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English Literature

JULIAN COWLEY, COLIN GRAHAM, LYNNE HAPGOOD, CHRIS HOPKINS, DANIEL LEA, PAUL POPLAWSKI, JOHN NASH, JOHN BRANNIGAN, MAGGIE B. GALE, MALCOLM PAGE, ALICE ENTWISTLE AND FRAN BREARTON

The eight sections:

1. General; 2. Pre-1945 Fiction; 3. Post-1945

Fiction; 4. Pre-1950 Drama; 5. Post-1950 Drama; 6. Pre-1950 Poetry; 7. Post-1950 Poetry; 8. Irish Poetry. Section 1(a) is by Julian Cowley; section 1(b) is by Colin Graham; section 2(a) is by Lynne Hapgood; section 2(b) is by Chris Hopkins; sections 2(c–e) are by Daniel Lea; section 2(f) is by Paul Poplawski; section 2(g) is by John Nash; section 3 is by John Brannigan; section 4 is by Maggie B. Gale; section 5 is by Malcolm Page; section 6 is by Alice Entwistle; section 7 is by John Brannigan; section 8 is by Fran Brearton.

.1. General

(a) British Michael McKeon’s imposing and important anthology Theory of the Novel is ‘an exercise in rebalancing’. Structuralist and post-structuralist narratologists are pushed to the margins and emphasis falls upon theorists who have sought to articulate ‘the coherence of the novel genre as a historical phenomenon’. The principal value of structuralism, for McKeon’s purposes, is its usefulness in dislodging partial, novel-centred views of narrative. This is exclusively a twentieth- century collection, theorizing the novel as ‘a modern phenomenon’. The first section focuses upon genre theory; the second and third (drawing on Walter Benjamin, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Freud amongst others) address the origins of the novel. Substantial statements by Georg Lukács, José Ortega y Gasset, and Mikhail Bakhtin (the ‘grand theorists’) follow, then more recent revisions designed to provide ‘a more concrete or specific historicization of the novel’s origins’. Ensuing sections draw out sociocultural implications (including those pertaining to women, privacy, and subjectivity) and engage with relevant epistemological and psychological matters. The well-worn topic of ‘realism’ is handled with vitality, and is followed by

© The English Association

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discussion of photography, film, and the novel that groups Henry James with Walter Benjamin and André Bazin. The concluding parts review the novel’s inveterate claim to novelty (extending through Woolf’s modernism to Alain Robbe-Grillet’s postmodernism), and the genre’s transportability from its west European locus of origin into Latin America, Africa, and Asia. McKeon’s accompanying commentary, observing dialectical method (as he explains), elaborates its own ‘syncretic theory of the novel’. This is a richly stimulating volume, an invaluable resource and challenging intervention for all serious researchers into the novel. Critical discourse continues to promote pluralized conceptions of modernism, as may be seen from the essays collected in Stevens and Howlett, eds., Modernist Sexualities. Edith Ellis was an energetic feminist and minor novelist, who shared the sexological interests of her husband Havelock Ellis and argued optimistically for social and sexual experimentation. Jo-Ann Wallace takes Ellis’s current obscurity to be illustrative of that repression which helps constitute familiar histories of modernism. Jason Edwards looks at Yeats’s ideas about masturbation and homosexuality. Caroline Howlett seeks to retrieve suffragettes from the margins of ‘the modernist scene’. Bridget Elliott examines the use of decorative practices in the work of painter Marie Laurencin as a means to rehabilitate decadent strategies towards criticism of traditional gender constructions. Morag Shiach investigates the typewriter as historical technology contributory to the emancipation of women. Con Coroneos ruminates suggestively on desire, closed systems, and the fate of the heart in modernism. Geoff Gilbert links adolescence and the avant-garde in the ‘delinquent’ figure of Wyndham Lewis. Pamela Thurschwell unpacks telling identifications made during the First World War by Henry James. Marianne DeKoven considers Stein and Woolf as public women concerned with feminine privacy and interiority. Melanie Taylor places Woolf’s Orlando in relation to transsexual autobiography. Hugh Stevens writes on ‘primitive’ male–male bonding in Lawrence’s The Plumed Serpent. There are also essays on Cather, McCullers, and Hemingway. Michael J. Meyer has edited Literature and Homosexuality out of a conviction that gay and lesbian issues remain repressed ‘even in the most modern and liberal of classrooms’. These essays were written in affirmation of the validity of alternative sexual choices and to make a case for equity between literary works that express those choices and texts that enshrine heterosexual values. Writing by the Americans Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich, Alice Walker, Hart Crane, Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams, John Rechy and James Baldwin, and by the Uruguayan Cristina Peri Rossi, is addressed. Roger Bowen discovers a challenge to sexual and racial taboos in Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet. Kathy J. Phillips examines Brecht’s writings about homosexuality. Thomas March unpacks E.M. Forster’s narration of homosexual experience within the mode of the fantastic in the Arcadian tale ‘Little Imber’, written in 1961. Thomas Peele contributes ‘Queering Mrs. Dalloway’, identifying homosexual desire in Woolf’s novel. David Coad traces lesbian overtones in Mansfield’s short stories. Acknowledging that feminist scholarship has established the centrality of gender to current thinking about modernism, Gerald N. Izenberg points out, in Modernism and Masculinity: Mann, Wedekind, Kandinsky through World War I, that ‘manhood in jeopardy’ is a recurrent theme in early modernist art and literature. His aim in the book is to bring to light ‘a subjective sense of masculinity endangered’ that is rarely

