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

ELT: Volume 33:4 1990 critics to link Conrad with Kipling and Stevenson. Ironically, in the last novel that he ever finished, the association seems apt. Watts is most successful when he deals with the conflict in Conrad between "the claims of artistic integrity and the demands of the market-place." Surely Conrad's insistent yearning for popular success and approval (as manifest in his voluminous correspondence) is at odds with his public pose as an austere Flaubertian novelist devoted solely to his art. Watts is not as illuminating in the closing pages of his study, when he focuses on the censorship question in relation to Conrad's fiction. Arguing that Conrad's "outspokenness" relates to matters of politics and epistemology, rather than to sexual matters (as in Hardy, Lawrence, and Joyce), Watts asserts that "sufficient tolerance prevailed" among Conrad's publishers so that censorship was not a crucial issue in his creative enterprise. Watt's critical enterprise, although severely constricted by the general editor's policy of factuality and practicality, successfully remains within the imposed guidelines while stretching the boundaries of that narrow perspective to give a revealing glimpse of Conrad in his prismatic totality. Ted Billy Saint Mary's College Andrew Lang Friends Over the Ocean: Andrew Lang's Letters to J. B. Matthews, H. H. Furness, F. J. Child, William James, J. R. Lowell, 1881-1912. Marysa Demoor, ed. Rijks Universiteit: Gent, 1989. 320 pp. $40.00 MARYSA DEMOOR STATES HER CHIEF REASON for selecting the letters for her edition of Lang correspondence with American authors: "This edition comprises five correspondences, mainly chosen on account of the prominence of the recipients in American society at the time." More specifically, Demoor remarks, "The criterion used for the present selection of letters was, of course, their content. They give an insight into Lang's genuine feelings towards Britain's former colony, the inhabitants of which he so much liked to ridicule in his hugely popular causeries." She notes one instance of Lang's ridicule in which he said that the reading public in America, when once addressed about literature, replied, '"Literature? sure we took it senior year. It had a green cover.'" Demoor further notes that Lang was an influential journalist critic, but also an anthropologist, a folklorist, a historian, 494 Book Reviews and a translator of Homer. She then concludes, "Lang's 'American' letters cover nearly every area in which he was active." Demoor might also have added poetry as another area of culture that Lang studied and practiced. As a young man during the era of Rossetti and Swinburne in the 1850s and 1960s, he was under the influence of these two poets, as were many young would-be poets; Rossetti and Swinburne had shown an interest in the Old French poetic forms—the rondeau, roundel, ballade, chant royal, villanelle, and triolet. Theodore de Banville's critical piece, Petit Traité de Versification Française (1872), and his book of poems, Trente-six Ballades Joyeuses (1883), also influenced Lang; he was motivated to initiate a minor school of poetry, vers de société, which blossomed in England in the 1870s and 1880s and included particularly Edmund Gosse and Austin Dobson as practitioners. Lang's XXII Ballades in Blue China (1880) is reminiscent of de Banville. But Lang's interests as a lyric poet did not extend very far, if any, beyond the minor social verse of the school; however, he did write an epic poem, Helen of Troy, but it was not a success. Therefore Lang's main achievement in aesthetics rests in his accomplishments as a literary critic. Although Lang in his letters to American correspondents does express his ideas and knowledge about his various cultural interests—folklore in his letters to Child and psychology in letters to William James—it is his literary criticism, principally in his letters to Brander Matthews, which looms large and by which he is chiefly to be judged. Demoor exhibits ingenuity and creativity in the excellent organization of her edition of Lang's letters, as well as exhaustive scholarship , especially in her study and analysis of the letters. She places the large body of letters to Brander Matthews in a centerpiece...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 494-497
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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.