Chicago Review

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

Articles from Vol. 51, No. 4, Winter

A Reading Diary
26 JUNE 1995 A comment made by Adriaan Peperzak at last year's annual Comp Lit conference sticks with me and comes to mind while trying to write about Lisa Robertson's XEclogue. Peperzak is a conventional, even stodgy philosopher in his 70s who...
Can a Computer Make a Period Style Obsolete?
The poems in this issue by Gnoetry and Eric P. Elshtain were written in a little over eight minutes on 30 November 2005. Their titles mark the time of their composition. Elshtain set the form--three four-line stanzas, lines between five and ten syllables--and...
From a Little Useless Geometry
POINT Beginning or end? Visible to the eye? the microscope? the myopic? So much for definition applied in public. Coiled up and withdrawn within itself, nevertheless a stronghold of vectors. I'd say a point's not meant to start a sentence, but no...
From Ambient Parking Lot
The recording of "Ambient Parking #25" went off without a hitch. Production efforts approached the sublime. We watched in rapture as the parking lot cooperated with our long-armed mike and seemed to relax into the session. The seven-inch vinyl single...
Lifted: An Interview with Lisa Robertson
Date: Saturday, 19 March 2005 Time: 12:32 PM Site: Tate Modern Materials: Two paper cups of coffee (one black and one white), two metal chairs, one medium-sized square table, atmospheric noise (din, espresso machine), a range of windows and...
Lisa Robertson: A Checklist
Books XEclogue. Vancouver: Tsunami Editions, 1993. Debbie: An Epic. Vancouver: New Star Books, 1997. [Published in the UK by Reality Street Editions, 2001.] XEclogue. 2nd revised edition. Vancouver: New Star Books, 1999. The Weather. Vancouver:...
On Palinode
We have now reached a stage of experimentation with new collective constructions and new synthesis, and there is no longer any point in combating the values of the old world by a Neo-Dadaist refusal. Whether these values be ideological, artistic,...
Site Surfeit: Office for Soft Architecture Makes the City Confess
That mute paysage possesses knowledge; it sees you too. Any language that would heed these facts--that could live up to land or cityscape now, and to its contents encompassed by the presently omnipresent term "site"--has to plot out a hearkening, not...
The Adventures of Lisa Robertson in the Space of Flows: We Die and Become Architecture
It's a line from the first page of Lisa Robertson's poem "Utopia/," found in her 2004 chapbook Rousseau's Boat. I'm not quite sure what it means, but it takes on a sort of focal force in the midst of a poem actively in the thrall of time: In the Spring...
The Age in Its Cage: A Note to Mr. Mendelssohn on the Social Allegory of Literature and the Deformation of the Canonymous
If you're visible, you're not a good ADVANCE GUARD. If you become visible, you're soon dead ADVANCE GUARD. If the enemy see you, they shoot you. And your COMRADES will have to proceed without the information you were sent out to send back. What...
The Predicament of Modern Poetry (the Lyric at the Pinch-Gate)
Thesis 1: Always a genre of the wound, the lyric is now often in a valedictory state. Confessedly self-belated. Dog-dayed. Dog-eared. Thesis 2: Done for, unless it takes its lumps, links itself to what flies off at a tangent or acts against it....
The Vortex
I Canoes glided through the forest of dead trees. In the fourth month of the Aztec year, before the onset of the rainy season, they would go up to the Hill of Stars to find the tallest, straightest, most beautiful tree. They carefully tied its branches...
The Weather: A Report on Sincerity
I'm interested in the weather. Who isn't? We groom for the atmosphere. Daily we apply our mothers' prognostics to the sky. We select our garments accordingly; like flags or vanes we signify. But I'm interested in weather also because cultural displacement...
We Lunch Nevertheless among Reinvention
In Debbie: An Epic, Lisa Robertson writes back to the Aeneid to retrieve previously unexpressed histories buried under old linguistic systems of power. As an alternative epic hero revisiting Virgil in an alternative epic universe, Debbie imagines the...
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