THE COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY FORUM ANTHOLOGY by Peter & Lee Ambrose--Eds. Spackman

THE COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY FORUM ANTHOLOGY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A surprisingly lackluster assemblage of articles and poems make up the contents of this anthology. The Columbia University Forum began its life ten years ago as a quarterly journal of opinion, and its contributors, to quote from Jacques Barzun's introduction, ""are drawn from the alumni and faculty of the university; its readers are the 120,000 living graduates, who receive it free of cost and of advertising."" Perhaps a less generous and more commercial-minded enterprise would offer more dynamic fare. As it is, the best pieces can in no way compare to the vastly superior work found in, say, the Partisan Review or Encounter, which have also produced anthologies. Of course, the variety of subject matter Malcolm X, the Beatles, China, reminiscences, social thought, civil rights, city planning, anthropology, politics, literary criticism and the distinguished contributors--Elizabeth Hardwick, Richard Chase, Joseph Wood Krutch, Eric Bentley, Conor Cruise O'Brien, Richard Hofstadler, Edgar Snow, etc.--do in general manage to produce articulate and informative essays. But, in general, too, both the subject matter and the contributors have seen better days. The star performance is by David Schoenbrun in a spankingly straightforward dissection of our Vietnam policy, and the most worthwhile poetry is the translations made of works by Pasternak and Voznesensky, especially that of the former.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1968
Publisher: Atheneum