Jeremy Axelrod

Ern Malley and The LeRoy Legacy

04.13.2006 | Jeremy Axelrod | Literature, Media Affairs | 2 Comments
The acceptance and effusive praise of these poems was supposed to embarrass all hoodwinked readers and editors, proving that the School of Obscurity read meaning into randomness. More important, it was meant to expose how destitute in meaning modern poetry had become. But it didn’t. Despite the considerable sensation created by the hoaxers’ unveiling, the Ern Malley poems did not lose legitimacy. For many sophisticated readers discovering the nonsense-intentions of the authors didn’t undermine the art at all. Nobody stopped drinking champagne from the glass slipper, and Malley remains at least as compelling as LeRoy. For in the effort of critiquing modern poetry, McAuley and Stewart had in fact created it.