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disclosed by standard accounts of the passage through crisis of the bourgeois ideal of masculinity in Europe at the start of the twentieth century. Izenberg investigates interrelationships between the work and lives of novelist Thomas Mann, playwright Frank Wedekind, and painter Wassily Kandinsky in order to propose unfamiliar connections between issues of masculine identity and modernist innovation. Detailed analyses address Wedekind and freedom, Mann and transcendence, and Kandinsky and abstraction, while depicting each of these men as caught between desire to assimilate ‘the feminine’ and a need to exert mastery over it. Each held an idealized femininity to embody ‘both autonomous creative power and connection with the whole of being’. These localized case studies have implications, Izenberg argues, for our understanding of modernism more generally. Given the restlessness of critical discourse on modernism in its desire for new meanings and refined distinctions, the task of creating a convenient introductory guide to reflect current understanding poses evident challenges. Peter Childs’s Modernism, written for the New Critical Idiom series, struggles to find an appropriate level of discussion and to sustain an appropriate focus on this volatile topic. Childs opts to take Beckett’s Murphy as ‘an in some ways representative Modernist piece of writing’ in an opening chapter that starts with dictionary definitions of ‘romance’, ‘realism’, and ‘modernism’. The next section sketches the influential roles of Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud, Einstein, and Saussure, a conventional array of formative figures. Cursory overview of modernist cultural production follows, with writing organized by genre, painting by movement, plus brief mention of film. The final section, entitled ‘Texts, Contexts, Intertexts’, groups representative authors thematically. Mew, Mansfield, and D.H. Lawrence coincide under the heading ‘Freedom and Gender’; Woolf, West, and Eliot under ‘Identity and War’; Forster, Yeats, and Joyce under ‘Symbolism and Language’; and James, Conrad, and Ford under ‘Epistemology and Narration’. Childs observes that ‘to develop a reasonable grasp of the subject there is of course no substitute for reading the Modernist writers themselves’. A more complex sense of the contested identity of those writers would be appropriate. Caughie, ed., Virginia Woolf in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, brings Bloomsbury into intriguing configuration with Walter Benjamin. Woolf and Benjamin are aligned as authors of critiques of commodity culture, urban spaces, and systemic ideologies. Their standing and significance as cultural commentators, and points of contact between them, are set out in essays by Leslie Kathleen Hankins and Sonita Sarker. Woolf’s writing is shown, like Benjamin’s, embedded in the early twentieth-century’s volatile technological environment and correlative new formations of subjectivity. Melba Cuddy-Keane and Bonnie Kime Scott suggest ways to locate Woolf in relation to the ‘New Aurality’ of wireless and gramophone. Michael Tratner identifies the filmic qualities of Between the Acts. Holly Henry explores Woolf’s interest in telescopes and cosmology. Makiko Minow-Pinkney takes the motor car as focal point for her investigation of relationships between Woolf’s writing and ‘the new technological conditions of the age’. Jane Garrity places Vogue in relation to modernism and analyses Woolf’s ambivalent involvement with the magazine. Maggie Humm revealingly looks into the photographic interests of this great-niece of Julia Margaret Cameron. Mark Hussey muses on Woolf in the age of hypertext. This collection affirms Woolf’s usefulness

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to cultural studies and to Benjamin’s continuing relevance to intelligent discussion of mass culture. Virginia Woolf in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is a volume in the Border Crossings series, whose editor Daniel Albright exercises his own considerable interdisciplinary skills in Untwisting the Serpent: Modernism in Music, Literature and Other Arts, an erudite yet lively study that revises Lessing’s Laokoon towards analysis of modernist multimedia projects. A division is observed here ‘not as a tension between the temporal arts and the spatial, but as a tension between arts that try to retain the propriety, the apartness, of their private media, and arts that try to lose themselves in some pan-aesthetic whole’. Albright launches probes into modernist collaborations such as Stravinsky’s work with the Ballets Russes, Weill’s creative partnership with Brecht, Cocteau’s theatrical spectacles and Apollinaire’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias. Pound’s Cantos are considered in relation to Noh drama, and reference is made to Woolf and D.H. Lawrence. The eurhythmic exercises of Émile Jacques Dalcroze are regarded as ‘part of the Modernist urge to restore corporeality to art’. Albright’s assured trajectories through the field testify to impressive scholarship and produce some richly suggestive readings as well as a clearly delineated argument. He is especially enlightening in his discussion of music (often an area of weakness in comparative studies). Editors Howard J. Booth and Nigel Rigby claim that Modernism and Empire is ‘the first book-length study that seeks to explore the pervasive but complex interrelations between British colonialism and the modern movement’. Certainly it offers some fresh angles. After Patrick Williams’s exposition of theoretical issues, Rod Edmond traces the influence of degenerationist ideas in imperialist and modernist discourse. Helen Carr shows imagist poetics emerging from ‘questioning of Western representations and Western superiority, emerging in a climate which took distrust of the British imperialism very much for granted’. Elleke Boehmer investigates how Leonard Woolf (in his writings on Ceylon) and W.B. Yeats (in his enthusiasm for Tagore) responded to challenges posed by cultural otherness. Janet Montefiore makes a case for acknowledging Kipling as ‘an unrecognised modernist’ as well as a conservative imperialist. C.L. Innes differentiates Yeats and Joyce from British and European modernists and connects them to post-colonial writers. Máire ní Fhlathúin reveals the anti-colonial modernism of Patrick Pearse. John Nash writes on Joyce’s deployment of newspapers towards a critique of imperialism in Ulysses. Howard J. Booth looks at the fluctuating expectations that arose from D.H. Lawrence’s search for regenerative resources in non-European cultures. Nigel Rigby discloses Sylvia Townsend Warner’s subversion of imperialist ideologies in her modernist fantasy Mr Fortune’s Maggot. Abdulrazak Gurnah addresses Elspeth Huxley’s The Flame Trees of Thika and other settler writing in Kenya. Bill Ashcroft and John Salter dislocate an imposed modernist classification in order to identify ‘creative articulation of Australian difference’ by twentieth-century artists and writers. Mark Williams examines adaptations of modernism towards a bicultural dialogue within New Zealand literature in his ‘Mansfield in Maoriland’. Angela Smith has written Katherine Mansfield for the Literary Lives series. Mansfield’s development as a writer of short stories is traced through a matrix formed from issues arising out of her colonial identity, gender, and failing health. Her authorial identity is delineated in relation to varied facets of her experience, including marriage to John Middleton Murry, involvement with the arts magazine

