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TANQUAM EXPLORATOR 169 separations ulterieures, entre Huysmans et Zola, puis entre Ceard et Zola tandis qu'Alexis restait fidele jusqu'a 1a mort. Le premier biographe de 201a fut un romancier et un nouvelliste peu fecond, trap nonchalant, trap boh~me, et peut-etre aussi sans grande invention narrative . Mais sa plume dejoumaliste est une des meilleures de I'epaque. Les extraits publies par Bard Bakker en foumissent la preuve: il rapportait avec couleur et esprit, et jugeait avec finesse et luddite. Ses chroniques fourmillent de portraits, enleves a la maniere de ses amis, les peintres impressionnistes. Bard Bakker devrait un jour les publier integralement. Elles donneraient vie it notre connaissanee du Naturalisme, qui est encore trap empetree dans les idees r~ues . 'Naturalisme pas mort': c'est Ie texte du telegrarnme qu'Alexis envoya a Jules Huret en 1891, en guise de reponse a une enquete sur la vie litteraire. Bard Bakker a bien fait de choisir ce titre pour un livre qui atteste la vitalite actuelle des etudes sur ce mouvement, et qui depasse en richesse d'informations toutes les sources jusque-Ia classiques, telles que les livres de Deffoux Oll de Dumesnil. (HENRI MITTERAND) . TANQUAM EXPLORATOW Six of the eight essays that comprise The Elizabethan Theatre IV deal with the achievement of Ben Jonson, born four hundred years before the papers included in this volume were delivered. Previous conferences on Elizabethan theatre held at the University of Waterloo, as the editor observes, attended chiefly to the physical structures themselves. The conference of 1972, given its object, necessarily diverged from that tradition. If these papers are not much occupied with jonson's humanism in the context of an acquisitive society, they are everywhere concerned to examine the variety of his art, especially in masque and nondramatic poem; and they draw attention to Jonson's distinctive imposition of his own personality on historical and natural fact. At the same time, the focus of earlier conferences is gracefully recalled in the piece by Samuel Schoenbaum with which the volume opens: that 'Jonson can be a very funny writer is the stated theme, but the essay is primarily a learned and witty plea for performance of the plays, to counter scholarly solemnity, and ensure their continuing stage life. Jonson's mirth-provoking comic invention and detail 'can be adequately expressed and responded to not in the classroom or on the podium, but in the theatre, and only in the theatre.' Jonson could deprecate 'the moving of laughter' in comedy, yet invite the audience of Volpone to laugh without restraint; and Schoenbaum draws a telling parallel with contemporary black comedy. Two critics take particular poems under examination. T.J.B. Spencer, inclining to Dryden rather than Pope, suggests that the panegyric on Shakespeare is 'primarily a literary composition, entertainingly making use of literary conventions ,' and penneated by a 'strong sense of literary decorum'; that it should be marked by some 'lack of sympathy with Shakespeare's genius,' even 'partial ""George Hibbard, ed., The Elizabethan Theatre IV; Papers given at the Fourth International Conference on Elizabethan Theatre held at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, in July 1972. Toronto: Macmillan of Canada 1974. Pp xv, 175. $10.00 170 HUGH MACLEAN antipathy,' was to have been expected. This is very much to the point. And yet one can't help thinking that the poem is quite in accord with jonson's conviction (given in Underwood XVII and XXVI, for instance) that the mutual discourse of true friends is typically forthright and free. In Timber, after aU, Jonson links his own 'candor' in acknowledging Shakespeare's faults with that memorable expression of love and high regard ('on this side Idolatry') for his friend. In this context, it is hard to agree that the poem 'is not intended to impress us as being wellconsidered .' In the other piece, S.P. Zitner brings something new to criticism of 'A Celebration of Charis.' 'Her Triumph,' by his view, makes good the speaker's promise of revenge on Charis, in the previous poem of the sequence. Noticing the curious effect of Jonson's use of two stanzas from 'Her Triumph' in the comic surround of The Devil is an...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 169-171
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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