White on Merrill

From an essay collected in The Burning Library, Edmund White writing on James Merrill’s writing:

In this moment, as in the alchemy of a pun or the stored energy of a ‘deadwood’ expression, things lose their solidity, flow or flame into something else, vanish only to show up elsewhere — the fast-motion film of decay and rebirth, the physicist’s view of the conservation of energy joined to the naturalist’s view of random and ever proliferating variation. This alertness to transubstantiation is the religious impulse behind Merrill’s verse.

Equally a materialist concern with mutability, the patina of aura.

And so for day 453

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