“‘Good-bye, everybody!'”: Hart Crane Revival in *The Paris Review*

I started subscribing to the Paris Review a while ago and enjoy it– find it consistently interesting/good to great.  I think what may have spurred me to start subscribing was the serial publication of the Roberto Bolano novel The Third Reich last year.  Other good recent-ish contents that come to mind: the Wallace Shawn interview in #201; a portfolio of “anonymous photographs of children from the personal collection of Terry Castle” in issue #198.  The art portfolios always tend to be interesting and the fiction is almost never boring or predictable.

Got the new issue #202 the other day.  What has leapt out at me about it, thus far, is that it contains TWO different stories that include reference to Hart Crane’s supposed last words.

David Gordon’s “Man-Boob Summer”: the 38-year old narrator seems to have recently finished a Comp Lit thesis and is depressed and living for the summer with his parents.  He starts flirting with the young lifeguard at the apartment complex’s pool who is reading Crane’s Collected Poems.

“You know what his last words were? As he jumped off the steamship?”

She was watching me very closely now.  She shook her head.

“‘Good-bye, everybody!'”

She laughed abruptly, a short burst, and covered her mouth with her hand.

“It’s true,” I said.  “I think, anyway.  I read it somewhere.”  And then while I wasn’t looking, she kissed me.  (p. 28)

And Sam Savage’s strange, long “The Meininger Nude,” narrated by a dyspeptic, dying art collector:

I was always fascinated by great-artist suicides.  By Hart Crane, for example, who called out, ‘Good-bye, everybody,” before leaping from the stern of a steamship.  He was 270 miles North of Havana, returning from a year in Mexico, where he had written nothing.  (p. 90)

Coincidence?  Something else?  Will I find any additional citations of this line as I keep reading the issue?

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