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Slavitt, David R. 1935- (David Benjamin, Henry Lazarus, Lynn Meyer, David Rytman Slavitt, Henry Sutton)

Slavitt, David R. 1935- (David Benjamin, Henry Lazarus, Lynn Meyer, David Rytman Slavitt, Henry Sutton)

PERSONAL:

Born March 23, 1935, in White Plains, NY; son of Samuel Saul (a lawyer) and Adele Beatrice (a paralegal) Slavitt; married Lynn Nita Meyer, August 27, 1956 (divorced, December 20, 1977); married Janet Lee Abrahm (a physician), April 16, 1978; children: (first marriage) Evan Meyer, Sarah Rebecca Slavitt Bryce, Joshua Rytman. Education: Yale University, A.B. (magna cum laude), 1956; Columbia University, M.A., 1957. Politics: Independent. Religion: Jewish.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Cambridge, MA. Agent—Don Gastwirth, Don Gastwirth Associates, 265 College St., New Haven, CT 06510.

CAREER:

Deader's Digest, Pleasantville, NY, worked in personnel office; Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, instructor in English, 1957-58; Newsweek, New York, NY, began as mailroom clerk, became book and film critic and associate editor, 1958-63, movie editor, 1963-65; freelance writer, 1965—. University of Maryland at College Park, assistant professor, 1977; Temple University, associate professor, 1978-80; Columbia University, lecturer, 1985-86; Rutgers University, lecturer, 1987; University of Pennsylvania, lecturer, 1991; visiting professor at University of Texas at El Paso, and other institutions. Gives poetry readings at colleges and universities and at Folger Shakespeare Library and Library of Congress.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Grant from Pennsylvania Council on Arts, 1985; translation fellow, National Endowment for the Arts, 1988; literature award, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, 1989; Rockefeller Foundation artist's residency, 1989.

WRITINGS:

POETRY

Suits for the Dead, Scribner (New York, NY), 1961.

The Carnivore, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 1965.

Day Sailing and Other Poems, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 1969.

Child's Play, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1972.

Vital Signs: New and Selected Poems, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1975.

Rounding the Horn, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1978.

Dozens, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1981.

Big Nose, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1983.

The Elegies to Delia of Albius Tibullus, Bits Press (Chagrin Falls, OH), 1985.

The Walls of Thebes, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1986.

Equinox and Other Poems, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1989.

Eight Longer Poems, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1990.

Crossroads, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1993.

A Gift: The Life of Da Ponte; A Poem, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1996.

Falling from Silence: A Poem, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 2001.

Change of Address: Poems, New and Selected, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 2005.

William Henry Harrison and Other Poems, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 2006.

NOVELS

Rochelle; or Virtue Rewarded, Chapman & Hall (New York, NY), 1966.

Feel Free, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1968.

Anagrams, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1970, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1971.

ABCD, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1972.

The Outer Mongolian, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1973.

The Killing of the King, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1974.

(Under pseudonym Lynn Meyer) Paperback Thriller, Random House (New York, NY), 1975.

King of Hearts, Arbor House (New York, NY), 1976.

(Under pseudonym Henry Lazarus) That Golden Woman, Fawcett (New York, NY), 1976.

Jo Stern, Harper (New York, NY), 1978.

(Under pseudonym David Benjamin) The Idol, Putnam (New York, NY), 1979.

Cold Comfort, Methuen (New York, NY), 1980.

Ringer, Dutton (New York, NY), 1982.

Alice at 80, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1984.

The Agent, created by Bill Adler, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1986.

The Hussar, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1987.

Salazar Blinks, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1988.

Lives of the Saints, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1989.

Turkish Delights, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1993.

The Cliff, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1994.

(Under pseudonym David Benjamin) Runaway, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

(Under pseudonym David Benjamin) Survivor, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

(Under pseudonym David Benjamin) Hangman, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.

Aspects of the Novel: A Novel, Catbird Press (North Haven, CT), 2003.

NOVELS UNDER PSEUDONYM HENRY SUTTON

The Exhibitionist, Geis (New York, NY), 1967.

