Milton + Reznikoff + Helen Adam = Cured?
In his review of the Kingsley Amis compendium “Everyday Drinking,” Dwight Garner recounts the elder Amis' cure for the “metaphysical” hangover:
“Amis recommended, among other things, a course of 'hangover reading,' one that “rests on the principle that you must feel worse emotionally before you start to feel better. A good cry is the initial aim.'
Thus he suggested beginning with Milton — 'My own choice would tend to include the final scene of ‘Paradise Lost,’ ' he wrote, 'with what is probably the most poignant moment in all our literature coming at lines 624-6' — before running through Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Eric Ambler and, finally, a poulticelike application of light comedies by P. G. Wodehouse and Peter De Vries.”
All good suggestions, of course, but instead of leaving the poetry behind at Milton, I wonder if anyone has any ideas on the proper lineated treatment for the post-bender spiritual malaise?
Travis Nichols is the author of two books of poetry: Iowa (2010, Letter Machine Editions) and See Me Improving (2010); and he is the author of two novels: Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder (2012) and The More You Ignore Me (2013). He has contributed to The Believer, Paste, The...