Sep 24, 2018
Ian S. MacNiven's authorized biography of Lawrence Durrell was a New York Times Notable Book for 1998. He has edited two collections of Durrell's correspondence (with Richard Aldington and Henry Miller), is the author of numerous articles on literary modernism, and has directed and spoken at conferences on three continents. He is also a past president of the D. H. Lawrence Society of North America and of the International Lawrence Durrell Society. MacNiven resides on the west bank of the Hudson, outside the town of Athens, New York, and this is where we met to talk about Literchoor is my Beat, his biography of New Directions founder and publisher James Laughlin (FSG, 2014).
We also talk about steel, silver spoons, the Choate School, poetry, Gertrude Stein, Modernism, Ezra Pound, prodigious correspondence, the Gotham Book Mart, short stories, New Directions, Harvard, T.S. Eliot, loyalty, William Carlos Williams, office affairs, fine printing, anthologies, the New Classics Series, Delmore Schwartz, Prospectives USA magazine, translations, The Beats, Thomas Merton, Dylan Thomas, mental illness and the bi-polar curse, intuition and recognizing excellence, and childhoods in Suriname.