Dear Dispatches:
I was immediately enthused to see Thesen’s piece concerning the backstory of editing the Olson/Bolderoff correspondence with Ralph Maud. I’ve been waiting a long long time for somebody to present such a balanced and informed perspective over the fracas between Tom Clark’s bio and Maud’s abundant scholarship. Thanks for posting it! 
 I got in touch with Maud and began receiving his Olson Society Newsletters while an undergraduate back in 1993 or so… I have nearly a full run, although I fell out with him as his attacks on Tom Clark’s bio began to escalate at the same moment as I was studying under Tom in Poetics at New College. I ended up firing off a bit of what I thought at least a rather ripe riposte to Maud…after which I never received anything further… I have followed all Maud’s work on Olson however…though Olson at the Harbor I found barely worthwhile…the minutiae of his complaints becomes very tiresome…at one point literally berating Tom for stating Olson had driven one particular Route to/from Gloucester…Maud argues Olson having ever driven the road at that time to be an impossibility. A statement he supports as I recall with nothing much more than his gut feeling for Olson having a distaste for the scenery…when Tom was merely mentioning in passing to move his tale along. 
Maud’s book is nothing but for the most part unfounded vitriol…Tom’s bio while far from perfect is nonetheless rather perfectly what he claims it to be, an allegorical tale of “The Poet’s Life distilled as channeled via taking Keats “A man’s life of any worth is a continual allegory — and very few eyes can see the mystery of life — a life like the Scriptures, figurative… Lord Byron cuts a figure, but he is not figurative. Shakespeare led a life of allegory: his works are the comments on it” as a lens to view, i.e. “read” Olson’s life…In effect, as I wrote to Maud, instructing him to “leave the poets alone!” it’s a poet’s take on a poet’s biography. 
 …at some later point I jotted down this squib.
 Best not
 get involved
 with asinine
 remarks regarding
 complaints of such
 asinine character. 
 I also had the chance to write a review of the second volume of the Olson/Bolderoff correspondence After Completion…and looking back at it I find that I agree with Thesen’s statements regarding the worth and richness of Bolderoff’s own work. I got a hold of several of Bolderoff’s books at the time and though not heavily read up on Joyce found them obviously well informed and ’bout as rich as any study gets. As I stated in conclusion: 
In this volume of letters, it is Boldereff who appears the stronger of the two on all accounts. She never wavers in her interest in Olson as both a man and an artist. The same cannot be said of Olson. He repeatedly falters. His letters are full of belated apologies, while hers brim with hoped-for engagement from Olson in exchanging of ideas and critical thought. There’s no doubting her as a hearty equal to Olson’s Maximus. If there’s any benefit to come from having this correspondence made available, it should surely bring about greater attention to the sharp interrelating of Joyce and Blake accomplished by Boldereff in her books. Her work receives too little the acknowledgement it richly deserves.”
 So many thanks! to Thesen and Dispatches for seeing that more information regarding the full story of both the Olson/Bolderoff correspondence and accompanying backchannels of argument and bickering with Maud come to light. Olson is somebody I read with enthusiasm and have been at for some twenty+ years now and expect to continue to be indefinitely. Thesen’s recollections are absolutely invaluable to interested readers, Top Notch.