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HUMANITIES 545 general study, cannot go beyond the first of the Cornish novels. DiamondNigh deals with all of Davies' published works, including the 1993 Tanner Lectures and the posthumous The Merry Heart; in addition, she draws on Grant's indispensable biography, Robertson Davies: Man ofMyth (1994), as well as the recent polyphony of critical attention to his fiction and plays. The result is a remarkably informative and engagingly written guide that sees Davies as not at all an old-fashioned writer out of touch with contemporary society but a many-sided, adept artist who is keenly responsive to the possibilities of postmodemism and metafiction. The guide's five chapters provide, respectively, an overview of Davies' life, a chronological listing of his many books, a survey of his novels, plays, Marchbanks papers, and collections of essays, a summary of his critical reception, and a selected annotatedbibliography of secondary sources. (The bibliography includes the sources actually cited; one citation, though, goes unlisted and two do not match up.) A short index completes the volume. The biographical chapter touches on essential historical facts, experiences and controversies, linking them to Davies' storytelling journey towards knowledge of self and, concomitantly, wisdom about the divine. In Jungian terms, this double quest is the process of individuation which Diamond-Nigh rightly singles out as shaping Davies' archetypal themes and explorations as a writer bent on probing the authenticity of art, the relativity of truth, the variability of religion, and the demands of the unconscious or unlived life. Critical attention to the development of themes in Davies' novels and to his sophisticated blending of realistic, mythic, and pervasively comic perspectives combine Diamond-Nigh's two- to threepage abstracts of the individual texts into an insightful summary of his fiction. Her precis of his numerous plays and other books, meanwhile, are cursory but still helpful to those unversed in their significance or even existence. The historical synopsis of Davies' critical acclaim at horne and abroad complements the summary of his work and underlines his critics' dialogics, as it were, that have helped Davies gain his rightful place among the major novelists of this century. The more than forty references listed in the bibliography round out the volume's pragmatic business as a succinct guide (with occasional typos). While it is the kind of text that will immediately appeal to undergraduate students, especially those prone to highlighting their way through library books, it is a useful appetizer for anyone wanting to digest all of Davies. (K.P. STICH) Frederick Gower Turnbull. Remember Me to Everybody: Letters from India, 1944-1949. Edited by Bernadette Rule West Meadow Press 1996. 266. $21.95 These letters were written by an English engineer who left his Yorkshire home in 1944 at the age of twenty-two to work as a foreman for Jessop's 546 LETTERS IN CANADA 1997 Steel Company in Dum Dum, Bengal, on the outskirts of Calcutta. The job in India was one of those better opportunities in the empire, and like so many others, Turnbull was prepared to stay on if the money and working conditions were good, or move on to something better in New Zealand, Canada, or South Africa. Many others have written about their experience of India, but Turnbull's letters have a distinct interest and value. While he accepted and enjoyed the status and benefits available to all Englishmen in colonial India, he had come out to India to work, not to rule, and the voice that speaks to us in his letters is that of an ordinary man living on the margin of Anglo-Indian society and power. It is; as well, an intelligent and observant voice that moves beyond the exotic narrative to thoughtful consideration, and an unusual willingness to accept India and Indians on their own terms. The approaching end of the British Raj stimulates a continuing meditation on its historical legacy, as well as a consideration of the impact it will make on his job and career. His initial comments on the prospect for Indian self-rule are disinterested, critical, and widely shared by his expatriate colleagues and friends: 'If this country is handed over to the Indians it will be the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 545-547
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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