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(03/18/2015) Charles Reznikoff: A Critical Essay by Milton Hindus. London. 1977. Menard Press. 69 pages. paperback. 0903400081

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Charles Reznikoff (August 31, 1894 – January 22, 1976) was an American poet known for his long work, Testimony: The United States (1885-1915), Recitative (1934-1979). The term Objectivist was first coined for him. The two-volume Testimony was based on court records and explored the black experience in the United States. He followed this with Holocaust (1975), based on court testimony about Nazi death camps during World War II. When Louis Zukofsky was asked by Harriet Monroe to provide an introduction to what became known as the Objectivist issue of Poetry, he contributed his essay, Sincerity and Objectification: With Special Reference to the Work of Charles Reznikoff. This established the name of the loose-knit group of 2nd generation modernist poets and the two characteristics of their poetry: sincerity and objectification.

 

  Milton Hindus (1916-1988) was a scholar of American and European literature and was one of the original 13 professors that founded Brandeis University in 1948. He taught there until his retirement in 1981. A native New Yorker, Professor Hindus was teaching at the University of Chicago when he was recruited as by Brandeis. He devoted much of his time in recent years to the work of Charles Reznikoff, a Brooklyn-born poet and editor (1894-1976). Professor Hindus wrote ''Charles Reznikoff: Man and Poet'' (1984), and ''Charles Reznikoff: A Critical Essay'' (1977), and worked on ''The Collected Letters of Charles Reznikoff.' He wrote ''Celine: The Crippled Giant'' (1950), a critical biography of the French writer Louis Ferdinand Celine, which was reissued as a paperback in 1997. Hindus was fascinated by Celine’s poetry, but repelled by his anti-semitism. Hindus corresponded with Celine for several years and the two eventually met for a series of meetings in Denmark in 1949. He also wrote ''The Proustian Vision'' (1954), ''A Reader's Guide to Marcel Proust'' (1962), and ''F. Scott Fitzgerald: An Introduction and Interpretation'' (1967). He was the author of ''Leaves of Grass: One Hundred Years Later'' (1955), which remains in print and earned him the Walt Whitman Prize of the Poetry Society of America. He also edited ''Walt Whitman'' for the Critical Heritage Series (1997). Also among his 16 books were ''The Jewish East Side: 1881-1924'' (1995), and ''A World at Twilight: A Portrait of East European Jewry on the Eve of the Holocaust'' (1971). He graduated in 1936 from City College, where he earned a master of arts degree in 1938. Before joining the faculty of the University of Chicago in 1946, he did postgraduate work at Columbia University and lectured at Hunter College and the New School for Social Research in New York. Hindus once wrote "My conviction is that the most important life is that of the mind, and if this does not transpire through all the writer's work, then indeed he has written in vain."

 

 

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