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by Peter Guralnick
Elizabeth Bishop is inspired. I read her when I feel uninspired.
Elvis's life is a weirdly precise mirror of America's story. Both the man and the nation began humbly -- poor, neglected, despised. Both awoke to an inner flame, a gift, that was then harnessed to a ferocious drive. Both used that gift and that drive to create something unprecedented, something dangerous and irresistible and magnificent, which led to unimagined power and riches. Both were consumed by their power and wealth, became distrustful and insular, grew fat and sloppy, then slid into a terminal decline.