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The Massachusetts Review – Winter 2006

The admirable literary venture that is The Massachusetts Review will soon celebrate its fiftieth anniversary.

The admirable literary venture that is The Massachusetts Review will soon celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. In this exemplary issue, C. M. Mayo’s exploration of Ferdinand Maximilian von Habsburg’s life in Vienna, Venice, Trieste, and Mexico City in “From Mexico to Miramar” takes creative non-fiction to a new level, while Faye Wolfe’s “Rahoo,” and “In Trouble with the Dutchman,” by Alix Ohlin are outstanding short stories. In “Lolita, Who’s Your Daddy?” Gerald Williams makes a good case for plagiarism on the part of Vladimir Nabokov, but we can’t be sure Nabokov was ever aware of this—it’s easy to forget where, when, and if one learned something (ask I. Lewis Libby). Should you need something new to worry about, you’ll find it in “Momentary” by Ted Sanders. Norman Berlin’s displeased critique of the staging and performance of Eugene O’Neill’s play, A Touch of the Poet, is edifying. This from Rob Cook’s “campaign speech”: “we’re certain there are places in the Oklahoma night where it was never America.” Plus a great many outstanding poems, this from “Elegy for Francoise Vatel,” by Amy Scattergood: “Your king doesn’t understand how fast ice melts / and the standing armies across the channel // have no patience for demi-glace or diplomacy.” Sean Thomas Dougherty’s non-fiction, “Killing the Messenger,” is effective, while a ghost story, “Seeing Things,” by Marianne Boruch reminds one that not everything can be explained and offers examples from the writings of Keats, Eliot, Plath, and others.
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