Browsing by Author "Monk, Craig"
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- ItemAmericans abroad(2018) Monk, CraigExcerpt: "In newspapers, in magazines, and, eventually, in books, expatriates wrote for Americans, for Europeans, and conceived of new ways to write for both groups, illustrating what Daniel Katz sees as 'not a flight from American identity' but, instead, a true 'encounter with it.'"
- ItemI haven't any right to criticize: editing book reviews for American periodicals(2015) Monk, CraigIn Small World (1984), British academic and novelist David Lodge shows us how one enthusiastic notice, well-timed and well-placed, can create a scholarly phenomenon. Esteemed critic Rudyard Parkinson, resentful that he has even been asked to stoop to write a review, decides to use the opportunity to take revenge against a rival: he resolves to make an academic star of little-known Philip Swallow and, by so doing, antagonize Morris Zapp, a character modeled by Lodge after Stanley Fish. This fictional series of events has stayed with me for the length of my professional career. I think about it often. Do reviews actually make a difference in the reception of our scholarship? Is being asked to review a book an honor, or is it a chore? How have reviews changed, and how are they changing, in the era of blogs and tweets?
- ItemModernism in transition: the expatriate American magazine in Europe between the world wars(1999) Monk, CraigThe importance of the little magazine in the history of modernism is examined.
- ItemOptograms, autobiography, and the image of Jack the Ripper(2010) Monk, CraigA September 13, 1888, article in the London Star questioned whether "an image" of the Whitechapel killer "capable of reproduction" may have been imprinted inadvertently upon the retina of Annie Chapman, as the unfortunate victim took a final glimpse of her killer less than a week before ("Whitechapel Crimes" 3). The discovery of a body with its throat cut and its abdomen slashed in the backyard of 29 Hanbury Street, Spitalfields had further contributed to a gathering commotion in the newspapers described as "a brushfire" by historian Philip Sugden. "The press, by giving currency to inaccuracy and rumour, and by resort to the most sensational language imaginable," he argues, "did much to promote alarm" (118).
- ItemReview of Brian Reed, Hart Crane: after his lights(2007) Monk, CraigAs much a literary critic’s manifesto as a reading of 20th-century poetics, Hart Crane: After His Lights sets out to resurrect monographs devoted to single authors, a scholarly form that Brian Reed believes to have fallen out of favor over the past two decades. A more prevalent contemporary approach is to establish an apparatus through which the works of a number of writers are subsequently filtered, and Reed finds such an approach to scholarship critically impoverished and limited in its view of the achievement of individual artists. As researchers have abandoned many constituent queries about authors and their backgrounds, incomplete readings of creative achievement have barely been questioned. This development is particularly galling in the case of Hart Crane, who has come to be read as the representative gay American modernist male while being given single chapters in studies of queer poetics. After His Lights, however, does not seek to expand criticism of Crane simply by revisiting the work of the poet’s biographers; rather, Reed sets out to analyze the poet’s achievement from a number of different theoretical perspectives, sequentially. Careful never to appear dilettantish, the critic here chooses to question received knowledge in but a number of important areas, examining Crane’s credentials as a modernist poet, a queer poet, and an American poet, reexamining the foundation and durability of such labels.
- ItemReview of Finn Fordham, Lots of fun at Finnegans wake: unravelling universals(2008) Monk, CraigLots of Fun at ‘Finnegans Wake’, the title of Finn Fordham’s new introduction to that most thorny of James Joyce’s texts, invokes any image but that of a reader surrounded by the multiple concordances, glosses, and lists of annotations spawned by decades of scholarship on the novel. The key to Fordham’s fun is in understanding how writing the Wake over sixteen years was, for Joyce, as frustratingly involved as it is for us to read the novel today.
- ItemReview of Jay Ellis, No place for home: spatial constraint and character flight in the novels of Cormac McCarthy(2008) Monk, CraigWhen writing about the works of living authors, critics have good reason to mistrust their source materials. Jay Ellis, from the Program for Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Colorado, provides here a comprehensive discussion of space and flight in the novels of Cormac McCarthy. No Place for Home appeared only two months before the publication of The Road (2006), and it is obvious that Ellis’ study would have been better for including references to the novelist’s most recent work—not because Oprah Winfrey since brought McCarthy to her teeming audience but rather as The Road is, itself, organized around the epitome of desperate journeys. There is no escaping this unfortunate and understandable blemish, but rather than dwelling on the vagaries of academic publishing it is far more useful for readers instead simply to judge the efficacy of the model Ellis constructs against the achievement of McCarthy’s latest work. For all its horror and bleakness, no one could argue that The Road represents a radical departure for McCarthy, and so one test of Ellis’ book is how well it anticipates where his subject moves next.
