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59 Liar," "The Aspern Papers") and James Joyce (A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAM) really did. Chapter XII concludes with a warning: "Deep Readers of the World, BewareJ" Here Professor Sooth reminds us that critics and other uncommon readers may often be creating greater ambiguities and greater difficulties of interpretation than there are because the conventional expectations of the reading audience change. Thus, the endless haggling over James' meaning is not entirely due to ambiguities in James' work but at least partly to the fact that the audience now reading James is not the same one that he wrote for. The partial solution to the problems created by the critics' distrust of everything is once more to take "the author's explicit rhetoric, embodied in the work,... as relevant,..." In the concluding chapter Professor Booth raises a number of broad problems that arise from some of the fictional techniques he has been scrutinizing: impersonal narration by means of "inside views" may "build sympathy even for the most vicious character" and may lead "to moral confusion." This problem, Booth suggests, arises in Celine's JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE NIGHT, in which "Celine is never undeniably there" nor "undeniably dissociated, either...." It is not enough, Booth says, to talk only "of technical triumphs" "as if technical triumphs had no relation to the value of what they achieve." Close attention, then, to the rhetoric of fiction may help the "deep readers of the world" find their way through the fog of ironies and ambiguities. Finally, Professor Booth's book is expertly indexed, and contains a superb bibliography , noteworthy for its fullness, its arrangement, and, especially, the frequent critical annotations of the entries. Purdue H. E. Gerber -' Vf Vf Vf Vf Vf Vf Vf Vf Vf Richard A. Cassell. FORD MADOX FORD: A STUDY OF HIS NOVELS. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1962. $5.50. If cne were required to select a single novelist to serve as representative for the whole movement identified as "English Fiction in Transition," the choice might very possibly fall upon Ford Madox Ford. Though he was many years younger than such commanding figures as Gissing, Moore, and Wells, and certainly less of an original genius than any of them, his background and career combined to make him an epitome of the forces that shaped the changing indentity of fiction from the 1890's to the 1930's. Through his parentage he spent his childhood among the Pre-Raphaelites and aesthetes who had so much to do with establishing the preoccupation with technique that dominated the new kind of novel. His admiration for the French and Russian masters, his early discipleship to Henry James, and his years of collaboration with Conrad at a crucial period in their careers determined his fictional gospel, which rendered him eventually an eminent exponent of the Jamesian doctrines. And yet his reputation was originally based not on novels of psychological realism but on historical romances that linked him with the school of Stevenson. 60 Undoubtedly Ford is one of the authors whose place in literary history has been jeopardized by excess of cleverness and versatility. In real life he had a chame 1 eon-1 ike aptitude for adopting poses and artificial personalities, and in his writing he almost achieved distinction in half-a-dozen genres—as poet, as weaver of fairy-tales for children, as art historian, as critic, as autobiographer, as well as in his chosen role of novelist. The literary chroniclers have been chary of determining his rank in any of these categories. Nevertheless, it is surprising that, apart from Douglas Goldring's two biographical volumes, Professor Cassell's book is the first to deal with Ford and his writings. Equally astonishing is the paucity of critical articles that Professor Cassell considers significant enough for inclusion in his bibliography. The reviewers paid tribute to Ford's individual works, the historians and memoir-writers mentioned him as a personage in the literary scene in the first third of the twentieth century, but his permanent value has remained in doubt. Professor Cassell's study does not fully resolve the problem. He works manfully to extract Ford's essential theory of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 59-63
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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