The Hudson Review

Articles from Vol. 56, No. 1, Spring

Afterwords
I. GalateaO.K. I'm upstairs in his workshop sweeping.So in he rushes, gets down on one knee,Picks up this little chip of ivoryAnd holds it to my cheek. Then he starts weepingAnd locks me out. The next night when I'm sleepingHe comes and yanks the sheets...
A Night in the Waste Land
That nothing was mine, along with the closed car at four, and the Cockney woman in the pub. One or two other places, I don't recall. I wasn't exactly keeping a count, you know.The bit about nothing? Oh that was something I said to Tom, trying to stir...
A Preference for the Primitive: Gombrich's Legacy
FOR THOSE OF US OF A CERTAIN AGE EDUCATED IN A CERTAIN WAY, the name Ernst Gombrich immediately conjures up The Story of Art, a journey from Paleolithic to Picasso that for many us was our first art history textbook. Frankly intended for novices-"for...
Autumn Inaugural
IThere will always be those who reject ceremony,who claim that resolution requires no fanfare,those who demand the spirit stay fixedlike a desert saint, fed only on faith,to worship in no temple but the weather.There will always be the austere oneswho...
Being Happy
Of course it was doomed. I know that now,but it ended so quickly, and I was young.I hardly remember that summer in Seattleexcept for her. The city seems just a rainy backdrop.From the moment I first saw her at the officeI was hooked. I started visiting...
Canons and Causes
REVISIONISM AND REDISCOVERIES are as necessary to art as to history and literature. Contrary to alarmist fears, there will always be a canon, however war-weary the term itself has become. Teachers, students, general readers, and art lovers don't have...
Disappearing Ink: Poetry at the End of Print Culture
I. The End of Print CultureWe are currently living in the midst of a massive cultural revolution. For the first time since the development of moveable type in the late fifteenth century, print has lost its primacy in communication. The proliferation...
In Praise of Fractals
Euclid's geometry cannot describe,nor Apollonius', the shape of mountains,puddles, clouds, peninsulas, or trees.Clouds are never spheres,nor mountains cones, nor Ponderosa pines;bark is not smooth; and where the land and seaso variously lieand lightly...
In Spain There Was Revolution1
From where he lay on the end of the dock, the river was like fluctuant diamond-paned glass of two colors, olive green and steel blue, leaded together by wavering white stitches of sun. The summer was dry. There had been a long succession of these flawless,...
Luck Be a Lady
OF ALL NATIONAL CINEMAS, the action-oriented American one has gone ahead and produced, in Jill Sprecher's Thirteen Conversations about One Thing, a picture about ideas-and brain-teasing ideas at that, which are normally the domain of modernist literature...
Making Chaos Visible
THE USES AND TACTICS OF THE AVANT-GARDE have been a central problem for artists since the early twentieth century. In order to stay en avant, the avant-garde has to keep inventing itself, and its job is at least as much about finding new questions as...
Metropolitan Life
In some ways, knowing a city is not unlike knowing a person. You can know only the face it presents to strangers, or know it through and through; you can be familiar with one side of it, but not at all with others; you can hate it; you can love it; you...
Miscarriages of Justice
I AM OPPOSED TO CAPITAL PUNISHMENT for the same reason that I am opposed to mutilation and torture, which used to be legal punishments for crimes too, and regrettably still are in some parts of the world. My opposition is not the result of a bleeding...
Music Chronicle
SUPPOSE YOU WERE AN AMERICAN COMPOSER schooled in the arts of harmony, counterpoint, orchestration, and writing for the human voice. And suppose you wanted to compose a work for the lyric stage, one that clearly and idiomatically had its roots in American...
Orwell Matters
GEORGE ORWELL WOULD HAVE BEEN 100 THIS YEAR, and among events taking note of that fact is a conference at Wellesley College in which his "legacy and enduring influence" will be explored. The flyer for the conference gives a list of "central developments"...
Riots, Earthquakes, and Other Hazards
WITH SEVENTY-FOUR YEARS AND OVER TWO DOZEN BOOKS behind him, William Trevor is at the stage in his career when he should begin checking his answering machine very carefully during Nobel Prize season (assuming he has an answering machine, which somehow...
Sinclair Lewis: The Bard of Discontents
SINCLAIR LEWIS, LIKE HIS LITERARY IDOLS Shaw, Wells, and Ibsen, was one of the world's great intellectual liberators. He looked at the institutions that tyrannically ruled American life-the Family, the Protestant Church, Business Interests, Good Fellowship-and...
Small Steps
Open the book of losses. You will seethat it begins with early morning light,the stillness of a house where children sleep.Not your own, unless love can make them yours,they lie in their beds or in the crib upstairs.The furnace breathes. Outside, no...
The Excitement
My grandfather was given to believingIn ghosts beside the Holy Ghost. As a boyHe felt an invisible hand clap on his headAs a voice murmured, "You are in my power."As a man he heard his mother's voice in the pulpit.In some lights he could picture people's...
The Grey Disguise of Years
ROBERT FROST ONCE OBSERVED that most great poetry was written between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five, an odd claim coming from a poet who did not publish his first book until he was thirty-eight and his last a year shy of a half-century later. Hardy,...
The Mastery of Michael Sweerts, 1618-1664
INTEREST IN THE PAINTINGS OF MICHAEL SWEERTS has been strengthening for the last hundred years, but he remains mysterious, unknown or inaccessible to popular audiences, and so protean in style as to suggest fifty different identities. If you see his...
The New Darwinism in the Humanites: Part I: From Plato to Pinker
Platonic idealism-the view that Mind is more real than Body-may have been an epochal contribution to the lifting of mankind a few notches above the savagery of the flesh, inspiring Christianity with the sense of a "higher" and less carnalized reality...
Three Sketches: The Talc Mine
The town I lived in in northern Vermont was almost entirely an agricultural community, but it did have a couple of small local industries. One of them was a talc mine, located three or four miles north of town on the western edge of the valley, beneath...
Vin Audenaire
In an essay on the Collected Poems of T. S. Eliot written for the Mid-Century Book Society, W. H. Auden, never one to fear a risky generalization, remarked that "to become a poet of the first rank, great talent is not enough; one must get born at the...