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superficial critic suggests a failure to recognize appreciably his system of criticism. Moreover, Mr. Irvine's conclusion that Gosse makes a case against Puritanism in FATHER AND SON to "justify his own worldly tolerance" (p. xxxviii) is not a satisfactory answer to his initial question, how could a Puritan-trained person evolve to a point that he could write such recollections; nor does it illuminate Gosse's artistry and intellect in the book; such illumination, one would think, ought to be the main object of the introduction. Nevertheless, Mr. Irvine's edition will contribute to the revival of interest in Gosse illustrated well in Linette Brugmans' CORRESPONDENCE OF GIDE AND GÖSSE (I959), George Harper's Northwestern University dissertation in 1959 on Gosse's prose, Charles Joseph Burkhart's study of the origins of FATHER AND SON in NINETEENTH-CENTURY FICTION (June I960), and Paul Mattheisen's article on Gosse's method of criticism in VICTORIAN STUDIES (June 1965). Memphis State University —James D. Woolf 2· Dowson: Legend or Revaluation? Thomas B, Swann, ERNEST DOWSON. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1964. $3.50. In his preface to ERNEST DOWSON, Mr. Swann observes that Dowson's poems are enriched by the Dowson Legend, Dowson scholarship, however, has not been enriched by the Dowson Legend and approaching the poet's work via his legend reduces the value of Swann's critical study. The author's heavy reliance on the legend and his tendency toward .oversrrm/il i'f ication are most unfortunate. Mr. Swann's logic is curious, In Chapter 2, "For Love of Adelaide," he discusses various poems Dowson composed before meeting Adelaide and concludes that they are "hardly distinguishable from the poems to Adelaide." Now, if the poems that Dowson wrote before he met Adelaide are "hardly distinguishable" from the poems that he wrote after he met Adelaide, how could she have importantly influenced the poet's work? Swann supports his argument for a strong Adelaide influence by quoting Arthur Symons and Frank Harris. Frank Harris is perhaps the biggest liar of the nineteenth century and Arthur Symons' opinions about Dowson have been seriously called into question. ! am not implying that Adelaide had no influence on Dowson, but I think that Swsnn severely over-emphasizes her role. The provençal lyrics of the middle-ages and the Petrarchan school of Italian poetry are the models on which Dowson baseo his love poetry, ünce we realize the tradition that Dowson is working in, Swann's conf'ii,ior. over "Libera Ms"- -"wri tten surprisingly, in I886 before he [Dowson] knew Adélaïde"—-is quickly dispersed. It is surprising that on the one hand Mr. Sv/snn is aware that the Alexandrine line of "Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae" is "found in the French romances of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries," but on the other hand does not make the connection between the 12th and 13th century French provençal lyric, courtly love tradition, and Dowson's love poetry. His discussion of Dowson's short stories is also disappointing. Swann collects all of the short stories under the rubric "Of Love and Loss" and then proceeds to summarize the plots of the stories. However, Dowson's short stories are more complex than Swann would have us believe. For example, "Countess Marie of the Angels," which Swann labe's "innocuous" deals with the following themes: the mutability of time, the conflict of generations, the adverse effect of fate, the 49 sensitive man in an insensitive world, Hamlet-like indecisiveness, paralysis of the will, etc. It may further be said that Dowson's typical themes are expressed in a series of impressionistic scenes that function on a symbolic level. Thus, Paris means different things, to different people, at different times in the short story; it functions as a symbol, not merely as a geographical setting. On the positive side, the author intelligently and sensitively discusses the seasonal metaphor and important themes such as death, escape, and religion in Chapter 3, "The Hollow Land"; his discussion of "The Pierrot of the Minute" is enlightening; and the initial chapter on "The Decadence" is adequate, but oversimplified. Purdue University —Philip Armato 3. Rudyard Kipling...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 48-49
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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