The following excerpted discussion on the subject of literary biography is one of a continuing series of private seminars held at the Casa Ecco on Lake Como, chaired by Drue Heinz and Grey Gowrie. This is the third conversazione published in these pages after “Humor” (136) and “Travel and Travel Writing” (147). A conversation on religion is forthcoming, and this fall a seminar is planned on the art of translation, its findings to be published next year. The Panel and their most recent works are listed below.


DRUE HEINZ, Publisher of The Paris Review

GREY GOWRIE, Head of the Arts Council of England; Chair of the proceedings at Lake Como

JAMES ATLASDelmore Schwartz: The Life of an American Poet; Bellow (forthcoming)

R.F. FOSTER, W.B. Yeats: A Life, vol. 1

DAN FRANKLIN, Publishing Director of Jonathan Cape

ROBERT GIROUX, Editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux

VICTORIA GLENDINNINGElizabeth Bowen; Edith Sitwell; Vita; Rebecca West; Jonathan Swift

SELINA HASTINGS, Nancy Mitford; Ev…