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The Hudson Review - Winter 2005

  • Issue Number: Volume 56 Number 4
  • Published Date: Winter 2005
At a time when many of its academic colleagues are revamping themselves with colorful up-to-date looks, The Hudson Review remains the same monochrome-cover journal with solid helpings of criticism and literature from the high establishment. Whatever your opinion of the establishment is, THR still manages to transcend it. While Brian Phillips evaluates David Foster Wallace as the last prophet of postmodern lit, Mark Jarman dares to reconsider Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha, long removed from the literary canon, as quite an enjoyable poem not to venerate but merely to read. Nancy Mayer’s “Reloading That Gun” is a thoughtful take on a popular Dickinson verse, challenging long-held feminist interpretations but also sympathizing with them. You may even be relieved to find some contemporary formalist (read: rhyming) poetry on these pages. Try this couplet from Timothy Murphy’s “Hunter’s Log”: “A bowl of steak tartare, a bed of down? / Or blue eyes fathoming two eyes of brown.” The reviews of the goings-on about town (choral music, Chopin recitals, the refurbished Museum of Modern Art) are honest and reliable, but it helps to be in with the cultural elite to enjoy them. Not for the faint of heart, THR may be geriatric at its worst, but you admire it for sowing the seeds of well-ordered argument and criticism among the ruins of cheap-shot hysteria. Karen Wilkin calls the MoMA a “true oasis of rationality.” Think of THR in the same way. [www.hudsonreview.com] – Christopher Mote
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Review Posted on March 31, 2005
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