Remembering Richard Howard

Craig Morgan Teicher at The Paris Review:

Reading was Richard’s primary occupation. His New York apartment was covered in books, floor to ceiling, interrupted only by a desk, a few places to sit, a bed in a book-lined alcove (which was also home to Mildred, Richard’s life-size stuffed gorilla), and the bathroom, adorned with dozens of small portraits of famous writers, glaring at anyone who dared use the toilet. The kitchen was an afterthought—mostly a place to store kibble for Gide, his eccentric French bulldog, since Richard almost always ate out. I used to care for Gide when Richard traveled, so I was once there on his return from a trip to Europe with his husband, the artist David Alexander; the souvenir Richard was most excited to show off was a gargantuan copy—I think in French, though perhaps in the original Italian—of Leopardi’s Zibaldone, which had not yet been translated into English in its entirety. Finally he could read it! New books were among the major events of his life. By his door was always a growing stack of books to sell to the Strand; at some point David had introduced the rule that for every new book that came in, one had to go out.

more here.