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BOOK REVIEWS Church that convinced Chesterton to accept the faith. Chesterton's view of the Church was of one which could encompass all of the Truths of the world and demonstrate that the Church is larger than the world. It is in the Epilogue that it becomes clear this book is a tripartite discussion: the topics discussed are Chesterton, Catholicism, and Fagerberg's own conversion to Catholicism. That Fagerberg is so fascinated with Chesterton is perhaps because there are parallel experiences in their religious lives. At this point (if not before) it becomes not a dispassionate account of scholarship but Fagerberg's spiritual autobiography. To some extent we lose Chesterton, but we have gained some insight into his mind This is not an easy book to read. The great quantity of material covered and the information couched in Chestertonian prose combine to make this an apologetic for Chesterton's Catholicism and not a closely reasoned work of scholarship. Whether or not this matters will depend upon the individual reader. What does matter is that the reader, having been exposed to so much of Chesterton's prose in small, well-chosen excerpts , may be encouraged to seek out the longer works for discovery or re-discovery. J. Randolph Cox _________________ St. Olaf College Yeats ABC Lester I. Conner. A Yeats Dictionary: Persons and Places in the Poetry of William Butler Yeats. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1998. xv + 209 pp. $34.95 FOR ORDINARY purposes, the student and general reader need go no further than this Dictionary. It is amazing what a revolutionary advance is achieved simply by putting names of persons and places in alphabetical order. In the standard aid, A. N. Jeffares's A New Commentary on the Poems of W. B. Yeats, one looks up the poem, not the person or place, and is overwhelmed by pages of material not relevant to the specific question, including vast quotations from Yeats. There is great usefulness in Conner's brief yet full citations. One is reading the poems, comes across a name, quickly looks it up in Conner's Dictionary, and goes on unburdened and enlightened. Each citation ends with mention of the poems in which the name is found, so that if there are several poems, one may compare. Conner's is a small book and includes only names that appear in the poems. The plan of the book includes an introduction (ix-xv), the diction471 ELT 42 : 4 1999 ary (1-194), genealogical information (195-199), and a list of books consulted (201-209). Conner's introduction makes the excellent point that it is not enough merely to give the information which could be looked up in an encyclopedia: "Yeats often uses . . . names in a very special, personal way, a way that can be known to the general reader of Yeats's poetry only by a study of Yeats's nonpoetic writings, or the vast library of writings Yeats is known to have drawn upon, or the writings of the principal interpreters of Yeats's works." A Yeats Dictionary may provide a shortcut to showing the reader this "special, personal way." In the dictionary section, entries about Irish mythological figures are complete with pronunciation guides to such names as Edain, Conchubar , Cuchulain, Eire, Oisin, Sceolan, etc., and explanation of who they are in Yeats's poems. Other names are legion: classical figures—Homer, Paremenides; English poets—Blake, Landor, Shelley; writers who were personal friends—Lionel Johnson, Ernest Dowson, Dorothy Wellesley; historical figures—Luke Wadding; the martyrs of "Easter, 1916"—"MacDonagh and MacBride / And Connolly and Pearse," each with a separate entry; figures of art—great figures like Michelangelo and Veronese, personal associates like Robert Gregory, contemporary portraitists like Mancini. (However, you will find Yeats's father, the Irish portrait painter John Butler Yeats, only in the Genealogy.) Great cruxes in Yeats are "Rocky Voice" in "Man and the Echo" and "Old Rocky Face" in "The Gyres." Jeffares identifies them at great length as Shelley's Ahasuerus. Conner prefers a sculptured head in the wall of Yeats's tower for "Old Rocky Face," and has, I think, found the true source of "Rocky Voice" in an ancient Irish song called...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 471-475
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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