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Coming to Terms with Milton Klonsky.
From "The Milton Klonsky I Knew," in the Seymour Krim Collected Papers, University of Iowa Library, MsC367:

 "I'm famous, not so much for what I've written . . . as for the cyclotron of my personality."

"I'm a teabag, steeped in life."

"I'm like an airplant, not rooted in anything. Certainly not in earth."

Cyclotron: "In a linear [particle] accelerator, the particles travel in a straight line. The world's longest is 2mi (3.2km) long. In a cyclotron, particles are accelerated in a spiral path between pairs of D-shaped magnets with an alternating electric field between them." (Oxford Family Encyclopedia: accelerator, particle)


Item:

The Hudson Review
Editor, Frederick Morgan
Comment in a Letter 26 March 1993:

           On the founding of Chimera and of Hudson Review: "The two were, then, . . . separate enterprises.". . .

           "Coming back to Milton Klonsky: [William] Arrowsmith and [Fearon] Brown deserve the credit for publishing "The End Pocket" in Chimera; I deserve credit for the later things, that were published in The Hudson Review. I wrote to him after the war, told him how much I liked "The End Pocket" and asked him to send things to The Hudson Review.

            "I have a letter from Milton Klonsky which I treasure. It's dated April 30, 1954, and in it he says, 'I think The Hudson Review is the only literary magazine today which maintains the highest literary standards without starch or pomp. I hope it goes on for a long time.' We have managed to go on for a long time—I wish Milton Klonsky had been able to do so too."

            Mr. Morgan records the exact history of the founding of Chimera and of The Hudson Review, for the record—for any who have not been able to trace the derivation of the two publishing entities, trademark literary "institutions" of NYC:

            "Chimera and The Hudson Review were never the same magazine, but were founded by different people, had different aims, and different histories." For anyone who wants a longer official account of the founding of the two journals, that is available by writing through the email account on this site.


Item:

            The text below is a short extract from "Milton Klonsky," in What's This Cat's Story? —by Seymour Krim, described as "one of the most important figures in the dramatic change in non-fiction letters that took place in the last thirty years; someone whose writing had "cracked honesty"; who shows "how much a man can know and learn if he is serious and keeps his dignity." These comments come from reviewers on the back cover of the book, which anthologizes four decades of Krim's essays—some about New York City—in a "high-velocity argot" of a writer who is "almost scarily evocative." These reviewers are James Dickey, David Halberstam, Norman Mailer, Murray Kempton and Pauline Kael, who give high regard to the posthumous collection. The excerpt below is in honor of their friendship and mutual contributions. I met Krim only once. I liked him. He called me "Red from Random House":

            Krim begins his description of encountering Milton Klonsky repeatedly, when he would "brush past" him in the courtyard of his apartment building—"when I had to walk past the inhuman guns of his eyes" (p. 68).

            ". . . Klonsky's personality was a subtle, forceful and, later I was to recognize, deeply profound one and it entered my being—tore through it actually—like a torpedo into the unguarded gut of a battle-innocent young cruiser. I had never met anyone even remotely like him nor could I have conceived him in my imagination. Instead of being direct (my holy-grail kick at the time, encouraged by the prose of Hemingway, Eliot, Pound, which made a glistening literary virtue of straightforwardness and which I translated into an ethical ideal—even then trying to convert beauty into life-action!) he was indirect, elusive, paradoxical, frowning, iceberg-cheerless often. And yet one always had the impression, felt the impression I should really say, of a fine and deep mind that was fixed like a rule beyond the every flare of mood, behind his furrowed swarthy face (now Roman-looking, now Jewish, now Spaniard) and in back of those special catlike eyes. The guy's strangeness, uniqueness, was heaped further on my barometric apparatus by his style; although quotations from Blake or Hart Crane or Wordsworth—in fact most of the whole noble repertoire of English-speaking verse—sprang to his dark purplish cracked lips at appropriate moments, he electrically spit out the language of the ballpark and streets too" (p. 69)

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*For further relevant reading inside these webpages, see collect1.htm, where Anatole Broyard and Milton Klonsky are featured together, in memoirs.

 

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