Read at The New York Review of Books
Elizabeth Bishop's poems and prose were published this year to mark the centenary of her birth. Her work is now regarded as profound and overwhelming, alongside poets like Eliot and Stevens.
It is no exaggeration to say that her poems get larger and stranger and more overwhelming with every reading.
The new editions of Bishop's work raise a problem known as the new biographical fallacy, where an artist's work is burdened with the detritus of their life. This practice is creeping into mainstream publishing, as seen in the collection of Bishop's drafts and desk-scraps called Edgar Allan Poe & The Juke-Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts, and Fragments.
One might call it the new biographical fallacy, born of this age of too much information.