The Voyeur, Geis (New York, NY), 1969.

Vector, Geis (New York, NY), 1970.

The Liberated, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1973.

The Sacrifice: A Novel of the Occult, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY), 1978.

The Proposal, Charter, 1980.

Gorleston, Sceptre (London, England) 1995.

Bank Holiday Monday, Sceptre (London, England), 1996.

TRANSLATOR

(And adaptor) The Eclogues of Virgil, illustrated by Raymond Davidson, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1971.

(And adaptor) The Eclogues and the Georgics of Virgil, illustrated by Raymond Davidson, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1972.

(And adaptor) The Tristia of Ovid, illustrated by Raymond Davidson, Bellflower Press (Chagrin Falls, OH), 1986.

(And adaptor) Ovid's Poetry of Exile, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1990.

(And editor) Seneca, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), Volume 1: The Tragedies, 1992, Volume 2: The Tragedies, 1994.

(And adaptor) The Fables of Avianus, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1993.

(And adaptor) The Metamorphoses of Ovid, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1994.

Aurelius Prudentius Clemens, Hymns of Prudentius: The Cathemerinon, or, The Daily Round, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1996.

(And editor) Sixty-one Psalms of David, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Broken Columns: Two Roman Epic Fragments, afterword by David Konstan, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1997.

Epic and Epigram: Two Elizabethan Entertainments, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1997.

(And editor) Aeschylus, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1998.

Ausonius: Three Amusements, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1998.

The Poem of Queen Esther, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Valerius Flaccus, Gaius, The Voyage of the Argo: The Argonautica of Gaius Valerius Flaccus, Johns Hopkins University Press, (Baltimore, MD), 1999.

The Latin Odes of Jean Dorat, Orchises, (Washington, DC), 2000.

Jean Dorat, The Book of Lamentations: A Meditation and Translation, Johns Hopkins University Press, (Baltimore, MD), 2001.

Jean de Sponde, Sonnets of Love and Death, Northwestern University Press (Evanston, IL), 2001.

Sextus Propertius, Propertius in Love: The Elegies, foreword by Matthew S. Santirocco, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2002.

Mary Zimmerman, Metamorphoses (play), Northwestern University Press (Evanston, IL), 2002.

Joachim du Bellay, The Regrets: A Bilingual Edition, Northwestern University Press Evanston, IL), 2004.

The Theban Plays of Sophocles: Selections, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2007.

OTHER

King Saul (play), produced in New York, NY, 1967.

The Cardinal Sins (two-act play; produced in New York, NY, 1969), Gardner, Pimm & Blackman, 1972.

(Editor) Adrien Stoutenburg, Land of Superior Mirages: New and Selected Poems, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1986.

Short Stories Are Not Real Life: Short Fiction, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1991.

Virgil (criticism and interpretation), Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1991.

(Editor, with Palmer Bovie) Plautus: The Comedies, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1995.

(Editor, with Palmer Bovie) Aeschylus, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1997.

(Editor, with Palmer Bovie) Aristophanes, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1998.

(Editor, with Palmer Bovie) Euripidies, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1998.

(Editor, with Palmer Bovie) Menander, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1998.

Get Thee to a Nunnery: Two Shakespearean Divertmentos, Catbird Press (North Haven, CT), 1999.

Re verse: Essays on Poetry and Poets, Northwestern University Press (Evanston, IL), 2005.

Blue State Blues (nonfiction), Wesleyan University Press (Middletown, CT), 2006.

Contributor to books, including The Girl in the Black Raincoat, edited by George Garrett, Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1966; The Writer's Voice, edited by Garrett, Morrow, 1973; Poetry: Points of Departure, edited by Henry Taylor, Winthrop, 1974; The Brand-X Anthology of Poetry, edited by William Zaranka, Apple-Wood Books, 1981; and Tygers of Wrath: Poems of Hate, Anger, and Invective, edited by X.J. Kennedy, University of Georgia Press, 1981. Contributor to periodicals, including Kenyon Review, Sewanee Review, Yale Review, New Republic, and Esquire.

ADAPTATIONS:

Film rights to The Hussar have been sold.

