Bottom: On Shakespeare

Overview

Written between 1947 and 1960 and first published in 1963, the prose work in the first of these two volumes reflects Louis Zukofsky's ongoing obsession with Shakespeare—whose plays he had first seen performed in Yiddish—and is central to understanding Zukofsky's work. Tracing the themes of knowledge, love and physical vision (“the eyes have it”) through both Shakespeare’s plays and the poetry, Bottom: On Shakespeare is more than a compendious act of homage by one poet to another. In effect, it lays out Zukofsky's...

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Overview

Written between 1947 and 1960 and first published in 1963, the prose work in the first of these two volumes reflects Louis Zukofsky's ongoing obsession with Shakespeare—whose plays he had first seen performed in Yiddish—and is central to understanding Zukofsky's work. Tracing the themes of knowledge, love and physical vision (“the eyes have it”) through both Shakespeare’s plays and the poetry, Bottom: On Shakespeare is more than a compendious act of homage by one poet to another. In effect, it lays out Zukofsky's poetics and theory of knowledge on a grand scale, tracing his themes through the whole of Western culture, from the Classical Greeks through William Carlos Williams.

The second volume of Bottom: On Shakespeare consists of Celia Thaew Zukofsky's spare operatic setting of Shakespeare's Pericles, Prince of Tyre, a play in which Zukofsky saw Shakespeare rewriting the classic plots and tropes of the Odyssey. The Wesleyan edition features a new foreword by Bob Perelman.

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What People Are Saying

Stan Brakhage
"Bottom: On Shakespeare speaks and sings of a proportion: love is to reason as the eyes are to the mind...It may be the most important book written since the invention of the motion picture medium."
Stan Brakhage, Film Culture
Stan Brakhage
"Bottom: On Shakespeare speaks and sings of a proportion: love is to reason as the eyes are to the mind…It may be the most important book written since the invention of the motion picture medium."
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
Part I: “O, that record could with a backward look”
Part Two: Music’s Master: notes for Her music to Pericles and for a graph of culture
Scarus. I had a would
Shakespeare’s writing argues with no one: only in itself
Part Three: An Alphabet of Subjects
A-bomb and H-
Birthplace
Continents
Definition
Ember eves
Forgotten
Greeks
H
Iliad
Julia’s Wild
Key
Latine
Musicks letters
Novi
Old Testament Odyssey
Pericles
Qu’ai-je
Rites
Sonnets
T
U (V)
Videsne
Wonder
X
Young
Z (signature)
Abbreviations
Index

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