Wilson Taylor: On "Recollections of Stevens by Acquaintances"

"I didn’t know him as anything but a lawyer and a business executive [in 1931, when Taylor, an experienced surety lawyer, began working in the Hartford Accident and Indemnity’s Insurance Department in New York] …

To him [gallery going] was just part of life. And Stevens enjoyed life. I don’t care what aspect of it, he enjoyed it. A few times we’d go over to some concert in the Times Square area: he used to like Stravinsky, and we’d go to some Stravinsky concerts over there. I don’t think we ever went to a musical. I don’t think we ever went to a play. He enjoyed things from Forty-second Street north to the Carlyle Hotel, and in between there were bistros and there were galleries; this, that and the other. This is mostly on the East Side, up and down Madison Avenue.

Sometimes he’d come down and he’d just walk around by himself. He loved to walk. [Once] he was walking down Madison Avenue, looking at the antique stores. This particular one was closed. He called me Monday morning , said he’d been [to New York from Hartford] Saturday, and he saw this lamp. He recognized it as a choice piece of pottery, porcelain I guess it was, and some kind of fancy shade on it. He wanted to know if I could go up there that day and see if I could buy it for him. So I went up and the price on this little old table lamp was two hundred dollars. That was a lot of money in the thirties. "Oh, good God!" he said, but he sent the two hundred dollars down. He said, "Make them pack it well, and they’ll have to pay the cost of the shipping." And they did; they were probably darn glad to get two hundred dollars. …"

From Peter Brazeau, ed. Parts of a World: Wallace Stevens Remembered (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1985), 84-85.


Criticism Overview
Title Wilson Taylor: On "Recollections of Stevens by Acquaintances" Type of Content Biographical
Criticism Author Wilson Taylor Criticism Target Wallace Stevens
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 16 Nov 2015
Publication Status Original Criticism Publication Parts of a World: Wallace Stevens Remembered
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