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DAVID JONES 277 the historian in a 'conversation' with 'those who have left behind them a living experience' (p 304) can attempt to recreate for his readers. 'The Historical "We"-' the last essay in the collection, attempts to summarize briefly the meaning of history and its relation to the people involved, whom he calls the 'We.' In the Spanish context, as elsewhere, this term has undergone a number of changes of meaning through the centuries. It is precisely the meaning or interpretation of life that Castro regards as the essence of all historical writing, and in brief this might be called his idea of history. Yet this definition in itself cannot adequately describe his views of Spanish history with which these essays attempt to acquaint the reader. English translations of essays such as those by Americo Castro are particularly welcome, as they help to bring a variety of Spanish writings to the attention of non-Spanish speakers. This collection has been carefully edited by Stephen Gilman and Edmund L. King, and although it is always possible to comment on the arrangement of such a volume, in general I think the overall presentation is satisfactory and makes available in English certain essays which have not previously been translated. Whether or not one agrees with America Castro's views on history, there is no doubt that his works are essential to an understanding of Spanish historical interpretation. As he himself states quite clearly, 'The matter and subjects of histories are always a combination of the objective and the personal.' To this extent I would agree with him, for I believe that his statement could also apply to the reviewer's approach to a selection of essays with a general title. In conclusion, I welcome An Idea of History as a useful addition to the very limited number of translations of Spanish works, and for this reason it should find a place on the shelves of all English speakers concerned with the meaning of Spanish civilization. 'The Carpentry of Song': New Approaches to David Jones W.J . KEITH David Jones. The Kensillgton Mass London: Agenda Editions 1975.19, iIlus. £1.50 paper Ruth Pryor, editor. David Jones: Letters to Vemon Watkins Cardiff: University of Wales Press '976.79. £2,50 Samuel Rees. David Jon es: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to Research New York and London: Garland Publishing '977· 97. $16.00 Rene Hague. David Jones Cardiff: University of Wales Press on behalf of the Welsh Arts Council 1975 92. £1.00 paper 278 W.J. KEITH Jeremy Hooker. David Jones: An ExploratorlJ Study of the Writings London: Enitharffion Press 1975.68. £2.55 cloth, £1.65 paper Roland Mathias, editor. David Jones: Eight Essays all his Work as Writer and Artist Uandysul, Dyied: Gomer Press 1976. "44, illus. £3.25 Rene Hague. A Commentary on 'The Anathemata' of David Jones Toronto and Buffalo: University of Toronto Press I Wellingborough, Northants: Skelton's Press "977. 280, iIIus. $16,50 Writing to Vernon Watkins in 1957, David Jones remarked: 'my work is by no means popular, I fear, & gets less so.' If he was referring (as a man so painfully aware of 'utile infiltration' and the intellectual and spiritual threat of 'a megalopolis that wills death' must have been) to popularity within the small percentage that makes up our minority culture, this statement is no longer true. The present decade has seen a distinct burgeoning of interest in his work, and since his death in October 1974 there has been a thin but continuing stream of books and pamphlets devoted to interpreting his achievement and making it more widely known. His own work naturally takes precedence. The Kensington Mass remained unfinished at his death, so it is a fragment in the literal sense in which his other so-called fragments, TIle Anatitemata (,fragments of an attempted writing') and the poems brought together in The Sleeping Lord, are not. None the less, so integrated and closely knit is the poetic texture of his mind that one can readily discern here, even in its incomplete shape, the characteristic Jonesian form. Although 'objective' in the modernist sense, it recalls In Parenthesis in taking its origin from a crucial...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 277-282
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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