A Keystone Comedy (1961)

19 Jan. 1941



Twitchell-Waas, Jeffrey. “Louis Zukofsky.” Review of Contemporary Fiction 22.3 (2002): 23-26.


Note on the Text: There are two distinct printings of the Dalkey Archive edition of Collected Fiction (1990), which affects some of the pagination, although there is no indication of the difference in the later reset printing. In both printings, Little is photostatted from the original Grossman publication (1970), while the additional stories collected as It Was were first set in a different and somewhat unsightly type, which apparently is why the latter was reset to make a more uniform looking volume in 1997. As a result, the pagination is the same for Little, but different for the other stories, although this does not affect the references below for “A Keystone Comedy.” In the paperback editions, the earlier printing has an all-white cover with a full front cover photo of LZ, while the 1997 printing has a mostly black cover with the photo of LZ reduced and cropped.


186       Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”: Ger. a little night music; title of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s famous Serenade for strings in G major (serenade no. 13), 1787; also mentioned in “The Record” (CSP 157).

186       bird in the sole Arabian tree out of Shakespeare…: refers to William Shakespeare, “The Phoenix and the Turtle,” particularly stanzas 1 and 9, which follow. This poem is a key text in Bottom (25-26) and is partially included in TP 22:

             Let the bird of loudest lay,
             On the sole Arabian tree,
             Herald sad and trumpet be,
             To whose sound chaste wings obey
             So between them love did shine,
             That the turtle saw his right
             Flaming in the phoenix’ sight;
             Either was the other’s mine.