The Art of Literary Biography, Part 5 of 7: Byron, Greene, and Yeats

Leland Lyons, Leslie Marchand, and Norman Sherry discuss their research  and writing practices and the issues they encounter as biographers of W. B. Yeats, Lord Byron (George Gordon), and Graham Greene, respectively. The scholars address the distinction between literary criticism and literary biography, describing how they employ literary interpretation in biographies they have written, and how aspects of their subjects’ lives can be perceived in their work. Sherry describes his experience as the biographer of a living author, his interactions with Greene, and examples of Greene’s sense of humor.

At the time of this interview, Lyons, a Fellow at the National Humanities Center (1982-83) and authorized biographer of Yeats, was former provost of Trinity College, Dublin. Marchand was professor emeritus of English at Rutgers University; she is the author of a three-volume biography of Byron, and editor of the poet’s diaries and letters. Sherry, a Fellow at the Center (1982-83) and the authorized biographer of Greene, was professor of literature at Trinity University.

This edition of Soundings was conducted by Wayne J. Pond.



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