Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Emily Barton on Catherwood

Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1996
When a wonderful writer writes a essay about a book of mine that is more than twenty years old, well, I am more touched and grateful that I can easily express. It could not have come at a better time--a time when I, like Catherwood, have been wandering in a wilderness, though mine is not the same as hers but more the sort of Hansel and Gretel forest that a writer sometimes wanders when feeling particularly alone in the art.

It's a beautiful essay. Catherwood has (so I have been told) made many people cry, but only once has a piece about the book given me tears.

Thank you, Emily Barton.

Read the essay here, in Post Road Magazine.

8 comments:

  1. I really know that I like Emily Barton.

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    1. Me too! She has offered to write an intro for the reprint...

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  2. Beautiful! You must someday write about how and why you became a writer. I've always been fascinated by those facts-of-life in a writer's life. In other words, we all grow up and choose professions. Very few people choose to become writers. That choice boggles my mind.

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    1. It boggles mine as well, Tim... My mother says she knew that I would be a writer when I was in second grade. Once I said third and she reproved me! Hah.

      Of course, there are many sorts of writers. (If you believe there is such a thing as a call, well, then there's not much choice for those sorts of people. Accept or boil in oil for not accepting. Run away to Joppa and find a ship.)

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  3. Gorgeous. How wonderful to know that across so much time, your mind has met another's. Much deserved.

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    1. Thanks, Robinka. I'm glad she has liked it for so long, and that it has not worn out for her.

      I just put you in the acknowledgments page of a ms.--had so many editors who asked for poems on this one that I stuck in a line thanking them all.

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  4. I'm going to hold off on reading this article until I read the copy of Catherwood I rescued a few months ago from a wonderful and gigantic bookstore in Frederick—but yes, isn't it heartening to know so many years later that a book still lives in the mind and heart of a reader? What a good thing to happen just as Advent begins.

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    1. Yes, and she's a special reader, too.... It was timely in many ways for me.

      I hope you like it, Jeff!

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.