A Late Encounter with William Empson

Ambiguities, Complexities, Puzzles: A Late Encounter with William Empson

Park, Clara Claiborne

I was barely seventeen when I first heard of ambiguity. It was 1940, and I had just arrived at Radcliffe College. Ambiguity was not yet a Word of Power-not at Harvard, at any rate, where Radcliffe students were vouchsafed a Harvard education, provided a Harvard professor was willing to walk across the Yard and repeat his lectures in our modest, all-girl buildings.

The Harvard English department proffered old-fashioned literary history-packed surveys with reading lists much too long to permit of close reading for ambiguity or anything else. But somehow I met Howard Nemerov, Harvard ’41, and somehow he decided to educate this promising female teenager.

What an honor! Not only was Howard a senior, not only did he write poetry (not so many college students did that then); two years before, still a sophomore, he’d written a prize-winning essay on Lotte in Weimar that drew the attention of Thomas Mann himself.

Howard didn’t think much of his English courses. He had better things to do than listen to lectures; he’d set himself to write 3000 words a night-fiction, criticism (poetry was extra). He was the kind of undergraduate (Empson must have been such another) who feels entitled to condescend to his professors. I don’t recall his mentioning Seven Types of Ambiguity; though it had been out ten years, it wouldn’t be published in the United States till 1947. Clearly, though, he knew about it. He talked about ambiguities and levels of meaning; he wrote them too. I couldn’t understand his poetry, or his prose either, but I was impressed.

Howard went off to war in 1941. By 1947 I’d had my Harvard education, gotten married, and was at the University of Michigan taking seminars. I took one on criticism; it was historical and didn’t mention Empson. But one was on pastoral, starting with Theocritus to climax with Lycidas and Comus. Some Versions of Pastoral had been published in 1935, and by this time I knew the title. The book was in the library, and naturally I went to take it out. Only it wasn’t there; though listed in the catalogue, it wasn’t available. Somebody had it out, and it stayed out for the duration of our seminar.

Why? I didn’t know, and trained at Radcliffe in academic passivity, it didn’t occur to me to ask. I don’t know now, but I’ve just read Versions of Pastoral, and here’s what I think. I think Professor Arthos had it out and kept it out-because he thought we’d be confused enough, after Theocritus, Vergil, Homer (for Circe) Sanazarro, Spenser, The Winter’s Tale, various marchen, and Cassirer on Myth, without muddling us up further with The Beggar’s Opera and Lewis Carroll’s Alice as Swain.

I’ve been reading Pastoral-finally-because of John Haffenden’s extraordinary new biography, William Empson, Volume I: Among the Mandarins.1 Its 695 pages contain more quotations than anyone could keep in her head, but this particular one brought up memories. Somebody had called Empson’s Versions “the most important and least helpful” discussion of the pastoral mode. That confirmed my speculation about Professor Arthos, and it seems to me both comforting and just.

Haffenden has assembled a whole anthology of opinions about Empson. John Wain’s is the most succinct: “the finest literary critic the English-speaking world has had in our century,” who, says Haffenden, “succeeded in permanently changing the mode and function of literary criticism in English.” Acknowledging that “reviewers and readers felt galvanized or disgruntled by turns,” Haffenden concludes that “never again could any serious critic merely ‘appreciate’ a poem without offering a sustained verbal analysis.” Fair enough. But it’s E. M. W. Tillyard’s descriptions of young Empson’s effect on his examiners at Magdalene College in Cambridge that crystallize things for me; among all the many judgments recorded in this very long book, this one-or these, albeit filtered through Tillyard-I find indispensable to the understanding of Empson’s mind, work, and life.

Professor Tillyard wrote a reference for Empson in 1952, when he was applying for a professorship at the University of Sheffield, (he was to hold it for eighteen years, until his retirement in 1971). Haffenden quotes the letter at some length:

I never taught him, but I examined him in the [English] Tripos, and I shall never forget the brilliance of his papers. He began as a scholar in mathematics, and he has the logical penetration of the mathematician. In a certain kind of close literary analysis he has no equal. On the other hand his short flights are better than his long; and it was significant that his essay paper in the Tripos was illorganised [sic] as a whole and much inferior to his other papers.

