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Additional info for Essays for Richard Ellmann: Omnium Gatherum
Mary was the picture of distraction and worry. As the experienced father now of three, all good howlers on occasion, I picked Stevie up, laid him over my shoulder, and firmly patted his diaper. An enormous burp erupted. He gave one last yip and dropped into sound, sweet sleep. Mary of course absorbed the whole lesson instantly. As for Dick, I watched his face reassembling itself stage by stage as he took in, considered, comprehended, and assimilated all the levels of meaning and guidance in this demonstration.
Nearly every day I had fresh cause to bless the luck that had brought us together. I might say, too, that we were not at all in competition. He was there to work on his biography of Yeats. I had come to learn as much about Ireland as I could and possibly to meet some of the writers—in particular Sean O'Faolain, Frank O'Connor and Austin Clarke—in whose work I was then most interested. Three years earlier I had had an exchange of letters with O'Faolain and I now thought I might write him, asking for an interview.
Mary of course absorbed the whole lesson instantly. As for Dick, I watched his face reassembling itself stage by stage as he took in, considered, comprehended, and assimilated all the levels of meaning and guidance in this demonstration. Then he began to laugh, chuckling softly in his wonted way. 1 At that time, although Michaux had been writing for over twenty years and had an established reputation in France, his work was scarcely known hi the United States except through a few translations in small magazines.