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128 or twenty of Gourmont's works have been translated into English, many by Pound and Aldington, nearly all are out of print and, in any event, little known. Perhaps the essays collected in English translation as DECADENCE AND OTHER ESSAYS ON THE CULTURE OF IDEAS (1921) are best-known to English-speaking readers. But it is regrettable that some of his creative work is not better known: FLEURS DE JADIS (poetry, 1893), HIEROGLYPHES (poetry, 1894), HISTOIRES MAGIQUES (stories, 1894), and PROSE MOROSES (stories, 1894), ORAISONS MAUVAISES (poetry, 1900), COULEURS (stories, 1908). Similarly, much more of his critical and philosophical work should be available in English: LE PROBLEME DU STYLE (1902), some of the PROMENADES LITTERAIRES and PROMENADES PHILOSOPHIQUES series, LIVRES DES MASQUES (1896 and I898), and so. on. Gourment, as editor of the MERCURE DE FRANCE from I89I to 1915, had associations with or commented on most of the major literary movements and artists in France during a particularly exciting period of artistic experimentation. As Professor Burne shows in some detail, Gourmont had important connections with the Decadent and Symbolist movements, he was a major spokesman for the Imagist movement, a very knowledgeable investigator of sexual psychology, and an important commentator on the "dissociation of ideas" method of analysis. He influenced F. S. Flint, T. E. Hulme, Richard Aldington, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Middleton Murry, and others. Pound, not at all unreasonably, characterized the 40 volumes of Gourmont's writings as "'the best portrait available, the best record that is, of the civilized mind from 1885 to 1915."' Gourmont indeed remarkably reflects the varied artistic, philosophical, and social concerns of the ELT period. One can only wonder that it has taken so long for such a good introduction to Gourmont, in English, to appear. Professor Burne provides useful notes and index, a very good list of works by Gourmont, a welcome list of works translated into English, and a quite thorough list of the most important writings about Gourmont, among which ELT readers might especially note articles and books by Richard Aldington, Kenneth Burke, Havelock Ellis, Edmund Gosse, James Huneker, and Ezra Pound. Purdue University —H. E. Gerber 3. The Alienated Self Again Charles I. Glicksberg. THE SELF IN MODERN LITERATURE. University Park, Pa: The Pennsylvania State U P, I963. $6.00. Mr. Glicksberg describes and analyzes the attitude of the self, not in modern literature, as his title implies, but in some modern literature. I do not think one can quarrel with his description of the way the self is treated in, say, Sartre, Beckett, Camus, Durrell, Gide, Ionesco, Kafka, Pirandello, or Strindberg. One might argue, however, that, by implication, by selection, he gives a somewhat distorted view of the modern novel. Had Mr. Glicksberg given a Little more space to Conrad, James, Lawrence, Graham Greene, William Golding, even Faulkner and Hemingway, the total impression we would receive of the self in modern literature would be a little better balanced. The title of the book should perhaps have been the one Glicksberg uses for the subtitle of his introduction, "The Lost Self in Modern Literature." The point, of course, is that the self is not lost or, if lost, left unfound in all serious modern literature of high quality. Sometimes, perhaps, the self is not so much lost as resigned to acceptance of a shabby identi ty. 129 Glicksberg's study does recognize various kinds and degrees of lostness. The fall of the hero in some early Ibsen plays is not the same thing as the total disappearance of the hero and, sometimes, of the self in any form in some of the other writers whom Glicksberg discusses. The history of the lost self and the movement of Glicksberg's idea is suggested by some of his chapter titles and subtitles: The Self Without God, The Decline and Fall of the Hero, The Uncommitted and lnauthentic Self, The Haunted Strindbergian Self, The Animal Image of the Self, The Image of the Mechanical Self, The Nihilistic Self, The Relativity of the Self, The Image of the Absurd Self, Sartrean Man, The Possitive Hero on the Russian Scene. The range of the subject is "from the nihilistic I to...


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pp. 128-129
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Will Be Archived 2021
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