Berryman's Recovery

Have been readin' with great interest John Berryman's unfinished (semi-autobiographical?) novel, Recovery. Set in an addiction rehab/treatment (AA) center (in Minnesota?). Self-centered, egotistical, self-conscious, ambitious, vain main character ("Alan Severance") - yet also vulnerable, aware of his faults, quick to observe & engage others... Berryman had such high intense nervous energy, so quick to go haywire, so various & in many ways committed, devoted, well-meaning (at least to poetry & the word, if not to others...). Want to read the Paul Mariani bio.

Recovery reminded me of A. Gopnik article in recent New Yorker, on Van Gogh : where he describes V. Gogh's intense communitarian idealism, his naivete... & how he only found a "beloved community", of caring fellow-sufferers, in the last years of his life - in a "mental institution"...

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