[lit-ideas] Re: Lowelliana

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx" for DMARC)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:44:15 -0500

In a message dated 11/21/2014 3:49:07 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes: "JL, I reread "Sailing Home from Rapallo"  
wasn't as disappointed as when I first read it, probably because my  
expectations weren't as high.  It's okay -- clever -- worth reading  perhaps.
I also reread "91 Revere Street."  I don't really see his  mother's 
influence in this piece.  I do see the influence of Commander  Billy Harkness, 
father's friend.  Lowell writes, "The man who seems in  my memory to sit 
under old Mordecai's portrait is not my father, but Commander  Billy -- the 
Commander after Father had thrown in his commission.  There  Billy would sit 
glowing, perspiring, bragging.  Despite his rowdiness, he  even then breathed 
the power that would make him a vice-admiral and hero in  World War II."
I attempted to find this hero of World War II Vice-Admiral  Billy Harkness 
using Google and failed.  Wouldn't someone like that have an  article 
written about him some place?  Could Lowell have made him up?  
Well, according to this:
he did!
"Part Two is a twenty-five-page prose piece, “91 Revere Street,” which  
provides background and many details that could not easily be conveyed in 
verse.  This piece has its comic and satirical moments—a side of Lowell not 
previously  revealed in his writing—and has one purely fictional character, 
Billy Harkness,  supposedly an Annapolis classmate of Lowell’s father."

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