Cover image for Collected fiction
Collected fiction
Zukofsky, Louis, 1904-1978.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Elmwood Park, IL : Dalkey Archive Press, [1990]
Physical Description:
311 pages : 23 cm
Format :


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FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Author Notes

Louis Zukofsky first achieved a reputation in the literary world during the 1920s, when Ezra Pound published his work in Exile. Later he became editor of Poetry, in which, in 1931, he actively promoted the as yet relatively unknown William Carlos Williams and Kenneth Rexroth, among others. Zukofsky was born in New York City and received both his A.B. and M.A. degrees from Columbia University and taught for two years at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. Zukofsky's poetry is notoriously difficult, although it continues to generate its defenders and a small but gallant group of explainers. (Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Born in New York of Russian immigrant parents, Zukofsky (1904-78) gained renown as a poet dedicated to verbal play, the poetic process and the link between language and music. These pursuits are evident in his fiction--four stories and a short novel--gathered for the first time in this volume that will appeal most to those interested in experimental fiction. Little is a humorous autobiographical novel on the early career of a violin prodigy, Baron Snorck, for which the author's son (virtuoso violinist Paul Zukofsky) provides notes and afterword. Zany and serious, the novel features Snorckie's friends, e.g., Ezra Pound, Arthur Rubenstein, their names disguised or spelled backwards (Caasi Nrets=Isaac Stern). ``Ferdinand,'' the most ambitious story, connects the hero's life, dreams and fears to his automobile driving; the experimental ``Thanks to the Dictionary'' recalls Zukofsky's major poem ``A.'' (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Zukofsky is best known as a leader of the Objectivist movement and author of A (Univ. of California Pr., 1978), perhaps the most neglected major poem of the 20th century. This collection reprints the novella Little , a thinly veiled portrait of Zukofsky's son, Paul, a child prodigy violinist, and four additional works: ``It Was,'' ``A Keystone Comedy,'' ``Ferdinhand,'' and ``Thanks to the Dictionary.'' Zukofsky's prose is as carefully wrought as his poems. His playful use of language and his attention to the sound, tone, and rhythm of words lend his prose a rich, poetic density. The publication of these works, long out of print and, for the most part, previously available only in limited editions, is a welcome event. Recommended for contemporary literature collections.-- William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Like a handful of other poets of this century--Hilda Doolittle (H.D.) and Robert Creeley in particular come to mind--Louis Zukofsky was also a fiction writer of typically idiosyncratic abilities. This book gathers together the two small volumes of that fiction, ItWas, a collection of four short stories first published in 1961, and a novel Little; for Careenagers (CH, Apr'71). The novel in particular, the story of a precocious violin virtuoso named Little Baron Snorck, is of interest. A curious melange of puns, inside jokes of the Zukofsky family, and what are apparently translations of the sounds of some Welsh poetry (much like Zukofsky's translation of Catullus), it is by turns--again, like Zukofsky's poetry--funny, obscure, charming, and irritating. A postscript by Paul Zukofsky, writing as The Baron with an appropriately prickly tone, throws some light on some of the more arcane familial aspects of the novel. Zukofsky's readers--and there are far fewer than there should be--will welcome this volume; it puts us one step closer to having all of his important work in print. -G. Burnett, Princeton University