- ItemReview of Jennifer Bowering Delisle, The Newfoundland diaspora: mapping the literature of out-migration(2013) Monk, CraigAs Jennifer Bowering Delisle argues, out-migration from Newfoundland is both a preoccupation for many of its writers and a condition under which some of their literary output is produced. Because leaving the province is such a universal phenomenon--indeed, the author observes that it is "often expected or considered inevitable" (3)--out-migration serves as more than simply a thematic concern. It forms the signature trope that, when combined with an expressed desire to return "home," defines the shared experience central to Newfoundland literature and provides Delisle with the foundation from which she seeks to theorize diaspora in an Atlantic Canadian context. To this point, by her reckoning, the concept has been applied too loosely to the Newfoundland experience, and so the author connects diaspora purposefully to five features of out-migration. In large measure, Newfoundlanders "abroad" experience a painful separation, an unbroken connection to the island, and a sense of marginalization in their new homes. In response, they form communities of the like-minded and together regard Newfoundland in neo-national terms (10). While these commonalities are essential to her understanding of diaspora, Delisle seems most troubled by the application of this last feature. Is Newfoundland in its literature depicted as a region, a province, or a nation? Ultimately, the author seems to understand this figurative Newfoundland as a nation, one that transcends its nebulous status before confederation to strengthen its place within Canada and sharpen the features of its creative heritage.
- ItemReview of Karin Cope, Passionate collaborations: learning to live with Gertrude Stein(2006) Monk, CraigWith Passionate Collaborations, Karin Cope hopes to explore a literary criticism beyond poststructuralist theory, finding existing interpretative tools unsatisfactory for reading the texts of Gertrude Stein. It has taken Cope more than twenty years and a thousand discarded manuscript pages to find the voice to address her subject, and she here embraces a spirit of collaboration, merging a respect for cooperation with a sense of compromise, as one way forward. Stein’s own collaborations, primarily with her relatives and literary friends, fueled her career, but they also blurred distinctions between Stein’s creative achievement and the influence of those people around her. One of the features that distinguished Stein’s approach from any of her contemporaries was her unwillingness to acknowledge the conventions of genre in her writing: she wrote about literature, for example, in the same manner as she composed her plays. In this spirit of collaboration, Cope fashions her appreciation of Stein in defiance of the conventions of criticism. Hers is a highly personal reading of the works that incorporates personal observation, mirroring her subject’s writing of her own life across a number of her texts.
- ItemReview of Luke Thurston, James Joyce and the problem of psychoanalysis(2006) Monk, CraigThe central purpose of Luke Thurston’s study is to place emphasis on the new in Joyce scholarship, a field he understands as rife with repetition and redundancy. To this end, Thurston rejects both applying psychoanalytic ideas to Joyce’s works, treating them as patients, and examining the connection between psychoanalysis and the encyclopaedic reading that fed Joyce’s creative process.
- ItemReview of Mark A. Lause, The antebellum crisis and America’s first bohemians(2013) Monk, CraigTo read American bohemianism as a minor theme in the cultural history of New York City is to do a disservice to the intellectual richness of the former, a sprawling diversity of ideas stretching back more than a century and a half. Radical thought might thrive in Manhattan, but, as Mark Lause demonstrates here, its genesis can often be traced through events felt most acutely outside the city, and the influence it wields can be found even further afield.
