Monday, December 18, 2006

The Smedley Affair

The inimitable Carla has a fascinating piece on Robert Lowell at Yaddo up at the Poetry Foundation website.


Blogger Thomas Beard said...

Apparently the Yaddo scandal, or at least what it represented, was one of many reasons why Jean Rhys spent her years in self-imposed exile from her fellow writers.

In a letter to Morchard Bishop:

"Yes I thought literary people were alarming when I met many years ago. Very cut throat, behind back. I remember I was warned against the PEN club so never joined it. They cut throats very happily in New York too. However there are a few exceptions - I suppose. Did you ever hear about "Yaddo"? the place left to writers by a millionaire in California (I think).

Each writer had a chalet, food brought to them and the swimming pool was grand. The only rule was that all must attend a communal meal every evening. Well the fights started at once. By the third night all the men had black eyes and none of the women spoke to each other. At the end of the week everybody left, a protest against the others being there."

4:25 PM  

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