[MGSA-L] James Merrill and Greece

Syrimis, George george.syrimis at yale.edu
Sat Apr 18 09:01:16 PDT 2015

Very true, George. I noticed it too but clearly, for the NYT reviewer anyway, Merrill's sexual life and STD were more important…He was after all a gay man.

From: George Baloglou <gbaloglou at gmail.com<mailto:gbaloglou at gmail.com>>
Date: Saturday, April 18, 2015 10:36 AM
To: "Allen, Peter S." <PAllen at ric.edu<mailto:PAllen at ric.edu>>
Cc: Syrimis <george.syrimis at yale.edu<mailto:george.syrimis at yale.edu>>, MGSA List <MGSA-L at uci.edu<mailto:MGSA-L at uci.edu>>
Subject: Re: [MGSA-L] James Merrill and Greece

Interestingly, both reviewers fail to mention Greece and/or the Greeks, despite "a quarter of the book being devoted to Merrill's rich and life-long relation to Greece and to his relationships with Greeks"!

[To be precise, there is momentary reference to a house Merrill owned in Athens (first review) and to Kimon Friar's Greek origins (second review).]

On Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 6:09 AM, Allen, Peter S. <PAllen at ric.edu<mailto:PAllen at ric.edu>> wrote:

And a good review of the book in the NYT April 15.

Peter Allen
From: Syrimis, George [george.syrimis at yale.edu<mailto:george.syrimis at yale.edu>]
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 11:34 AM
To: MGSA List
Subject: [MGSA-L] James Merrill and Greece

List members with an interest in literature and cultural history may be interested to know that a new biography of James Merrill has just come out. The author, Lanny Hammer, is Yale colleague and a staunch supporter of Hellenic studies on campus.

A quarter of the book is devoted to Merrill's rich and life-long relation to Greece and to his relationships with Greeks. Kimon Friar had introduced Merrill to Greece and accompanied him on his first trip to the country. Unlike most 20th century Americans, Merrill all but ignores the classical tradition in favor of the contemporary Greece and its colloquial language and culture. An invaluable contribution to students and scholars of comparative literature. If anyone is interested for campus talks, I can bring you into contact with the author. We have taught together twice a course on Anglo-American and Greek authors and Lanny's knowledge of Greek literature is admirable.


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