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As the editor of several literary magazines Henley exerted a considerable influence on the literary culture of his time. He and his followers (known jokingly as the Henley Regatta) promoted realism and opposed Decadence in literature through his own essays and through the works of authors he published in the journals he edited. With the exception of “Invictus”, his poetry almost fell into undeserved oblivion, although his hospital poems anticipated modern poetry not only in form, as experiments in free verse containing abrasive narrative shifts and internal monologue, but also in subject matter. Through unadorned observation of life in the sickroom, Henley developed the motif of poet as a patient.
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1941 - December 10-entered the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, Trappist, Kentucky.
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The value of extensive literary analysis has been questioned by several prominent artists. Vladimir Nabokov once wrote that good readers do not read books, and particularly those which are considered to be literary masterpieces, "for the academic purpose of indulging in generalizations".  At a 1986 Copenhagen conference of James Joyce scholars, Stephen J. Joyce (the modernist writer's grandson) said, "If my grandfather was here, he would have died laughing ... Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man can be picked up, read, and enjoyed by virtually anybody without scholarly guides, theories, and intricate explanations, as can Ulysses , if you forget about all the hue and cry." He later questioned whether anything has been added to the legacy of Joyce's art by the 261 books of literary criticism stored in the Library of Congress .