If I could, I’d do no writing at all here …

So I’m currently reading this – James Agee Rediscovered: The Journals of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and Other New Manuscripts, (Lofaro, Michael A., and Hugh Davis, eds.), and unlike many “Journals of …” collections I have read, this one only deepens my affinity for the author, rather than diminishing it (I’m looking at you, F. Scott). Let Us Now Praise Famous Men has long been one of my absolute favorite works, one of those feats of writing that have profound impact and insight, and I’ve always wanted to get a clearer picture of Agee before, during, and after his experience. I think the reason I have such high regard for the book isn’t so much the way it shows me what is good writing, but rather the way it shows me what it means to be a good writer. My point is that I had high expectations for the journals, and so far it delivers. It also makes me fantasize about throwing all my energies into being an Agee scholar; there aren’t too many out there, and sadly Let Us Now Praise Famous Men isn’t a staple of a literature curriculum. It isn’t passed up completely, but still, I feel like A Death In The Family gets too much academic attention and isn’t near as rich. While I give kudos to the editors for selecting the journal entries as they relate to the title work (as will later volumes for Death In The Family and so forth), I think my obsession with Agee has reached the same level as Shelley, so I want to see everything he ever wrote down, because everything feels relevant and related. Facsimile edition, here we come. Until then, I’ll have to settle for this, but that’s okay. For now.


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