A Heaven of Words
Last Journals, 1956–1984
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Wisconsin Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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Originally, there were supposed to be several volumes of Wescott journals, according to a contract signed in 1972. The man who agreed to take on this task was the wonderful literary editor Robert Phelps (1922–89). A graduate of Oberlin College, Phelps was the author of one novel, Heroes and Orators. ...
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As a writer and public figure, Glenway Wescott (1901–87) doesn’t fit neatly into the categories of either literature or celebrity. While the high art of his four novels assures that he’ll be remembered, four aborted novels make him something of an enigma, so that it’s best to say simply that he was a major talent. ...
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Glenway Wescott’s earlier collection of journals, titled Continual Lessons, ends in December 1955 with the death of photographer George Platt Lynes at the age of forty-eight. Lynes had remained a close friend after the breakup of the three-way relationship between himself, Wescott, and Monroe Wheeler in 1943. ...
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The new decade is first marked by the death of Josephine Wescott on January 4, and then by the move from Stoneblossom to Haymeadows, which is completed in April. In the city, Wheeler finds a more suitable apartment, number 8M at 251 East Fifty-First Street at Second Avenue, where he and Wescott will host their memorable gatherings for almost three more decades. ...
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The mid-sixties are a time of strength for Wescott, personally and as a public figure. Several of his books are reprinted in paperback, and The Pilgrim Hawk, already in the Dell mass market paperback Six Great Modern Short Novels, is re-released in hardcover by Harper & Brothers. ...
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During the 1960s Wescott still had some periods of public celebrity—on the television, on the radio, and in mainstream publications. By the 1970s he is beyond that, though he sometimes appears in gossip columnist Liz Smith’s society page, or in a New York Times photo of a literary event. ...
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Throughout their mid- and late seventies, Wescott and Wheeler continue the pattern of their lives, with some moderation naturally. Almost heroically, Monroe keeps up his foreign travel for museum exhibits and business, even as he requires strong drugs every day for painful arthritis. ...
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During the early eighties, Wescott manages to add some final journal material in a sporadic way. It is not a priority, and bouts of poor health lead to a month or months of silence. But he bounces back strongly, repeatedly, as some of these last entries show. Correspondence with some of his favorite friends had bolstered his journal writing in the past, and now those friends are gone. ...
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Wescott never believed he would outlive Wheeler, even though Monroe had suffered with arthritis and other problems for the past two decades while Glenway remained relatively healthy. Now it was Glenway marooned at Haymeadows while Monroe kept up his city routine and international travel. ...
A Glossary of Glenway Wescott’s Contemporaries
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Page Count: 192
Illustrations: 24 b/w photos
Publication Year: 2013