Stories and Essays of Mina Loy is the first book-length volume of Mina Loy’s narrative writings and critical work ever published. This volume brings together her short fiction, as well as hybrid works that include modernized fairy tales, a Socratic dialogue, and a ballet. Loy’s narratives address issues such as abortion and poverty, and what she called “the sex war” is an abiding theme throughout. Stories and Essays of Mina Loy also contains dramatic works that parody the bravado and misogyny of Futurism and demonstrate Loy’s early, effective use of absurdist technique. Essays and commentaries on aesthetics, historical events, and religion complete this beguiling collection, cementing Mina Loy’s place as one of the great writers of the twentieth century.
Mina Loy (1882-1966), born Mina Gertrude Löwry to a Hungarian Jewish father and an English mother, wasn’t just a poet, novelist, essayist, writer of manifestos, playwright, and actress; she was also a furniture designer, a Christian Scientist, a nurse, a junk-sculptor, and a feminist firebrand. Her deadpan, precise, sardonic poetry introduced a new tone into English verse, and Ezra Pound coined the term logopoeia, “the dance of the intellect among words,” partly to describe her work. Her friends and collaborators included F.T. Marinetti, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, and Tristan Tzara; Djuna Barnes, a frequent verbal sparring partner, liked to call her “Patience Scalpel.”