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Merrill Other Writings

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Merrill Other Writings

Items in the Merrill Other Writings Collection

"Dear Jamie," Alice Toklas wrote Merrill in the mid-1950s, discussing his play The Bait which he had recently sent her, "what fascinates me is the underlying question"—here she corrects herself, "or rather fact," only to correct herself again, "or…

James Merrill&#039;s Narrative Prose
While he earned his literary reputation on the strength of his many works in verse, James Merrill also carried on a long and intimate relationship with the genre of narrative prose. As a reader, he generally preferred novels to poems, and admired,…

The Summer Palace: James Merrill&#039;s Fantastical Wallpaper
In his 1960 introduction to an exhibit catalog on the painter Corot, James Merrill wrote, “The writer will always envy the painter.” This interest in the relationship between literature and the visual arts emerges years later in the poem…

The Occasional Verse
In poems expressed as party invitations, birthday sentiments, holiday wishes, love notes, get-well cards, epithalamia, postcards, and accompaniments to gifts, James Merrill brought verse into everyday life. These occasionals commemorate stilled…

&quot;best not shown too widely&quot;: James Merrill&#039;s Combinatorial Texts
Among the James Merrill papers are numerous pages recording Merrill's attempts to fashion poetic lines from prescribed sets of letters. These combinatorial texts include several anagrams and variations on the names of celebrities, friends, and even…

James Merrill, Playwright
Of James Merrill’s abilities as a playwright, opinions range from the acclaim of Tennessee Williams, who hailed The Bait as a masterpiece, to the almost unanimous contempt of New York theatre critics, who branded The Immortal Husband with…

Spiritual Archive Beneath the Poetic Artifice: A &quot;Double Vision&quot; of James Merrill&#039;s Poetry
In one of his earliest volumes of poetry, Water Street (1962), James Merrill was already inquiring into what would become one his primary poetic projects: the problem of poetic “double vision.” Poetic double vision, or seeing art as both a…

Hans Lodeizen
Hans Lodeizen, a brilliant young Dutch poet, died in 1950—leaving his silhouette and a personalized copy of his first volume of verse in the hands of the twenty-four-year-old James Merrill. The two had become friends four years earlier at…

Table of Contents Introduction Steven Meyer James Merrill's Narrative Prose Garth Hallberg The Summer Palace: James Merrill's Fantastical Wallpaper Ida McCall and Margaret Funkhouser The Occasional Verse Jennifer Kronovet and…

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