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Southern Humanities Review – Winter 2004

Volume 38 Number 1

Winter 2004

Mark Cunningham

Southern Humanities Review seems to have a little something for everybody. Southern Humanities Review seems to have a little something for everybody. Aside from the three essays, two short stories, and twelve poems featured here, SHR is uniquely notable for the generous space it devotes to book reviews; twenty-five pages in this issue alone are given over to lengthy critiques of six books ranging from the poetry of Frieda Hughes to a volume on the meaning of modernity by Frederic Jameson. Greg Johnson’s short story “Zelda, Zelda” thrives on the author’s genius for narrative structure. A somewhat over-handled scenario—that of a teenage boy adapting to a new social life, and challenged by a bold young vixen—finds resuscitation here in the hands of a gifted writer. Among the poetry, Barton Sutter’s “The Underword,” surging with the mysterious juice of man’s evolutionary identity, caused my eyes to water. Captivated by the guttural grunts of a passing bull moose, the speaker effuses: “That groan recalled the guts of thought, / The sound beneath all speech, / A word from the land of Ur. / It was laden with pain, desire, and pride. / It said what I felt when my parents died, / When I first caught sight of my wife.” Also wonderful are two Homeric riffs by R.T. Smith, picturing Penelope at her loom and Odysseus at his plow. [Southern Humanities Review, 9088 Haley Center, Auburn University, AL 36849. E-mail: [email protected]. Single issue $5. http://www.auburn.edu/english/shr/home.htm] – MC

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