Heaney on Yeats, more

From Seamus Heaney’s review of a new Yeats biography:

Decades before, when he married Susan Pollexfen, their father had boasted with typical Yeatsian extravagance that by marriage into that notably taciturn family he had given a voice to the sea-cliffs. And the boast would be made good by WBY, as the arch-poet would eventually become known, a poet so incontestably eloquent in verse and prose, in conversation and controversy that even in Ireland he survives not so much in the affections as in the general arsenal of indispensable quotations: “Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold”, “A terrible beauty is born”, “You have disgraced yourselves again”, “We are no petty people”, “Cast a cold eye/On life, on death”.

The BBC has the audio of a 1936 Yeats lecture online.

Arthur Miller is venerated abroad, but ignored at home, a new biography reportedly argues. I’m not so sure. Miller’s Death of a Salesman was required reading at my high school; The Crucible was standard survey course fare when I was in college.

Karel Capek once said that Americans “seemed more interested in the size of things than in the soul of things.” His 1938 obituary is online.

Here’s a recent Fresh Air interview with Jonathan Lethem.


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