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Oh that 20th century! Sex and Fun/chaos and divorce!
by Lisa Gray Millimet, special to the Corpse


painting
Margaret Babcock by Peter Blume

The other day I was sorting through some old papers of the grandmother of a friend and we came upon letters to her from Hart Crane. She was a character, on the art and literary and alcohol scene in NYC and elsewhere in the earlier part of the 20th century. She was, she told, responsible for sobering Hart up enough-sometimes daily-to complete "The Bridge." The stories she had! but sadly, her relationship with her only child was not good and no one took them down. Her friendships with Edna St. Vincent Millay, from Camden here, and many writers and artists, like Crane and Peggy and Malcolm Cowley and Peter Blume, were filled with talk and ideas and escapades and sex and fun/chaos and divorce. There is a painting Bloom did, with her mostly naked, in Penobscott Bay here in the harbor-her family owned the island at that time and four of them (three men, one woman) spent a good part of that summer out there. I have included it in an attachment. Oh, I forgot to tell you that, when Margaret showed her mother and grandmother Bloom's painting, Ada Frye, the grandmother, fainted dead away. A true Victorian, that Ada.

Maine, June 18, 2008

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