- ItemReview of Milton A. Cohen, Hemingway’s laboratory: the Paris in our time(2006) Monk, CraigThe slim chapbook published in Paris as in our time (1924) by William Bird’s Three Mountains Press represents for Milton Cohen an essential precursor to all of Ernest Hemingway’s subsequent works. While the volume’s eighteen vignettes, written over a period of seven months, gave the fledgling Hemingway something to contribute to a series of texts assembled and promoted by Ezra Pound, critical appreciations of that work have treated in our time as little more than undistinguished juvenilia. With extant volumes fetching as much as six figures at auction, the 170 copies of the work printed are of most interest today to rare book collectors, exceeding in renown even first editions of James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) as desirable artifacts of Paris in the 1920s. Cohen hopes to move beyond a simple acknowledgment of the formal innovations in this unusual little text to argue that all elements of the mature Hemingway’s writings are, in fact, discernable in embryonic form on the pages of in our time. Indeed, the central trope of Hemingway’s Laboratory obliges readers to accept that the novelist sought to distance himself from his earliest writings through a great deal of willful experimentation. In examining Hemingway’s extensive trial and error through this period, however, Cohen also discovers a number of elements of his writing, consistent with a burgeoning modernism, that never found their way into his mature prose.
- ItemReview of Rachel Schreiber, gender and activism in a little magazine(2011) Monk, CraigRachel Schreiber examines the use of illustrations in the Masses, launched in New York in 1911, and argues that the ways in which its visual art was created and disseminated, as much as what it suggested, supported the magazine’s socialist worldview. Its “artists’ strike” of 1916 underlined tensions between illustrators and editors and led to the departure of contributors like Maurice Becker and Stuart Davis, who hoped to publish work that was less overtly political without the cloying intervention of collaborators who insisted on illustrative captions. The author reminds us throughout Gender and Activism in a Little Magazine that we should be mindful of the depiction of both women and men in the Masses, and her study is most captivating when similar topics are discussed through a contrast between published images of the two sexes. Beyond an introduction intended, in part, to explain the importance of the magazine to readers who know little about its history and a conclusion that outlines how its pacifism led to its suppression by the American government, this book is organized around an examination of four broad topics, each chapter introduced, less formally, by a discussion of one principal artist.
- ItemReview of Rebecca Beasley, Theorists of modernist poetry: T.S. Eliot, T.E. Hulme, Ezra Pound(2009) Monk, CraigThis slim volume in the “Routledge Critical Thinkers” series concentrates not on one figure but on three. Students of modernism are less likely to discover much new about T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound as they are to be reminded of the enduring relevance of T.E. Hulme, whose thought here is properly contextualized amongst that of his more prolific contemporaries. In Theorists of Modernist Poetry, Rebecca Beasley argues not just that the theoretical writings of these three modernists framed the most important cultural questions of the twentieth century, but that Hulme’s thought in its first decade was essential to the imagist movement and, hence, to the poetic development of Eliot and Pound themselves. As a result, the core of this book is organized around a half-dozen questions that trace disparate threads of the modern movement, each ending with a summary useful for classroom discussion.
- ItemReview of Rodger L. Tarr, ed., As ever yours: the letters of Max Perkins and Elizabeth Lemmon(2005) Monk, CraigThe study of 20th-century literature in the United States has been enriched by the publication of letters written by Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins. Editor to Author (1950), a collection that appeared just three years after his death, both illustrated the issues preoccupying modern writers and their publishers and revealed the significant literary influence of Perkins himself. Subsequent volumes, such as Dear Scott, Dear Max (1971), Ring Around Max (1973), The Only Thing that Counts (1996), Max and Marjorie (1999), To Loot My Life Clean (2000), and The Sons of Maxwell Perkins (2004), made particularly important contributions to scholarship on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Ring Lardner, Marjorie Rawlings, and Thomas Wolfe. On the other hand, Father to Daughter (1995) sought to reveal something more about Perkins the man, and Rodger Tarr’s latest collection, As Ever Yours, attempts to rediscover a balance between the professional and the personal in its depiction of Perkins.
- ItemReview of Ronald Weber, News of Paris: American journalists in the City of Light between the wars(2007) Monk, CraigThe startling revelation behind News of Paris is Ronald Weber's fervent belief that what he describes as the portrait of American life abroad in the 1920s and 1930s requires further study at all. But by examining the careers of American newspaper writers and editors in Paris, he succeeds in making a genuinely important contribution to our knowledge of expatriation between the World Wars.
