Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Elizabeth Hardwick, 91, Gotham Literary Icon

, who died Lord'S Day in at 91, traveled in 1941 to New House Of House Of York from her native Bluegrass State to analyze at . She stayed on to compose novels and essays, then helped construct a memorial to the city's intellectual ferment, the New York Reappraisal of Books.

"She was the scruples of the New House Of York Reappraisal and the paper will not be the same without her," the Review's editor, Henry Martin Robert Silvers, said in a statement yesterday.

As a critical member of the post-World War two New House Of York literary scene, she achieved her top celebrity as a literary litterateur of wit, breadth, and clarity. In an early essay, "The Decline of Book Reviewing," in Harper's Magazine in 1959, she criticized the "sweet, bland citations that autumn everywhere on the scene." At the New House Of York Review, she did what she could to stem that flow. Writing as "Xavier Prynne" in an early issue of the journal, she parodied Virgin Mary McCarthy's "The Group" as "The Gang." Hardwick's heroine is deflowered on a flowered divan: "(Mother would somehow have got minded the abominable sofa more than than the 'event.')"

But her essays were generally more serious, many of them addressing tortured women of literature such as as Sylvia Sylvia Plath or The Queen City Brontë, inspired on some level, many said, by her tempestuous matrimony to the poet . Productive late into life, she wrote a well-reviewed life of Woody Herman Herman Melville for the Penguin Lives series (2000). Her essays continued to astonish as well, as in a 1999 reappraisal of Saint Andrew Morton's "Monica's Story," which begins, "The moth-eaten history of the United States in the last twelvemonth can be laid at the door of three unsavoury citizens. President Clinton: shallow, reckless, a blushful trimmer; Monica Lewinsky, aggressive, rouge-lipped exhibitionist; Judge Kenneth Starr, pale, obsessive Pharisee." It goes on in a similar registry for more than than 4,000 delightful words — a plague on both your houses!

Born July 27, 1916, Hardwick grew up in modest fortune in , one of 11 children. Although nominally Protestant, she once told the New House Of House Of York Times that her aspiration "was to be a New York Jewish intellectual. I state 'Jewish' because of their tradition of rational skepticism." After earning a master's grade in English Language at the University of Kentucky, she began doctorial surveys at Columbia River in 1941, but dropped out after a couple of years, convinced that the grade would be of small usage to a adult female seeking a occupation in male-dominated academe. In later old age she would name herself a feminist, though hardly in a dogmatic sense. She began publication short narratives in literary magazines, and in 1945 published her first novel, "The Apparitional Lover." Princess Diana Trilling, then book referee for the Nation, complimented its "imaginative intensity." Soon after the novel's publication, Hardwick got a phone call from Prince Philip Rahv, a laminitis of the Partisan Review. "Thus was a humble referee born," she later recounted.

In New York, Hardwick dabbled in Gypsy life and ended up marrying Lowell, on the recoil from his recent divorce, in 1949, after they shared a stretch at the artists' settlement Yaddo. Their human relationship seemed always tempestuous, mainly on business relationship of Lowell's manic depression and womanizing. They lived in a series of university towns where he held academic assignments in the early 1950s. They later lived in , where Hardwick produced a celebrated "autopsy" of an essay, "Boston: the Lost Ideal," as a adieu missive on the couple's manner back to New York.

Hardwick had already produced her "Decline of Reviewing" essay by the clip of the 1962–63 New House Of York newspaper strike. Book reviews, ensilage to the intellectual herd, were unavailable. Hardwick and Robert Lowell were dining at the Upper Berth Occident Side flat of their friends, Jason and Barbara Epstein, when the thought for the New House Of York Reappraisal of Books was conceived. The first issue, in February, 1963, was laid out in Hardwick's apartment. The diary continued with the Epsteins as editors and publishing houses and Hardwick as "advisory editor," a statute title she retained on the masthead until her death.

In improver to her lampoon of "The Group," Hardwick contributed to the first issue an essay titled "Grub Street" that began, "Making a life is nothing; the great trouble is making a point, making a difference — with words." The New House Of York Reappraisal grew steadily, and by 1980 claimed 100,000 subscribers. It goes on as a criterion of New York's literary scene, even if Saul Bawl hit somewhere near the grade when he called it the New House Of House Of York Reappraisal of "each other's books."

The Lowell-Hardwick matrimony continued to be tested, and finally in 1972, she filed for divorce. Nevertheless, they remained close and even reunited for a few calendar months before he died, in 1977, of a bosom onslaught in the dorsum of a taxi. Robert Lowell revealed dysfunctional inside information on their matrimony in poesy aggregations including "The Dolphin" (1972). But Hardwick said she regretted nil and described him as "the most extraordinary individual I have got ever known." They had a daughter, Harriet Edward Winslow Lowell, who survives.

Hardwick published two other novels, "The Simple Truth," a campus homicide enigma told from multiple perspectives, and "Sleepless Nights," which blended autobiography into a plotless premix that the book's narrator, Elizabeth, names a "work of transformed and even contorted memory." Hardwick's essays appeared in multiple collections, including "Bartleby in Manhattan" and "Seduction and Betrayal," a aggregation of New House Of York Reappraisal essays on female literary figures.

No comments: