Eulogy: James Laughlin

PIONEER PUBLISHER Sporting muddy work clothes as he cleared a trail with his chainsaw in Norfolk, Conn., 6-ft. 7-in. James Laughlin looked more like a refugee from the set of the film Deliverance than one of America's most distinguished publishers. Except for indulgences such as a fondness for television shows like Hawaii Five-O, Laughlin was austere--in his business ventures, his poetry and his habits. New Directions, the publishing house he founded while still a sophomore at Harvard, gave meager advances but brought to the world's attention Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Henry Miller and many other authors who had struggled to...

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