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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 his "word hoard" and seemed the only way, given the changing mood of the content, to make the form he wished' (Agenda, p 66). But, fascinating as the question of form is, especially after Jones's own remarks, Dilworth leaves the issue largely undeveloped, concentrating instead on the analogical structure of the poem. And it is in this enterprise that his essay, in the present as in the earlier version, reveals its value. He brings a close knowledge of European liturgical traditions, both Christian and non-Christian, to the poem. Although his work is not exhaustive, he identifies the principal arcs of allusion and reference to the traditions that give jones's experience resonance, texture, and style and, acting as mediating structures, help produce the work's complex significance within no less a perspective than that which spans recorded European history. A particularly interesting element is his exposition, beyond the dominant Christian 'matrix: of a skein of allusions to Eleusinian initiatory and fertility rites in the poem (see espeCially pp 8-10, 26-9). Finally, Dilworth's elucidation directly helps readers, and there are, no doubt, many today for whom liturgical, canonic, and biblical literatures are no longer the principal constituents of a common culture. From this point of view Dilworth's work is a welcome support to our reading of jones's many-sided text. (JOHN XIROS COOPER) Samuel Rees. David Jones Twayne English Authors Series 246. Twayne '978. '54ยท $9.95 This book about David Jones is, as its preface states, an introduction to, and critical assessment of, his poetry and thought. As an introduction to 432 LEITERS IN CANADA 1979 the poetry it has faults, which I will return to, but overall it is a positive achievement, partly because Professor Rees restricts his interpretation of the intricate and densely allusive long poems to narrative surface. He simplifies without paraphrasing, and this cannot but help anyone reading Jones for the first time. As a critical assessment, however, the book fails because it seldom penetrates to the subtext of allusion and symbolic resonance that makes Jones's poetry among the richest and most remarkable ofthis century. Because Rees does not read The Anathemata in depth, for example, he does not see the unifying correspondences between archetypes, personae, and images, and consequently he considers the poem fragmentary. For this reason, and because he considers it less personal and less emotionally variegated, he thinks The Anathemata inferior to Eliot's Four Quartets. A relative judgment of this kind probably should not be made since these works have too little in common to allow fruitful comparison. I suspect Rees makes it because he understands Eliot's poem better than he does that of Jones. As an interpreter of the poems, Rees is uneven. His general statements about the long poems are usually perceptive. He indicates, as no one else has, a choric relationship in The Anathemata between the questioning narrator and the lesser personae. But in matters of fact...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 431-433
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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