Notes on Contemporary Literature

Articles from Vol. 36, No. 2, March

Allusions in Jarrell's Pictures from an Institution
Randall Jarrell's Pictures from an Institution: A Comedy (1954), based on his year of teaching at Sarah Lawrence College in 1946-47, is a summa of his tastes, values and ideas about education, literature, art and music. His novel emphasizes character,...
A Note on Horses in All the Pretty Horses
One striking characteristic of Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses is the philosophical descriptions of horses that relate the protagonist John Grady Cole's mind and love, as in this passage: What he loved in horses was what he loved in men,...
'Most Lost' in Edward P. Jones's "Lost in the City"
The title story in Edward P. Jones's PEN/Hemingway award-winning collection, Lost in the City [NY: HarperCollins, 1992], is the only one with an upper-middle-class protagonist. Lydia Walsh, an African-American Yale Law graduate, is ensconced in a Washington,...
Peaches and Penumbras: Ginsberg's "Supermarket in California"
Yes, Walt, / Afoot again, and onward without halt--/ Not soon, nor suddenly--No, never to let go / My hand / in yours, / Walt Whitman--/ so-- Hart Crane, The Bridge In 1955, the year Allen Ginsberg wrote "Howl," the apocalypse poem that brought...
The Title of Martha Gellhorn's the Heart of Another
The poet Charles Simic, reviewing James Atlas' Bellow: A Biography in the New York Review of Books (May 13, 2001, p. 13), used as an epigraph for his review: "The soul of another is a dark forest." Relying on Atlas for its source, he vaguely attributed...
Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces Chapter 14: Psychological Bankruptcy?
The fourteenth and final chapter of John Kennedy Toole's casts doubts upon the wild episodes of the first thirteen: as he is being rescued from an approaching psychiatric ambulance by Myrna Minkoff, mad protagonist Ignatius J. Reilly acknowledges to...