The Virginia Quarterly Review

The Virginia Quarterly Review is a magazine focusing on current and historical literary subjects. Since it was founded in 1925, it is produced quarterly. The magazine is published by the Virginia Quarterly Review.Subjects for The Virginia Quarterly Review include literature and literary reviews. The editor is Ted Genoways. Contributing editors are Molly Minturn and Kevin Morrissey

Articles from Vol. 82, No. 2, Spring

A Change of World
A FriendshipI had been thinking about maybe writing something about Adrienne's and my friendship for this symposium, and a friend encouraged me, saying that our friendships with other writers are some of the best gifts of life. It's true: it's rare even...
A Final Thought on Intelligent Design-And a Modest Proposal
So, Judge John E. Jones III has now ruled on the Dover, Pennsylvania, school district's "intelligent design" lawsuit and, with eminent common sense, ruled for the plaintiffs and against the one-time school board majority that mandated the inclusion of...
After
POETRY After, by Jane Hirshfield. HarperCollins, February 2006, $23.95.The sixth collection of Hirshfield's poetry comes to us with much anticipation (Given Sugar, Given Salt, her fifth book of poetry, came out in 2002) and proves that it is more important...
A Moment Travels the Visible Fraction at Dusk and Is Gone
A few times in a life-any life-a moment comes, a decision comes,and then the essential thing happens or it does not.It may be the soup suddenly trembles in its spoon,caught between soup bowl and mouth,and then the hand steadies.The soup does not know...
An Open Letter to Doctor X
Dear Doctor X, if I may call you that:Perhaps I should introduce myself. I am an attorney, currently employed by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. Relax, Doctor. Let me assure you. This is not that kind of letter. I mention my work only preemptively,...
Artie Gottlieb: Consulting Philosopher
Closed WednesdaysEvy tells us we got it wrong about our brother. She's his wife, Artie's defender, and she says we misunderstand him, that there's a goodness about him hidden in the antics. And I agree with her. There's the time he taught my daughter...
As in Tendrils a Transparency
Adrienne Rich has fashioned a life in the language arts around the interface of public debate. In form and style it's an astonishing achievement in that her practice upsets the facile categories bound to certainties of assumption and belief. She belongs...
Between Camelots
Between Camelots by David Harris Ebenbach. Pittsburgh, October 2005. $24This year's winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize is an exceptionally fine craftsman of that difficult and demanding art, the short story. In the title story, "Between Camelots,"...
Concerning the Book That Is the Body of the Beloved
UVA FACULTY BOOKS Concerning the Book That Is the Body of the Beloved, by Gregory Orr. Copper Canyon Press, September 2005. $18 paperGregory Orr's new book is dazzling and timeless. Sure, the trappings of modern life appear at the edges of these poems,...
Confessions of a Darwinist
AN ESSAYI came to evolution in a roundabout way. Sure, as a kid I had seen the dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History-and had heard a bit about evolution in high school. But I was intent on studying Latin and maybe going to law school.But...
Descent into Haiti
April 2005We descend into Cité Soleil.Mattresses smolder on the trash-strewn roads in this sprawling seaside slum of Port-au-Prince. Gray smoke blows off islands of refuse and the charred remains of burned cars, and the twisted, immolated metal smeared...
Facts about the Moon
Facts About the Moon, by Dorianne Laux. Norton, November 2005, $23.95Laux's fourth collection of poems gives us more of what we have come to love and crave from this poet: startlingly distinctive vocabulary, sensual engagement with the body, and beautiful...
Flawed Intelligence, Flawed Design
AN ESSAYIn 1996, a then-unknown professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, in Pennsylvania, published a book in which he claimed to be the author of a scientific discovery of the magnitude of those of Copernicus or Newton. Those of us in academia...
George Garrett's South
A Literary ImageWell-worn and much-maligned, the interdisciplinary concept known as globalization generally espouses the vision of a borderless world dominated by multinationals and markets, vanguards of a homogenized culture shaped by Western values...
God Girl
I was born (again?) two times:Christened first, then second dipped in a luke-Warm pool with Satan, / rebukeThee, saved with pantomimes(Hand down, across) and breathHeld in the ghost's holy name beforeMy family and crowd. Encore?Bear me again. In death,I'm...
How We Are with Each Other
A Symposium on Adrienne RichWe welcome Adrienne Rich back to the pages of the Virginia Quarterly Review, after an absence of more than half a century. When her work appeared in our Summer 1950 issue, she was a senior at Radcliffe College, working on...
Incongruous Entertainment: Camp, Cultural Value, and the MGM Musical
GENERAL NONFICTION Incongruous Entertainment: Camp, Cultural Value, and the MCM Musical, by Steven Cohan. Duke, November 2005. $23.95A pun on the title of the 1974 musical franchise That's Entertainment! and its sequels, incongruous Entertainment is...
Little Nemo in Comicsland
