New Directions 31


For forty years, the successive volumes of New Directions in Prose and Poetry have served as vehicles for the presentation of variant trends in world literature. The latest number in the series is dedicated to the late John Crowe Ransom, a man whose critical perceptions were instrumental in developing the interpretive tools appropriate to modernism. Invoking him as “the intellectual father I would have chosen,” Robert Lowell offers a tribute to Ransom that fittingly leads off the anthology. Underscoring its international character are translations of the work of four modern Catalan and three contemporary Japanese poets, and a group of poems by the French-Canadian writer Gatien Lapointe. Also included are the late East German author Johannes Bobrowski’s “Mouse Feast,” an evocation of Poland’s Jews during World War II, and new work by the British poet Edwin Brock. Among American writers, fiction has been contributed by Walter Abish, J. S. Brown, Frederick Busch, Coleman Dowell, James Purdy, and Paul West; excerpts from works-in-progress are represented by Elaine Kraf’s “Find Oliver,” Robert Lax’s “The Kalymnos Journals,” Robert Nichols’s “Harvesting the Wind,” and Carl Rakosi’s “Night.” Norma Bragg, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Jerome Rothenberg each proffer selections of their verse.

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