Haffenden amplifies this with an anecdote from a letter written to him by W. G. Shepherd in 1993-one of the many personal communications that make this biography such a prodigy of research. Shepherd had been a student at Jesus College in the ’50s, when Tillyard was Master, and he still remembered Tillyard’s account of that exam:

In what Tillyard thought an unwonted access of frankness, the examiners confided to each other that they did not really understand Empson’s essay-nor the quotations in it from his own poems. Invoking a rarely used rule, they summoned Empson to meet them, and invited him to explain his essay. He did so confidently, fluently, and at length. Having thanked and dismissed him, the examiners found they were considerably mystified-they “wished he would explain his explanation.” They concluded, however, that Empson was highly intelligent and full of knowledge-and should be accorded the highest marks. So that’s what they did.

Shepherd, obviously, is an additional filter, but you can see why such words, or something like them, would stick in his mind.

Empson gained first class in the Tripos, with “special distinction.” That’s what they did, and it would be tempting to say that that’s what they-an academic “they”-have been doing ever since. For what, in 2006, can we make of these accounts? Are they cruel? Misguided? Envious? Accurate? Prescient? All of the above? Even his admirers wish sometimes that he would explain the explanations he gave so confidently, fluently, and at length, in notes, speeches, and Notes on notes. (To appreciate the depth of our need for explanation we must go to Haffenden’s edition of Empson’s complete poems.2 There, 110 not very closely printed pages of poetry garner 366 pages of notes-Haffenden’s, buttressed with swathes of Empson’s own, conveniently printed in boldface.)

Which brings me back to where Howard Nemerov left me in 1940-bewildered, respectful, but (I will say this for my teenage self) sturdily standing up for the possibility-I’d now say the duty-of intelligibility. Back then, after all, bright young things even condescended to Robert Frost-whose name appears nowhere in Haffenden’s compendious index.

Frost’s directness could be unexpectedly subtle, but his wide readership testifies that he didn’t go in for puzzles. “Puzzle,” however, is a friendly word for Empson; choosing at random three pages from The Structure of Complex Words, I found three uses of it, and there are more in the preface to the second edition of Ambiguity. So I was grateful to Haffenden for quoting a 1950 article by Elder Olson, who wrote that ambiguity for Empson was “not a poetic principle,” but “the rationalization of an opinion.” Indeed. It was the rationalization of an opinion and a preference, a preference for puzzles. He loved them. If he couldn’t find them, he created them or deplored their absence. Haffenden quotes (twice) a sentence from Empson’s one-page review of E. M. Forster’s 1927 Clark Lectures, which became Aspects of the Novel. While appreciating Forster’s stylistic charm, the young man was critical of his “commonsense limitations.” “An attempt, successful or not, to turn upon a given situation every tool, however irrelevant or disconnected, of the contemporary mind, would be far too strenuous and metaphysical an exertion” for “Forster-Mother,” as the piece was snippily titled. (Haffenden points out how well the sentence describes Empson’s own critical and poetic practice.) The review concludes with a sentence of mild praise: “Within the clearly stated limitations of his treatment, and the commonsense limitations of his sympathy, his judgement is excellent and his critical criteria most handy; you feel you want to apply them to things at once.” Empson didn’t go to lectures much-he skipped T. S. Eliot’s, so his mere presence was a tribute to a series he’d later call “ideal,” “the only ones that I remember from my time at Cambridge.” But that was in 1974, when he was preparing his own Clark Lectures. In 1927, he was at an age to patronize.

Empson seems to me to be about puzzles-about puzzles, about puzzling out, about enjoying the process. It’s not everyone’s idea of a good time. In another of Haffenden’s long quotations, Professor Graham Hough records something of how it felt to travel with Empson:

I was rather frightened of him. Only about my own age [they were both in their early thirties], he was a great deal more sophisticated and infinitely more intelligent. It was plain that he didn’t suffer fools gladly, and in his presence I often felt rather a fool. He had an impatient way of being always two steps ahead of you in any discussion. The best response to that was to slow the pace and insist that the steps of the argument should be trodden one by one. This he would not resist; if pulled up, he would always make things plain. But I often got shy of these delaying tactics, and so was left stumbling in the rear. . . . My impression of Empson abroad is always of an uncompromisingly English figure-speech, manners and bearing quite unmodified, and somehow sailing through everything with an unconquerable air of slightly arrogant courtesy and extreme intelligence.

