Ego is Always at the Wheel: Bagatelles

Delmore Schwartz, Author, Robert Phillips, Editor New Directions Publishing Corporation $14.95 (146p) ISBN 978-0-8112-0983-0
Most of the 19 featherweight pieces in this posthumous collection culled from the ""papers'' of the onetime wunderkind of American letters were never before published. The subjects are deliberately frothy; among them: baseball, movie celebs, America's worship of cars, Shakespeare (irreverently), mail-order brides, naughty Don Giovanni, Marilyn Monroe. The intention is quite simply to amuse, now and then to edify, but the result is Schwartz often sounds like a bright, frisky undergraduate. Samples of his whimsy: the song titles ``My Old Kentucky Womb'' and ``Carry Me Back to Old Virginity.'' Some of the pieces are wittier and more worthy of the poet's imagination and high intelligence. On balance, however, publication of these begatelles will do very little to salvage a lapsed reputation. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1986
Release date: 04/01/1986
Paperback - 146 pages - 978-0-8112-1028-7
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