Chicago Review

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

Articles from Vol. 44, No. 3-4, Summer

An English Objectivist? Basil Bunting's Other England
The publication of Basil Bunting's Briggflatts in 1966 was quite simply one of the most important events in postwar British poetry. And there was a Chicago connection: the whole poem first appeared in the pages of Poetry (Chicago) in January of that...
A Note on William Bronk's Poetics of Silence
For Bronk, silence is not the absence of sound but that which makes poetry possible, the ground of necessary speech. In "The Brother in Elysium," his prose meditation on Thoreau, Melville, and Whitman, Bronk writes "Silence is the world of potentialities...
Barefoot on the Ohio Turnpike
Hunger strikes in the middle of Ohio, but my father waits for the Mobil sign before pulling off the turnpike. He drives past the deserted rest area and parks on the self-serve side of the Mobil island. "Fill it with Super," he says automatically as...
Basil Bunting and Eric Mottram
The Eric Mottram Archive was formed as recently as 1996, with the gift from the Mottram family to King's College London of the papers and books of the late Eric Mottram, Professor of English and American Literature at King's, and a well-known visiting...
Coming the Jakarta: Poetry, Information, and Disaster
Academics have very little leisure time. The only games we play are what Clifford Geertz calls "deep games," in the problematic essay on Bali cited so frequently in this poem. In order then to make time for things like genocide and the "New World Order"...
From the Bunting Tapes
This excerpt is from a book-length compilation of transcripts from tapes of conversations with Basil Bunting between 1970 and 1985. Part "table talk," part otherwise, it was approved by him for edited publication "eventually." This conversation took...
Investigative Epic: Peter Dale Scott's 'Coming to Jakarta.'
Epics may be prompted by crisis - Dante's exile in the Inferno or Agamemnon's wrath in the Iliad - but they do not investigate such single moments. They whirl from place to place, person to person, a centrifuge of storytelling, drama, and recurrent...
Listening to the Candle
In his prose note to the confessional long poem, Listening to the Candle: A Poem on Impulse (1992), Peter Dale Scott anticipates that some readers "may be puzzled, or even disappointed, by this poem's relationship to its predecessor Coming to Jakarta."...
Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama, 1958-68
It is generally conceded that installation art dominates the 1990s. Multimedia artists Matthew Barney, Robert Gober, Jenny Holzer, and Bruce Nauman have had major shows in museums such as the Whitney and the Guggenheim. Barney, who, despite his installations,...
Notes & Comments
The role of an editor for a literary journal can often seem relatively passive or anonymous: one need only recognize writing of interest, after all, rather than explicate or critique it. Yet I would argue that editors of persistence and vision have...
Peter Dale Scott's Epic: Towards a Stopping Place
"The personal is political," went a much-quoted, and much misused, slogan of the 1970s. For more than fifteen years, Peter Dale Scott's ongoing epic poem has documented, with a rare open-mindedness and curiosity, the actual intersections between his...
Poetry and Emotion
With a review of Frank Bidart's Desire Snow outside, heavy snow, the kind that falls straight down. It plasters itself noiselessly onto the street, flocks the top of tree branches, and rubs away the contours of curbs and fenceposts and garbage cans...
Poetry and Terror in Peter Dale Scott's 'Coming to Jakarta.'
In Peter Dale Scott's forthcoming work, Minding the Darkness, he asks "...did he [David Horowitz] perhaps have a point / about the left's too willing // suspension of judgement?" This is the kind of question, calling for an evaluation of one's political...
Prothalamion
1. While crickets sing like small chinks in a chain, two friends sit in a room with corniced windows opening on a maple and the cool night air, one reading to the other one a poem about a reader in a room alone and reading to himself, his light...
Sketches from 'My Voice Locked In: The Lives of Basil Bunting.'
Despite the thirty-year rule, MI6 and the Foreign Office files on Basil Bunting remain closed. His neglect by the English literary establishment would suggest a parallel closure. All his life Basil Bunting tried to ensure that friends and colleagues...
The Child Is Lying!
What are you, Dark night within a stone? - Henri Michaux, Poteaux d'angle Lac Une, early autumn. The family settled me here, quite isolated, in this rather comfortable chalet so that my rehabilitation of the last few months may be followed up...
The Magic Flute
Following his song's lead, each held stop speaks, past the lightness of speech, the need - all that song lacks and seeks, slackening its soft cries through the black trees where the black velvet table lies - ripe fruit, the blaze of ease on silver...
Theory and Practice in Poetry
for Annie, working the desk at the Canyon Ranch Spa The idea that freezes me this time is the "ideal" of a poet finding her poetics. While outside, Mr. T in his T-shirt is prowling the greens, and the long lazy days are lying down in the meadow...
Tomaz Salamun
People don't complain of early Christian mystics, or authors of other cultures' myths, that their stories, which seem fantastical, are therefore useless because they don't conform to reality. It is understood that their exaggerations conform to...
"Where Order Is No Longer Imposed"
It seems almost certain that one of the books marking the millennium will be New Directions' publication of Peter Dale Scott's Minding the Darkness, the third and final book in his magnum opus, Earthway. If the first two books, Coming to Jakarta (1988)...