Monday, November 10, 2008

Disch's last essay

Matthew Davis has very kindly pointed out what is very likely Thomas Disch's last essay, published in The New Criterion. It's a review of a nonfiction biography, Worshipping Walt: The Whitman Disciples, and touches upon the ambiguity of Whitman's sexuality ("Was he gay, in the sense we use that word today? We can’t say," the perception of his grandiosity ("Sometimes he seems a Holy Fool after the fashion of Parsifal or Prince Mishkin, but he was also a shewd and resourceful self-promoter...", and his ability to attract followers ("Whitman needed disciples, and the disciples came...").

As with all of Disch's criticism, this piece is beautifully written and incisive. If you are unfamiliar with Disch as a critic, reviewer, and scholar whose work appeared in the Nation, Harper's, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, check out The Dreams Our Stuff is Made Of. It is one of the finest books about science fiction that has ever been written.

Davis, who used to have a Disch website, has written an extraordinary biography of Disch.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home