Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Twentieth-Century Literature. Volume 61: 4. December 2015

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Twentieth-Century Literature. Volume 61: 4. December 2015

Article excerpt

Twentieth-Century Literature. Volume 61: 4. December 2015. Hofstra University. Durham: Duke University Press, 2015. ISSN: 0041-462X. $182 institutional subscription.

This journal has a unique beige-white, matte, textured cover with the title and issue number on the front. Below the title there is a curious logo with the running-onto-the-edge white "21" numbers in a red square. The back cover is entirely blank, but there is infor- mation about the journal's submissions, board, and other specifics on the interior pages of the cover. Once again, there is no introduction. The issue contains four essays and three long reviews of recently released academic books. Instead of the introduction the issue begins with an unusual note on the winner of the Andrew J. Kappel Prize in Literary Criticism, Frances Leviston for his essay "Mothers and Marimbas in 'The Bight': Bishop's Danse Macabre," offered by this journal. The award announcement is supported with a brief essay from the judge in this competition, the journal's editor, Professor Brian McHale. The essay itself is then re-printed as part of the regular award benefits. This is a well-crafted literary study as this quote demonstrates, "Bishop scatters its component parts through the lines (ribs here, marimbas there) so as not to disturb the surface appearance of 'plain description,' but with its knockabout etymological puns on 'humorous elbowings' and claves/ clavicles/ keys, its percussive consonantal echoes mimicking the clicking of bones, and its frequent subliminal reminders of the dead, like the phonetic ghost of Les Fleurs du mal in 'jawful of marl," "The Bight" nevertheless takes its place in danse macabre's 'long & complicated,' "Awful but cheerful' history" (454). …

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