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“A lot of metaphor must be in the beholder’s eye. My kind of mind is so used to ‘seeing double’ that it finds unwelcome subtexts in an instruction manual…A psychiatrist friend calls the creative temperament Janusian—after Janus, whose nature is to look both ways. I thought everybody was like that but he said no, that for him, the implications of phrases like a ‘dark white’ or a ‘burning cold’—which are mother’s milk to me—left him feeling, you know, seasick…”

“James Merrill,” interviewed by Thomas Bolt, BOMB magazine, Issue 36, Summer 1991.
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