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302 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 the otherwise diligent explanation of the background of race, empire, gender, and class issues, often through long detours into other biographies and critical reviews of concepts like the harem. The background, and indeed the edition as a whole, will be important to a readership being introduced to such issues, and especially important in that Cunard (and not only Black artists) are being placed in that context. An exploration of Cunard=s status in between England as an already-dominant nation-state and the United States as an emerging one, in her time, would have added another important dimension to the intersection of race, gender, and class otherwise analysed so well in the introduction. This is a particularly relevant one in Cunard=s case and will perhaps become part of an analytical framework in modernist studies of the future that this collection has initiated to a great degree. (SONITA SARKER) Sandra Djwa. Professing English: A Life of Roy Daniells University of Toronto Press. 474. $55.00 >A teacher in a provincial university=: so G.G. Sedgewick characterized himself with a modesty tinged with irony and impishness. Roy Daniells, his successor as head of English at the University of British Columbia, genuinely modest and not unimpish, might have used the same words of himself, as might this reviewer, like Daniells a scion of Sedgewick and of the Toronto graduate school. How then can a 450-page book emerge from a life of simply >professing English=? Half an hour into reading Sandra Djwa=s biography B which at the end I would not have wanted shorter by a hundredth part B I exclaimed >Detraction avaunt! Celebration approach and sweep the strings!= It was indeed a memorable life, and is a memorable Life. The poet Daniells is there, beginning with his legendary examination paper on Elizabethan verse forms, which he wrote in Elizabethan verse forms. Today any examiner, dumbfounded with delight, would photocopy it for the archives. We meet also the accomplished but ill-at-ease poet whose collection with the thrilling title Deeper into the Forest was the first in the famous Indian File series. The other collection, beautifully produced, characteristically Miltonic in its title, The Chequered Shade, contains these lines: I am so few that I am only me, Though I should like to think that I were more ... Only a man still smaller than his clothes. So much for singing robes: the unheroic last line would have given Thomas Carlyle something more for his clothes philosophy. Daniells the scholar and humanist is more centrally present in the biography, as a rhetorician is a more public and accessible figure than a poet. His chief scholarly work, humanities 303 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 Milton, Mannerism and Baroque, repays a close second reading after forty years. How well and how considerately the author anticipated the possible objections to the application of period styles to different arts, and, as we see from the biography, with how much detailed attention and discernment did he embrace mannerist art and baroque architecture, with Milton always in mind. He attempted a second magnum opus in his Alexander Lectures of 1972, on mannerism and the metaphysicals. I recall them as beautifully delivered and cordially received. Norman Endicott as the Donne specialist at Toronto had to thank his old friend: he tied himself in knots saying many things as true as they were kind without in any way endorsing the basic argument. Modernists (including >postmodernists=) know that they are modern; classicists and romantics know that they are so; but nobody knew he was baroque, still less a mannerist. In this second book the terminology could not bear the weight, and it did not achieve publication. Not a disgrace, just a disappointment. Professor Daniells believed strongly that the humanities must be kept up, and gave many public lectures and radio talks in their cause, was active in the Royal Society of Canada and in the establishment of ACUTE. What good company he was at a conference, how cogent and effective his comments, what an honour to be introduced or...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 302-304
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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