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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Robert Frost Unplugged

The recordings of several lectures and a discussion with poet Robert Frost, which were left forgotten in the Dartmouth College Library in New Hampshire, will be published for the first time.

The journal Literary Imagination has revealed it will publish a transcript of one the lectures and exchanges in its next edition.

“It’s like Frost unplugged,” said Peter Campion, editor of Literary Imagination.

Previously unpublished lectures would drive scholars crazy in and of themselves, but in addition to that, we’re getting him in discussion. He’s sitting down with a bunch of 20-year-olds and trying to teach them. That involves anecdotes, stories, jokes, funny little disses on his contemporaries.

Frost’s unorthodox delivery is revealed in the recordings, in which he rambles and goes off on tangents and sometimes begins reading poems out loud.

He gives advice: “Now there’s two ways to take the world that are safe. One is as a joke, take it humorously. Learn to take a joke and so learn to take the world by the help of jokes.”

And: “Stay stubborn, if nothing else. Don’t let ’em tell you too much…. That doesn’t mean you have to be nasty.”

One Response to “Robert Frost Unplugged”

  1. Richard Madelin says:

    Reminds me of ‘Old School’ the novel by Tobias Wolff. Takes place in a New England prep school where staff and pupils are obsessed with literature. Every year a famous author judges a short story competition. Frost is one of the authors. It’s a great read. Marvellous caricatures.

    jb says: Thanks, Richard. Another one for my TBR list.