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HUMANITIES 433 Catholicism purely for aesthetic reasons, and who places act above morality . This is an inference falsely drawn from Jones's care always to distinguish, in his own essays on art, between aesthetic and moral considerations. Rees also repeats the mistake of his source, Richard Wald, to the effect that Eliot alone was responsible for the publication of In Parenthesis, and that Faber and Faber begged Jones to publish The Anathemata. David Jones told me that the first poem was accepted for publication before Eliot saw it, but that the second would probably not have been published without Eliot's insistence. (THOMAS DILWORTH) Henry Summerfield. An Introductory Guide to 'The Anathemata' and the 'Sleeping Lord' Sequence of David lones Sono Nis Press. 192 This volume provides what Henry Summerfield regards as 'the basic information required for a reading' of David Jones's later poetry. The texts receive a careful seriatim annotation; allusions are identified and many difficult words glossed. Also Summerfield has divided the poems into sections, and a prose synopsis is installed with each division; the paraphrases are usually clear and helpful. Although Summerfield has, to some degree, duplicated the work of Rene Hague's Commentary on 'The Anathemata' of David Jones, this new book may still prove useful, at least as an information manual, in these early days of Jones studies. Summerfield performs economically in his line-by-line explication, whereas Hague's discursive (and sometimes digressing) manner can be at cross-purposes with his line-by-line format . Instead of expanding on the poetry Summerfield refers us to relevant passages in Jones's own prose. Recurring figures are identified and cross-referenced. In addition, he transcribes and translates Jones's difficult interlingual inscriptional poems. It is a vade mecum for the poet's later work. Certain editorial biases and problems appear, however. Summerfield ignores 'From the Book of Balaam's Ass' in The Sleeping Lord, but he treats 'The Narrows,' a poem which was excluded from that collection. Perhaps this poem belongs to a 'sequence' (the word is Summerfield's) within The Sleeping Lord, but this whole idea of sequence is problematic and needs first to be established. Strange, too, is his notion that it is repetitious to gloss passages already treated in Jones's own notes. Following Eliot, Jones had developed the note into an extremely plastic and viable, almost poetic, form, by which he might highlight and elaborate rather than merely cite a reference. These passages (and the notes as a whole) deserve further analysis. The introduction, though intelligent, fails to acknowledge the one 434 LETTERS IN CANADA 1979 essential problem of the annotator: the difference between conscious poetic allusion and semi-conscious or unconscious echoes. Annotating as though there were no distinction, Summerfield misses the subtle allusions (perhaps doubting these), while he gives all his references an equal importance, authority, and finality. When, in 'The Dream of Private Clitus: the speaker greets a friend 'wafted in from Arcady' and asks 'gotta nymph for a sister?' (SL, 16), Summerfield writes: 'Arcadia, a city state in the centre of the Peloponnesus and contiguous to Elis' (p 149). Predictably he has erred on the side of exact definition, failing to mention the nymph's poetic habitat, the pastoral Arcadia, contrasted ironically to the battle of Teutonborg Wood as recounted by the soldier Clitus. A final objection, rather difficult to make, pertains to the very service provided by the book. Summerfield has laboured without the reward of critical vision, and he deserves our gratitude for doing so. But this spare and itemized annotation opens Jones all too Widely to his enemies: it is easy to say that the allusions are simply 'laid on: appliqued, by the poet, that they are not alive in a poetic way. To counter that charge I recommend the book to writers who can develop and refine Summerfield's research, who can contribute to the growing body of critical literature on this important modem poet. (VINCENT B. SHERRY) Allan E. Austin. Roy Fuller Twayne. 146. $11.50 This is number 253 in Twayne's English Authors Series. Bound in red, it has a gold lion prancing on the cover to help us locate...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 433-434
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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