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330 w.). KEITH Encounter with Otherness: Readings of David Jones W.J. KEITH John Matthias, editor. Introducing David'ones London: Faber '980.237. £6.50 cloth, £2.95 paper Kathleen Raine. David'ones and the Actually Loved and Known Ipswich: Golgonooza Press 1978. 25. £, paper Jeremy Hooker. John Cowper Powys and David 'olles: A Comparative Study London: Enitharmon Press '979. 54· £3·75 cloth, £2.55 paper David Jones. The Dying Gaul and Other Writings Edited by Harman Grisewood London: Faber '978.230, ilIus. £8.50 DavidJones. Letters to William Hayward. Edited by Colin Wilcockson London: Agenda Editions '979. 79, iIIus. £3.60, $8.00 paper Ren~ Hague, editor. Dai Greatcoat: A Self-Portrait of David 'ones in His Letters London: Fabef198o. 273, iIIus. £12.50, Can $43.75 For many years now the University ofToronto Quarterly has been especially hospitable to scholarly writing about David Jones. This is partly because the previous editor, William Blissett, was and is a prominent admirer, scholar, and collectorof the poet, but also because David Jones's concern with 'the deposits,' the traditional literary and artistic bases of Western culture, has many vital links with this journal's emphasis on the multiple sources of 'the humanities.' In consequence we have played our part in fostering whatJohn Matthias describes in his introduction to the first book under review as 'the increasingly visible and articulate readership in Canada.' We take legitimate pride in having published pioneering essays on David Jones by Blissett himself, Thomas Dilworth, and John X. Cooper, and we have attempted in recent years to keep our readers aware of the steady growth in literary-critical commentary that has blossomed since the poet's death in 1974. The present round-up is intended as a supplement to my review of seven David Jones books in Spring 1978 and three short reviews by other writers on Canadian contributions to David Jones scholarship that appeared in 1 ast summer 's 'Letters in Canada' section. I It would doubtless be a mistake to search for a single critical subject, problem, or theme uniting the volumes to be reviewed here. Indeed the variety of material and multiplicity ofapproaches involved are matters that need to be stressed. But in his title John Matthias has raised a crucial question: how do we 'introduce' David Jones to potential readers who have not yet encountered him? These may be UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY, VOLUME 50, NUMBER 3, SPR1NC 1981 0042-0247/81/0500-0330$00.0010 C UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO PRESS DAVID JONES CRITICISM 331 students or cultivated 'general readers' or even university professors. 'David Jones is so difficult,' a colleague remarked to me the other day, one for whom Ezra Pound and James Joyce, to name but two, apparently hold no terrors. There are, of course, a number of superficial and hardly insurmountable obstacles: the length of most of jones's works together with a tightness of structure that discourages excerpts; the use of detailed technical vocabulary drawn from navigation , ship-building, military strategy, etc.; the peppering of his text not only with Latin (increasingly unfamiliar nowadays, as David Jones notes ruefully, even to Catholics) but with Welsh. Yet the greatest barrier involves the whole way of looking at art, the world, and human civilization that constitutes David Jones's supreme importance. 'Much of Ollr response to Jones': writes Matthias, 'is conditioned by an encounter in his work with sheer otherness, things otherwise opaque made numinous by the craft of the maker.' But what if the reader fails to recognize or refuses to acknowledge the numinous? (I discover with interest that the word does not even appear in my 1')62 Random House American College Dictionary.) That, as David Jones would say, 'is something of a facer.' Matthias hopes that his edition will extend David Jones's readership and alludes to the success of 'T.S. Eliot's war-time selection from Joyce's work, Introducing James Joyce, on which the present selection is modelled.' Well, I certainly hope it will; I am bound to point out, however, that Matthias, though himself a poet, is no T.S. Eliot. I mean no disrespect. But the fact is that Eliot had enormous...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 330-335
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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