Hough suspects his “apparent self-possession was hard-won,” and connects it with “the elusive, elliptical nature of his conversation and of much of his writing. … So that the exhilaration of his discourse-I seem to have been emphasising its difficulties, but the charm, too, was overwhelming-was that of an obstacle-race or a treasure-hunt.” This reader, too, often feels like a fool, wonders if the treasure is worth the obstacles, is left stumbling in the rear. Difficulties one can cope with. But repeated difficulties shade into obscurities and threaten Empson’s own generous project: to restore what was for him the purpose of reading to its former place, respected as part of the search for meaning, even, as he said, for truth: “And yet what is said [in Gray’s Elegy] is one of the permanent truths.”

For Empson was no New Critic, though the New Critics adopted his example of close reading. Not for him “the poem itself,” to be contemplated impersonally as an aesthetic object, floating in a pure universe free of the accidents of history and biography. Empson’s verbal puzzles were never purely verbal: they were permeated by all he knew. The poem, or play, or novel, was indeed a “situation,” set firmly in the messy, contingent world and calling upon the critic to turn upon it “every tool, however irrelevant or disconnected, of the contemporary mind.”

Yet he was no partisan of disconnection or irrelevance. In 1936, fresh from the publication of Pastoral, he wrote a letter to his friend Charles Madge that Madge “kept by him till he died.” It stressed “the importance” (in Haffenden’s words) “of lucid, plain, effective communication, and the utter importance of finding exactly what you want to say and of holding in mind the audience whom you are addressing.” Empson’s comment on the manuscript Madge had sent him, however, was considerably more direct.

The shape of the book is I think bloody insolent. The idea that one must write very esoteric stuff because no one will read [it] anyway seems to me nonsense-you will get plenty of readers if you give anybody a chance. . . . The point about writing as plainly as you can is that you are testing your ideas against somebody who is not a specialist and just knows about life in general. Really subjective writing seems to me nasty to the touch, gluey on the outside…. I feel I have some right to be rude about this because [I am] so much open to the same faults.

And he adds to that disarming sentence another, even more revealing: “I myself generally find what I was trying to talk about while I am rewriting so as to try to be intelligible.” He wanted his readers to understand him. He didn’t set out to mystify but to “argufy.” The word, his own coinage, implies an argument, and in argument the way forward is step by step, whatever the obstacles, toward the treasure, communicated meaning. His insistence on intelligibility was paradoxical, considering his practice, but it was genuine. As Hough remembered, he was always willing to make things plain, both in his prose and in his poetry. I’ll tackle the prose first.

Again the way in is through his own words. From his preface to the second edition of Seven Types:3

I recognised . . . that one does not want merely irrelevant ambiguities, and I should claim to have some success in keeping them out. To be sure, the question how far unintended or even unwanted extra meanings do in fact impose themselves, and thereby drag our minds out of their path in spite of our best efforts to prevent it, is obviously a legitimate one; and some of the answers may be important. But it is not one I was much concerned with in this book.

How well he understood himself! Extra meanings were always imposing themselves on Empson, thereby dragging his mind out of his intended path despite his best efforts. Consider this sentence from The Structure of Complex Words:4 “The eighteenth-century rationalist limited very sharply the impulses or shades of feeling he was prepared to foster-not merely Enthusiasm was cut out, but the kind of richness of language that Gray lamented over in a passage from Shakespeare-and yet could pursue Reason with gusto and breadth, without emotional skimpiness; there is a savour in his work that Herbert Spencer has lost.” The sentence is so packed, so rich with allusions, rushes us along so many by-paths (we are to know about the eighteenth-century distrust of Enthusiasm, about Gray and how he lamented the richness of language in some unidentified passage of Shakespeare, about a late nineteenth-century materialist whom we may or may not have heard of) that we must read and reread and read again to realize that the sentence can be parsed, that the syntax isn’t faulty, that it’s not Gray but the eighteeth-century rationalist who’s pursuing Reason with gusto and whose work has a savour you don’t find in Herbert Spencer.

