Dan Chiasson didn't review Derek Walcott's The Prodigal ("Eight Takes," April 2005). Chiasson's diatribe seems nothing more than an opportunity to finally let Walcottand all those who can't see beyond "the ravishing catalogues, the twilit epiphanies, the bold strokes of rhetoric"have it hard and where it hurts most: in the review section, the space where the white light of criticisma trusted spaceis supposed to illuminate the work at hand and make way for astute comments about that work as connected to the author's oeuvre. Here, there's no movement forward, no change in direction, just a lot of renouncing (all source word/phrases from Chiasson). I'll stop here because I feel myself wanting to rant, to rail against Chiasson for misusing these pages, for underwhelming us and trying to pollute this rigorous space with a review that actually reads: "You see I haven't said much specifically about this book."
Columbia, South Carolina