Chicago Review

An international journal of literature, interviews, and reviews. For academic audiences.

Articles from Vol. 51/52, No. 4/1, Spring

A Reading Diary
26 JUNE 1995A comment made by Adriaan Peperzak at last year's annual Comp Lit conference sticks with me and comes to mind while trying to write about Lisa Robertson's XEdogue. Peperzak is a conventional, even stodgy philosopher in his 70s who has written...
Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation
Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation. Edited by Victoria Chang. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004. 194 pp. $19.95If lyric poetry is the most introspective of all literary forms, the most remote from public and political concerns, how should...
Can a Computer Make a Period Style Obsolete?
The poems in this issue by Gnoetry and Eric P. Elshtain were written in a little over eight minutes on 30 November 2005. Their titles mark the time of their composition. Elshtain set the form-three four-line stanzas, lines between five and ten syllables-and...
Europeana: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century
Patrik Oufedník, Europeana: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century. Normal, IL: Dalkey Archive, 2005. 122 pp. $12.50Among the commonplaces of literary criticism is the idea that any literary work, in particular any stylistically unconventional work,...
Eye against Eye
Forrest Gander. Eye Against Eye. New York: New Directions, 2005. 80 pp. $14.95Forrest Gander. A Faithful Existence: reading, memory, and transcendence. Emeryville, CA: Shoemaker & Hoard, 2005. 149 pp. $24What would it be like to pull the curtains...
From A LITTLE USELESS GEOMETRY
POINTBeginning or end? Visible to the eye? the microscope? the myopic? So much for definition applied in public. Coiled up and withdrawn within itself, nevertheless a stronghold of vectors. I'd say a point's not meant to start a sentence, but no one's...
From AMBIENT PARKING LOT
The recording of "Ambient Parking #25" went off without a hitch. Production efforts approached the sublime. We watched in rapture as the parking lot cooperated with our long-armed mike and seemed to relax into the session. The seven-inch vinyl single...
From CLEAR AS CLARE
for Lisa Robertsonowed much to agolden russetleeks in the thatchas a charm against lightninghanding out handbillsto Jacobins in the streetfoundry's foundling / flusk for the fieldsthe fieldsour churchthe thirsty pastureof varied tintsgreen ripening grainand...
Invisible Green: Selected Prose
Donald Revell. Invisible Green: Selected Prose. Richmond, CA: Omnidawn, 2005. 187pp. $14.95Lets begin with Revells pantheon, or, perhaps I should say, his guest list. Pride of place belongs to Thoreau, who gives Revell his title: "Methinks my own soul...
Lifted: An Interview with Lisa Robertson
Date: Saturday, 19 March 2005Time: 12:32 PMSite: Tate ModernMaterials: Two paper cups of coffee (one black and one white), two metal chairs, one medium-sized square table, atmospheric noise (din, espresso machine), a range of windows and doors, an exhibition...
Marginalien
Alan Halsey, Marginalien. Hereford, UK: Five Seasons Press, 2005. 415 pp. $49.50Alan Halsey's hefty, exuberant Marginalien, a retrospective that gathers a generous portion of his work since the late 1980s, contains twenty-three sequences, well over half...
Matter
Bin Ramke. Matter. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2004. 87 pp. $16What would it take, after a century of anti-humanism, to write a humanistic poetry that was both credible and rigorous? Bin Ramke's answer to this question is Matter, his eighth...
On Palinode
We have now reached a stage of experimentation with new collective constructions and new synthesis, and there is no longer any point in combating the values of the old world by a Neo-Dadaist refusal. Whether these values be ideological, artistic, or...
Palinodes
Chorus of nay-sayers (with a tangible humbleness): No!/Though my object is history, not neutralityI am prepared to adhere to neither extremeThat which can no longer be assumed in consciousness becomes insolventBecause it doesn't finish I can be presentSo...
Site Surfeit: Office for Soft Architecture Makes the City Confess
That mute paysage possesses knowledge; it sees you too. Any language that would heed these facts-that could live up to land or cityscape now, and to its contents encompassed by the presently omnipresent term "site"-has to plot out a hearkening, not an...
The Adventures of Lisa Robertson in the Space of Flows
We die and become architecture.It's a line from the first page of Lisa Robertson's poem "Utopia/," found in her 2004 chapbook Rousseau's Boat. I'm not quite sure what it means, but it takes on a sort of focal force in the midst of a poem actively in...
The Age in Its Cage
A Note to Mr. Mendelssohn on the Social Allegory of Literature and the Deformation of the CanonymousIf you're visible, you're not a good ADVANCE GUARD. If you become visible, you're soon dead ADVANCE GUARD. If the enemy see you, they shoot you. And your...
The Battered Vessel
As transported across impossible delugesI am loath to be guided by any such alarm |Pink-skinned pussies haven't taken yet to suckBack from birth | waters of beautiful colourAdmittedly | my insouciance around this equipment |Moves as flames in crops of...
The Book of Jon/The California Poem
Eleni Sikelianos. The Book of Jon. San Francisco: City Lights, 2004. 116 pp. $11.95Eleni Sikelianos. The California Poem. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2004. 195 pp. $16Eleni Sikelianoss most recent books-The California Poem, a wide-ranging book-length...
The Predicament of Modern Poetry (the Lyric at the Pinch-Gate)
Thesis 1: Always a genre of the wound, the lyric is now often in a valedictory state. Confessedly self-belated. Dog-dayed. Dog-eared.Thesis 2: Done for, unless it takes its lumps, links itself to what flies off at a tangent or acts against it.Elaboration...
The Vortex
ICanoes glided through the forest of dead trees. In the fourth month of the Aztec year, before the onset of the rainy season, they would go up to the Hill of Stars to find the tallest, straightest, most beautiful tree. They carefully tied its branches...
The Weather: A Report on Sincerity
I'm interested in the weather. Who isn't? We groom for the atmosphere. Daily we apply our mothers' prognostics to the sky. We select our garments accordingly; like flags or vanes we signify. But I'm interested in weather also because cultural displacement...
The Woman from Hamburg and Other True Stories
Hannah Krall, The Woman from Hamburg and Other True Stories. Translated by Madeline G. Levine. New York: Other Press, 2005. $14.95Hannah Krall's remarkable The Woman from Hamburg and Other True Stories is a sustained meditation on the impact of the Second...
We Lunch Nevertheless among Reinvention
In Debbie: An Epic, Lisa Robertson writes back to the Aeneid to retrieve previously unexpressed histories buried under old linguistic systems of power. As an alternative epic hero revisiting Virgil in an alternative epic universe, Debbie imagines the...