Lest you think I’m cheating, here’s another example, this time about the character Honest in Pilgrim’s Progress. Again, it’s a single sentence:

He is old, brave and rugged, is called “a Cock of the right kind,” at first too modest to tell his name, at last says “not Honesty in the abstract but Honesty is my name” (perhaps “not the root idea but the mixed virtues that are so called”), comes from the town of Stupidity, which lies four degrees beyond the City of Destruction, for stupefied ones are worse than those merely carnal (we have seen the accuracy of this; it was Rochester who lived in the City of Destruction), though brave had much to do with Fearing, a man, he says, that had the root of the matter in him (Rochester never learned this about his friends), and has been acquainted with Self-Will.

Sentences like these are hard enough, and Empson’s paragraphs have their own tangles. But rather than illustrate one of them, I want to tip the balance-to recognize, not a paragraph, but four brilliant pages on Keats’s “Ode to Melancholy.” The analysis crowns Ambiguity, coming in the discussion of “the seventh type . . . that of full contradiction, marking a division in the author’s mind.” In his explication of the Ode’s three stanzas, Empson mines the imagery to show how Keats “pounds together the sensations of joy and sorrow till they combine in sexuality.” Though he proceeds, as usual, through paraphrase, his rewordings are not strained and he is distracted by no tempting byways. No line is left untouched, and the result is to illuminate so completely a poem one thought one knew that one-I-can never read it so shallowly again.

Empson might urge Charles Madge to greater clarity, but that was prose. Poetry-his own or other people’s-was different. It was natural, he thought, that good poetry, for full enjoyment, should require explication. His Note on Notes in The Gathering Storm, a thin volume of poems published in 1940, makes his ideas on “puzzle interest” explicit. Note how his Note hauls us back and forth as the complications of those ideas occur to him:

No doubt the notes are partly needed through my incompetence in writing; they had better been worked into the text. I do the best I can. But partly [there’s always a but] they are meant to be like answers to a crossword puzzle; a sort of puzzle interest is part of the pleasure you are meant to get from the verse, and that I get myself when I go back to it. It is clear that you try to guess the puzzle before you turn to the answer; but you aren’t offended with the newspaper for publishing the whole answer, even if you had guessed it. There would be no point in publishing a puzzle in a newspaper, if it were admittedly so simple that there was no need to publish the answer. And the comparison is not quite a random one; the fashion for obscure poetry, as a recent development, came in about the same time as the fashion for crossword puzzles; and it seems to me that this revival of interest in poetry, an old and natural thing, has got a bad name merely by refusing to know itself and publish the answers.

Now he hauls us up again:

At the same time, of course, any decent poetry has got more than puzzle interest in it, and the motives behind making the puzzle are themselves very mixed. It is always part of the claim of the puzzle in poetry that this is the best way to say something. Clearly interest in mere puzzle can be bad for a writer.

And yet again: perhaps an “obscure moral worry about whether there was too much puzzle interest going on” may even be seen as “a disfiguring feature of my small output here.” It’s puzzling. It’s conflicted. It’s complex, since (if we read, as Empson would, for an undermeaning) we may discern a causal connection between the moral worry and the smallness of the output. Thirty poems in the 1935 collection, many of them composed while he was still at Cambridge. Twenty-one more in The Gathering Storm. Six that trickled out in subsequent years. Twenty-one others published posthumously. It’s a meager harvest for someone praised as a major poet by such as Ransom, Lowell, Berryman, MacNeice, and even, unexpectedly, John Betjeman.

But a recognition that Empson is “argufying in poetry,” which “Donne did … all the time,” doesn’t unlock his poetry, though he thought it would. In a 1952 broadcast, he broached to the BBC audience the idea that poetry can proceed by “the kind of arguing we do in ordinary life.” “Many people found my verse difficult, when it first came out between the two wars, merely [merely!] because they did not realise that they were expected to hold on to the argument so firmly. . . .” Speaking of “my sort of poetry,” he was reassuring: “there is no reason why anyone should like the result [of an argufying approach].” But the jokes, the arresting metaphors and similes that dilute the puzzles of his prose are too densely packed for poetic argument, for poetic narrative (a simpler kind of organization), or even for the dubious pleasure of puzzling out the poetic meaning that he assures us is there. Far too often, we can’t do it, even with Haffenden’s prodigies of explication, while Empson’s own notes only hint at the way forward. I can’t think of any poetry, metaphysical, modern, or postmodern, that has baffled me as thoroughly as his.

