Posts Tagged: Juvenilia
5

"Dear Abby, When I Was A Young Man"

Part of a series about youth.

How exactly I came to write a "Dear Abby" letter from Dick Diver, the protagonist of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night, I don't know. When exactly I did it, I can't say. I discovered this overwrought, clicheful, usage-challenged soliloquy—for though it's addressed to an advice columnist, no question is posed, and no advice is sought—when I pulled the book off the shelf the other month, and I would really like to pretend that it's something I jotted down at, say, the age of ten. But I first read the book at fourteen, and it was my favorite novel on and off [...]

7

Two Early Poems By Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt

I didn't even know that Thebe Kgositsile, a.k.a. Earl Sweatshirt, went to my elementary school before I started leafing through old copies of "The Poet Tree," the poetry collection from our alma mater, Community Magnet School in Los Angeles.

His poem "Mummies" (my favorite of the two here) needs no explanation, except to note that it's incredible to see a five- or six-year-old with the swagger of Biggie or the like. This bigger-than-the-world-and-all-the-scary-things-in-it mentality is something that many rappers front, but what makes Earl Sweatshirt so amazing is that he's genuinely had it since he was a tot (just compare his poem to the one below his to see the [...]

32

David Foster Wallace, "Viking Poem"

The recent acquisition of the late David Foster Wallace's archives by the University of Texas' Harry Ransom Center will no doubt provide both scholars and fans with countless layers of information to process and debate. It has also provided this poem about Vikings, written by a six- or seven-year-old Wallace, which I cannot help but find both charming and tragic. (Not that I am suggesting there is anything romantic about suicide, because we don't do that here.) There's just a sweetness to this poem and the obvious enthusiasm with which he wrote it that makes me reflect on the joys of childhood that we tend to forget. [Via]