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30:4, Reviews it. The action of the play qualifies the meaning of the two songs radically. It would, in view of his interest in Gnosticism, be iUuminating to see his reaction to the fact that the three speakers in the play are a Hebrew, a Greek, and a Syrian, in view of the close association of Syria with Gnosticism. It may seem patronising to say that Hassett's book has the special quality of work done out of love rather than out of any sense of professional obligation. Hassett is a very successful lawyer in Washington, D.C., and the book grew from a long association with and admiration for the poetry of Yeats. It is very well written and full of valuable insights. And I find it especially rewarding to contemplate this breakdown of specialisation by the power of love. And, as I said, anybody interested in Yeats, in the psychology of growth and development and in the troubles of Ireland and of the twentieth century, will find this book revealing and interesting. Thomas Parkinson University of California, Berkeley YEATS: LETTERS AND THE VISUAL ARTS The Collected Letters of W. B. Yeats, Vol. I 1865-1895. Ed. John Kelly. Associate Ed. Eric DomvUle. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. $29.95 EUzabeth Bergmann Loizeaux. Yeats and the Visual Arts. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1986. $32.50 There are books which long before publication we impatiently anticipate: the Oxford edition of the poems of John Oldham, forty odd years in the coming, an acute example of the genre; the late Richard EUmann's life of Wilde, due for publication this October; Yeats's draft memoirs and his authorized biography which, by a series of misfortunes, has been twice postponed and may weU be at a primitive stage of composition still, consequent on the sad and unexpected death of F.S.L. Lyons. A more auspicious issue attends the publication of Yeats's letters for the first volume of a projected twelve now appears. Our expectations are vivified by the promise of future publication of previously unpublished letters to, among others, T.S. Eliot, Gordon Craig and Mrs. Yeats, and the assurance that the whole enterprise will add as many letters almost as are at present to be found in the hitherto indispensable collection of Wade and in Roger Machugh's edition of the letters to Katharine Tynan. It is the reviewer's agreeable task to salute the volume of work that has entered into the present edition and to record a proper gratitude to the consistent and fascinating advances on our knowledge that Dr. Kelly and Professor Domville have achieved. An edition of Yeats's letters barely requires justification since apart from a few silly-clever eccentrics it is generally agreed that he is a major poet. He had a public Ufe and his missives are thus documents not merely of his art but of the history of his country and his time. They record the vibrations of a 475 30:4, Reviews mind with many touches of wit and humour and it is precisely this vivacity and variety that demands the full apparatus that the editors have accorded us. Yet in this edition the sacred text itself does not painfully gasp its way, two lines to the page, within a tourniquet of profane comment like some nineteenthcentury edition (German) of the classics. We are given what we need to know though in a minuscule type not altogether adapted to senior eyes. These notes enable us to reconstruct the ambience of Yeats's early career, that neo-Darwinian or Neo-Spencerian world of "log-roUing," the "New Grub Street," paved with innumerable periodicals of a consumptive tendency, of engineered controversies in the public prints to which the young Yeats contributed, relentlessly pressing , first, his quarrel with Gavan Duffy over the New Irish Library and, secondly (and fulfilling the sour predictions of Duffy's supporters) compiling lists of the best Irish books many of which were by Yeats's friends. These public quarrels were further snarled by the pro-Parnell and anti-Parnell context , each party with its own daüies and weeklies, and by Yeats...


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