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Rhythm, and exposure to Wilde’s aestheticism, Bergsonian philosophy, Fauvist painting, Arthur Symons’s writings on symbolism, A.R. Orage’s Nietzschean vision, and the Russian Ballet. Smith observes a chronological framework and brief analyses of key stories illustrate Mansfield’s literary positioning of her self. David Wykes has contributed Evelyn Waugh to the ‘Literary Lives’ series. It is much closer to straight biography than the Mansfield volume, and argues that as a novelist Waugh’s strength was not invention but embroidered transformation of lived experience; his ‘dependence on his own history was almost total’. Wykes critically surveys the oeuvre, and recounts Waugh’s struggle against the literary reputations of his father and brother, his education and brief flirtation with modernism, his youthful taste for travel and life-long susceptibility to privileged social standing, his interest in cinema, the failure of his first marriage, his conversion to Roman Catholicism, and his war service. These are taken to be formative influences upon Waugh’s literary identity, as considerable as the persistent influence of Gibbon and Dickens. In A Route to Modernism, Rosemary Sumner traces the contours of a concern for ‘the undefinable, the unanalyzable, the unresolved’ that runs through fiction by Hardy, Lawrence and Woolf. Sumner argues that this is a current in modernist literature distinct from the experimentation of Joyce and Stein yet equally significant in terms of formal innovation. She indicates how the shared concern of her chosen three authors for ‘the unknown, the unconscious’ led to rejection of conventional plotting in favour of rhythmic forms adjacent to poetry and music. These are precariously balanced between awareness of chaos and desire for harmony, loyalty to the everyday and acknowledgement of the limits of common understanding. Sumner describes the emergence of modernism in a range of Hardy’s texts, identifying him as a pivotal figure between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her study looks forward rather than back (Schopenhauer receives just one brief mention). Hardy’s fiction is considered in relation to Beckett’s absurdity and (provocatively) to surrealism and (still more recklessly) to composer John Cage’s predilection for indeterminacy. More substantial connections are made to Lawrence’s exploratory achievement in The Rainbow and Women in Love, and to Woolf’s advances towards communication of the inexpressible. After following her chosen route, Sumner concludes that ‘modernism is not a fixed destination’. Hapgood and Paxton, eds., Outside Modernism: In Pursuit of the English Novel (also reviewed in section 2(a) of this chapter), is a stimulating collection of essays employing various critical approaches drawn into alignment by shared understanding of ‘realism and modernism as terms which describe literary techniques rather than define conflictual literary movements’. English novels often held to represent opposing sets of aesthetic assumptions are here brought into significantly closer relationship within the early twentieth century’s ‘nexus of social, psychological and literary change’. The basic contention is that the ‘modern’, as it was perceived between 1900 and 1930, was not exclusively the province of high modernism. Hapgood investigates Galsworthy’s depiction of suburban life in The Man of Property; Paxton locates Forster’s fictional India between modernist aestheticism and popular colonial novels, such as those of Maud Diver. John Rignall challenges the orthodox position that the First World War marked a disintegration of European values that necessitated modernism’s disjunctive forms. He examines narrative coherence in relation to the persistence of communal life in fiction by

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Frederic Manning and R.H. Mottram. Arguing that ‘modernism begins in the realm of theology’, Robert L. Caserio deconstructs Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday to elucidate anarchist terrorism’s putative ‘convergence with the perplexities of modern epistemology and belief’. Richard Dellamora addresses the ‘vernacular modernism’ of Radclyffe Hall, which ‘splits and mixes genres’ to tackle problems of gender politics within ostensibly conservative narrative structures. Ann Ardis discovers a self-reflexive commentary on aesthetic production in D.H. Lawrence’s treatment of music-hall theatre in The Lost Girl. William Greenslade argues that mythologizing of nature in work by Stevenson, Kenneth Grahame, Edward Thomas and Forster serves a critical, even disruptive, engagement with national identity. John Lucas groups Sylvia Townsend Warner, Patrick Hamilton and Henry Green as novelists whose apparent realism is suffused with technical and political radicalism. Lyn Pykett attends to Rebecca West and May Sinclair, writers who contributed to the defining critical discourse of modernism. Pykett illustrates indebtedness in their own fiction to the New Woman novel of the 1880s and 1890s and shows modernism in negotiation with writing from the immediate past. In a 1918 review of Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage, May Sinclair made the first application to literature of the term ‘stream of consciousness’. Since Virago revived Sinclair’s novels Mary Olivier: A Life [1919] and Life and Death of Harriett Frean [1922] she has herself been recognized as a pioneering modernist. Although those novels remain central to the picture, Suzanne Raitt’s biography May Sinclair:

A Modern Victorian reveals more fully this writer from the generation preceding Richardson, Woolf and Mansfield, a best-selling author during the decade before the First World War, with an output including more than twenty novels and a book on the Brontës. Raitt portrays Sinclair as an intensely private, somewhat isolated individual, who nonetheless knew celebrated literary figures including Hardy, Ford, Pound, Charlotte Mew, H.D. and Richard Aldington. Raitt’s focus falls on Sinclair’s development as writer and intellectual. Her first popular success, The Divine Fire [1904], is a critique of the bookselling industry. Starting with The Three Sisters [1914] the impact of psychoanalysis was registered in her fiction. Brief first-hand exposure to warfare in Belgium fed significantly into her writing. She enthusiastically investigated the tenets of imagism. Raitt says that Sinclair regarded ‘creative genius’ as ‘a masculine force’, and shows how this and other factors complicated her feminism. Born in 1863, Sinclair became a ‘modern’. A groundbreaking life of this intriguing author, by T.E.M. Boll, was published in 1973. Raitt’s sequel adds some new details and identifies centres of enduring interest in Sinclair’s fiction. Angela K. Smith’s anthology Women’s Writing of the First World War (also reviewed in section 2(a) of this chapter) was compiled primarily ‘to reclaim the Great War as an arena of female experience, and to rediscover some of the written material which articulates the experience’. Materials, including some composed with hindsight, are drawn from fiction, diaries, letters, and documentary texts, juxtaposed to convey a range of responses to events, public attitudes, and political decisions. Some of the more than fifty writers are well-known literary figures (such as Virginia Woolf, Mrs Humphry Ward, Radclyffe Hall, F. Tennyson Jesse and May Sinclair); some are public figures (such as Cynthia Asquith, Beatrice Webb, Christabel, Emmeline and Sylvia Pankhurst); others are more obscure (a Belgian nun, a Scarborough schoolgirl, a middle-aged diarist from Kent). Although the

