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This article is taken from PN Review 230, Volume 42 Number 6, July - August 2016.

Bink Noll David R. Slavitt
THERE IS A SMALL, handsome book on my shelf called Seven Princeton Poets that my good friend the late George Garrett gave me, and the roster of its contributors is an impressive one: Louis Coxe, Garrett, Theodore Holmes, Galway Kinnell, William Meredith, W. S. Merwin, and Bink Noll.

The last of these names is remembered, if at all, by connoisseurs of catastrophe, because he was invited back to Princeton to give a reading and was deeply pleased to be returning to his alma mater to perform. But it didn’t go well.

A graduate student had been charged with meeting him, taking him to dinner at one of the eating clubs, and then escorting him to the room where the reading was to be held. All very straightforward, or so one might expect. But the graduate student, having made strenuous apologies, explained to Mr Noll that he had learned just an hour or so before, that he could drive Albert Camus from his New York hotel to the airport for his plane back to Paris. This meant he would have an hour or so alone with Camus, the subject of his thesis. An opportunity of a lifetime. If it was all right with Mr Noll, then, the student would introduce him, leave him his cheque, and then leave to drive like a madman to New York. Would that be okay? Noll understood that this was important to the young man and said it would be perfectly fine for him to do that.   ...


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