“Something about the stillness of his shoulders touched me.”

Earlier this month I tiptoed into the third-floor Berg Collection, where you need to file a request slip even to sneeze, to consult a copy of Samuel Johnson’s “Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland.” It turned out to have belonged once to James Merrill, and the endpapers were doodled with fragments of his poetry.

EDMUND MORRIS, “Sacking a Place of Culture,” New York Times Sunday Review, April 21, 2012

Photo: KIRBY, The Berg Collection, NYPL

*or, Death of a Book Lover

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