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extracts are ordered chronologically in sections, from the outbreak of war through conscription and loss to Armistice, with Smith’s observations introducing each section, in effect they form a mosaic depicting the wide-ranging impact of the conflict upon women far away from the trenches and in supporting roles near the front. Angela K. Smith’s The Second Battlefield: Women, Modernism and the First World War (also reviewed in section 2(a) of this chapter) is divided into two parts. The first investigates personal documents and published records of women who were actively involved in the First World War, on some form of military service or offering medical aid. The second looks at modernist writing by women that, according to Smith’s thesis, has roots in such war experience or personal accounts of it. There are readings of Not So Quiet … by Evadne Price, H.D.’s Bid Me To Live, May Sinclair’s The Tree of Heaven, Rose Macaulay’s Non-Combatants and Others, Rose Allatini’s Despised and Rejected, Katherine Mansfield’s ‘An Indiscreet Journey’, Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier, and Enid Bagnold’s The Happy Foreigner. Smith aims to shed light on an interface between the writing of wartime experiences, conditioned by peculiar private and public forms of constraint, and self-conscious literary composition. The diary form is viewed as a having distinct affinities with fragmented modernist narrative. So are nurses’ hospital narratives, such as Bagnold’s A Diary without Dates and Ellen La Motte’s The Backwash of War, which register a climate of dehumanization and crisis. Mary Borden’s aesthetically self-aware collection of hospital sketches and stories, The Forbidden Zone, occupies a special place within this study, in which neglected primary source materials are retrieved, and an expanded conception of modernism is proposed. The recent surge of critical interest in writing by Scottish women continues with Anderson and Christianson, eds., Scottish Women’s Fiction, 1920s to 1960s:

Journeys into Being. Each essay is given over to close reading of a particular text, and the volume as a whole conveys the diversity of approaches to writing novels represented by Catherine Carswell, Willa Muir, Nan Sheperd, Naomi Mitchison, Nancy Brysson Morrison, Jessie Kesson, and Muriel Spark. A surprise addition to this list is Rebecca West, claimed as a Scot on account of her maternal ancestry. Each of the editors contributes two chapters: Anderson writes on visual art in Carswell’s Open the Door! and feminine space in West’s Scottish novel The Judge; Christianson writes on ‘the dreaming of realities’ in Muir’s Imagined Corners and ambiguous certainty in Spark’s The Ballad of Peckham Rye. Sheperd’s The Quarry Wood and The Weatherhouse are used by Gillian Carter and Alison Lumsden respectively to examine issues of regional and personal identity. Margaret Elphinstone finds ‘the impulse of modernism’ in Mitchison’s The Corn King and the Spring Queen. Beth Dickson looks at the treatment of repression in Muir’s Mrs Ritchie. Margery Palmer McCulloch identifies the ‘poetic spirit’ in Morrison’s The Gowk Storm. Kesson’s literary distance from the sentimental Kailyard tradition is confirmed in essays by Glenda Norquay and Isobel Murray. To conclude, Jennie Rubio offers a brief selective bibliography of writers whose work qualifies for inclusion in the volume yet does not appear there. Nico Israel’s Outlandish: Writing between Exile and Diaspora is a sophisticated study of writing that occurs ‘between the perceived existential stability of the individual and nation and the claims put forth for a migrancy that reroutes or revises them’. Israel’s investigation into the perception and figuring of displacement

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comprises three case studies or ‘textual moments’: Conrad, Adorno, and Rushdie. He analyses the imagined geography of Conrad’s ‘Amy Foster’, the ‘outlandishly overdetermined’ Heart of Darkness, and the ‘exilic bildungsroman’ Lord Jim, ponders Adorno in Los Angeles via Minima Moralia and the chapter on anti- Semitism in Dialectic of Enlightenment, and reappraises Rushdie’s early fiction in light of ‘the so-called Rushdie Affair’. The ramifications of Israel’s readings extend to relationships between modernism and postmodernism and, beyond that, to fundamental issues of representability and ‘the mutually constitutive complexity of subjectivity, language, place, and history’. The essays in Todd and Flora, eds., Theme Parks, Rainforests and Sprouting Wastelands: European Essays on Theory and Performance in Contemporary British Fiction, originated as conference papers delivered at the University of Glasgow in 1995.The field is British fiction since 1950, but there is no central theme or dominant critical approach. Silvia Caporale Bizzini reads Jenny Diski’s Rainforest with assistance from Roland Barthes; Catherine Bernard brings Michel Serres and Maurice Blanchot to bear upon Bruce Chatwin’s work; Peter Conradi introduces Lacan into his discussion of Angus Wilson’s theatricality; Avril Horner and Sue Zlosnik’s consideration of Daphne du Maurier’s Frenchness draws on Homi Bhabha. Three essays look at Doris Lessing; two are devoted to A.S. Byatt; other authors under scrutiny include Michael Crichton, Salman Rushdie, Charles Palliser, William Golding, and Angela Carter. Other essays tackle issues with which recent writing has engaged such as myth, utopianism (including reference to the novels of Margaret Elphinstone), historiographical metafiction, and the Victorian inheritance of postmodern writing. John Kucich and Diane F. Sadoff convened the cultural critics who contribute to Victorian Afterlife in order to stimulate ‘discussion of postmodernism’s privileging of the Victorian as its historical “other”’. John McGowan’s ‘Modernity and Culture, the Victorians and Cultural Studies’ interrogates ‘the models of meaning, knowledge, and the social that zeitgeist thinking implies’. He indicates how ‘“modernity” and “culture” between them organize a huge amount of our intellectual landscape’. Jennifer Green-Lewis examines how current taste for Victorian photography discloses postmodern desire. Shelton Waldrep examines recent use made of Oscar Wilde in the media and academic discourse. Mary A. Favret addresses issues of fidelity in modern adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels. Susan Lurie considers film-maker Jane Campion’s revision of Henry James. Judith Roof discerns a new kind of imperialism in the appropriation by computer interface technology of Victorian exhibition and display techniques. Ian Baucom locates Paul Muldoon’s poetry in relation to recent histories of the Famine and of Irish emigration. Simon Gikandi considers C.L.R. James as a product of and adherent to colonial Victorianism, transforming values of colonial conquest into foundational narratives of black self-determination. William Gibson and Bruce Sterling’s ‘steampunk’ novel The Difference Engine and Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia come under Jay Clayton’s scrutiny as instances of anachronism transformed into a kind of knowledge. Laurie Langbauer surveys recent feminist scholarship devoted to nineteenth-century Britain. Hilary M. Schor examines A.S. Byatt’s ‘incarnation as a Victorian’ in her fiction. Kali Israel considers the recurrence of Carroll’s Alice and Nabokov’s Lolita in relation to current anxieties about the sexualized child. Ronald R. Thomas assesses the significance of cinematic versions of Stoker’s Dracula.

