Review: Rector, The Executive Director of the Fallen World

October 27, 2006
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Robert Pinsky’s weekly column for the Washington Post recently featured new work by Liam Rector from his book The Executive Director of the Fallen World. Pinsky writes:

Liam Rector’s new book, The Executive Director of the Fallen World, expresses a stringent yet generous tone toward the profane, ignoble world of his title. Without necessarily forgiving himself or the rest of greedy and needy humanity, Rector chooses instead a dry, somewhat charitable acknowledgment that the world is… worldly.

Pinsky chooses the poem “Twenty-Three” and gives it a short but approving treatment to back up this assessment of Rector’s work saying:

Fatalistic about the behavior of groups, [“Twenty-Three”] is resigned to the fallen nature of the individual. There’s a forgiving element, a sad shrug and smile, in the idea that the vulnerabilities, failings and dreams of our early 20’s persist, somewhere in us, for the rest of life. And though worldly, that notion… suggests the opposite of “disillusion”: The beautiful albeit deluded youth inside us endures, and keeps wanting the world.

Pinsky’s review reprints the full text of “Twenty-Three.”

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