Tuesday, November 5, 2019

slovenly and grand

"Like Von Humboldt Fleisher of Saul Bellow's fictional portrait, Delmore in 1939 was 'slovenly and grand,' his ample hair swept back, 'his face with widely separated eyes white and tense.' Cosmopolitan, radical, at home with Rilke, Trotsky, Pound, he was the very embodiment of the New York intelligentsia. Declaiming in what [Alfred] Kazin described as 'gulps of argument,' Delmore transformed Greenwich Village in his talk from a province into cultural capital, importing ideas from the whole European tradition and adapting them to the sprawl and chaos of contemporary America."

~~ from James Atlas's Delmore Schwartz: The Life of an American Poet

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