“The Intratextual Obscurity of Louis Zukofsky’s “A”.” Journal of Language and Verbal Behaviour [Язык и Речевая Деятельность] 9 (2009): 26-32. The Linguistic Society of St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg State University, Russia.
Louis Zukofsky’s late poetry in the book “A” constitutes a kind of “intratext,” a poem that resides between two languages, dependent on a source text, but representing an original work on the part of the author. The bilingual character of the poem is not a translation, which traditionally emphasizes the carrying over of the sense of the original into the target language at the expense of sound, style and other poetic effects; rather Zukofsky emphasizes sound and style at the expense of a literal rendition. This compositional strategy creates a special kind of literary diffi culty that is not merely allusive of other works of literature, but a deliberate obscurity that appropriates and reconstitutes its source texts in the pursuit of an idiosyncratic linguistic beauty.