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REVIEWS YEATS, EDITIONS AND COMMENTARIES' A great deal of Yeats's work must come to [Lady Gregory] in fragments - a line and a half, two lines - and these she faithfully copies on her typewriter. and even those that his ultimate taste has rejected are treasured up. and perhaps will one day appear in a stately variorum edition.1 The day foreseen by George Moore has yet to come but the horizon glimmers and the editors press on towards its dawning. The process of critical peristalsis also goes on unabated; the scholars, editors, and critics immersed in a wide range of studies in which the only significant common emphasis is on the early work and the younger man. Though, the contrary is sometimes claimed, the publications do not become more abstruse. Yeats is not only a large but, with posthumous publications, growing subject; doubtless some scholars would be embarrassed to have Yeats walk their way but in view of so much simultaneous publication there is surprisingly little thinking what the others think. The core of that variorum exists, of course, in the Allt and Alspach edition of the poems and the Alspach edition of the plays, supplemented by the manuscript transcriptions of Thomas Parkinson, the late Curtis Bradford, Jon Stallworthy and others. The 'Variorum' edition of the poems continues to reinforce the emphasis on poetic and personal development in writings about Yeats; an emphasis which Yeats originated (though with characteristic counterstatement of the singularity of his theme) and which was early adopted as the line of the critical story. The ladder more than the circus ring is the implicit metaphor. Bernard Levine's is such a developmental study, and for one of his examples of the emergence of the ever-clearer tones of the poet's own voice he takes Yeats's revision of The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner.' Compared with 'The Old Pensioner' of the nineties the version of 1925 appears to be a new poem as Levine, like Parkinson before him, observes. Yet is it 'for no 'Harold Bloom, Yeats. New York, Oxford University Press 1970. Pp. 500. $12.50, George Dornstelo. Yeats and Shelley. Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1970. Pp. 239. $8.75; Allen R. Grossman, Poetic Knowledge in the Early Yeats: A Study of THE WIND AMONG THB REEDS. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia 1969. Pp. 240. $7.50; A. Norman Jeffo.re3, The Circus Animals: Essays on W.B. Yeats. London: Macmillan 1970. Pp. 183. £3.50, Bernard Levine, The D;ssolv;ng Image, The Sl'hitual·Esthe

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 263-274
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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