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Coda: Thom Gunn, Inside and Outside

Coda: Thom Gunn, Inside and Outside

(p.287) Coda: Thom Gunn, Inside and Outside
At the Barriers
Robert Pinsky
University of Chicago Press

Robert Pinsky's deft and illuminating portrait of Gunn “inside and outside,” “at the barriers,” captures the essential “all-of-the-above” paradox of Gunn's shrewd genius. Inside and outside, prudent and crazy—this doubleness is more than a matter of personality, and beyond gossip, more than simply psychological or social: because as an artist, too, Thom Gunn is all-of-the-above. To see only the meticulous prosody or only the flamboyant sexuality, only the scholarship or only the hedonism, only England or San Francisco, only literature or only gay life—or to see only stereotypes of these categories—is to misperceive his genius.

Keywords:   Thom Gunn, doubleness, prosody, sexuality, hedonism

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