SIDELIGHTS:

David R. Slavitt has "lived three lives," wrote Margo Jefferson in the New York Times Book Review: "As a scrupulously genteel poet, as a serious minor novelist and as an exuberantly crass pseudonymous writer of potboilers." Despite his ventures into numerous literary genres, though, Slavitt considers himself a poet first and foremost—a poet who in fact writes novels only to support his habit of writing poetry. "Slavitt may well be unique in the contemporary American literary scene," observed George Garrett in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, "being able to write ‘public’ and ‘private’ novels (a distinction he now uses instead of the earlier and widely used division between ‘popular’ and ‘serious’ fiction) with apparent ease, with certainly no fall-off of energy, and, at one and the same time, to continue to be one of our most productive and independent poets."

Born in White Plains, New York, in 1935, Slavitt soon realized that he was part of "a grand scheme" of his father's to right an old wrong. At the end of his sophomore year in college, Slavitt's father was forced to withdraw from Yale because his own father had died and the family could no longer afford to pay the tuition. His hopes and dreams dashed, he was forced to finish his education through night classes at New York University, but he vowed to have a son one day and send him first to Andover and then to Yale. "Depending on how this story is told, it is either sad or else absurd and therefore funny. (Or maybe just plain nuts?)," reflected Slavitt in an essay for the Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series (CAAS). "It is Faulknerian, if on a somewhat smaller scale. As far as I was concerned, though, it was grand enough to surround me and dictate the terms of much of my life."

Making his way through the public schools in White Plains, Slavitt reflected that he was, and still is, "bright, quick, and also easily bored." Constantly told that he was not applying himself and he would never get into Yale if he did not, Slavitt explained in CAAS how this tempered his view of himself: "I was … aware of my enormous importance. Even in these elementary grades, I was getting double messages from my parents about how proud they were of my obvious abilities, and at the same time how distressed—or furious—they often were at my indifferent performance." Finishing up at the local schools, Slavitt continued on to Andover at the age of fifteen and experienced one of his first great disappointments. "What I discovered after a while was that it was just a huge, rich, rather picky high school that looked pretty good in comparison with most public high schools where the physical safety of the students can't be guaranteed," recalled Slavitt in his autobiographical essay. "My life was again divided between a set of arbitrary external demands—whether my father's or Andover's hardly made much difference—and an inner life, the expression, or at least the fantasy, of that specialness I'd been taught I bore. What I needed to prove, both to myself and to the world, was that I was as good as my parents had always thought, but on my terms and for my reasons rather than theirs."

It was while he was at Andover that Slavitt first began to write poetry, and for a while he even thought of applying to Harvard because he thought it would provide a better atmosphere for a would-be writer. Slavitt's father would not even discuss such an idea—his son would go to Yale, and then to Harvard Law School. Going along with his father, Slavitt did attend Yale and had a much better time than anticipated; Andover had prepared him well. In his CAAS essay Slavitt recalled that he viewed "Yale's general indifference to artists and intellectuals [as] appropriate preparation for the great world where nobody gives much of a damn whether you're a writer or not, or, if you're a writer, whether you finish the book you're working on or not, or do today's stint or just bag it."

Graduating magna cum laude in 1956, Slavitt disappointed his father by not going on to law school, and instead got his first job in the personnel office of Reader's Digest. After earning enough money to buy two spots on the Queen Elizabeth for himself and his bride to be, Slavitt married Lynn Meyer and the two sailed for Europe. Only a week after their arrival, however, the couple learned that Lynn's mother had died and they had to return home. Slavitt then decided to go back to school for his master's, which he earned from Columbia in 1957. His son was born a month later, and Slavitt resolved to give teaching a try before going on to earn his doctorate. The best offer he received was from Georgia Tech, but the experience was so unpleasant that Slavitt lasted for just less than a year. "It was just dreadful," he explained in CAAS. "The students weren't stupid, or most of them weren't. But they were badly educated in rural secondary schools in Georgia. They were ambitious kids who wanted to escape the farms and get jobs where they'd wear suits and ties and do drafting for Lockheed at Marietta. But there were no English majors at Tech, and the department was a service department, was made up of hopefuls like me and desperate has-beens who, to assuage the wounds to their pride, were teaching high-class stuff—Homer, Shakespeare, and all the classy authors. Fundamentally, there were two courses, remedial writing, and remedial reading, although they were called Composition and Literature."

