Phillip Lopate Rochelle Ratner - Essay

Rochelle Ratner

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Phillip Lopate is a male writer who's willing to take risks, lay all the facts of his life on the line in these smooth flowing autobiographical fictions. Damnit, that takes a hell of a lot of guts, and we have to admire him for it. Or so one thinks through the first 50 pages of Bachelorhood.

Wait a minute. This detail here is a little too cute. Or he's made too much out of a triviality. This couldn't have happened exactly the way he describes it. We begin to realize what a successful liar he is. There is no indication of the heavy confessional mode one has grown to expect from reading Plath, Lowell, Sexton, Rich, et al. Lopate is having fun with the reader. Or at the reader's expense. He seems...

(The entire section is 663 words.)