After opening her letter to editor with the all too common self-effacing bromide, I have nothing but praise for Felicia Nimue Ackerman for not so harshly denouncing the supercilious and abrasive behavior of Franz Wright. Wright, who has to be insecure, excoriates Randall Jarrell intimating Randall may as well not exist for, apparently, for saying something in a review that the pompous, mightier than thou, Pulitzer Prize winner took exception to.(Yes, all you arrogant, pedantic, grammarians out there….I ended previous sentence with a preposition.)
To the Editor:
As a middle-aged literary nonentity(this is the unnecessary self-effacing part I mentioned, you sound a little too apologetic here for delivering much needed public criticism arrogant Pulitzer Prize winner) who occasionally writes book reviews, I
was taken aback by the Pulitzer Prize-winner Franz Wright’s remark, “I cannot
bring myself to believe that I am the only serious follower of contemporary
poetry who is getting sick of reading reviews by young literary nonentities
that I am the only serious reader of book reviews who cringes when an
established writer is snobbish and meanspirited enough to sneer at the obscure
for being obscure.
Felicia Nimue Ackerman
The writer is a professor of philosophy at Brown University.