When his wife came down with mononucleosis and required a significant amount of bed rest, Slavitt was able to escape back to his parents' house in White Plains. Soon after, he began his seven years at Newsweek, eventually becoming the film critic. "I look back on those … years at Newsweek as a valuable part of my training as a writer, both for the writing itself and for the observation of the world of show biz and the arts," related Slavitt in CAAS. It was near the beginning of his career at Newsweek that he had his first volume of poetry published in the "Poets of Today" series. "I was a published poet, but I didn't feel like one. I felt like a guy who works at Newsweek," said Slavitt in CAAS. It wasn't until he had published a novel and completed another volume of poetry that Slavitt finally decided to leave the magazine behind and become a full-time writer.

"Since the appearance of his first collection of poems, Suits for the Dead, Slavitt has proved himself to be one of the most adroitly versatile and productive writers in America," noted Garrett in his essay in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Garrett continued to say that "by most definitions and standards he would have to be regarded … as a major poet." In one of his principal collections, Vital Signs: New and Selected Poems, Slavitt collects all of his previously published poetry along with eighty-eight new pieces to create a volume of poems which "seem to be equally well-crafted, equally finished, and thus for all practical purposes, to be virtually simultaneous in the making rather than the result of a steady and discernable development," described Garrett. The poems in this collection, which are arranged by theme and subject, combine classical figures, "lively humor," and "wry truths," observed Library Journal contributor James McKenzie; and the subjects they encompass range from Slavitt's own everyday experience to the experience of ancient civilizations. Although Helen Vendler suggested in the New York Times Book Review that the poems are frequently flat and didactic, Poetry contributor Robert Holland considered Vital Signs to be "the kind of book one should not just read, but live with."

"Slavitt has always conceived of poetry as, essentially and by definition, an elite and hermetic art," related Garrett. Rounding the Horn, which contains "poems of statement and meditation, each built around a central image or metaphor, each related to all the others thematically and in sequence," said Garrett, deals with many of the same topics found in Slavitt's earlier works. Although Peter Stitt noted in Poetry that Slavitt "takes no artistic chances" and that the poems are "just a kind of mindless opinionizing," William H. Pritchard commented in Hudson Review that Rounding the Horn "is a thoroughly satisfactory book, always alive in its language, sometimes poignant and touching."

Slavitt's "special quality" in The Walls of Thebes is his "comic vision," observed J. Hafley in Choice, adding that it is the poet's "finest volume thus far." Life and art are the themes of this book, and there is a "pervasive melancholy" which is warranted by the "personal horror" found in the poems, observed Booklist contributor Joseph Parisi. Eight Longer Poems also examines these themes, suggested Publishers Weekly contributor Peggy Kaganoff, adding that Slavitt is able to transform "personal tragedy and individual suffering into universal circumstance." Slavitt is "a poet of almost brutally ironic contradictions," wrote Garrett. "He is a learned and gifted metricist and an elegant formalist, whose use of many and various verse forms, both traditional and oddly and newly designed, book by book, could easily be taken as a textbook for the use of forms in contemporary American poetry."

Aside from writing his own poetry, Slavitt also translated and interpreted the poetry of Virgil in The Eclogues of Virgil and The Eclogues and the Georgics of Virgil. "Borrowing from the ways of Medieval and Renaissance translators, Slavitt developed a method involving sections of summary, critical interpretation, and commentary; and dramatically, and with deliberate anachronism, introducing himself, the living poet and translator, speaking directly to the present-day reader," described Garrett. In the preface to the first volume, Slavitt justifies the liberties he takes in his translation: "My hope, in these renditions of Virgil's exciting poems, is that by taking certain liberties, I shall have been able to convey something of the experience of the originals, the exhilarating whipsaw feeling Virgil's readers must have experienced as they translated back from the bucolic pastures and fields of Meliboeus and Menalcas and Moeris to the elegant drawing rooms of Roman literary life, and then, feeling the brittleness, the sophistication, the suffocation of Rome, yearned for something else, something better—and by that yearning made the cardboard shepherds suddenly real as only the objects of profound desire can be." Philip Murray, writing in Poetry, believed Slavitt is successful in his translations, creating "a bright and clever book." Murray also commented: "The qualities Mr. Slavitt projects best are not always those most in evidence in the original although they are at times admirable in themselves. This is a ‘fun’ book, a funny and sad book, and eminently readable."

