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as a five-sided double album ofsongs. In the "Liner Notes" section, Young describes the project as "an extended riff" on Basquiat's life and work. By focusing on Basquiat and by placing the poems within the jazz tradition, Young situates his book within the African American cultural tradition he so eloquently explores in his poems. Using Basquiat and his work as a starting point, Young lovingly yet unsentimentaUy chronicles the lives of many twentieth-century African American artists, entertainers and athletes . With his thoughtful portraits of other African American artists and performersandhisin-depth treatments of Warhol and the art world into which Basquiat was inducted, Young gives us a historical and aesthetic context in which to see Basquiat's Ufe and his achievements. My only complaint is that more of Basquiat's own work hasn't been reprinted alongside the poems. (MF) Reviews by: Jack Smith, Kim Ball, Peter Hanrahan, Jean Braithwaite, Colin Fleming , Jim Steck, Eva Pelkey, Marta Ferguson MR Lost Classic Long Remember by MacKinlay Kantor Tom Doherty/Forge, 2000, 376 pp., $14.95 (paper) The American historical novel is back. This may be bad news for minimalists and literary theorists, but general readers may weU be thankful for renewed interest in a hardy genre that dates back to the heyday ofJames Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851), whose industriously detaUed chronicles of frontier and maritime adventure celebrated a nation's self-creation and inspired such unjustly neglected followers as John Wiltiam De Forest, Harold Frederic and Hamlin Garland. Historical fiction never went away thereafter and reached a high-water mark in the twentieth century with the achievement of Willa Cather (1873-1947). Her successors included superb regionalistwriters such as Conrad Richter, Walter D. Edmonds,James Boyd and Esther Forbes. But in the aftermath of two world wars and a consequent widespread questioning of conventional values, tales of pioneering adventure and bygone conflicts began to seem obsolete, as irony and indirectionand experimentationbegan to dominate our fiction. Reviewers seldom distinguished between scrupulousreconstructions of the American past created by many of the aforementioned (and by Kenneth Roberts, Shirley Barker and Vardis Fisher, among others) and the clamorous costume romances of Frank G. Slaughter, Taylor CaIdweU and Thomas B. Costain. Accordingly, the genre languished until quite recently (when, I'm prepared to argue, readers ' impatience with seti-referential and postmodernist fiction demanded something different, something more). Caleb Carr's neo-Victorian blockbuster TheAlienist and Charles Frazier's muchhonored Cold Mountain manifestly paved the way for ambitious historicals such as RusseU Banks' Cloudsplitter , Jeff Shaara's Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure, Josephine Humphreys' No Place Else on Earth, and ChrisAdrian's Gob's Grief(to name a handful among dozens). 204 ยท The Missouri Review Other antecedents of this energetic trend than the writers I've already mentioned remain very much worth reading, none perhaps more so than the late MacKinlay Kantor (1904-77). Author of several pop best-sellers in the 1930s and 1940s, as well as numerous short stories and miscellaneous journalism published in The Saturday Evening Post and other magazines, Kantor was a commercial writer but one who frequently aimed higher, usually with impressive results. He won a deserved Pulitzer Prize for Andersonville (1956), an uncompromisingly realistic portrayal of "life" in a notorious Civil War prison camp. Its successors, Spirit Lake (1961) and Valley Forge (1975), received respectful (if not unanimously favorable) critical attention. Kantor's best work is his Civil War fiction, which also includes the littleknown Arouse and Beware (1936) and, thanks to Forge's timely reprint, the novel before us. Long Remember (1934) was highly praised for its unsparing depictions of the realities of battle. It's also an unusual book in its focus on a determined noncombatant: Daniel Bale, whom we meetin thenovel's openingpagesashe returns home from seven years' labor (in the lumber business) in Minnesota to his hometown of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania . The occasion is the funeral of Dan's beloved grandfather, who had raised him. But the home to which he returns is a hotbed of emotional patriotic sentiment, as Gettysburg boys have marched off to do their duty in what had seemed an appropriately distant ordeal, and rumors of the implacable...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
pp. 204-206
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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