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HUMANITIES 431 life: " , he perhaps underestimates the contribution of those ideas to the success of Hardy's art. At times, he reductively ignores the creativity of Hardy's modern self. Is, for example, Hardy's philosophical pessimism nothing more than an educated version of his peasant fatalism? Surely, too, the early fiction contains many ideas and itself reveals that Horace Maule and Leslie Stephen made a considerable impact on the mind that shaped the art. When Millgate examines Hardy's poetry, he concentrates on the habitual side of Hardy's mind, especially his need to recover imaginatively a personal past. In this respect, Millgate's account of the important women in Hardy's life makes for indispensable reading. His indecisive London years in the 1860s become much more understandable with the new knowledge of his engagement to Eliza Nicholls, a plausible source for the woman in 'Neutral Tones' and the 'She, to Him' sonnet sequence. Millgate devotes a whole chapter to Florence Henniker, the main 'lost prize' of the 1890S, and skilfully relates the 'depth and complexity of Hardy's feelings of her' to such poems as 'At an Inn: 'The Month's Calendar: and 'A Thunder Storm.' Above all, he interprets Hardy's 'rhetoric of remorse' for Emma in the 'Poems of 1912-13: within the context of a marriage that failed because both partners had faults: Emma her vanity, exasperating foolishness, and religious mania, Hardy his 'clannishness: retreats into silence, and lack of sympathy- though never deliberate cruelty. While taking a full look at the worst of Hardy, Miligate retains the sympathy necessary for a balanced appreciation of the man behind and in the work. He is assertive where the facts allow but cautious where evidence is lacking or contradictory, never forgetting that Hardy, as Gissing concluded, 'is a very difficult man to understand.' (G. GLEN WICKENS) Robert O'Driscoll, editor. The Celtic Consciousness Limited edition: McCleUand and Stewart (and Dolmen Press) 1981. xxxi, 696, illus. $125.00 (available from Celtic Arts, St Michael's College, University of Toronto) Trade edition: George Braziller. xxxi, 642, illus. $55.00 (omits section 7) Some books are hard to put down: this is a volume difficult to pick up, but its Brobdingnagian dimensions do provide - in keeping with the Celtic motif of the inexhaustible cauldron- something to stimulate almost every palate. The 350,000 words and one hundred and seventy illustrations in The Celtic Consciousness are contributed by writers and artists from France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England , Canada, and the United States. They explore the myth, music, 432 LETTERS IN CANADA 1982 history, folklore, art, and archeology of what the evocative jacket loftily proclaims 'three thousand years of the Celtic continuum.' Most of the fifty-five essays originate from a 1978 Symposium on 'Canada and the Celtic Consciousness: arranged by Celtic Arts of Canada in conjunction with the Canadian Association for Irish Studies, and held at the University of Toronto. The Celtic Consciousness contains seven sections. The first of these, 'Peripheries of the Indo-European World: comprises a single essay, 'Indian Reflections in the Castle of the Grail: by Joseph Campbell. In the course of suggesting connections between Indian and Celtic mythology and religion, Campbell probes assiduously a complex of themes and mythic motifs shared by Arthurian romances and Indian religious texts. Section two, 'Beginnings in the Celtic World: Archeological, Linguistic , Historic and Prehistoric: examines the prehistoric monuments of the Celtic World; the early history and evolution of the Celts, their material culture and life-style; and the similarities between the Celtic languages and the languages of some African and Near-Eastern countries . The third section, 'Mythology, Literature, Religion and Art: draws on early sagas, voyages, visions, lives of saints, and other sources to show how certain Celtic myths were transmitted to literature and art. Section four, 'The Celtic Continuum: Folklore, Literature, Music and Art,' examines the nature of the Celtic spirit and its persistence on the periphery of Europe in beliefs, customs, and traditions that span from the earliest recorded times to the twentieth century. The next section, 'Modern Celtic Nationalism: Literary and Political,' traces the emergence of Celtic cultural and political nationalism in modern times, and identifies...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 431-434
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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