Post-Homeric Derek: <i>The Bounty</i> and <i>Tiepolo's Hound</i>

Paul Breslin

in Nobody's Nation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780226074269
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226074283 | DOI:
Post-Homeric Derek: The Bounty and Tiepolo's Hound

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In 1992, Walcott received the Nobel Prize, and as Bruce King observes, for some time afterward he “appeared a bit directionless.” Suddenly people who had never cared about his work before were besieging him with requests. There were other distractions as well: a sexual harassment charge in 1994, the death of his mother, Alix Walcott, in 1992 and of his close friend Joseph Brodsky in 1996. The Bounty (1997) was released seven years after the publication of Omeros. Haunted by the death of his mother and his friend and by his own advancing age, The Bounty is Walcott's most melancholy book. Tiepolo's Hound began as a project undertaken as Walcott was finishing The Bounty. In June 1996, when Walcott turned the Bounty manuscript over to Farrar, Straus and Giroux, he and Sigrid “also signed a contract ... for a book of about a hundred Walcott paintings and drawings which Walcott said he would introduce with a ten-page essay.” By November 1997, the essay had become a poem in progress, and what finally emerged was a novella-length poem, accompanied by reproductions of twenty-six Walcott paintings.

Keywords: Derek Walcott; drawings; Omeros; poetry; paintings; Nobel Prize; Alix Walcott; Joseph Brodsky

Chapter.  5811 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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