The Spanish Civil War in Literature
ed. Janet Pérez and Wendell Aycock
Texas Tech U. Press
Professorial essays, some couched in academic newspeak, a baker’s dozen. The grain of salt is the texts they cite.
Abe Osheroff of the Lincoln Brigades takes (that is the word) an ecumenical approach to the writers. Malraux via Goya is seen to paint Madrid on fire most effectively. Brasillach and Drieu in France hail “the uomo fascista”. Catholics there view a kristallnacht. Simone de Beauvoir gets her tail in action, so to speak. Koestler, Zalka and Koltsov go to Moscow. Hemingway is vindicated. Sender’s duchess and the gardener is read appreciatively, and the Réquiem por un campesino español. Parts of Alberti’s “Madrid-Autumn” are exhumed for the English reader. Various films of recent vintage are screened. León Felipe would have the mark of Cain on every brow, a red star, carved by mothers. Girls grown up write of fathers imprisoned and executed. Feminine novelists regard the carnage.
Inchoately edited, missing the Notes on the Authors (announced for a nonexistent p. 175), but possessing an idea of the thing carried through, commemorating fifty years gone by.
The New York Postcard Sonnets
Rain Mountain Press
The subtitle is, “A Midwesterner Moves to Manhattan”, and accomplishes the note missing from these poems printed individually here and there, Southern Poetry Review for example, where Juilliard was viewed a little more incisively. The impression there was of a tourist, now he is at home and less concerned with making any impression whatsoever, he’s in it for the long haul, New York is full of impressions.
Dunn & Kooser think Dacey’s superficial and great, New York satirizes itself in these verses, but not so’s you’d notice except over fifty-five sonnets.
This is how 11 in SPR becomes 6 in The New York Postcard Sonnets, by mollifying the neighbors not too obsequiously, the last four lines are changed to:
One singer to another: “Our best friends are vowels.”
Performing’s so physical; the musician as athlete.
And no student’s here because of Daddy’s dough.
You can’t buy Beethoven; hours of practice show.