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HUMANITIES 397 Canada. Brick, one of the more imaginative literary magazines, has devoted its fall 1982 issue (number 16) to a just tribute to jacques Ferron. This 'sampling of tales, historical commentaries, political broadsides, texts on language and literature and some of the more personal, meditative essays' is selected from Ferron's Historiettes, Du fond de mon arrierecuisine , and Escarmouches, and translated by Betty Bednarski, Ray Chamberlain , Ray Ellenwood, and Elisabeth Darling. Barbara Godard and Ray Ellenwood have contributed translations and illuminating commentaries on Nicole Brossard's Amantes and Claude Gauvreau's Les Entrailles in Prism International (20:3, Spring 1982), and the spring/summer issue of Matrix has, among others, translations by Noah Zacharin, jane Pentland, A.F. Moritz, Fred Cogswell, and Arlette Franciere of Marie-Claire Blais, Gabrielle Poulin, Emile Nelligan, and Michel Beaulieu. Edited by Ken Norris and Peter van Torn, Vehicule Press's The Insecurity of Art: Essays on Poetics reprints D.G. jones's 'Grounds for Translation' (from Ellipse 21), F.R. Scott's 'Preface' to Poems of French Canada, as well as an essay by Marc Ploude, 'On Translating Miron.' The proceedings of the 1982 University of Ottawa symposium on translation will appear this spring edited by Camille La Bossiere - an excellent and provocative collection induding papers by Philip Stratford (on the translation of Ptilagie), E.D. Blodgett, Larry Shouldice, Ray Ellenwood, Richard Giguere, and David M. Hayne. With samplings of translation infiltrating small literary magazines and academic symposia, the English reader is drawn not only into the vibrant world of Quebec culture, but also deeper into the art and act of translation. Humanities D.J. Conacher. Aeschylus' 'Prometheus Bound': a Literary Commentary University of Toronto Press 1981. xii, 198. $25.00; $8.50 paper For great fantasists like Shelley and Wagner, Prometheus has represented the struggle for human progress and civilization; and much the same view is to be found from modern scholars like Guthrie and Havelock. It is typical of D.j. Conachers scrupulous sense of inquiry that he will not be diverted by such lures. A straight look at Prometheus Bound, he insists, shows that it dramatizes the struggle between two highly individual gods, and that humankind is little more than marginal. The growing recognition of this may, indeed, be one reason why Prometheus is less admired these days than it used to be - it lacks human interest - and why it has not inspired much good modern criticism. This eminently sensible attempt to bring out what is best in the play is all the more welcome. 398 LETTERS IN CANADA 1982 The volume is, in effect, a collection of essays which are drawn together by a fifty-page 'literary commentary' which traces through the play important motifs like those of error, good sense, responsibility, disease, gratitude, and kairos (the right thing for the right context). The preceding chapters look at the adaptation of the earlier myths, and at the dynamic flow imparted by the ever-extending prophecies (which eventually go too far and predict the fall of Zeus). Other essays look at the problems of the reconstruction of the rest of a trilogy and at the closely connected question of whether Zeus will later have become rather more acceptable than the macho bully of the surviving play. The most stimulatingchapter, in many respects, examines Prometheus's speeches on the development of human skills in relation to fifth-century anthropological speculation, suggesting that the discovery of civic arts is being held up for a later stage of the (putative) trilogy. One cannot but sympathize with Conacher's unspoken but evident wish that there were no authenticity problem. Yet he is far too conscientious to dally with passing methodologies which do away with authors and hence with authorship disputes. Mark Griffith's book The Authenticity of Prometheus Bound (Cambridge 1977) has for the first time put the ball in the court of the defenders of Aeschylean authorship; and Conacher's return shots, though spirited, do not clear the net. It is especially special pleading to claim that some features of the play are so unlike the rest of Aeschylus that they can hardly be attributed to an imitator - an imitator is not the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 397-398
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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