by Elizabeth Bishop
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 35 pp., $16.00 (paper)
by Elizabeth Bishop, edited by Lloyd Schwartz
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 507 pp., $20.00 (paper)
edited by Joelle Biele
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 421 pp., $35.00
Letters selected and edited by Robert Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994
edited by Robert Giroux and Lloyd Schwartz
Library of America, 2008
edited by Alice Quinn
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006
One wishes only to celebrate the twin volumes of Elizabeth Bishop’s poems and prose, published this year to mark the centenary of her birth. Bishop was one of the great artists of the twentieth century; her poems now tower over the landscape alongside those of Eliot and Stevens. It is no exaggeration to say that her poems get larger and stranger and more overwhelming with every reading. But there is a vexing problem that these new editions raise. One might call it the new biographical fallacy, born of this age of too much information.
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