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HUMANITIES 445 or ye olde new awareness: Campbell's review of an anthology of contemporary poetry edited by Geoffrey Grigson, helps to explain Grigson's later complaints, when reviewing Campbell's Collected Poems of 1957, that 'there is no more tenderness behind his poetic face than behind the face of a beetle' (J.III.XX.I- how cumbersome these references are!). The whole sequence of the Campbell-Grigson encounters, physical and verbal , is revealing; but the index defeats us by omitting proper references to the poet's shorter prose pieces. Though generous in extent (40 pp), the index seems at times the product of a mechanical system which has classified entries under misguided headings; thus Campbell's review of The Selected Poems of Francis Carey Slater is not sub 'Slater' but Selected Poems ... Under Campbell's Collected Poems it omits reference to all three separately published volumes, and to the representative reviews of them in section j.m (a rich category, incidentally, which few bibliographies supply). If space had permitted, Grigson's negative remarks could have been balanced by the more favourable TLS review of the 1957 collection (8 November 1957). The section devoted to the first appearance of poems in periodicals represents considerable research. Perhaps the fact that Campbell was one of the editors of Voorslag (which 'Whiplashed' the colour-bar) and The Catacomb, periodicals in which many of them were published, should have been mentioned here rather than later. Another invaluable aid to scholars is section K, a list of research collections in various countries where manuscripts and typescripts are to be found. These are necessarily incomplete. Thus the manuscript of Flowering Rifle, with many revisions, which is in the Cory Library at Rhodes University, South Africa (as Roy told me), is not listed along with the separate Rhodes collection. More cross-referencing is needed, eg between lists of the University of Saskatchewan manuscripts and the editor's article on them fifty pages earlier : the index gives only the latter. I am surprised at the brevity of section F ('Published Letters'), but have identified only one omission - the bitter TLS correspondence with R.M. Nadal (MarchiApriI1953) over Campbell's alleged inaccuracies in his book on Lorca. Despite inevitable imperfections, however, this bibliography should be a boon to universities round the world wherever Commonwealth Literature is studied. (NORMAN H. MACKENZIE) Jeffrey Heath. Tile Picturesque Prison: Evelyn Waugh and His Writing McGill-Queen's University Press. xviii, 334ยท $35.00 Evelyn Waugh requires careful handling. It is easy to enlist oneself as an uncritical fan of his mordant humour and gorgeous prose style. It is equally easy to reject Waugh out of hand because of his cruelty and 446 LETTERS IN CANADA 1982 dogmatism. Jeffrey Heath's book is a model of sympathetic but dispassionate discussion, avoiding both these extremes. The Picturesque Prison combines biography and criticism: 'I have been motivated by the belief that - if treated with the proper tact - an author's experience and his art may validly offer mutual illumination' (p xii). Heath's argument advances several related theses. The first is that all of Evelyn Waugh's fiction is satire in the tradition of More and Swift, castigating the achievements and traditions of modern English life because all are false when measured against the standard of true religious faith which Waugh found in the Catholic Church. The public world in Waugh's fiction relies on fortune rather than providence. The characters who inhabit this world are enslaved to the extent that they too rely on fortune, and they are also prevented from reaching a mature vocation as artists or citizens because they are the heirs of a false tradition. In revulsion against this world Waugh's characters search for an ideal city or house or landscape - Brideshead, Hetton, Eldorado, 'Whispering Glades' - hoping to find an earthly paradise. But these all are false refuges, the picturesque prisons of the title. The only escape for Waugh's characters is to submit to providence, reject the false refuges, and accept a true and unique vocation, as Charles Ryder does at the end of Brideshead Revisited and Guy Crouchback at the end of Sword of Honour. Heath's final thesis...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 445-447
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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