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in "Savonarola Brown," and turns up in More Theatre: 1898-1903 as "a harsh, narrow saint—harsh and narrow, you understand, in relation to your own ideal" (hardly a promising role-model for a dandy to follow). On the other hand, Beerbohm was impressed by Dante's death mask, which provides precise information about the poet's appearance. Dante may have lived a prosaic life, but "his soul was the soul of a great poet and saint~a fiery and illustrious essence, a pure flame apart" (quoted on p. 79). I am prepared to accept this tracing of the figure in the carpet, largely unseen by previous commentators, and I welcome the ingenuities of an argument that minimizes or ignores Beerbohm's failure to identify a Virgil, his admiration of small things rather than large, his unwillingness to indulge in speculations on the nature of God and the universe, his reluctance to commit himself to a real Beatrice, perhaps only partially balanced by his willingness to risk his standing with postenty by emphasizing reflections of himself in the form, style, characterization, plot, and structure of Zuleika Dobson when he is not introducing, through that novel's digressions, himself in the character of a "leisurely essayist amusing himself with a narrative idea" (p. 113). The likelihood that Beerbohm did not take himself as seriously as Viscusi does, compounded by our growing conviction that points of congruence between Beerbohm and Dante are few and relatively unimportant, should not obscure the genuine virtues of a book that holds our interest throughout; is obviously grounded on an abiding affection for the art of the miniature; has witty, and sometimes even profound, observations to make about "form" (Beerbohm's greatness, "such as it is," Viscusi concludes, "is that he makes himself small and shows us ourselves, similarly in proportion," p. 222); and has benefited from a handsome production, with fifteen well-chosen caricatures by Beerbohm accompanying the text. Much can be forgiven, including the assumption that Beerbohm was unfailingly on-target in his parodies, the occasionally pompous character-titles and section-headings of Viscusi's devising ("autopsychopseudometamorphosis, or Dandy Desire, "Who is the King of Glory?", "Parallelogrammatology," and many others), and more than a few choked and turgid sentences that would have profited from an editor's blue pencil. The critical thesis does not command assent. Nevertheless, Viscusi, whenever he triumphs over mannerisms that he seems to share with his hero, offers a patient reader genuine rewards for time invested. He is best in close readings. Fortunately, those constitute the major part of his text. Harold Orel University of Kansas 5. LAWRENCE AND LOWELL LETTERS The Letters of D. H. Lawrence and Amy Lowell, 1914-1925, eds. E. Claire Healy and Keith Cushman. Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press, 1985. $30.00 Cloth $40.00 Signed Cloth This collection of an eleven year correspondence between the poet Amy Lowell and D. H. Lawrence is an interesting, impressive book. From the graceful and 439 appropriately modest introduction, to the attractive in-set design of the frontcover photo portraits, to the relevant but unencumbered notes at the end of the work, the editors (E. Claire Healey and Keith Cushman) of The Letters of D.H. Lawrence and Amy Lowell, 1914-1925 make all the right decisions on the supporting paraphenalia that any attractive volume of letters must contain. Healey and Cushman are wise to quickly acknowledge that what they have edited is "not finally a great correspondence," and that it was "generated primarily out of a bona fide, enduring (though not deep) friendship" (pp. 15, 11). Both observations are crucial introductory comments, as a reader stands appropriately warned, in effect, not to expect any apocalyptic pronouncements, confessed passions, or obsessive angst in this nicely consistent and merely functional set of letters. Their decade of correspondence is preoccupied with each writer's own relation to the demands of vocation—indeed, to the very diurnal business of writing as a living; it is both sobering and intriguing to note the various ways they manifestly use each other to alleviate problems related to publication, sales, future projects, and public opinion. For D. H. Lawrence—unquestionably the more major writer and the...


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pp. 439-442
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