Guy Davenport to James Laughlin
I can highly recomend the new collection of letters between Guy Davenport and James Laughlin, published by New Directions, just. It is one in a series of such letters by various writers to Laughlin. Both men are charming and easy, voluble and loquacious. Especially Davenport, who is nicely all over the place. My friend Cathy Henderson of the HRC in Austin appears: "Cathy Henderson has sen me a pebble from Kafka's grave." The various comments by Davenport about various people are hysterical (on Susan Howe: "She has read entriely too much Olson.") He pokes a little fun at Anne Carson too, which is very salutary, given the slight overexposure of said writer. He calls her "St. Anne" and "La Carson." He apparently watercolored a facsimile copy of the Kelmscott Chaucer! He had this to say about originality:
"Printer's ink isn't ever going to duplicate an artist's colors, and color film isn't ever going to get them right. A CD is not a symphony orchestra and the eye has never seen what a camera catches. I've always llived in the something-better-than-nothing compromise." smart.