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At The Rake, I make my bid to become a more butch version of Robert Osborne, with the first-ever biography of the poet, documentarian, screenwriter and Wild Party author Joseph Moncure March.

NEXT: More BTK Questions

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  1. i have an illustrated version of the wild party. didn’t make the connection until halfway through your piece. quite nice, btw.

  2. Tim,
    Being unaware of Joseph March, I was surprised at how easily your account of his life and work captured my attention and piqued my interest.

  3. I agree with NoStar, Tim.

    I had never heard of the man, but I really want to know more of him now.

  4. Nice article, Tim. But are you sure you have all the the dates right regarding his service in WW1 ?

    “He was an alumnus of Lawrenceville Prep and Amherst College, where he had been a prot?g? of Robert Frost, and had served courageously in World War I.”

    If he was aged 29 in 1928, then he would have been 14/15 in 1914. In fact the sentence suggests that he enlisted after college. Possible but somewhat unlikely.

  5. The U.S. didn’t enter World War I until 1917. March was in school (Amherst) at the time, and got in some hot water over a satirical paper. Partly out of patriotism and partly in pique over the paper, he took a leave from school, enlisted, and served in Europe for a few months in 1918–at which time he would have been 18 and 19 (his birthday was in July). Upon his discharge from the Army, he informed Amherst that he would be returning to complete his education. The dean sent his father a letter implying that he shouldn’t come back because of his attitude problems, but March brazened it out, returned to school, studied with Frost (who thought highly of his poetry) and graduated. Sorry if my phrasing made any of that unclear; I was going for an impressive-sounding call of credentials rather than strict chronological order.

  6. “The U.S. didn’t enter World War I until 1917.”

    D’oh ! My bad.

  7. That was a really butching article, Tim.

    Reminds me a little of an essay I read in a
    Gore Vidal anthology about a mid-20th century novelist named Dawn somebody, I can’t place her last name. A good writer (according to Vidal, at least) who has basically been forgotten by all us modern day cretins. No cautionary tale, just time passing by an artist who for some reason doesn’t reach the modern audience the way it wants to be reached. (I’d look up her name but the book is long gone & I’m too tired to google.)

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