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MacLEISH, Archibald and FITZGERALD, Robert - Autograph Manuscript and Two Autograph Letters Signed (Alss)

Hamden, CT, 27 February 1978 and 4 March 1978. Letters. Two handwritten two-page letters on both sides of an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet SIGNED "Robert" to MacLeish along with a page of notes handwritten in pencil by MacLeish and a small card in pencil and ink written by MacLeish. The notes refer to consciousness with MacLeish mentioning HAMLET and Beethoven: "Works of art not only suggest consciousness in others, they demonstrate it." Fitzgerald's letters are about his famous translation of the THE ODYSSEY and MacLeish's reaction to it as well as identification of Homer with his hero Odysseus, and in context is surely a response to a query by MacLeish regarding one line in the poem. In part: "The thing is that in the poem Homer identifies himself with Odysseus who famously knew the world.. He endows his hero with his own powers. Alkino÷s thus observes that these powers belong to a man who knows the world.. The dramatic CONTEXT makes my rendering a true rendering. I hope this leaves it less obscure. I believe it's true, too." Fitzgerald goes into more detail, but this is most pertinent to what MacLeish has written on the small card: "Robert Fitzgerald and 'a poet -- a man who knows the world.'" In an article by poet Donald Hall titled "Visiting the MacLeishes" in THE NEW YORK TIMES on 9 July 1978, a few months after Fitzgerald's letters, MacLeish tells Hall how he read aloud Robert Fitzgerald's translation of THE ODYSSEY to his wife Ada, and how he found a line that he had never seen before, a line translated differently by other translators. "In the 11th book, Odysseus tells his story to Alkino÷s, who answers him saying that Odysseus has told his story, 'As a poet would, a man who knows the world.' MacLeish pauses to let the line sink in. He shakes his head. 'These are the words that needed for years. Who does know the world? Not the businessman. Not the scientist. Yes Shakespeare, Homer, Dante. This is what makes greatness in a poet: to know the world.'. Near Fine .
USD 437.50 [Appr.: EURO 404.75 | £UK 345 | JPą 68722] Book number 020632

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