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Nancy Armstrong’s postscript draws broad yet telling comparison between Victorian and postmodern cultural horizons. Victorian Afterlife also has intriguing implications for attempts to understand those years of the twentieth century that its wide-ranging essays exclude from consideration. After establishing the difficulty of pinning down ‘SF’ in a tidy formulation, Adam Roberts, in Science Fiction, opts to focus upon ‘difference’ as a key defining aspect of the genre. His contention is that ‘in societies such as ours where Otherness is often demonised, SF can pierce the constraints of this ideology by circumventing the conventions of traditional fiction’. Roberts outlines a history of science fiction that harks back to Gilgamesh and Paradise Lost, assumes its modern guise with Verne and Wells, and continues beyond Star Wars. He indicates significant issues of gender and race that arise during engagement with science fiction texts, and examines the metaphoric use of technology to figure alterity. Malcolm Yorke’s Mervyn Peake: My Eyes Mint Gold is an enthusiastic and solidly researched biography that charts key events in the life of the idiosyncratic painter, illustrator, poet, playwright and novelist between his birth in 1911 and his death in 1968. Not content simply to accumulate facts, anecdotes and recollections, Yorke is keen to recognize stimuli for Peake’s art, especially for his Titus Groan trilogy. The ‘enclosed world of privilege’ Peake experienced as the son of a physician on missionary service in China is found to foreshadow the rarefied climate of Gormenghast Castle. The fate of China’s boy emperor, held virtual captive then forced to live as a private citizen, is perceived as parallel to the fate of Titus Groan. Settings and names in Dickens’s novels, consumed by Peake as a boy, reverberated into his own fictional world. A harrowing visit to Belsen necessarily deepened and modified Peake’s awareness of the nature of evil and his approach to its depiction. This commitment to detect immediate and remote influences may diminish the book’s appeal for some readers, but it does help to ensure that the account remains attentive to the terms and conditions of Peake’s artistic progress. Stark, ed., The Novel in Anglo-German Context: Cultural Cross-Currents and Affinities, collects papers given at a conference in Leeds in 1997. Its scope is broad, but the key concern is cultural cross-fertilization. There are three main divisions, corresponding to the last three centuries. ‘Eighteenth Century’ opens with Hermann J. Real’s discussion of early German translations of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, and closes with Daniel Hall’s account of the spread of the ‘Gothic tide’ across the two countries. ‘Nineteenth Century’ opens with Rosemary Ashton’s authoritative ‘The Figure of the German Professor in Nineteenth-Century English Fiction’. Walter Scott looms large in what follows. The section ends with Diane Milburn’s uncovering of Anglo-German cross-currents in Stoker’s Dracula. ‘Twentieth Century’ starts with Elmar Schenkel’s intriguing, and ostensibly unlikely, coupling of G.K. Chesterton and Nietzsche. Andreas Kramer elucidates complexities of nationality in Wyndham Lewis’s Tarr. Peter Skrine retrieves from obscurity The Woman of Knockaloe, a novel of the First World War by the Manx writer Hall Caine, dedicatee of Dracula. Holger Klein offers a survey in the form of notes towards a comparative study of novels depicting diminished figures in urban landscapes. J.M. Ritchie looks at writing by German and Austrian exiles in Britain. Joachim Schwend homes in on stereotyped images of Germany in David Lodge’s Out of the Shelter. Osman Durrani looks at ‘campus novels’. Ute Daprich-Barrett identifies links between feminism and magical realism in fiction by Irmtraud

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Morgner and Angela Carter. Sabine Hotto’s discussion of fictional rewritings of literary history draws on A.S. Byatt, Peter Ackroyd, Sigrid Damm, and Christa Wolf. David Horrocks and David A. Green both trace parallels between Günter Grass and Salman Rushdie. Gundula Sharman draws a more oblique line between Goethe and John Banville. Harald Husemann examines fiction depicting German invasion or infiltration of Britain. Two papers address the teaching of novels in German and British schools. The volume accommodates contributions in both languages, a brief English abstract preceding each essay in German. André Bucher’s study of the German reception of Ulysses falls into this category. Francis Mulhern’s lucid, useful volume Culture/Metaculture examines ‘“culture” as a topic in twentieth-century debate’, paying critical attention to positions assumed by practitioners of Kulturkritik such as Thomas Mann, Julian Benda, Ortega y Gasset and F.R. Leavis, shapers of Cultural Studies such as Raymond Williams, Richard Hoggart and Stuart Hall, and contemporary participants such as Todd Gitlin, Jim McGuigan and the controversial populist John Fiske. The important role played by the study of literature in the formation of this discourse is repeatedly highlighted, and the input of literary writers such as Woolf, Orwell, and Eliot is made evident. Mulhern’s contribution to the debate argues that the ‘predominant tendency’ of Cultural Studies (increasingly devoted to ‘the popular’) has been to counter the specific social values of Kulturkritik (distrustful of the masses) ‘while retaining their deep form’, coordinated around the terms ‘culture’, ‘authority’ and ‘politics’. Mulhern airs the question whether contemporary populism signals the emergence of ‘organic intellectuals’ (as projected by Stuart Hall) or a proliferation of fans and ‘bimbos’ (using Meaghan Morris’s dismissive term), and concludes by identifying a persistent ‘utopian impulse’, in Cultural Studies as in Kulturkritik, which seeks to reconcile culture and politics ‘by dissolving political reason itself’. Many hours of assiduous research have evidently gone to the making of The Pub In Literature: England’s Altered State. Steven Earnshaw undertakes ‘a crawl through the drinking places of English literary history’, starting inevitably with Chaucer’s Tabard inn. Most of the hostelries can be anticipated: the taverns and alehouses of Langland, Skelton, Shakespeare, Pepys, Fielding, Goldsmith, and Dickens. Twentieth-century examples are found on less well trodden byways: the pubs of Arthur Morrison, A.E. Coppard, John Hampson and Patrick Hamilton. Eliot and Orwell also feature and, with greater predictability, this ‘history of English literature as seen through the bottom of a glass’ closes with Martin Amis’s London Fields. Earnshaw endeavours to derive social-historical insights from these drinking-houses and their manner of depiction. He raises issues of literary decorousness, especially with regard to Ned Ward’s ribald late seventeenth-century work The London Spy. English national identity and gender matters are also addressed. The account grows appropriately congested, favouring discursive affability above rigorous theoretical elaboration. Pure Pleasure collects brief essays written for The Sunday Times by John Carey, Merton Professor of English at Oxford University. A pithy defence of reading prefaces his choice of the twentieth century’s fifty ‘most enjoyable books’, poetry as well as prose, captured in snapshots designed to entice non-specialist browsers. Constraints were imposed during the selection process: only one book per author and roughly the same number representing each decade (although Keith Douglas’s Alamein to Zem Zem is the sole volume from the 1940s). Carey starts with Conan

