Chicago Review

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

Articles from Vol. 52, No. 2-4, Autumn

A Correspondence
1 October 2005 Tomaz, I thought I'd begin by asking about your own influences: what writers were important to you as a young poet? & how did you first come to the practice of writing & reading poems? Christian 2 October 2005 ...
An Afternoon with Kenneth
One of the many striking aspects of this talk, which dates back a quarter century now, is the freshness of Kenneth's voice--fresh in more ways than one. It's fresh because his convictions were the harvest of a lifelong dedication to focused, dynamic...
Commentary
When John Matthias's "Thirty-nine among the Sands, His Steps ..." arrived at CR, I knew it was a significant poem. It was beautiful, its music real and moving. But the historical and personal allusions were difficult to trace, and I was not sure, to...
Editor's Note
To get lost in a book is a good thing; to get lost in a magazine never is. With this in mind, we present a brief guide to four features in this 400-page, sixtieth-anniversary issue of Chicago Review. "Born in another country, Rexroth would have...
Encountering Kenneth
I write for one and only one purpose, to overcome the invincible ignorance of the traduced heart. [...] I wish to speak to and for those who have had enough of the Social Lie, the Economics of Mass Murder, the Sexual Hoax, and the Domestication of Conspicuous...
Eros in Agape: Rexroth and the Sacrality of Sex
In an extraordinary essay, "Art and Time," the psychologist Erich Neumann makes a capital point which the sensible mind recognizes as true, but from which the critical mind recoils as from a bane, its implications are that daunting: For there is...
Introduction
"Both in my life and work I have constantly striven to embody a perfectly definite program," the twenty-five-year-old Kenneth Rexroth wrote to Louis Zukofsky in early 1931. The self-possession and sheer intellectual bravado that bristles from the pages...
Letter from America
Dear George, It is hard to know just what readers of NOW will want most to know about the USA as it emerges, post-War II, ruler of the world, minus one-sixth and some additions. It isn't a nice picture. Marx had a word for it--two words--that put...
One Hundred
One of my deepest regrets is that I never saw Kenneth again after I moved to New York in 1978. Never got to tell him thank you and goodbye. Our friendship began in 1966. I was a sullen, isolated fifteen-year-old, living with my mother in San Francisco....
Realms beyond the Mountains: Notes on Kenneth Rexroth
When Kenneth Rexroth's collection of verse plays, Beyond the Mountains, was republished as a New Directions paperback in 1974, I read it with a peculiar excitement because of the last two of the four pieces, "Hermaios" and "Berenike." All the plays...
Remembering Kenneth Rexroth
There are two or three books of poetry in English that I reach to with a hesitant hand, as I would to some old jewel box I am hardly worthy of. One of those is Leaves of Grass; another is Creeley's For Love; and another is In Defense of the Earth....
Rexroth's Chicago, Chicago's Rexroth: Wobblies, Dil Picklers, and Windy City Dada
Poet, playwright, journalist, translator, teacher, critic, and lifelong radical, Kenneth Rexroth is probably best known to the broad public as a leading avant-courier of the 1950s San Francisco literary renaissance and, by extension, as a father of...
Rexroth's San Francisco Journalism
In early 1960 the San Francisco Examiner (a Hearst newspaper) offered Kenneth Rexroth a job writing a weekly column. He accepted. By May 1961 the column had proved popular enough that he was asked to do two and sometimes even three per week. The...
Stories Are Not All Equal: An Interview with Wu Ming
Let's start from the beginning. Who is Wu Ming and who was Luther Blissett? Wu Ming 1: The Wu Ming Foundation is a band of novelists, a small combo devoted to telling stories. Currently we are based in Italy. Our name means "Anonymous" in Chinese,...
The Making of Chicago Review: The Meteoric Years
Chicago Review's Spring 1946 inaugural issue lays out the magazine's ambitions with admirable force: "rather than compare, condemn, or praise, the Chicago Review chooses to present a contemporary standard of good writing." This emphasis on the contemporary...
Unedited Notes toward a Poetic Essay on the Translation of Poetry
What is the translation of poetry, anyway? I, for one, don't have the foggiest idea. Do you? No one knows what Poetry is: So how could we ever grasp the nature of its shadow? No, that's already making a claim on it ... ["its shadow"] As if Translation...