The Man Who Would Marry Susan Sontag And Other Intimate Literary Portraits of the Bohemian Era
by Edward Field (Goodreads Author)
Long before Stonewall,young Air Force veteran Edward Field, fresh from combat in WWII, threw himself into New York’s literary bohemia, searching for fulfillment as a gay man and poet. In this vivid account of his avant-garde years in Greenwich Village and the bohemian outposts of Paris’s Left Bank and Tangier—where you could write poetry, be radical, and be openly gay—Fiel...more
Hardcover, 302 pages
Published December 9th 2005 by University of Wisconsin Press
(first published 2005)
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I have known Edward Field and his poetry for nearly thirty-five years. Unlike many of my youthful enthusiasms, my admiration for Field’s work has endured and grown. His memoir goes a long way towards explaining why. Like his poetry, which always has something to say, it is smart, direct, informal and unpretentious, but serious. The several reviews I’ve read suggest that the main attraction of The Man Who Would Marry Susan Sontag (The Man Who, for short) is that it resurrects a lost world, New Yo...more
In some ways, this is a graceless book. It covers some of the same terrain as Edmund White's novels/memoirs, but with less of a narrative arc. And Field's prose is hardly fluid--here's hoping that his poetry is better, more artful. Although, in some ways, that's his argument: that his poetry was "natural" and free of artifice. Yes, yes. A bohemian, living for his art, taking care of his lover. The book does touch on some lesser-known personalities around the New York School years, which was inte...more
Jun 17, 2007 Hamad rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: self-proclaimed bohemians, Village residents, writers & poets
If you take away the consistent name-dropping and sporadic shifts in time and place (but I suppose that could have been done deliberately), you can perhaps enjoy the details of the lives of young, up-and-coming writers, poets and artists in an era when such intellectuals rejected the whole-sale consumption of their art. It is though an invaluable work as it tries to bring some very intelligent people (and their ideas) back to life.
This is a must memoir to read about the life of a fine poet and his friendships with writers such as Alfred Chester and Susan Sontag. There have been quite a few memoirs about Sontag recently as well as the publication of her journals, but Field, for my money, is much more credible in sizing up how someone becomes "Susan Sontag."
EDWARD FIELD was born in Brooklyn, and grew up in Lynbrook, L.I., where he played cello in the Field Family Trio which had a weekly radio program on WGBB Freeport. He served in WWII in the 8th Air Force as a navigator in heavy bombers, and flew 25 missions over Germany. He began writing poetry during World War II, after a Red Cross worker handed him an anthology of poetry. But it was not until 196...moreMore about Edward Field...