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Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles [1902], ‘one of the formative myths of the century’, and ends with Graham Swift’s Last Orders [1996], a novel whose ‘hero is the English language as spoken by ordinary people’. Some books merit inclusion on account of their self-evident intelligence, others because they are haunting. Canonical heavyweight texts are by and large avoided, although with rare exceptions, such as William Empson’s Seven Types of Ambiguity, the list holds few surprises. Media pundit Clive James is present but there is no Proust or Faulkner; the work of both writers falls into the category of books which Carey dislikes or has not been able to finish. A short concluding report dips into the correspondence Carey received from readers of the newspaper. For academic readers, Pure Pleasure will immediately offer itself as a case study in humanistic values and the formation of literary taste. Elizabeth Rottenberg has translated Maurice Blanchot’s brief, intense literary narrative The Instant of My Death [1994]. It is accompanied by Demeure: Fiction and Testimony, her translation of Jacques Derrida’s subtle musings upon Blanchot, literature, and testimony, initially delivered at a colloquium in Louvain in 1995. A short postscript presents Derrida’s prickly riposte to ‘rantings’ against him published in the Times Literary Supplement.

(b) Irish Criticism of Irish literature has been transforming over the past decade, becoming more exploratory, expanding its canon, and beginning to theorize itself. It is tempting to see Declan Kiberd’s Irish Classics, a monumental follow-up to Inventing Ireland, as the major publication of the year. But in the longer term it may be the millennial originality of Mathews, ed., New Voices in Irish Criticism, which signifies the real changes taking place within the discipline. The book is a collection

of papers from the first New Voices in Irish Criticism conference, held in 1999. The conference, brought about under the academic sponsorship of Declan Kiberd and Edna Longley, recognized a logjam which had developed in access to any public forum for doctoral students. The ‘new voices’ collected here are a disparate but energetic collection, covering old topics in new ways and in some cases pushing into entirely new areas of study. The literary revival, that staple foundational movement of the twentieth century, is given a fresh look in an excellent section on ‘Politics and Revival’, which includes the editor P.J. Mathews’s essay, ‘The Irish Revival: A Re- appraisal’ which is ‘pitched against the orthodoxy that the period was a purely mystical affair of high culture characterised by a preoccupation with a backward- looking Celtic spirituality, a nostalgia for Gaelic Ireland and an obsessive anti- modern traditionalism’ (p. 12). Gregory Dobbins interlinks the writings of James Connolly with those of the literary revival to argue that ‘Connolly’s work provides

a critical wedge in which there is the desire to dialectically progress beyond into something else’ (p. 12). And Selina Guinness’s essay, ‘The Year of the Undead:

1898’, considers the commemoration of the United Irishmen’s rebellion of 1798 as

a time ‘when the discourse of revival was caught in one frame between two

supernatural images, the phoenix and the vampiric Cathleen’ (p. 27). The sense of thinking anew, and the restless desire to find new ways of seeing the formation of Irish literary discourse, apparent in these three essays find echoes in other chapters of this substantial and important book. Kathy Cremin, for example, in her essay

‘Satisfaction Guaranteed? Reading Irish Women’s Popular Fiction’, sees popular

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fiction by and for women as marking the ‘changed status of women in Irish society and history’ against ‘Ireland’s historical construction as a feminised and maternal nation’ (p. 83). Moynagh Sullivan takes a wider view of a similar set of theoretical concerns about gender in her subtle and convincing essay ‘Feminism, Postmodernism and the Subjects of Irish and Women’s Studies’, which identifies how Irish studies has salved its conscience about the role of women, as participants and signifiers, within its own boundaries, by ‘“quarantining” … women’s writing into a separate space, and into a sub-category’ (p. 250). Such confidence in not accepting the limits set by the discipline in which the contributors are ‘new voices’ makes this book the most refreshing intervention in Irish studies for many years. The dynamic energies of the New Voices project will take some time to filter into the wider language and interests of criticism of twentieth-century Irish literary studies. While New Voices was creating an academic space for those entering the field, Declan Kiberd’s Irish Classics fascinatingly continued the popular success of Inventing Ireland, showing that, in Ireland and beyond, there is a market outside the academy for well-written, accessible and opinionated Irish literary criticism. The main thesis of Irish Classics is that the fortunes of the Irish and English languages in Ireland ‘were utterly connected over more than five centuries, for all the antagonism between them’ (p. xi). The book’s examination of twentieth-century writing includes chapters on Lady Gregory and Synge’s The Aran Islands, and an excellent chapter on Joyce’s Ulysses and newspapers. At times, especially with the twentieth-century material, Kiberd’s conviction that there was a ceaseless interplay across the two linguistic traditions can seem a little forced. Irish Classics also knows and uses its own power to gently irritate by seeming to set up a canon of ‘classic’ texts only to be idiosyncratic in its choices and absurdly selective in its coverage, while also being very long. Nevertheless, Kiberd at his best is a great writer of critical prose, and his own form of quiet comedy is often underestimated by his detractors. Irish Classics struggles a little to achieve coherence, and because of that, and its twining of the two languages, it may not gain the status which Inventing Ireland has. In many ways, though, it is a much more provocative book, and time will tell whether its central linguistic thesis is taken up with more seriousness by scholars following on from Kiberd. Two important reference books for Irish literary studies appeared in 2000. Useful for students is Welch, ed., The Concise Oxford Companion to Irish Literature, which is a pared-down version of the previous Oxford Companion to Irish Literature [1996]. Also for a student market, but with an implicit critical agenda of how the shape of twentieth-century Irish literature should look, is David Pierce, ed., Irish Writing in the Twentieth Century: A Reader. This anthology, divided into sections by decade and running to 1,351 pages, sets out to provide students with a comprehensive range of Irish texts while remaining within the student budget. Given that only the Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing [1991] has such a vast array of material and is priced beyond what the average reader could afford, the book is well timed and carefully conceived. Irish Writing in the Twentieth Century has an admirable agenda which is in the most basic of senses ‘historicist’. Its broadly chronological ordering is complemented by the ‘Critical and Documentary’ and ‘Imaginative’ sections into which each decade’s-worth of writing is split. The first of these sections tends to be the more useful. Pierce often makes choices which succinctly draw together and exemplify the major debates taking place. The section

