Vistas of Perfection: The self-dissatisfied life and art of James Agee

From Harvard Magazine:

Agee In September 1928, James Agee moved in to his freshman dorm at Harvard—room B-41 in George Smith Hall, a building that is now part of Kirkland House. Decades later, after Agee had become a kind of legend—for his tormented life and early death, no less than for his great books, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and A Death in the Family—his roommate, Robert Saudek, remembered what it was like to catch a first glimpse of the 18-year-old Tennessean. Already, he wrote, Agee seemed somehow larger than life, more like an apparition or a force of nature than a college freshman:

The door burst open and in strode the roommate—tall, shy, strong, long arms and legs, a small head, curly dark hair, a spring in his heels as he bounded past with a wicker country suitcase in one hand and an enormous, raw pine box on his shoulder. He turned his head suddenly, squinted his eyes in an apologetic smile, said softly, “Hello, Agee’s my name,” swept through to an empty bedroom and deposited his belongings, bounded back through the gabled, maroon-and-white study, murmured “See you all later,” waved an awkward farewell and didn’t show up again for several days. Such was the magnetic field that had rushed through the room, that I didn’t even think to introduce myself. Now that I had seen him, heard him, and learned to pronounce his name, he was more of a stranger than before.

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