THE (DIBLOS) NOTEBOOK by James Merrill


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Greece, sunlight, the international set, and the past and present flicker across the pages of this poet's ""notebook"" for an unfinished novel. Full of artful crossings-out, stray scenes, and notations, it describes the ambiguous relationship between a younger Greek-American man and an older Greek (or international) woman. The viewpoint, shifting and partly retrospective, is that of the man's much younger brother, who is supposedly writing this notebook on a much later trip to Greece. The situation is Jamesian; the method certainly is not, and, if it may irritate some readers, it is also an interesting and often brilliant glimpse at the backstage process of writing, as its themes and often marvelous images are amplified, altered, re-shuffled by memory and the present. Self-conscious, a writer's book in many ways, but sophisticated, insightful, interesting to read, with some fine writing. Its author has published poems, novels, and plays; he uses some of these varied techniques here.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1965
Publisher: Atheneum