Cover image for Published & perished : memoria, eulogies, & remembrances of American writers
Published & perished : memoria, eulogies, & remembrances of American writers
Gilbar, Steven.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : David R. Godine, [2002]

Physical Description:
xi, 223 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS135 .P83 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Here is a selection of well-considered (and often shockingly honest) appraisals of the greatest names in American literature memorialised, eulogised, and sometimes criticised by their dearest friends and their closest peers.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Although E. B. White observed of James Thurber, "Like all good writers, he fashioned his own best obituary notice," it seems unlikely that any writer would allow the oeuvre of a deceased friend or colleague to stand as an epitaph. True enough, the editors of this anthology have unearthed an intriguing collection of remembrances. Some formal, some casual, some candid, some irritatingly opaque, most of these short pieces nonetheless reveal some new, small view of the subject's life or work. Oliver Wendell Holmes reveals of the shy Nathaniel Hawthorne that "talking with him was almost like love-making"; F. Scott Fitzgerald laments that "Ring [Lardner] got less percentage of himself on paper than any other American author of the first flight"; and Diane di Prima says that Allen Ginsberg "told me he was dying and sounded calm and interested." In several instances, eulogists are themselves eulogized later on in the book. Although the size of these morsels limits their ability to nourish, lovers of American literature will find it hard to stop snacking. --Keir Graff

Publisher's Weekly Review

A volume of essays in which famous writers memorialize their dead colleagues could have been horribly dull: after all, the high-flown metaphors and whitewashed remembrances of the eulogy form would hardly seem to make compelling reading. Yet Gilbar and Stewart have circumvented the potential monotony of this genre by unearthing a wonderfully diverse set of essays that offer a variety of unique perspectives on life, death and the immortality that all writers crave. For starters, the table of contents provides fans of literature with a delicious who's who of American letters: Thoreau by Emerson, Twain by Howells, Lardner by Fitzgerald, Wright by Baldwin, Sandburg by Saroyan, Cheever by Bellow. Add to the mix that each writer approaches his or her subject from a specific emotional standpoint-as a friend, a lover, an enemy, a student, a fan-lending each essay a distinct poignancy, while at the same time adding to the larger theme running through the book: the complicated, emotional and immortal relationship that exists between writers and their readers. Particularly noteworthy are Oliver Wendell Holmes's solemn, grandiloquently metaphoric appreciation of Nathaniel Hawthorne; Willa Cather's charming, anecdotal account of her chance meeting with a callow Stephen Crane; and Toni Morrison's reverent, poetic lament over the loss of James Baldwin. Although there are the occasional duds here-essays too formal and abstract to adequately convey a true sense of the dead-the majority of these writings movingly affirm the eternal spirit of these authors, their works and the readers who live on from generation to generation. (Nov. 15) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved