Books: The Prodigal

SELECTED LETTERS OF DYLAN THOMAS edited by Constantine FitzGibbon. 420 pages. New Directions. $8.50.

Remember me? Round, red, robustly raddled, a bulging Apple among poets, hard as nails made of cream cheese, gap-toothed, balding, noisome, a great collector of dust and a magnet for moths, mad for beer, frightened of priests, women, Chicago, writers, distance, time, children, geese, death, in love, frightened of love, liable to drip.

Almost 17 years after Dylan Thomas wrote this bitterly lighthearted self-description, a great many people wonder if they do indeed remember him. The lecherous, boozy, pudgy little...

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