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BOOK REVIEWS an ideally cooperative subject and enabling Hardy to throw over what he wanted to say the aura of authenticity and impersonality implicit in the use of the third-person point of view." This is, of course, nonsense. It was discreditable. Fortunately, Millgate seems not to protect Hardy elsewhere to that extent, but the lame explanation creates suspicion nevertheless. Millgate explores Hardy's early life and, with great sensitivity and a plethora of detail, his development from architect's assistant with greater ambitions into full-time professional writer. Hardy's mordant view of the world, based upon the near-medieval Dorsetshire landscapes and townscapes of his youth, was cheerless and unchanging. Evoking his fictional "Wessex" in the face of Victorian prudery, and refusing stubbornly to give in to sanctimony, he risked leaving himself without a publisher or a market. He saw no Arnoldian sweetness and light, and his poetry and prose, both often described by reviewers as ungainly, reflected his unrelieved darkness. Despite its bleakness, Hardy's work continues to be read, and even screened, for its emotional and philosophical power and its re-creation of a bygone rural English life which he could depict and dramatize as no one else in his time. Millgate brings us, often in more day-to-day detail than any reader could possibly need, the man in his works. Stanley weintraub ________________ University of Delaware Förster & Cavafy Peter Jeffreys. Eastern Questions: Hellenism and Orientalism in the Writings of E. M. Forster and C P. Cavafy. 1880-1920 British Authors Series, No. 18. Greensboro: ELT Press, 2005. ix + 212 pp. Original Paper $40.00 THIS NEW HISTORICIST study is addressed exclusively to Forster and Cavafy specialists with few concessions to the uninitiated. At the outset Jeffreys makes a good case for handling some of the obscurer texts in Forster's canon, in particular his essays, and for dealing with Cavafy's unfinished poems. Even with these well-defended choices, this could have been a much friendlier work, given more appeal and addressed to a slightly wider scholarly audience. When and why was Forster in Alexandria? How did he come to know Cavafy, man and poet? What commonalities of education drew them together? Such questions seem germane, at least in an introductory way, to discussing the two writers. If the answers are not already in hand, look elsewhere: "Procul, O! procul este, profani" is the watchword. The near exclusion of biography until well into the midpoint (authors are not quite as dead as 73 ELT 49 :1 2006 some wish or hope) leaves the early impression that two texts somehow met in infinity rather than two men in Alexandria, of complex personal histories and sufficient shared intellectual and emotional interests to strike up an acquaintance. Welcome too might be discussions of what classical works Forster studied at Cambridge, why these held peculiar prestige in late-Victorian England, and what particular brand of Hellenism was doled out to his generation of Kingsmen. Jeffreys has read widely and deeply in the primary texts and scholarship , laudable and thorough research, but influence is over-anxious here with more than a quarter of this brief monograph's pages devoted to scholarly apparatus (list of abbreviations, notes, appendix, and index). As to the anxiety of influence, witness this observation about Forster's story "Albergo Empedocle": "Although a flawed story, [footnote] the ironic yet nostalgic sentiment that it expresses serves as an index to Forster's own growing ambivalence as a 'Hellenist' [footnote] interpreting the classical past and relating the 'effete Greek myths' to the 'undeveloped hearts of his contemporaries' [footnote]." As an approach to the subjects of love and passion, this seems pot-bound. After an introductory chapter, "A Mutual Hellenism," which justifies and lays out the basis of his study, Jeffreys closely explores three of Forster 's "Hellenic" fictions: "The Road to Colonus," The Longest Journey, and Maurice, identifying Hellenic motifs and influences and showing how these structure and enrich these texts, with Forster increasingly questioning the appropriation of Hellenism by late-Victorian and Edwardian England and moving on to consider questions of cultural imperialism and imperialism tout court. In this, the homoerotic elements of Forster's Hellenism...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 73-76
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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