In addition to his poetry and his translations, Slavitt has also written a number of novels. Garrett noted in his essay on Slavitt's novels that "if we turn back to his poetry as a kind of touchstone for all his work, we shall see that one major characteristic of his poetry has not yet appeared in his fiction. And that quality is his profound interest in history." Among the characteristics that do appear Slavitt's novels are humor and satire. "He brings to his fiction a great deal of practical knowledge of and experience in the craft of writing, ranging from poetry to reportage and made richer and complex by his educational background with its emphasis on the classics," commented Garrett.

One of Slavitt's earlier novels, Anagrams, "offers a satirical insight into the Quality Lit Biz as conducted on American campuses," explained Michael Mewshaw in New York Times Book Review. The novel centers on Jerome Carpenter, a young poet who writes phony doctoral theses on the side to support his struggle as a poet. "As a display of verbal pyrotechnics, the book is unbeatable," stated Mewshaw. "Each page pulses with provocative opinions, puns, jokes and the sort of throwaway lines most authors parcel out for maximum mileage." Throughout the novel, the process of writing a long poem is described as Carpenter goes through it. Although a Publishers Weekly contributor found Anagrams "dry and stifling," Thomas Lask wrote in the New York Times that the novel "races along with comic inventiveness, like the last reel of a silent movie."

With another novel, Alice at 80, Slavitt blends fact and fiction. The book begins in 1932 with eighty-year-old Alice Liddell Hargreaves—the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland—receiving an honorary doctorate from Columbia University. Realizing that it is really Carroll who is being honored, Liddell begins to look back at how he influenced both her life and those of other young girls. Alice at 80 "has a hint of the dreamy magic of ‘Alice,’" observed Los Angeles Times Book Review contributor Richard Eder; "at the same time, it is a dangerously unsettling hypothesis about Dodgson's shy proclivities and their effect on three children that he photographed, sometimes nude." The other two girls are Isa Bowman, an actress who played Alice on stage, and Glenda Fenwick, who Carroll befriended on a beach in England. "Slavitt arranges their crossed paths and purposes in order to examine sex, fantasy and power as well as the emotionalities that bind them, the rules of age, gender and class that govern them," wrote Jefferson. "Alice at 80 is an original, an ingenious mixture of rumination and fantasy…. Slavitt writes with subtlety and a piercing indirection," concluded Eder.

The plot from a novel by an obscure German author is interpreted and rewritten by Slavitt in The Hussar. The protagonist is Stefan, a young new lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian Empire just prior to the Seven Weeks' War. His regiment is billeted in a small, insignificant border town, and Stefan must lodge with a sophisticated widow, Sonja, and her lame, beautiful daughter Eugenie. Fantasizing about the women before he arrives, Stefan becomes involved with both of them, and is astonished when they want the relationships to continue. After impregnating and marrying Eugenie, Stefan becomes morally confused and he shoots himself. The novel "is brought to life by the characters who engage our emotions" and "its esoteric source and intent" will appeal to "more scholarly audiences," suggested Library Journal contributor Lawrence Rungren. Pointing to the "witty and eruditious verve" in Slavitt's writing, Christopher Zenowich noted in the Chicago Tribune Books that "The Hussar is a curiously charming and bittersweet meditation."

