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Author Hammer, Langdon, 1958-
Title James Merrill : life and art / Langdon Hammer
Imprint New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2015
book jacket
 Fu Ssu-Nien WTN LANG BK  PS3525.E6645 Z67 2015    AVAILABLE    30530001210111
Edition First edition
Descript xxiv, 913 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, ; 25 cm
Note "This is a Borzoi book"--Ttitle pages verso
"The first biography of one of the most important poets in the second half of the twentieth century, whose life story is unparalleled in its narrative interest. The story of James Merrill (1926-1995) is that of a young man escaping, but inevitably reproducing, the energies and obsessions of glamorous, powerful parents (his father founded Merrill Lynch); of a gay man inventing his identity against a shifting social and sexual backdrop; and of a brilliantly gifted poet testing the redemptive potential of his art. We see how Merrill, freed from having to work for a living, made his life itself a kind of work. After Amherst and a period of adventure in Italy, he returned to the New York art world of the 1950s (he met W. H. Auden, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Larry Rivers) and began publishing his poems, novels, and plays. In 1953, he fell in love with budding writer David Jackson, who remained his companion for forty years while they explored "boys and bars" in Greece and elsewhere. At the same time, they were talking to the spirits of the otherworld using a Ouija board, which became an improbable source of poetic inspiration for Merrill. In his many collections of poetry and the candid letters and diaries that enrich every page of this deliciously readable life, Merrill created a prismatic art of multiple perspectives. Holding that life and art together in a complex, evolving whole, Langdon Hammer illuminates Merrill's "chronicles of love & loss" and the remarkable personal journey they record"-- Provided by publisher
"A biography of the acclaimed poet James Merrill"-- Provided by publisher
Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject Merrill, James, 1926-1995
Poets, American -- 20th century -- Biography
Gay authors -- United States -- Biography
Gay men -- United States -- Biography
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