In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

236 division of women Into what he calls fair maidens and femmes fatales. His approach even Illuminates a whole genre, allegory, when he uncovers what allegory and literary doubles have In common: the representation and heightening through their respective forms of the dramatic conflict within, the psychomachia. Rogers clearly establishes the fact that Inner division has been an abiding human experience, finding over many centuries va ious cultural expressions Including literature. Nevertheless, we should recall that at the start of the nineteenth century in Europe works presenting manifest doubles suddenly began appearing with greater frequency than before . We should observe, too, that the predominant number of works Rogers himself discusses featuring either latent or manifest doubles were written In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Rogers' analyses demonstrate that decomposition underlies - to give just a few examples - the concern of James with point of view, the preoccupation of Conrad with fictional narrators, the elaboration by Borges and Barth of complicated, "baroque" (p. I63) doubles, and the tendency of romantic temperaments In general to conceive of artists as Proteus-llke figures. We should also bear In mind, finally, that Rogers uses as the main Instrument of his study psychoanalysis, itself a direct development out of the obsessive and passionate preoccupation with the self characteristic of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. All of this is worth noting because It indicates why Rogers' book would be particularly rewarding to readers who feel that the last two centuries have been unique In the pervasiveness with which writers have experienced a cris of the self, and In the startling ramifications of that crisis for literature. Douglass College John J. Pappas New Brunswick, New Jersey 2. Miss Fuller's Swinburne Jean Overton Fuller. Swinburne: A Biography. New York: Schocken Books, I97I. $8.00. The dust jacket screed begins with Meredith's oft quoted statement (quoted out of context here, as It usually is) that he failed "to see •any Internal center· from which sprang everything Swinburne did." Meredith wrote this In 1861, before any of Swinburne's major works had been published. Miss Fuller's thesis, however. Is that there must be some center for "so passionate a corpus of poetry," and she goes on for several hundred pages to bolster her own perceptions of that center . What she suggests chiefly Is that Swinburne seldom wrote any of his major works unless subconsciously influenced by his abortive love for his cousin Mary Gordon, later Mrs. Disney Lelth, that both were sado-masochists (and Swinburne a homosexual to boot), and that both wrote their works under little or no other Influence than that of their peculiar psycho-sexual makeup - one possible exception being Swinburne· great background in French literature. There are other slight concessions to literary Influences, of which more later, though the hypothesis that Atalanta In Calydοη may derive from the Meleager of Euripides 237 is daring because this work has never seen print. Miss Fuller sets out to tell a good story, which might be a virtue in a biographer of one of the Pre-Raphaelite circle. This group of Victorians has been badly served by biographers who err either toward the factually overwhelming and dull (such as Clara Watts-Dunton and Oswald Doughty) or toward the over-Imaginative and sensational (such as Violet Hunt and Miss Fuller herself). Miss Fuller tries to tell her story too engagingly while simultaneously riding her SwinburneMary theory so hard that she forgets that there were other factors In the backgrounds of Swinburne's literary endeavors. Her newly published Mary-Swinburne letters may be Important, but the "embroidering" of the circumstances surrounding them tends to vitiate their disclosure. Bent on speculating beyond the pioneer but factually sound researches of John S. Mayfield and Cecil Y. Lang about the Importance of Mary, Miss Fuller conjectures too much, as her frequent use of conditionals reveals, and overlooks a host of other possibilities: for example, those suggested by Lang's notes to The Triumph of Time In his edition of The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Circle - which appeared several years before the British edition (1968) of her book. Given Swinburne's love of Elizabethan literature. It is odd to find no hint of...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 236-239
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.