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424 LETTERS IN CANADA 1984 examination to which such critics subject it. Yet, as the Critical Heritage volume of 1971 demonstrates, few authors of so considerable a stature have been the subjects of such controversy. Even if members of Page's I academic establishmentofteachers andcritics' admitto an admirationfor Kipling's work, they know that many of those who feel the same way are those whose approval smothers. Well, as the wisest of Marxists put it, I wouldn't want to belong to the sort of club that would have me as a member. As a writer ofa handbook or companion must, Page takes as a given the enduring nature of his subject's work. His aim is to supply a wealth of background detail that will suggest further pathways to interested readers. He has succeeded admirably. Details about Kipling's life, publication (and the complicated bibliographical aspect of this), and criticism of his works appear in painless and clear fashion. Thus short stories and poems are duly noted with a briefsummaryboth ofthe facts of their publication and the critical response over the decades. The list of figures important in Kipling's life is useful as well, if only to demonstrate how few ofthem couldbe termed aesthetic orintellectualintheir pursuits. A brief section on Freemasonry (so important not only in individual stories but in the world-view behind most of his writing) and a Filmography prove also of considerable interest. In addition, the plates and illustrative material illuminate the work. A reader of Page's other work cannot but hope that this companion forms the prelude to a lengthier and more intensive study. Repeatedly, following the summaries of critical opinion, appear tantalizing hints of another sensibility straining to put forth its own comprehensive views. The nature and format of this work do not allow for that. Readers of this companion, however, will welcome the appearance of the kind of grand, definitive summation that seems so clearly within the author's powers. (DENNIS DUFFY) Elizabeth Davis. Graham Greene: The Artist as Critic York Press. 89. $7.95 paper This book could have been a more useful study of its subject than it actually is. In her introduction, the author emphasizes the sheer bulk of Greene's non-fictional writing - five hundred book-, film-, and theatrereviews ; literary essays and complete books, including Lord Rochester's Monkey and a survey of British drama; travel books; political articles; personal memoirs; and so on. Even if she is going to stick to the criticism and ignore the rest, she leads us to believe, one slim volume of fewer than a hundred pages will be in~dequate. In fact she moves quickly from the themes and issues in the non-fiction to the novels themselves; and the last HUMANITIES 425 chapter (before a perfunctory one-page conclusion) contains seven pages discussing fiction and only about half a page on criticism. The focus, therefore, is hardly on what the title leads one to expect, and the critical writings of Graham Greene do not receive adequate treatment. The last chapter, entitled 'The Changing Point of View,' does, however, give the reader something to argue about. Dr Davis's central contentionis that the exchange ofviews amongGreene, Elizabeth Bowen, and V.S. Pritchett entitled Why Do I Write? (1948) marked a watershed in his development. Not long before, he had paid enthusiastic tribute to Franc;ois Mauriac in a brief essay in which he stressed that fiction is virtually a product of the religious mind and the religious imagination; when the religious sense disappeared from the English novel, so did the importance ofthe human act. But in Why Do I Write? he called disloyalty a virtue, said thatliterature has nothing to do with edification, and declared that if his conscience were as acute as Mauriac's he would not be able to write a line. From that point on, according to Davis, he 'broadened the base ofwhat for him had always been a very humanisticbrand ofreligious belief to include a politically-based philosophy of humanitarianism.' His new-found voice became confident and his rhetorical skill often a delight to contemplate. Given this perspective, it is no wonder that Davis refers to Greene...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 424-426
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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