restricted access A review of The Mystical Doctrine of St. John of the Cross
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108 ] A review of The Mystical Doctrine of St. John of the Cross Being an abridgement of his works as translated into English by David Lewis and revised by Dom Benedict Zimmerman, O.D.C. With an introduction by R. H. J. Steuart, S.J. London: Sheed & Ward, 1934. Pp. xxiii + 213. The Criterion: A Literary Review, 13 (July 1934) 709-10 The description above indicates the method which has been followed. The arrangement is excellent.1 For anyone who wishes to make a study of the work of St. John (a Spanish writer little known in this country) this is an admirable introduction; and for ordinary educated people, will give all that they need to know. While very few persons ever reach a stage so advanced that they can adopt St. John of the Cross as their guide, and must be content to use more elementary manuals of meditation, there is great advantage in acquiring some notion of what are the higher stages of the contemplative life. And this convenient little book can be slipped into the pocket when leaving for a weekend or the summer holidays.2 T. McG.3 Notes 1. “The arrangement of this book – the selection of passages and subheadings – is taken from the French work Abrégé de toute la doctrine mystique de s. Jean de la Croix” (v). 2. TSE also began acquiring for his library this year The Complete Works of Saint John of the Cross, 3 vols, trans. and ed. E. Allison Peers (London: Burns Oates and Washbourne, 1934, 1935). 3. Signed with the initials of Thomas MacGreevy, but ascribed to TSE in the Criterion index. Gallup first attributed the review to TSE in his Cata­ logue of En­ glish and American First Editions of Writings by T. S. Eliot, compiled with TSE’s assistance to accompany the exhibition at Yale University from 22 Feb to 20 Mar 1937 (New Haven, 1937), p. 19. Gallup noted the error of MacGreevy’s initials ­ there and again in his 1953 (p. 101) and 1969 (p. 229) editions of T. S. Eliot: A Bibliography. Many years ­ later, however, ­ after receiving an inquiry about the authorship of the review from ­Sister Anne Cyril Delaney in Aug 1952, TSE evidently checked the issue of the Criterion at that time, misremembering his authorship and assuming that the attribution to MacGreevy was correct. In his reply of 15 Aug, TSE wrote: “The short notice of ‘The Mystical Doctrine of St. John of the Cross’ in The Criterion of July 1934 was not by myself, but by Mr. Thomas McGreevey [sic]” (Houghton). Valerie Eliot ­ later confirmed TSE’s authorship in her copy of the Criterion, crossing out MacGreevy’s initials and inserting TSE’s. ...