Books: In the Mouth of Fame

THE SELECTED LETTERS OF JOHN KEATS (282 pp.)—Edited by Lionel Trilling—Farrar, Straus & Young ($3.50).

Keats's letters are among the best in the language; they move toward a poignant climax as the young poet, his powers barely glimpsed, realizes that he will die young (tuberculosis killed him at the age of 25). That Keats was a full-blooded man as well as a literary genius is the main impression left by this collection, for which Lionel Trilling (The Middle of the Journey; The Liberal Imagination) has written a sparkling introduction.

As a schoolboy, John Keats...

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