Intelligence bunches fore and aft in this year's annual: an elegant, autobiographical/linguistic essay by Walter Abish as...
NEW DIRECTIONS 39
by ‧RELEASE DATE: Oct. 1, 1979
Intelligence bunches fore and aft in this year's annual: an elegant, autobiographical/linguistic essay by Walter Abish as the opener; and, to close, a memorial tribute by ten to Louis Zukofsky, the great and difficult American poet who died last year. Best in this grouping are a poem by Charles Tomlinson; a just-as-quirky appreciation by Hugh Kenner of an early Zukofsky oddity--a version of Cavalcante's famous canzone, Donna mi prega, done in Brooklynese; and a few words about L. Z. by Guy Davenport (""He was the kind of man who would have suffered Mandelstam's fate in Russia, Max Jacob's in France""). But between these worthy poles of style and thought, what a glut of lousiness! A cleverly framed but tedious story about twins by Joe Ashby Porter, and another about twins by Christine Hewitt that's very arch. Tepid, lifeless poetry by Brain Dijkstra. A ""film poem""--""The Chaplinaid""--by German writer Ivan Goll that's abysmally bad. Some self-conscious poetry by black African poets writing in English. In other words, start at the beginning and skip to the end.