Privileged Moments: Encounters with Writers
Book: Privileged Moments: Encounters with Writers , by Jeffrey Meyers, ISBN10: 0299169405, ISBN13: 9780299169404, University of Wisconsin Press, August 2000, Hardcover
"Meyers takes an intimate look at eight important writers as different from one another as the poets Allen Ginsberg and James Dickey. -Library Journal
"Recommended for all libraries and lovers of literature." -Library Journal
"Delicious. . . . A vigilant guide through a mine field of exacerbated egos and absorbing personalities."-Thomas McGuane, author of The Sporting Club
Author Biography: Jeffrey Meyers is the author of thirty-nine books, including the biographies Orwell; Hemingway; Katherine Mansfield; D. H. Lawrence; Joseph Conrad; Edgar Allan Poe; Scott Fitzgerald; Edmund Wilson; Robert Frost; Bogart: A Life in Hollywood; and Gary Cooper: American Hero. He lives in Berkeley, California.
Biographer and critic Meyers takes an intimate look at eight important writers as different from one another as the poets Allen Ginsberg and James Dickey. Sometimes the details he gives us seem trivial and annoying, such as Ginsberg's thoughts on Lionel Trilling and other "inside" academics. Other revelations are more compelling: Ginsberg is "at once an innocent child and a pity-filled old man." Not just a look at specific writers' lives, this book considers academia as a social institution with its own rules and absurdities. Student evaluations, tenure, the pressure to publish, cutthroat competitiveness, and jealousies--all are addressed in the context of Meyers's relationship with such academic writers as Ed Dorn, and the results are enlightening. Arthur Miller, one of the three living writers selected, says that at 85, he is "pessimistic about the future of books and plays in a world that regards every literary work as an investment, meant to generate cash." He believes that this reflects a "wider lack of a collective memory and a collective culture." We need such wise observations to help us understand the times we live in. Recommended for all libraries and lovers of literature.--Barbara O'Hara, Free Lib. of Philadelphia Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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