Winter 1954 • Vol. XVI No. 1 Fiction |

Pictures from an Institution, Book III: Miss Batterson and Benton

Gertrude had replaced at Benton Manny Gumbiner, a writer who—as he himself said when, early his first winter, he left Benton—was too advanced for it; when his name was pronounced at Benton one distinguished after it a cæsura of pure awe. If Gertrude had made her writing students take off all their clothes, pile them on the table with the chairs, and then had had them burn the next classroom's Spanish teacher on the pile, the old students would only have said to the new, with a smile: "You should have been in Manny's class." Before Manny, for as long as anyone could remember, Benton had had the same teacher of creative writing, Camille Turner Batterson. When she had begun to teach it it had not even been called creative writing. She was of a generation almost inconceivably remote. She wore tweeds that were part sachet; she used an intermediate a; she had kodak pictures of the Lake Country—in them she stood in gorse with a timid smile, her hand extended to a Dawn Horse or H

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Randall Jarrell was a poet, critic, and literary essayist. From 1937 to 1939 he taught at Kenyon College, where he met John Crowe Ransom and Robert Lowell.

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