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to fulfül her artistic dreams. He stole material from her journals, letters and conversations for his stories and novels. Under pressure from publishers , he published her magazine articles under his or both of their names, and he refused to let her work on her novel about mental illness , Caesar's Thing, until after he published his own novel on the subject , Tender Is the Night. Today, according to Cline, Zelda's talent still goes unrecognized because she was an amateur who worked in three mediums rather than one. While many of Cline's anecdotes of the Fitzgeralds' marriage are typical biography fare, what's new is her access to Zelda's medical records. Cline describes the wide range of experimental medical treatments at the time—"injections of placental blood, honey and hypertonic solutions , and of horse blood into the patients' cerebrospinal fluid"—used to reeducate women patients. Cline does not find it surprising that many patients became as much "victims of the treatments as of the illnesses." In 1921, Scott remarked that he and his wife were themost envied couple. Ten years later, during one of her early stays in a sanitorium, Zelda wrote Scott a forty-two-page summary of their marriage. She concludes that there were too many parties, too many people, too much noise and too little sanity. (KS) Krypton Nights by Bryan D. Dietrich Zoo Press, 2002, 54 pp., $14.95 For years Bryan Dietrich's Superman poems have been appearing in literary journals in serial form. In Krypton Nights, we finally have the whole collection. Lest the pop-culture veneer make potential readers think that Krypton Nights is nothing more than tribute or spoof (it is both, at turns), there is, as well, Dietrich's substantial theological parsing of the comic-book icon. Dietrich artfully separates the book's four voices: Superman, Jor-El (his father), Lois Lane and Lex Luthor (his archnemesis). While there is some bleed-through between them, and while there are points in each sequence where the character voice threatens to faU away in favor of the poet's own, on the whole, Dietrich effectively uses form, vocabulary and tone to distinguish one persona from another. In "The Secret Diaries of Lois Lane," we get what is most familiar in Superman lore: a loving look at the dual nature of Clark Kent, part milquetoast, part magnanimous monster . The Lois poems peak with the hilarious "His Maculate Erection," which seriously ponders the age-old fan question, "Whathappens toSuperman 's sperm?" Dietrich's answer gracefully brings together the high culture of myth and the low culture of the adolescent comic-book world, proving that the two aren't so far apart. Outside of the Lois poems and the initial technically accomplished (though essentially unsurprising) crown ofsonnets attributed to C. Kent, the Superman Dietrich offers is more complicated. Ten years ago, DC Comics issued a Death of Superman sequence that resulted, after much ado, in his resurrection. For DC, Superman 's death was a publicity stunt. For Dietrich, in poems that adopt the The Missouri Review · 197 persona of Lex Luthor, it is the answer to a theological problem. In "Midrash" and "Inscription for an Asylum," Dietrich gives us Luthor, incarcerated at the Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane, warning an adoring public of the dangers inherent in relying on supernatural forces, however benevolent they may seem. Dietrich doesn't confine his concern about the super-ness of Superman to Luthor's monologues. Earlier, as Dietrich's Jor-El ponders sending the planet Krypton's last son to an unsuspecting Earth, Dietrich has Superman's father mouthing similar sentiments in "The Curse of the Pharaohs ": "And, unimprisoned by you, freed on account of the madness/in your hearts, for the purpose of breaking the laws you need him to/maintain, he will, like some gutsy god-king, have power over ycu,/ and he will bruise your heel. And there will be enmity/between what he stands for and what he accomplishes." Though Dietrich attempts early on, with titles such as "The Fourth Man in the Fire" and "The Destruction of the Temple," to align the Superman mythos with biblical renderings of the divine...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
pp. 197-198
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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