- ItemReview of Ruben Borg, The measureless time of Joyce, Deleuze and Derrida(2009) Monk, CraigRuben Borg's dense but meticulous study of temporality in Finnegans Wake is not a book for the uninitiated. The Measureless Time of Joyce, Deleuze and Derrida provides virtually no plot markers or character discussion in its elucidation of James Joyce's final novel, and readers will struggle to locate accessible overviews of previous discussions of time central to Wake scholarship. This study really suffers from the lack of either a formal introduction or a comprehensive conclusion, and readers are tasked with making the distinction between early ruminations on temporality invoked in first appreciations of Joyce's work and more recent writings on representation that are key to Borg's readings. The author is most skilled here in running over philosophical treatises strewn across three centuries of Western thought, though his argument demands of his readers both a considerable knowledge of Joyce's novels, especially this most challenging one, and a deftness of mind in connecting principles of language theory to theories of time. The end result is undoubtedly ambitious: approaches to temporality are shown to be important to our understanding of Joyce's narrative structure, and Borg uses them to investigate principles of composition inherent in all of Joyce's work.
- ItemStanding on the shoulders of giants: a scholarly leave-taking(2015) Monk, Craig; Patterson, Cynthia Lee; Karen RoggenkampThe academic image of "standing on the shoulders," traced through Sir Isaac Newton in 1676, back to Bernard of Chartres in the twelfth century, compares the production of truth to dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. In this metaphor, the dwarfs rely on their added height to broaden their horizons and expand the scope of known truths. However, the major thrust seemed to be the reliance of these dwarfs on the truths gleaned by their giant predecessors. Now, the editorial triumvirate at American Periodicals do not consider themselves to be scholarly dwarfs, nor their predecessors monstrous giants. Nonetheless, in this editorial address, which coincidentally celebrates the twenty-fifth anniversary of the journal, we do wish to acknowledge the foundation upon which we built our own contributions to the journal as we enter the final year of our editorship. What better way than to feature the remembrances of a headline cast of former AP editors and contributors? Furthermore, from the added height of our past five years' experience editing the journal and the work we have done to secure cutting-edge contributions for future issues, we would like to announce exciting special issues on the horizon. We will close our editorial address by prognosticating some of the challenges we see in the future of scholarly publishing in American periodicals.
- ItemThe weight of forty-four pounds: commercial publishing houses and transition magazine in the 1930s(2015) Monk, CraigAs early as the first edition of Exile’s Return, Malcolm Cowley’s 1934 “narrative of ideas,” transition magazine was acknowledged widely as the European outlet for “dyed-in-the-wool expatriates” from the United States, those “colts who had jumped the fence without breaking their tethers.” A divisive topic of discussion amongst its contemporaries, transition was eventually lauded by Samuel Putnam, once one of its fiercest critics, in his Paris Was Our Mistress (1947), as the magazine “that really awakened the broader circles of the American intelligentsia to the fact that something was going on in Europe and among our expatriates.”
- ItemWhen Eustace Tilley came to Madison Square Garden: professional hockey and the editorial policy of the New Yorker in the 1920s and 1930s(2005) Monk, CraigIn even its earliest months of publication during the winter of 1925, the New Yorker sought to position itself as an upscale humor magazine. But the often-too-slim periodical was notoriously uneven in its first numbers, and it was difficult for its few readers to see how editor Harold Ross would develop the reputation for sophistication he desired for the New Yorker while achieving its intended tone "of gaiety, wit and satire," as set out in the prospectus he had written a year before.1 Part of the initial problem, as Ross biographer Thomas Kunkel argues, was that the editor himself was uncertain whether a Manhattan aristocracy was to be the audience for his magazine or the primary target of its mockery. One attempt to strike a balance between these early positions was represented by the Rea Irwin illustration of "Eustace Tilley," the monocled dandy whose inquisitive pose on the first cover came to embody the "smart, enigmatic, relaxed, observant, amusing, yet somehow detached" mien Ross sought.2 If Tilley was the New Yorker in its early years, watching over with impeccable discernment a city more demonstrably heterogeneous than anyone of his social standing would have dared concede, it is still difficult to imagine him in attendance at Madison Square Garden, taking in a spectacle like a bicycle race, a boxing match, or, from the middle of the 1920s, a professional hockey game. And, yet, hockey reportage held considerable significance during the first decade of publishing the New Yorker, as the story itself quickly evolved beyond the discussion of a successful business venture, especially in the five years during which hockey was covered by Niven Busch, a young Manhattan writer who later found success as a novelist and screenwriter in Hollywood.