To the Editors:
We are writing to express our anger at Philip Levine's recent memoir-review of the late Henri Coulette and his Collected Poems, which was published in the first issue of Common Knowledge (Spring 1992). We are writing to The New Criterion—a journal in which Coulette's poems regularly appeared—because the editors of Common Knowledge have refused to open their pages to any response, even to a correction of the many misrepresentations of which Levine is guilty.
Levine and Coulette, once the closest of friends, were estranged for many years. Although Levine claims that he does not wish to say anything against his former friend or to damage his literary reputation, his essay is contrived to do precisely that. After some pages of seemingly affectionate reminiscence, sprinkled with errors, exaggerations and fantastic assertions, he introduces a...