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Just the Thing: Selected Letters of James Schuyler Paperback – September 10, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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"If literatures most basic purpose is to give pleasure, then Schuylers letters are indeed literature." -- Rain Taxi
"The glimpses afforded here of [Fairfield Porter] have a special immediacy and pungency." -- The New Republic, December 13, 2004
"The winsome selection of Schuylers correspondence edited by poet William Corbett" -- Bookforum, Dec/Jan 2005
"Witty, graceful, sophisticated, but also gossipy informative, curious, occasionally waspish, intrigued and intriguing, full of amusing anecdotes " -- Mark Ford -- The New York Review, November 17, 2005
Top Customer Reviews
I like to read literary persons' (mostly homosexuals') diaries, memoirs, letters, as well as biographies. But a poet of the New York School is not truly appropriate for me because I don't read poetry. And all the New York Schools of this and that, I view as indubitable cornerstones of the nation's arts beginning in the 1950s, but the thought remains: How much of this stuff is really any good, considering that in democratic America every man and woman has the vote and the talent? Who reads it in Britain, Canada, and Australia?
The book has 450 pages of letters and 887, yes 887, footnotes, blessedly succinct. This proliferation of footnotes arises from the fact that Jimmy loved to read all kinds of obscure books, even horticulture. Too, he plows up so many poets, artists, minor publishers, movies, records, etc. The book has a glossary comprising the names of two dozen of his chief correspondents plus explanatory paragraphs.
Of the NY School of Poets, O'Hara, Ashbery, and Koch were Harvard grads. Schuyler (1923-1991) was less fortunate. His parents divorced when he was six. His mother remarried when he was eight, and then had another son. His stepfather, reacting to Jimmy's homosexual aura and obsessive book reading, even tried to thwart the boy's getting a library card.Read more ›