The narrator of Lives of the Saints, is a journalist who writes for a trashy Florida tabloid. Working on a story about the victims of a mass murder at the local Piggly-Wiggly, he focuses on the things they left behind, using the objects to get a sense of who the victims were. Throughout the novel the narrator routinely quotes Nicolas Malebranche, a French writer who did not believe in cause and effect, only random and illogical events. This is accounted for when it is explained that the narrator's wife and daughter were recently killed by a drunk driver; by spouting the philosophy of Malebranche, the journalist is saying he can find no logical explanation for the accident. "Slavitt is an original and ingenious writer," noted Eder in Los Angeles Times, adding: "Lives of the Saints juggles with a lovely selection of paradoxes and speculations and with the silliness, comedy and grief that lie in its characters' lives." According to Michael Upchurch in the Washington Post, the novel "is angelically written, devilishly constructed and all too peculiarly human. Here's some impressive and entertaining fiction by a writer who deserves to be better known."

Although Slavitt suffers from anonymity under his own name, he did gain fame and recognition with his writings under the pseudonym Henry Sutton. Slavitt entered the popular literary business after publisher Bernard Geis was amused by one of his book reviews in the New York Herald Tribune and suggested what financial gains Slavitt could realize by writing a bestseller. "I replied," recalled Slavitt in his CAAS essay, "thanking him for his interest but letting him know that he had the wrong fellow. I was a high-brow low-revenue kind of author." Geis was insistent, though, and Slavitt met with him during his next trip to New York; and under the pseudonym of Henry Sutton, The Exhibitionist catapulted Slavitt into the world of popular fiction. The only reason for the pseudonym, explained Slavitt in his essay, was to sustain his first novel written under his own name, Rochelle; or Virtue Rewarded, which was to be published in the same month The Exhibitionist was slated to appear. In this way, bookstores could carry a substantial number of both works.

Discussing the pseudonym in relation to his other work, Slavitt once told CA: "I have had to struggle with Sutton for years. It seemed to me at the time a simple enough indication of what I was doing. No one criticizes Chrysler for manufacturing Plymouths under a different name, or the Omega company for putting out Tissot watches. But my assumption of a second name for a different kind of writing seemed to offend a certain middle-brow sensibility. Most newspapers dismissed any Sutton book as slumming, and also dismissed anything I did under my own name as high-brow and low-revenue and, paradoxically, just as proper to be ignored. Now that I've paid for the education of my children, I think it extremely unlikely that I'll ever write a pseudonymous book again."

Slavitt also commented to CA on his relative anonymity since his Sutton books. "Even as a poet, I have been more or less ignored," he explained. "The old snobbishness about poets who wrote any fiction at all seems to have faded away. But it is not yet permissible to have written successful commercial fiction. I say this without any particular complaint. I rather like being ignored, having by now become accustomed to the freedom and the privacy that are the handmaidens to obscurity. I've come to understand that the lit biz is a silly waste of time. Literature, on the other hand, is not." And in his autobiographical essay Slavitt explained that this obscurity enabled him "to return to a kind of amateur status as a writer, by which I mean that from here on I'm unlikely to write anything strictly or even primarily for money. It has to be a book I'd do for the fun of it. And if it doesn't get published, too bad."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series, Volume 3, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1986.

Contemporary Literary Criticism, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 5, 1976, Volume 14, 1980.

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 5: American Poets since World War II, 1980, Volume 6: American Novelists since World War II, Second Series, 1980.

Garrett, George, editor, The Writer's Voice: Conversations with Contemporary Writers, Morrow (New York, NY), 1973.

Garrett, George, My Silk Purse and Yours, University of Missouri Press (Columbia, MO), 1992.

Slavitt, David, translator and adaptor, The Eclogues of Virgil, illustrated by Raymond Davidson, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1971.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, October 15, 1986, Joseph Parisi, review of The Walls of Thebes, p. 322.

Choice, October, 1986, J. Hafley, review of The Walls of Thebes, p. 310.

Hudson Review, winter, 1975-76, review of Vital Signs: New and Selected Poems, p. 595; summer, 1979, William H. Pritchard, review of Rounding the Horn, p. 256.

