Stories and Essays of Mina Loy

Mina Loy, Author, Sara Crangle, Editor
Edited by Sara Crangle. Dalkey Archive, $15.95 trade paper (446p) ISBN 978-1-56478-630-2
Reviewed on: 07/18/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
While not intended as a definitive edition, this latest collection gathers unpublished stories, essays, drama, and commentary that reveal painter and poet Loy as a surveyor of fragmented, early 20th century urbanity. Best known for her collection Lunar Baedeker and regarded highly by the avant-garde, Loy is not "rediscovered" as a curious footnote to modernism, but as a practitioner of an appealing, eccentric minimalism. Loy embraces the fanciful as well as the realistic in work that resists categorization. She is as comfortable depicting a tamed, talking crocodile in a charming tale for all ages as she is with inhabiting occasionally cavalier adults; including Futurism and Love in a play; threading abstractions and overheard dialogue among details of daily life after World War I; or exploring criminality and its offspring in "The Three Wishes." Brief reflections on Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, art, sex, morality, and religion reveal a demanding intellect. Crangle's introduction is indispensable; Loy's linguistic flair and references require intense concentration and benefit from contextualization. Still, this editorial feat rewards the serious reader with an overview of an original voice. (Sept.)
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