Cover image for Conversations with Robert Graves
Title:
Conversations with Robert Graves
Author:
Graves, Robert, 1895-1985.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, [1989]

©1989
Physical Description:
xvii, 183 pages : portrait ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780878054138

9780878054145
Format :
Book

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PR6013.R35 Z464 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Though he lived most of his life in the remote village of Deya on the island of Mallorca, Robert Graves (1895--1985) was conversant with the most important issues of this century and was acquainted with many of the most powerful people. Jorge Luis Borges called him "a soul above." Graves wrote almost restlessly on subjects of great diversity: myths of the Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, and Celts; modern science and economics; contemporary society and culture as well as of ancient Greece and Rome, of Celtic Wales and Ireland, of the time of Milton, and of the American Revolution.

He was a poet of great fame, a celebrated writer of historical novels, and the man who imprinted the name and identity of the White Goddess upon the cultural language. His translations of Latin classics have been applauded; his recastings of Biblical and Persian texts attracted irascible attention from scholars.

Throughout his long and productive life, whether he was talking with Virginia Woolf, Peter Quenell, Jorge Luis Borges, Alan Sillitoe, Edwin Newman, or Gina Lollobrigida, the voice of Graves remained clear and distinct--attracting and repelling a variety of interviewers with its surety. His Books-

Goodbye to All That; The White Goddess; I, Claudius; and King Jesus -preserve his literary art. The conversations in this collection keep alive his presence and passion.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ah, what lives they led, those English bohemian and expatriate writers: traveling in seasonal cycles like medieval royalty, villas and pads in romantic settings surrounded by worshipful locals, university appointments without campus politics, love lives worth gossiping about, lifelong friends also destined for biography. Sure there was heartache and hard times, but these days how ideal it all seems and what wise choices they made. Auden's choices are outlined synoptically in five chapters of Johnson's biography, with the vernacular, occasionally spiritual, socially conscious, and Freudian poet-playwright-librettist's 66 years covered in some 50 pages. Readers searching for a full-blooded, psychologically and morally complex biography will turn elsewhere; but for those who want an introduction to the life or a summary and traditional interpretation of the writing, this succinct work is made to order. The Graves book falls between the slats of biography's genres. It is something of a primary source, a compilation of brief (most of them fewer than 10 pages) interviews with the exemplary autobiographer, ubiquitously anthologized poet--"halfbaked, stammering stuttering" he was judged by Virginia Woolf after their first meeting--historical novelist, and controversial mythographer. Most of them are by writers and liberated spirits (Alan Sillitoe and Playboy, not surprisingly, but Gina Lollobrigida, too) who visited him in Mallorca, where he lived at the suggestion of Gertrude Stein. The diversity of viewpoints here is admirably opinionated and will complement more traditional biographies of Graves. --Roland Wulbert


Booklist Review

Ah, what lives they led, those English bohemian and expatriate writers: traveling in seasonal cycles like medieval royalty, villas and pads in romantic settings surrounded by worshipful locals, university appointments without campus politics, love lives worth gossiping about, lifelong friends also destined for biography. Sure there was heartache and hard times, but these days how ideal it all seems and what wise choices they made. Auden's choices are outlined synoptically in five chapters of Johnson's biography, with the vernacular, occasionally spiritual, socially conscious, and Freudian poet-playwright-librettist's 66 years covered in some 50 pages. Readers searching for a full-blooded, psychologically and morally complex biography will turn elsewhere; but for those who want an introduction to the life or a summary and traditional interpretation of the writing, this succinct work is made to order. The Graves book falls between the slats of biography's genres. It is something of a primary source, a compilation of brief (most of them fewer than 10 pages) interviews with the exemplary autobiographer, ubiquitously anthologized poet--"halfbaked, stammering stuttering" he was judged by Virginia Woolf after their first meeting--historical novelist, and controversial mythographer. Most of them are by writers and liberated spirits (Alan Sillitoe and Playboy, not surprisingly, but Gina Lollobrigida, too) who visited him in Mallorca, where he lived at the suggestion of Gertrude Stein. The diversity of viewpoints here is admirably opinionated and will complement more traditional biographies of Graves. --Roland Wulbert