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on the first ten years of the twentieth century, for example, has extracts from Standish James O’Grady, Yeats, Arthur Griffith, Synge, John Eglinton and Frederick Ryan. The cumulative effect is to give an eclectic sense of relatively shared terms of dispute and interest, though occasionally one would wish that Pierce had chosen to follow particular debates rather than throw the net so wide. The advantage here is that Pierce always has an eye on the literary in the context of cultural politics. The fact that he never loses sight of Irish America’s contribution to Irish debates is an important reminder to students and readers of the often forgotten diasporic nature of cultural exchange about Ireland. The anthology’s ‘Imaginative’ sections are again judicious in their material, though they suffer from their necessary brevity, so that extracts of novels only are included. The two most obvious omissions from the book, much commented on by reviewers, are, first, the missing sections from Joyce’s Ulysses, which were physically excised due to a copyright dispute with the Joyce estate, and, second, its relative dearth of women writers (replicating, though not by any means to the same extent, the lack of attention to women’s writing in the Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing). In terms of broad critical and theoretical assessments of twentieth-century Irish writing, one of the most notable books of the year was Conor McCarthy’s Modernisation, Crisis and Culture in Ireland, 1969–1992. The execution and content of the book are perhaps not quite so comprehensive as the title suggests they might be, but nevertheless McCarthy’s overall thesis is that ‘modernisation’ is not anathema to the concept of nation, since the ideology of nation ‘draws on Enlightenment ideas of progress, liberation, co-operation and equality’ (p. 17). McCarthy makes this argument because he feels the credibility of Irish nationalism to have been under an intellectual cloud. His villains are revisionist historians and critics, though to his credit McCarthy does try to map revisionism as a pervasive set of ideas which have affected thinking in general rather than a position to which allegiances have been explicitly pledged (his final chapter on ‘Intellectual Politics:

Edna Longley and Seamus Deane’ perhaps edges closer to ad hominem criticism than is necessary). The main chapters of the book are incisive, though in their coverage of writers such as John Banville, Brian Friel and Dermot Bolger (and film- makers Neil Jordan, Bob Quinn and Pat Murphy in a single chapter) there was an opportunity missed to broaden out McCarthy’s social and conceptual concerns beyond the work of individuals and into generic and social change. This modernizing Ireland might have been better depicted by allowing for a broader brush. John Banville, a figure rightly placed as central to Irish writing and intellectual life in McCarthy’s book, is also discussed by Joseph McMinn in his essay ‘Versions of Banville: Versions of Modernism’ (in Harte and Parker, eds., Contemporary Irish Fiction: Themes, Tropes, Theories). McMinn’s essay interestingly suggests that Banville’s prose techniques begin with a formally modernist aesthetic, but play out in their own characters the extension of this style to a point at which Banville’s central personae, ‘such as Newton, Kepler and Copernicus might be read as unwitting, even unwilling deconstructionists’ (p. 86). The argument of McMinn’s essay then takes a useful turn towards gender issues and tries to untangle the threads of novelist and narrator to show that there is ‘a self-critical kind of misogyny within Banville’s fiction’ (p. 95). Other essays in the same book include Antoinette Quinn’s ‘New Noises from the Woodshed: The Novels of Emma Donoghue’, which

