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430 LEITERS IN CANADA 1979 independent identity. It remains always a part in a narrative (often biblical in essence), a story that man has told to himself in order to explain the fact that he lives in time. To say that certain themes recur in his poetry or that Muir himself tended to regard life in much the same manner as a medieval Christian (as Bunyan's pilgrim, for instance) does not establish Muir as a symbolist whose most likely sympathetic company would include Mallarme, Baudelaire, Verlaine. Wiseman, although he argues well and effectively for the value of many of Muir's poems, doesn't quite manage to still the voice of dissenting critics: A. Alvarez claiming that Muir 'used symbols but was never a Symbolist: or John Holloway suggesting that the German expressionists provide a more likely background than the French symbolists for Muir's work. Stevens has told us that poetry is written for the delicatest ear of the mind, and Wiseman, in the midst of making his claim for the importance of symbolist technique in Muir's poetry, is pressed to acknowledge that Muir's 'poetry may not sound like that of Eliot, Pound, Stevens or Yeats: the acknowledged heirs of the symbolists (Wiseman's italics). Muir's poetry sounds like Muir's poetry, and even an intelligent discussion of symbols and symbolism, such as Wiseman offers in his opening chapter, does not in the end allow the critic to determine what is distinctive in Muir's best poems. (DEBBIE JUROJEVIC) Thomas Dilworth. The Liturgical Parenthesis of David Jones Ipswich, Suffolk: Goigonooza Press. 34. £1.50 paper Thomas Dilworth's brief study of In Parenthesis expands and revises his excellent essay originally published in 1973 (UTQ, 42:3, 241-57). In reworking his material Dilworth has had the benefit of David Jones's own comments on the original article, comments made in a letter to Rene Hague and reported in Agenda, 2-3 (1977), 37-79. Dilworth notes that his interpretation in this new piece of work reflects those remarks in several important ways (p 33n). Jones and Hague, while praising Dilworth's perception and accuracy, offered two qualifications to the original essay. They felt that Dilworth went too far in identifying analogical pattern and the overall form of the work, what the article called 'the relationship between the shape ofIn Parenthesis and the patterns of liturgical worship' (UTQ, p 241). Jones also seemed to recoil from a reading of his work that may have left the impression, remote as it is, that he made use of the sacramental instruments of his faith in the interests of what might be called a doctrinally suspect structural opportunism (Agenda, pp 62-4). In his Golgonooza essay Dilworth has erased any such impression the original article might have provoked. On the formal question he has clarified his position. He sees the work as firmly grounded in actual experience and characterized by an 'uncompromising realism' (p 3) - a point of view that the original essay never seemed to me to exclude. The possible inference, therefore, that liturgical forms are structurally generative, that to a great extent they determine the form of the poem as a whole, has been clearly stayed. The aesthetic form of the poem thus grows from the lived experience of war and is articulated by what Jones chose to call 'association-perceptions: Dilworth explains: 'These are analogues to military life, evoked by allusions to various elements in western historical and literary tradition. Pre-eminent among them are liturgical analogues - deriving from pagan initiation and fertility rites, Hebrew ritual, and Christian worship. The last is the dominant matrix of the three' (p 3). In refocusing his interpretation Dilworth has been willing to sacrifice some of the original essay's categorical symmetry in order to leave room instead for a more accurate accountof the interplay of source and form, an interplay summarized by jones himself in his remarks about the earlier essay. Speaking of himself in the third person, Jones wrote to Hague: 'in the main the writer wrote [In Parenthesis]not necessarily conSCiously in tendency to evoke this or that source but much more because [the sources] were within...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 430-431
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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