Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wallace Stevens' 14th way of looking at a black_bird

"Arnold had gone through paranoid kippages about their not wanting to put a black man's image on the cover. ("Who let the coon in?"—Wallace Stevens' inquiry at the 1950 Drew-Phalen Awards banquet, when that year's recipient, Gwendolyn Brooks, had entered the hall—replayed regularly up from the kerygma of black literary history, a-broil in memory and imagination, even after forty years.)"

Samuel R. Delany: Dark Reflection

The "Drew-Phalen Awards" are Delany's invention, but the incident is real, at the 1950 Pulitzer Prize Awards ceremony where Brooks was awarded the prize for poetry.

This book, Delany's latest, is wonderful.


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