Robert Fitzgerald   The Third Kind of Knowledge: Memoirs and Selected Writings.
Edited by Penelope Laurans Fitzgerald.
New Directions, 279 pages, $24.95

reviewed by Cynthia Zarin

The remarkable thing about this collection of pieces by the late Robert Fitzgerald, who is best known for his enduring translations of the Odyssey, the Iliad, and the Aeneid, is not that he wrote graceful essays about translation but rather that a number of his memoirs and portraits of contemporaries place him in the first rank of writers. The memoirs propel him straightaway into the constellation that counts among its luminaries his friends William Maxwell and Peter Taylor, and the portraits of James Agee and Flannery O’Connor stand shoulder to shoulder with the elegies by Hannah Arendt collected in her book Men in Dark Times. His prose output, of course, was slighter than that of any of...


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