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126 also is writing; driving ten topics in a team together—and getting somewhere, getting through doors and narrow places and home to where you want to go." (P. 137) Essentially this is what V/ells attempts to do—drive several topics at once, a technique he developed at least as early as TONO-BUNGAY (1909). In MEANWHILE he touches briefly on various political, economic, religious, spiritual, philosophical , and marital problems faced by a young married couple, jumping lightly from one topic to the next as they arise in the minds of Cynthia and Philip Rylands. The final result is a rather formless discussion novel, sketch I Iy developed characters, a sparse prose style, and a plea for world union and world government« Read in retrospect, MEANWHILE is most interesting for Wells' analysis of an ailing British Empire in the mid-1920¿. and for his clear prophecy of the future of Fascist Italy. "Italy has embarked upon a course that can have only one end: National tragedy. . . . She must restrain her population or make war and war will be her destruction. . . , What has happened in Italy may happen all over the world." (Pp, 199-200) Though this is not one of V/ells' best novels, Ernest Benn should be complimented for reissuing it in a cheap and attractive form. It Is Benn, of course, who has kept THE SHORT STORIES OF H. G. V/ELLS in print since 1927. Purdue University E. S. Lauterbach 3. The Poetry of the Transition. Hoxie Neale Fairchild. RELIGIOUS TREI-JDS IN ENGLISH POETRY. Volume V: 18801920 ("Gods of a Changing Poetry"). i!Y S- Lond: Columbia U P, 1962. $10.00 In defining the transitional period and in arguing for the dates that demark this period, I can now afford the luxury of far greater security than I could allow myself in 1957, when I first attempted this task in a three-page note, "Literary Periods: Late Victorian, Post-Victorian, Early Modern, Transitional?" EFT, I: 1 (1957), 4-6. Professor Fairchild, after nearly a quarter of a century's labor, has at last arrived at Volume 5 of a series which deserves the description "monumental." His preface to the present volume presents much the same argument for the demarkation and general character of the ELT period which I suggested at the time this publication came into being. He also notes that whether one fixes the beginning date at I870 or at I88O, there is bound to be overlapping: some of the major Victorians continued to produce major work after these dates and certainly to wield influence; some of the writers chiefly associated with post1880 literature had produced work prior to these dates; and, finally, whenever they were born, some of the earlier writers wrote and thought like late Victorians or early moderns, and some of the later writers continued to write and think like Victorians. This volume differs a little from the preceding ones in several respects . First, because the American and British streams of poetry flow inextricably into each other between about ISIO and 1920, Mr. Fairchild here includes such American poets as Pound, Eliot, "H. D.," and William Carlos Williams. Secondly, because many of the poets of the period made "poetry itself the only religion" they possessed, Mr. Fairchiid's fifth volume is rather more "literary" than the preceding ones. 127 Since the EFT Conference discussed aestheticism and decadence at the MLA meetings in Washington, D. C, December, 1962, a glance at Fairchiid's chapter on the "Aesthetes and Decadents" is especially appropriate. It is, I think, a somewhat disappointing discussion, chiefly because it shows no real attempt to revaluate these movements or the writers involved. Mor does this chapter seem to take into consideration much of the scholarship of the last five years, except, apparently, Kermode's ROMANTIC IMAGE (1957). Fairchild generally uses the word aestheticism rather than decadence; he seems to use the latter word chiefly to designate some nutro ronnnnant aentWte /\f aoefhatirienv..in άηυ au.nf (λο mil"*,, η.» m1m»m J!.f !.,+. of the Pre-Raphaeii tes, and, looking ahead, hints at an influence on some post1920 poets. The several pages on whistler, Moore, and VM 1 de seem on...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 126-127
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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