So I have nothing illuminating to say about the poems (Haffenden’s the man for that), but I can at least give an illustration. In “China,” seven quatrains of impeccable rhyme and meter, he gives us what is uncommon for him, a striking visual image:

The paddy-fields are wings of bees . . .

To one who flies or one who sees . . .

Or it would be striking, if he had included in the poem the essential clue, as he did in a letter to a friend: “curved like the lines of bees’ wings under a microscope.” Seen from the air, paddy fields might appear like that, if and only if you know about the microscope; otherwise you are left wondering how in the world these fields, or any fields, might suggest the wings of bees. Lost in the details of Empson’s five-paragraph Note is the phrase “microscopic photographs of bees’ wings”-and that note was written after the poem’s first publication. Clearly the poet was aware that the image required an explanation; clearly he could have worked “microscope” into the text. “I do the best I can”? He could have tried harder.

In 1929, Empson was set to be graduated from Magdalene, his First assured, “with special distinction.” He had won a prestigious fellowship and was obviously on the brink of a brilliant academic career in England. How did he get to China to see the paddy fields?

Seven Types appeared in 1930, but by that time he had been expelled from his College, deprived of his fellowship, forbidden even to live in Cambridge. It was a devastating and punitive event, but one that propelled him to Japan and China, and into experiences much richer than those that await the average British don. Haffenden tells all about it. Condoms had been found in his room. He’d had a woman there. I. A. Richards, his Magdalene tutor, was on his way to China to consult on Basic English. Empson had no one to speak up for him. He removed to London, reduced to private tutoring. But after two years something came through. A universityjob opened up in Tokyo, and for three years he taught there, complaining about the noise and the increasingly oppressive nationalism, but absorbing the strangeness and working on the lectures that would become Some Versions of Pastoral. The chairman of his department reported that he was “very earnest in his teaching” and “kind to the students.” Which wasn’t hard; as Empson wrote Richards, “the Japanese teachers don’t know the students by name … : everybody warns me whatever I do not to ask a student to lunch.” He did more; he had students to dinner at his home, he taught them Dickens and Donne and Mrs. Dalloway, long after, when they had become professors, his star pupils (in Japan there weren’t many) remembered him. When he wasn’t hard at work, he could enjoy the Noh drama and, as always, drink. He went to museums and temples; he discovered Buddhist art, a serene contrast with the Christian emphasis on what he considered deliberate torture. He went to Nara, to Kyoto, to Kamakura, even to Korea in search of Buddhas. He went skiing, which he did well; in the summer, he lingered by the pool and watched the lissome Japanese youths, who were surprised to find he could only dog paddle. He found a Japanese press near Tokyo to print his first collection of poems, in an edition of 100 copies.

Still, he wasn’t sorry when his three-year appointment was up. He returned to England via India and Ceylon, cradles of Buddhism, arriving there to publish Pastoral and take up the life of a free-lance writer.

He was becoming known-Seven Types had made a critical splash, and the new book won even more respect, but respect doesn’t make you a living. Luckily he also had £200 a year. For as Haffenden makes clear in two fact-filled chapters, Empson was by birth and education a child of privilege. Empsons of one sort or another had lived in Yorkshire “since time immemorial.” At Yokefleet Hall, the family estate in Yorkshire, Bill Empson even hunted. Moreover, he’d been at a great public school, Winchester, and in England the prestige of a Wykehamist is more than that of a graduate of Andover, Exeter, Groton, and St. Paul’s rolled all together. His little bit of the family pie, supplemented by what he could make by the way, sufficed. He rented a room, which he soon reduced to his customary squalor. There were books (often with dirty dishes on top), there was alcohol, there was the glitter of literary London. The flavor of those days comes through in one of Haffenden’s classic sentences: “With or without the company of Igor Vinogradoff, Empson was to become a dedicated patron of the pubs of Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia, mixing with everyone from the novelist Arthur Calder-Marshall to John Davenport and Nina Hamnett, and not forgetting his old friend Boris de Chroustchoff and Boris’s estranged wife Phyllis.” We can trust Haffenden not to forget to tell us that he knew T. S. Eliot and Auden too.

