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B o ok R ev iew s narration, or narrative progression. We are presented purely and simply with the feelings and reactions of characters in the context of the plot (of which there is extensive exposi­ tion), and of the similarities which can be established between types of characters and their combinations across the novels. The notion of escapism is also open to question, becoming so all embracing as to be almost meaningless. A sharper focus could have allowed some elaboration between this theme and the well-known utopianism of Brasillach’s political thought and approach to fascism. In fact the political dimension of the text is its weakest aspect. Monferran Parker implicitly, if not insiduously, promotes a view of Brasillach as victim by restricting discussion of the 1930s to the political cliché of anti-communism, and by failing to mention his choices and action during the Occupation. His commitment to fascism is reduced to an aesthetics and an “ escape” equated with the re-creation of an enchanted island of childhood. Narrow in focus, and breathtakingly uncritical, this study is not going to convince anyone that Brasillach is worth taking seriously as a writer of stature. M a r g a r e t A t a c k University o f Sunderland Pierre Reverdy. Se l e c t e d P o e m s . Trans. John Ashbery, Mary Ann Caws & Patricia Terry. Winston-Salem: Wake Forest University Press, 1991. Pp. xiii + 173. As Timothy D. Bent, editor of this volume, explains in his prefatory note to this new bi­ lingual anthology, published in a series edited by Germaine Brée at Wake Forest University Press: “ For Reverdy, composition was a process of continuing refinement and deepening simplicity” (xii). As a result, Bent adds: “ His poetry might therefore easily discourage translators and translations, more than any poetry does under any circumstances” (xii). Instead of discouraging translators, Reverdy’s work has intrigued them. Kenneth Rexroth, David Gascoyne, Anne Hyde Greet, Albert Cook, Eric Sellin, Serge Gavronsky, Louise Varèse, to name a few, have confronted and met the challenge. Mary Ann Caws’ and Patricia Terry’s translations of Les Ardoises du Toit, and extracts from La Plupart du Temps and Main d ’œuvre— R o o f Slates and Other Poems o f Pierre Reverdy (Boston: Northeastern UP)—was greeted with special enthusiasm when it was first published in 1981, and has become, for all intents and purposes, the standard translation of Reverdy’s poetry in English. The present volume, selected by Mary Ann Caws, includes sig­ nificant texts from that edition as well as revisions and new translations, some of which are taken from Reverdy’s 1929 volume Sources du Vent, and from La Liberté des Mers pub­ lished in his complete works in 1960. John Ashbery’s contributions include six poems first published in the Evergreen Review (Vol. 4, No. 11, Jan.-Feb. 1960) and his more recent translations from Reverdy’s 1929 volume Les Flaques de verre. For Bent, translating a Reverdy poem: “ like reading it, means acknowledging the variety of paths and contexts it affords—and looking hard to reconstruct the occasion of which it is a cry” (xii). Caws, Terry and Ashbery do not have to prove their reputations as readers, translators, or writers. This volume only reaffirms what we have known for years. Moreover, it provides an attractive, affordable bilingual edition of a “ poet’s poet” which can be used by students and those who love poetry. Based on the quality of Reverdy’s Selected Poems, I personally look forward to other volumes in this new collection. A d e l a id e M. R u s so Louisiana State University VOL. XXXIII, NO. 1 125 ...


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