Friday, December 12, 2008

Coke Is It

William Empson to John Wain, 1953:

"The Wimsatt-Beardsley essay … seems to me good, especially from a reasonable breadth … [But] the hatred of 'biography' and the claim that a good poem should have all requirements for reading it 'within itself' seems to me mere petulance, like saying 'I won't visit any house that hasn't got a Coca-Cola machine and a sun-bathing apparatus.' Obviously a person of more serious interests would be willing to put up with inconvenience." (Selected Letters of WE, 213)