Still, life was a bit straitened in London, though he boasted he could live on £3 a week. He looked about for another job abroad, considered Singapore, applied in Cairo, and finally to his relief got an appointment at the National Peking University. But 1937 was the year the Japanese invaded China; Empson arrived in August to an occupied city, on ajapanese troop-train. The universities were in confusion; teaching could only be put on hold. Fortunately Basic English had brought Richards and his wife again to China. Empson was handy in Basic; he had found it useful in Japan. The affairs of Basic and the spirit of adventure encouraged some extremely risky tourism; after “six months of slogging across southern China,” not to mention side trips to Singapore, Hong Kong, and Hanoi, Empson would still make it to Cambodia and Angkor Wat.

The northern universities were not about to give up. They combined into a single Temporary University and moved south into unoccupied territory. Empson went with them, enduring what he described later as “the savage life of the fleas and the bombs.” He was, notes Haffenden, “the only European to share the academic exodus with the Chinese academics.” For two years he “stoically survived a poor diet, primitive living quarters, and even a personal assault by bandits in remote south-west China.” Empson described how it was: “People got there across the vague Japanese lines with the clothes they stood up in and maybe some lecture notes; a fairly dangerous business, and you certainly couldn’t take a library.” But Empson had a prepared memory: As Richards said long after, “a man who can teach Songs & Sonnets, reassembling a text out of his head, does more than we can easily realise for passionate young readers of poetry.” Of course it was because he was himself a passionate reader of poetry that he had those poems in his head and could communicate his passion to students of military age in the midst of fleas and bombs and the savagery of war. For like travel, like reading, like everything he did, teaching engaged the whole man. He did nothing by halves; no “emotional skimpiness” for him. “What an ass I would have been if I had refused to leave England,” he wrote his mother. Though one wonders what his students made of his lectures on “sense” in Measure for Measure (they became a chapter in The Structure of Complex Words), his passion came through.

Empson said more than once that teaching was as important to him as writing. (He stopped writing poetry in mid-life; he went on teaching long after.) “His students had grown to revere him as a loyal and large-hearted hero, an exemplary ‘Elder-Born’ with true hanyan (‘elevated nurture’). . . . His pupils from those years were to become the country’s leading academicians, and they unanimously acknowledged Empson as their mentor”-even though, so fascinated by the possibilities of English, he never learned Chinese.

I return to Seven Types for a last quotation from Empson, not only to illustrate his passionate pleasure in literature, but the pleasure that we may still take in the quirks and surprises of his own language. Stressing that he “almost always” selected poems he admired, he remarked that critics, like dogs,

are of two sorts: those who merely relieve themselves against the flower of beauty, and those, less continent, who afterwards scratch it up. I, I must confess, aspire to the second of these classes; unexplained beauty arouses an irritation in me, a sense that this would be a good place to scratch.

Certainly his scratchings were permeated by all he knew; more important, from the outset they were permeated by all he deeply felt. Not so in the multiplying difficulties of Theory for which he is unjustly blamed; he said himself (I can’t resist another quotation): “It’s not even clear that you want a theory, because its findings must always be subject to the judgement of taste”-taste, or informed, pleasurable, communicable passion.

William Empson had much to communicate, and he wanted very much to be understood. But is he still read? In England, perhaps, but I doubt that any American professor today would begin an article, as Roger Sale did in these pages (“The Achievement of William Empson,” The Hudson Review, Vol. XIX, No. 3, Autumn 1966), with “Everyone knows Empson by name,” or end it, “So that for many of the . . . things that matter most,” he is “the first critic in the world.” We must be grateful to Haffenden for showing us how, for the things that matter most, if not for all his scratchings, this might even now be so.

Long, long ago Howard Nemerov gave me a book-the modest, dark-blue Oxford edition in which I still read the poems of John Donne. If Haffenden were to edit a Complete Edition of Nemerov’s poems (and why not? he wrote a biography of Berryman), he would certainly include Howard’s inscription:

Heaven forfend, the Duchess said,

That culture should end, or art be dead.

Empson would have agreed.

1 WILLIAM EMPSON, Volume I: Among the Mandarins, by John Haffenden. Oxford University Press. $45.00.

2 The Complete Poems of William Empson, ed. by John Haffenden. (Gainesville, 2001).

3 Seven Types of Ambiguity (New York, 1966).

4 New York, 1951.

CLARA CLAIBORNE PARK’S recent lecture to the Kipling Society in London, “Wiser and More Temperate: John Lockwood Kipling and His Son,” will be published in the September issue of Kipling Journal.

Copyright Hudson Review Spring 2006

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