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The Collected Prose

Bishop, Elizabeth

6 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0374126283 / ISBN 13: 9780374126285
Published by Farrar Straus & Giroux, Gordonsville, Virginia, U.S.A., 1984
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

First printing, stated. Contains short pieces of fiction and non-fiction. Edited by Robert Giroux. Light green cloth, black/gilt titles. Book unread, fine, near-new in like DJ. Notes included. 278 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 6675

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Collected Prose

Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux, Gordonsville, Virginia, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1984

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

Book Type: Book

About this title


The quality of Elizabeth Bishop's prose is as distinctive and personal as that of her poems. This rich collection, compiled by her editor, Robert Giroux, is arranged in two parts, fiction and nonfiction.


Farrar, Straus and Giroux first published Elizabeth Bishop's Collected Prose in 1984, five years after the poet's death. It's now too late to ask whether this deeply private woman would have allowed such an act, let alone approved of the biographies and studies that have begun to appear. It's not too late, however, to praise her editor's decision to gather her fiction and nonfiction together. Without it we would not have the dreamlike "The Sea & Its Shore" (in which a man hired to rid the beach of trash tries to make sense of each scrap of writing he comes upon) or memoirs such as "Primer Class," which begins, "Every time I see long columns of numbers, handwritten in a certain way, a strange sensation or shudder, partly aesthetic, partly painful goes through my diaphragm." Precise as ever, Bishop continues, "It is like seeing the dorsal fin of a large fish suddenly cut through the surface of the water." The collection's two standouts are "Efforts of Affection," a memoir of her mentor Marianne Moore, and the comic masterwork "The U.S.A. School of Writing." The latter is a sly recollection of her first job--at a deeply dodgy correspondence school. "Henry James once said that he who would aspire to be a writer must inscribe on his banner the one word 'Loneliness.' In the case of my students, their need was not to ward off society, but to get into it."

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