I grieve to report the passing today of my friend D.G. Myers, a critic of great force and penetration who also blogged eloquently about literature and, more recently, his own terminal cancer.
I made brief but admiring mention of David two weeks ago in this essay about L.E. Sissman. Yesterday I learned that his time was short and wrote this tribute:
David Myers is a tough critical customer. He takes no reputations at face value. All he cares about is the quality of the art object itself, and he applies his standards rigorously and unflinchingly. But that makes him sound like something other than what he is, a thoroughly decent man of deeply humane values who looks to literature for that which great art is uniquely well suited to provide: beauty, clarity, consolation, truth. I in turn have long looked to him for critical guidance, confident that whatever he recommends will be worth reading. We don’t always agree, but I know that I can always take him seriously. That knowledge is a blessing.
It will be published next week in an online Festschrift that is being prepared by Patrick Kurp and to which I will link as soon as it goes on line.
Farewell, David. You were a brave and inspiring soul.
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Jimmy Rushing sings “Goin’ to Chicago Blues” with the Benny Goodman Orchestra in 1958. I sent this video to David when he was having a very bad day a few months ago. It buoyed his spirits then. May it comfort his friends now: