And like many if not most writers of his caliber, not that there are many, his work benefits from re-reading.
Someone, a teacher probably, once counseled me that one of the criteria when appraising the quality of a work is to determine whether it requires reading multiple times to fully appreciate it, that if each time you read it you discover that there is more to be, well, discovered and appreciated, it doubtless is a work of genuine merit. This "rule of thumb" can be applied to fiction and non-fiction, as well as to non-literary works of art, as, also, I've found, to people, and even, as the existence of this forum suggests, to certain historical figures.
and it's a good one--alchemy. Only the best work affords the reader that experience. (There's a reason it's called the PHILOSOPHER'S stone.) Evan Connell, he of the terrific "Son of the Morning Star,"... more