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ELT 37:2 1994 and her article on "Modern Novels" (1919) in which she defines the novelist's modernity as the attempt to choose a structure according to his vision of life and not to conventional divisions into chapters and adherence to standard genres, and in which she says more useful things about Joyce than all his early 7XS reviewers together. As a contribution to modernist studies John Gross's collection has a real but limited value. It should be set side by side with reviews in contemporary periodicals (Bookman, Saturday Review, Athenaeum, Nation , New Statesman, English Review, etc.) to obtain a more comprehensive picture of modernism's early reputation. From a bibliographical point of view one would have welcomed information about the sources of Gross's author attributions. When I worked in the Times archives in 1986,1 found that Bruce Richmond, the first editor, simply used a desk diary to list reviewers and the books to be reviewed. He then struck out those reviews that were printed and carried over the rest into the following weeks where they had to compete with new arrivals. Some reviews never saw the light of day. Later, ledgers and notesheets were used. Sometimes the names are hard to identify. Other sources are marked printed copies (the file was, however, incomplete when I saw it). Many identifications were made by the accountant, who scribbled names as well as payments across the reviews. It would be a worthwhile undertaking to collect annotated checklists of reviews in selected areas such as literature, history, and politics, together with more detailed information about the reviewers than that provided in The Modern Movement. Better still, the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals should be extended into the twentieth century. K. P. S. Jochum ____________ Universität Bamberg Yeats Shaping Reality Phillip L. Marcus. Yeats and Artistic Power. New York: New York University Press, 1992. xiii + 263 pp. $40.00 IN Yeats and Artistic Power, Phillip Marcus has written a shapely study of W. B. Yeats's opinions about the power of art to alter political, moral or physical reality. Interestingly, the history of this idea in Yeats's career, as it is traced in Marcus's chronologically organized book, parallels ite progress through world history as it appears in Yeats's late poem The Statues." I hope I may be forgiven, therefore, for describing the latter as a means of reviewing the former. The opening 242 BOOK REVIEWS stanza of The Statues" depicts Greek statuary, planned according to Pythagorean mathematics, whose "plummet-measured" forms caused real emotion as they were kissed by living boys and girls. Stanza two asserts that such art was more powerful than philosophy or military might in Greece's victory over the East. Stanza three moves from philosophy into mysticism, asserting art's power to incarnate "Buddha's emptiness," the idea that "Mirror on mirror mirrored is all the show." And the final stanza moves to the subject of Ireland, as if Yeats were inevitably drawn to ask the ambiguous question, "When Pearse summoned Cuchulain to his side,/What stalked through the Post Office?" After an introductory chapter that rehearses briefly the bardic power in Irish history, Yeats and Artistic Power has a similar shape. First Marcus focuses on Yeats's early period, in which the poet embraced the idea of art's ability to change the real world as he read (and misread) Neoplatonic philosophy and entered into the painful world of Irish nationalism. The most important sources of the concept are outlined with precision: Sidney's Apology for Poetry, Shelley's Defence of Poetry, Standish O'Grady, Oscar Wilde and William Blake. It may strike a reader as odd to cite, as Marcus does, the poem "Ode" by the minor poet Arthur O'Shaughnessy in a chapter containing much more illustrious influences. But Yeats was to refer to O'Shaughnessy's poem later, and Marcus finds convincing evidence that Yeats would echo its assertion of the poets' accomplishments: "We, in the ages lying/ In the buried past of the earth, / Built Nineveh with our sighing, / And Babel itself in our mirth." Yeats's idealistic early work yielded, after the turn of the century...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 242-246
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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