Chicago Review

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

Articles from Vol. 50, No. 2-4, Winter

152 Proverbs Brought Up to Date
1. Before the flood, unload your brains. Avant le deluge, desarmez les cervaux. 2. One mistress deserves another. One maitresse en merite une autre. 3. Don't burn the scent in the flowers. Ne brulez pas les parfums dans les...
An Ernster Mensch at Columbia (1920-1924)
Louis Zukofsky enrolled as a freshman at Columbia University in January 1920, a few weeks before his sixteenth birthday. His youth was not particularly unusual; the New York public schools, under pressure from the rising population, were more than...
An Interview with Arthur Sze
My first encounter with the poetry of Arthur Sze was in the now defunct journal Countermeasures. The poem, titled "Six Persimmons," (1) seemed to me to be a perfect balance between the surreal and the rational, two forms of thought that we are often...
A Selection of Louis Zukofsky's Correspondence (1930-1976)
Louis Zukofsky carried on an energetic correspondence from the late 1920s until his death in 1978. He seldom allowed a letter to go unanswered, and he often wrote quite lengthy ones. The range of his correspondents is striking: Paul Blackburn, Kenneth...
Between the Brackets: An Interview with D.A. Powell
D.A. Powell is one of the most inventive young poets working today. Author of Tea (Wesleyan, 1998), Lunch (Wesleyan, 2000), and Cocktails (Graywolf, 2004), Powell has carved out a signature lyric style against the backdrop of the AIDS pandemic. Through...
"Cool Rare Air": Zukofsky's Breathing with Catullus and Plautus
The complete Catullus he made in collaboration with Celia Zukofsky and "A"-21, his version of Plautus's Rudens, together comprise all the major-length poetic translating Louis Zukofsky ever did. Nearly half a century hence, these two "transliterations"--his...
"Dazzling Songs Hanging in the Void": Yang Lian's [??]
A few years ago, in response to the first complete translation into Chinese of Pound's Pisan Cantos, Yang suggested that it was only in Chinese that Pound's poem finally found its full realization, that confined to Western language and phonetic script...
Louis Zukofsky's Marginalia
There remains one virtually unexplored territory in basic research on Louis Zukofsky. This is the marginalia, or writings, annotations, and other markings in the margins of the books in his library. The project was originally conceived by my mother,...
On the Art of the Future
Does the concept of art do useful work, or is it now primarily a defensive political gesture?--this is the question we've been asked to consider. It suggests a separation between the concept and practice of art that I would like to take up and then...
Quiet Attention: Some Reflections on the Poetry and Prose of Ralph J. Mills, Jr., with an Interview
Though few people are aware of the fact, Ralph J. Mills, Jr., is one of the most acute literary critics and meticulous poets that Chicago has produced. Two recent publications offer an occasion to return to his work in both fields: Dalkey Archive has...
Restatement of Trysts
I have discharged the trust of my sufferings unto you, which hath been simply and purely for your sakes ... --Richard Overton, An Appeale (1647) Here is a passage from the beginning section of William Walwyn's Leveller pamphlet entitled The Bloody...
Speaking the Estranged: Oppen's Poetics of the Word
Even now poetic men still seek the limits of knowledge, indeed preferably of skepticism, in order to break free of the spell of logic. --Nietzsche I started to write "personally" and ended up writing not exactly for the "public" but...
The Correspondence of William Carlos Williams and Louis Zukofsky
The Correspondence of William Carlos Williams and Louis Zukofsky. Edited by Barry Ahearn. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2003. 603 pp. $65 I liked your poems in Pagany--pity to waste work on this land of worms on rainy sidewalks....
"The First Word I Spoke Was Light": I.M. Lucia Berlin
Lucia Berlin died on her 68th birthday, November 12, 2004. Though she was older than me I felt paternal towards her because she had the same birthday as my son and because she so often seemed like the young girl in her stories. She had a girlish laugh...