind] »

September 07, 2022



I love Trilling too, in spite of any valid shortcomings in his thought pointed out by later commentators (for instance, Helen Vendler's critique of his treatment of Wordsworth's Immortality Ode").

He was at the center of my grad school lit/crit training and the depth & breadth of his scholarship still seems damned impressive to me. A clutch of his books occupies a space on my shelves marked MASTER.


Thank you for weighing in, Ken. I prefer Trilling's reading of Wordsworth -- it is a beautiful use of one poem ("Resoilution and Independence") to help explain another ("the Immortality ode"). Lionel was so steeped in Wordsworth's life and worg that I trust his literary instinct here. He seldom wrote practical criticsm, so this essay is an excepiton, and revealing one. Vendler's readings of poets are sometimes very good and sometimes disappointing.
I was Lionel's second to last research assistant - in 1973-74, a year before he died.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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