One Year in a “Modernist Mosaic”: Kevin Jackson’s “Constellation of Genius” Reviewed

Constellation of Genius: 1922: Modernism Year One by Kevin Jackson Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 544 p. Ezra Pound, that wild artist, muse, and patron of genius, referred to to 1922 as Year One of a new age. He felt so convinced of this idea that he began to date his letters  “p s U” – post scriptum Ulysses. That post-war year saw the publishing of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and James Joyce’s Ulysses, among other jewels of modernist art, so a […]

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The Reading Life: Reading “Dubliners” and Choosing Exile

I did not go to Ireland, Stephen Daedalus-style, to forge within the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of anyone at all, much less my race. But at 20, with a round face and dyed red hair, I did choose exile. I wanted to slough off the social anxieties of late adolescence, to return to a  primal state: wild and free. More pressingly, I left because my roommates were all going abroad. They hated college. I was more ambivalent, […]

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Poetry in Motion: Sympathy for Notre Dame Football from Great Irish Writers

This week, Notre Dame woefully dongs its bell tower, with each member of the proud college’s football phalanx feeling like a true Quasimodo.   A crushing 42-14 defeat in Monday’s bowl-game-of-all-bowl-games to Forrest Gump’s alma mater inspired many an armchair Lombardi nationwide to – in ways both fair and callous – damn the Fighting Irish as faux-contenders.  “Unfit to the cleats of several squads arguably more deserving of BCS title game contention,” says some easily imagined surly grump.

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