R.W. Flint translated, edited, and introduced The Selected Works of Cesare Pavese in 1968 and Marinetti: Selected Writings in 1971. He has contributed interviews, essays, translations, and reviews on Italian writers to various journals including Parnassus, Canto, and The Italian Quarterly. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Magician

No one should be surprised that a true estimate of England’s great poet of Evolution—the nineteenth-century master in English of the pathos of time and distance—should have been so long evolving. Compared with the work of his friend Edward FitzGerald, a tidy, lifelong devotion to a single poem, Tennyson’s was …

Ah! Wilderness

Mr. Hoagland’s account of his trip in June and July of 1966 to northwestern British Columbia is one of the most interesting, revealing and delightful travel books I have read. “I walk around and around the experience with my questions, but can’t dislodge it from its naturalness. They made berry …

Novels, Italian Style

Why shouldn’t the first serious bilingual novels about the international high life of post-war Italy be written by a Venetian aristocrat teaching comparative literature at U.C.L.A.? It seems eminently reasonable. Italophilia of recent decades has had an endearingly promiscuous quality—owing in varying degrees to the glamor of international chic, the …

Arabian Days

Do we need another poetic appreciation of the Arabs by an eccentric Englishman when the French Canadians are crying for justice, when Rhodesia and South Africa are what they are? The answer, I think, is that we do. Wilfred Thesiger’s extreme eccentricity more or less prevents him from writing a …

Outside the Whale

American whalemen never said harpoon, but toggle-iron, never “There she blows”—because how can you tell a whale’s sex from a spout on the horizon?—but “there blows” or just “Blo-o-ows.” These things mattered. The chief vices of seafaring literature in the great days of sail were melodrama and verbosity, to feed …

Robert Frost’s Letters

The acceleration of the engines of publicity and bibliography that have given us this extremely good selection of 466 letters (out of some 1500 examined by the editor) by and about Robert Frost less than a year after his death should be enough to confound anyone who thinks that Frost …

Recent Poetry: Three American Poets

The reviewing of poetry, even at its plainest, especially at its plainest, has become one of the more exotic forms of human discourse. The cynical may attribute this to the noble bluff of a solipsist analyzing a hall of mirrors for the entertainment of an echo-chamber. But the death of …

The Harrowing of Hell

The more New York becomes a problem to itself the less good old self-sufficient exuberance can be expected from novels that restrict themselves to the city. Which is no less true of its art. The more seemingly naive a work by Johns or Rauschenberg the longer and subtler a commentary …

Dahlberg’s Wisdom

Edward Dahlberg is one of the shrewdest, most rugged and interesting “failures” in American letters. One might almost say that in publishing his new autobiography, Because I was Flesh, at a vigorous sixty-four, Dahlberg had exhausted the possibilities of failure in our time, the rhetorical possibilities anyway. Nothing much left …

Rhapsody In Blue

Conrad Aiken is one of the Saturnians, the giants who bring their golden ages with them, who are consequently, in their venerable years, always being hailed as the last of the last, the last true Bostonian, the last full-scale man of letters. Graham Greene calls him “perhaps the most exciting, …

The Cape

Most habitués of Cape Cod and many readers of “nature books” know The Outermost House by Henry Beston, the record of a year spent on Nauset Beach near Eastham. Without wishing to lessen anyone’s pleasure in that good book. I want to recommend two Cape Cod books by John Hay, …

This Happy Breed

How can one discuss relatively minor Ford like The Fifth Queen without beating the drum a little for the major books which ought by now to be as well known as Ulysses or The Sun Also Rises? Allen Tate made some important points about The Good Soldier last spring in …

Cosmic Comics

This is a queer trio of books, damned if it’s not, two jolly fellows and would-be Fieldings down with the cultural mumps and Kerouac, well…more like Kerouac than would seem possible. Donleavy and Gover were obviously plagued by acute cases of the Problem of the Second Novel. Our appetite for …

Upbeat

The jacket of The Island speaks of it as “Robert Creeley’s long-awaited first novel,” by which I suppose the publishers mean themselves and Creeley’s friends, because it was by no means obvious from his extremely laconic poetry that he had it in him to write as sustained, coherent, and generally …

Poetry

A character in one of Howard Nemerov’s new verse plays makes the observation: “Living in time has warmth and decency. It’s like a sheep-lined coat in a cold night.” Certainly Nemerov has done extraordinarily well in six books of verse, by devious ways and direct, in celebrating this warmth and …