Library Journal, May 15, 1975, James McKenzie, review of Vital Signs, p. 991; February 15, 1981, review of Dozens: A Poem, p. 456; May 15, 1987, Lawrence Rungren, review of The Hussar, p. 99; April 15, 1990, Thom Tammaro, review of Eight Longer Poems, p. 97.

Los Angeles Times, December 21, 1989, Richard Eder, review of Lives of the Saints,

Los Angeles Times Book Review, July 15, 1984, Richard Eder, review of Alice at 80, p. 3.

New Republic, August 20, 1990, Bernard Knox, review of Ovid's Poetry of Exile, p. 29.

New Yorker, January 29, 1990, review of Lives of the Saints, p. 95.

New York Review of Books, January 15, 1998, Bernard Knox, review of The Metamorphoses of Ovid, p. 1998.

New York Times, November 3, 1967, review of Rochelle; Or Virtue Rewarded, p. 43; July 26, 1971, Thomas Lask, review of Anagrams, p. 23.

New York Times Book Review, September 17, 1967, review of Rochelle; Or Virtue Rewarded, p. 44; May 5, 1968, review of Feel Free p. 38; February 16, 1969, review of The Voyeur, p. 52; September 5, 1971, Michael Mewshaw, review of Anagrams, p. 6; January 14, 1973, review of ABCD, p. 25; July 8, 1973, review of The Outer Mongolian, p. 22; October 27, 1974, review of The Killing of the King, p. 50; September 7, 1975, Helen Vendler, review of Vital Signs, p. 6; January 2, 1977, review of King of Hearts, p. 18; March 18, 1979, Janet Maslin, review of The Idol, p. 20; August 19, 1984, Margo Jefferson, review of Alice at 80, p. 12; February 15, 1987, Robert von Hallberg, review of Land of Superior Mirages: New and Selected Poems, p. 42; August 2, 1987, Ursula Hegi, review of The Hussar, p. 16; February 11, 1990, Margot Mifflin, review of Lives of the Saints, p. 18; June 3, 1990, review of Salazar Blinks, p. 38; January 19, 1992, Joan Mooney, review of Short Stories Are Not Real Life: Short Fiction, p. 18; April 17, 1994, Bruce Bennett, review of Crossroads, p. 20.

Poetry, August, 1972, Philip Murray, review of The Eclogues of Virgil, p. 304; February, 1977, Robert Holland, review of Vital Signs, p. 285; January, 1980, Peter Stitt, review of Rounding the Horn, p. 230.

Publishers Weekly, May 10, 1971, review of Anagrams, p. 39; March 30, 1990, Peggy Kaganoff, review of Eight Longer Poems, p. 56.

Spectator, May 4, 1974, review of ABCD, p. 547.

Times Literary Supplement, November 6, 1970, review of Anagrams, p. 1291; May 3, 1974, review of ABCD, p. 465; December 29, 1995, Sylvia Brownrigg, review of Gorleston, p. 20.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), October 8, 1987, Christopher Zenowich, review of The Hussar, p. 3.

Virginia Quarterly Review, winter, 1972, review of Anagrams, p. R16; spring, 1975, review of The Killing of the King, p. R52.

Washington Post, January 25, 1990, Michael Upchurch, review of The Lives of the Saints.

Washington Post Book World, August 22, 1971, review of The Vector, p. 13; March 18, 1973, review of The Liberated, p. 15; August 26, 1984, review of Alice at 80, p. 4; September 25, 1994, review of The Cliff, p. 4.

West Coast Review of Books, July, 1978, review of Jo Stern, p. 36; November, 1978, review of The Sacrifice, p. 41.

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"Slavitt, David R. 1935- (David Benjamin, Henry Lazarus, Lynn Meyer, David Rytman Slavitt, Henry Sutton)." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 17, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/slavitt-david-r-1935-david-benjamin-henry-lazarus-lynn-meyer-david-rytman-slavitt-henry-sutton

"Slavitt, David R. 1935- (David Benjamin, Henry Lazarus, Lynn Meyer, David Rytman Slavitt, Henry Sutton)." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Retrieved November 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/slavitt-david-r-1935-david-benjamin-henry-lazarus-lynn-meyer-david-rytman-slavitt-henry-sutton

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