Edward Germain: On "A Short Introduction to the Word"

[Crosby’s diary records an exciting anecdote about delivering this typescript to the printer. If the entry is credible, it registers several points: that the contents of Transition were sometimes assembled at the last minute and that Crosby had, through an arrangement with the editor Eugene Jolas, a certain number of pages set aside for his work, and most interesting of all, that Crosby felt that he could "never write anything on the spur of the moment unless it was a love-letter." To him, the poem emerges from the meditation on the word "slipper" – a passage that was downgraded from its opening position when slimmed down for publishing in Transition.]

[October] 17 … There are two blank pages left open for me but I can never write anything on the spur of the moment unless it is a love-letter and we can’t seem to find my Short Introduction to the Word We telephone to Colombey to have it dictated over the telephone but we are cut off in the middle of it. A good meal in a little restaurant Jolas ordered it. Many telegrammes sent off after luncheon but more to the Sorceress I don’t know where she is a lie for she is curled in my heart. At four it begins to grow dark Auguste exhausted is back from Dijon I put him in the back seat with Narcisse and Sykes and I sit in front We are off for Paris I drive like the wind and in two hours we have covered 140 kilometres an average of 70 kilometres an hour. Pas mauvais. But near Paris there is traffic and we had to slow down. We got in about eight and I found my Introduction to the Word and sent it back by express to Saint-Dizier all because I like the word Slipper. A nursery game called Hunt-the-Slipper. A flower called Lady-Slipper. Running in the Gold Cup a horse called Slipper. Drinking champagne out of her Red Slipper. Her ears two little slippers for the feet of my voice (see Transit of Venus) From these magic sources the development of the word Slipper in my mind so that it becomes internal and therefore as much a part of me as my eyes or heart or mouth or hands

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Title Edward Germain: On "A Short Introduction to the Word" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Edward Germain Criticism Target Harry Crosby
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 09 Jul 2021
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Shadows of the Sun: The Diaries of Harry Crosby
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