AN ESSAYAt the beginning of the last century, a little boy named Nemo was haunted by recurring nightmares of a bizarre and unruly land where the conventions of everyday life were turned upside down. By day, the boy was firmly lodged in the respectable...
Most Beautiful and Most Wonderful
Why Darwin Is Still Right"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple...
Mr. Darwin's Abominable Volume
AN ESSAYCharles Darwin holds a peculiar position in the history of science and society. His name is a household word but his ideas-with a single exception-aren't household ideas. He's central, he's iconic, but that's not to say that he's widely and well...
Nesta
Jamaica, 1996The storm's first bullets pit the sandthis side of the wrinkling wave-line; the island,as I remember it, drums in rain, a barefootbeach guard hurrying beneath a sheetof corrugated tin, or the light that followed,a blush of watery blues and...
Notes toward an Anticapitalist Poetics
Few US poets invoke (and critique) the nature and role of capitalism in contemporary poetic practice more consistently and vehemently than Adrienne Rich. In her recent critical collections, What is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics (Norton,...
Open Field: 30 Contemporary Canadian Poets
Open Field: 30 Contemporary Canadian Poets, edited by Sina Queyras. Persea, July 2005. $18.95 paperHow many Canadian poets can most readers of this journal name? Margaret Atwood? She's here and represented by at least one noteworthy poem, "The Loneliness...
Permeable Membrane
1.Is poetry, should it be, "political"? The question, for me, evaporates once it's acknowledged that poetic imagination or intuition is never merely unto-itself, free-floating, or self-enclosed. It's radical, meaning, root-tangled in the grit of human...
Quick-Eyed Love: Photography and Memory
Quick-Eyed Love: Photography and Memory, by Susan Garrett. SMU, November 2005. $22.50Imagine you're behind a camera taking a picture. You're drawn to your subject-an empty field, a bridge in the mist, someone waiting for a bus-but you don't quite know...
Rest Stop
We stopped so she could ease outthe tension building in her calf muscle,a knot from being cramped togethertoo long in the car. Our anger had becomejust another thing we couldn't commit to,and taken up by the heat, it joinedthe sticky calm stretched between...
Slavery and the Peculiar Solution: A History of the American Colonization Society
Slavery and the Peculiar Solution: A History of the American Colonization Society, by Eric Burin. Florida, September 2005. $59-95The author, who teaches history at North Dakota, has given us a meticulously researched biography of one of the oft-overlooked...
Sprawl: A Compact History
Sprawl: A Compact History, by Robert Bruegmann. Chicago, November 2005. $27.50Sprawl, defined as "unplanned, scattered, low density, automobile-dependent development at the urban periphery" has become a bogeyman for many politicians, planners, environmentalists,...
The Labrador Summer
1833Above latitude fifty, seasick,as far north as he'd ever go,Audubon understood whythey called it the land God gaveto Cain. Unable to sleep or stand,he rocked in his bunk aboardthe schooner Ripley, as inthe higher branches of a tree,considering how...
The Mimesis of Thought
On Adrienne Rich's poetryI have no personal anecdotes about Adrienne Rich worthy of recording. She is a friend I know through her public, published writing, one whom I consider "a friend" because of the importance that writing has had for me over the...
The Olfactory Lives of Primates
AN ESSAYDear Chris,I'm sorry you couldn 't make it to Brad and Caitland's wedding. It was pretty good. The beginning dragged-the usual, everyone standing around, sniff ing each other's breath, figuring out who was from Caitland's family, who from Brad's....
The War in Iraq
The War in IraqJACK R. FISCHELThe Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq, by George Packer. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, October 2005. $26Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq, by Larry Diamond. Times...
Thirty September
My Dear Sir-As doubtless these words come unexpectedlyinto your hands, allow me to introduce myself:I too have searched the gravel barsfor stones in the shape of awls or spikes.Imagine my surprise upon encountering,this very afternoon, your bootprints...
Trying to Keep Faith
Adrienne Rich's "Usonian Journals 2000"In the "Artworks (II)" section of "Usonian Journals 2000," Adrienne Rich describes the breakdown of a conversation between a group of friends: "Not a pause but: a suppression. No one is monitoring this conversation...
Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life
Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life, by Julia Briggs. Harcourt, November 2005. $30Julia Briggs' excellent new addition to the myriad critical works on Virginia Woolf is offered to the "common reader" as a biography distinct from the norm, aiming to "lead readers...
Wake
A STORYIt's New Year's Day and I'm on my godfather's Dusky doing 5000 rpm on the North Sound of Virgin Gorda with a mechanic named Michael Jackson at the helm. He's shoved the twin Evinrude controls all the way down on the console, and I keep trying...
Will, Change, and Power in the Poetry of Adrienne Rich
On the JobI'm in the back of Dishes, on 45th off Fifth, on my lunch hour. The Fact of a Doorframe is open on the table, and I'm reading to write, the way I might read to write a poem, although now it is this tribute that I want, although I'm writing...