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gives much-needed attention to an important Irish woman writer, and Richard Kirkland’s ‘Bourgeois Redemptions: The Fictions of Glenn Patterson and Robert McLiam Wilson’, which is by far the most sophisticated critique yet of these ‘new’ Northern Irish novelists. The originality in Kirkland’s take on these novelists is in not automatically celebrating their young liberal credentials but in seeing their narratives as caught in the world which they satirize: ‘bourgeois fiction often constructs a site of ideology—understood strictly as false consciousness—against which the formal structures of the work rebel’ (p. 217). Such scepticism about the role of the novelist in Northern Irish society is echoed in Richard Haslam’s essay, ‘“The Pose Arranged and Lingered Over”: Visualizing the “Troubles”’ (also in Harte and Parker, eds.). Haslam begins with William Carleton’s ‘Wild Goose Lodge’ as a model for Irish depiction of political violence, noting how Carleton’s story falls back on the pictorial to render terror fictional, and he then goes on to discuss Bernard MacLaverty’s Cal and Eoin MacNamee’s Resurrection Man in the same terms. Haslam ends with what sound like harsh words for MacNamee’s much- lauded novel: ‘Resurrection Man is undeniably an innovative and technically accomplished work. However, by refracting the actions and beliefs of the Shankill Butchers through the lens of “a dark and thrilling beauty”, the novel does further violence to the Butchers’ real-life victims’ (p. 208). This is ethically opinionated criticism, which is refreshing in its frankness and its refusal to be swept away by the shock value of MacNamee’s novel. MacNamee’s Resurrection Man is also discussed in Dermot McCarthy’s essay ‘Belfast Babel: Postmodern Lingo in Eoin MacNamee’s Resurrection Man’ (IUR 30:i[2000] 132–48): this entire issue of Irish University Review was devoted to contemporary Irish fiction. McCarthy begins his discussion with the kind of anxiety about the novel which ends Haslam’s essay: ‘What’s the point of such self- conscious self-promotion?’ (p. 132). McCarthy, however, finds himself eventually convinced that MacNamee’s novel need not be read in the morally resistant way that Haslam’s reading comes around to. Instead, McCarthy suggests that MacNamee himself recognizes that the central character, Victor, is ‘empty, ephemeral, and disposable, divorced from the referents of community, history, and historical identity’ (p. 148). Other articles in this special issue include Anne Fogarty’s ‘Uncanny Families: Neo-Gothic Motifs and the Theme of Social Change in Contemporary Irish Women’s Fiction’ (IUR 30:i[2000] 59–81). Fogarty notes that recent criticism has accepted the prominence of women in Irish fiction, and discusses a series of contemporary novels in order to consider ‘the ways in which their texts respond to and are embedded in the prevailing public debates about the recent revolutionary and unprecedented alterations in Irish society’ (p. 62). Criticism of Irish drama was given a new lease of life in 2000 by the advent of a new, indigenous theatre studies press, Carysfort. One of it first publications is Jordan, ed., Theatre Stuff: Critical Essays on Contemporary Irish Theatre. Theatre Stuff is a much-needed and lively collection of interventions which, taken as a whole, see theatre in Ireland as more than a literary enterprise. The book is a useful mixture of essays which discuss individual playwrights and more general surveys of particular aspects of theatre. Fintan O’Toole, in ‘Irish Theatre: The State of the Art’, and Bruce Arnold, in ‘The State of Irish Theatre’, both offer surveys of the current health of the theatre in Ireland and both end on relatively upbeat notes which suggest that the stifling shackles of the necessity for a primarily national theatre are being

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finally shaken off. Lionel Pilkington’s essay in the volume, ‘Theatre History and the Beginnings of the Irish National Theatre’, argues that we might go back in history and revise our ideas of how the idea of ‘national’ theatre began. Pilkington argues that the foundational claim that ‘no Irish theatre existed prior to 1899’ (p. 27) is increasingly being shown to be untrue, and that this in itself is a piece of national myth-making by those central to the National Theatre/Abbey project early in the twentieth century. The consequence of believing the Abbey’s self-fashioning, Pilkington suggests, is ‘the presumption that indigenous theatre in Ireland begins in 1899’ and this leads to ‘the imposition of an artificial insularity on Irish theatre history and the exclusion of the dramatic canon of a working-class and popular theatre tradition’ (p. 27). Theatre Stuff is an excellent guide to the state of Irish theatre today—it mixes practitioners with academics and critics, and it holds out the promise of more exciting work to come from Carysfort Press. Contemporary drama is also the subject of Mária Kurdi’s Codes and Masks:

Aspects of Identity in Contemporary Irish Plays in an Intercultural Context. The book is a welcome attempt to examine Irish drama as a whole, at least as a writing enterprise. It suffers a little from a continual insistence on the secure and certain post-coloniality of Ireland, and too many plays are crudely related back to this model while it is simultaneously apparent that they are straining to be allowed to say more through Kurdi’s interpretation. However, on the plus side, Kurdi reads Stewart Parker’s plays with great insight and it is good also to see Donal O’Kelly and Anne Devlin taken seriously alongside more established figures such as Brian Friel and Tom Murphy. The work of J.M. Synge is assessed in Grene, ed., Interpreting Synge: Essays from the Synge Summer School, 1991–2000. Grene has brought together in this volume a collection of papers by extraordinarily distinguished speakers from the summer school. Grene’s own essay, ‘On the Margins: Synge and Wicklow’ discusses in succession Synge’s family connections with Wicklow, his essays on Wicklow, and then the use of Wicklow settings and references in the play, ending by showing how Synge was not cowed before the particularity of place: ‘he saw the Wicklow which his imagination needed to see. Authenticity in this context has to be considered an irrelevant or discredited criterion’ (p. 40). Among many other excellent essays (particularly those by R.F. Foster and Ann Saddlemyer) is Christopher Morash’s ‘All Playboys Now: The Audience and the Riot’, which is a superb reconstruction of the most famous controversy in the history of Irish theatre, the riots during the first performances of Synge’s Playboy of the Western World. Morash retells the story with wit, detail and a marvellous facility for reinterpretation. Sean O’Casey’s language is the subject of Colbert Kearney’s The Glamour of Grammar: Orality and Politics and the Emergence of Sean O’Casey. Kearney writes in the belief that ‘an oral culture extending back into prehistory continued to flourish in inner-city Dublin at least as late as the early decades of this century’ (p. xi). Kearney writes about O’Casey and about Dublin with a real passion, and a belief that the place and its working-class inhabitants have been under-represented in literary and cultural terms. While this is in many ways true, there are times when Kearney allows belief to cloud judgement, and his idea that ancient oral culture survives in remnants in urban Dublin, whether right or not, suggests a need for essentialist values rather than a reading of O’Casey’s socialism.

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Among books on George Bernard Shaw published in 2000 was Bernard F. Dukore’s Shaw’s Theatre, a monograph which details Shaw’s theatre practices in

excellently conceived detail. It is especially good when discussing Shaw as director; suddenly the playwright comes to life as a theatrical thinker. The third part of the book, ‘The Theater in Bernard Shaw’s Drama’ is slightly disappointing, given that

it runs through a series a plays picking out moments of theatrical interest and

moving towards being a reading of Shaw’s metatheatricality. But overall Shaw’s Theatre is a very useful guide to Shaw’s theatrical practice and thought.

2. Pre-1945 Fiction

(a) The English Novel, 1900–1930

Issues of empire and women’s writing remain of central interest this year, but two general points are worth noting. History, both as a context for textual discussion and

as an alternative discourse, is mounting a strong challenge to the primacy of literary

theory, and discussions of genre fiction are moving even closer to mainstream concerns. Nicholas Daly’s Modernism, Romance and the Fin de Siècle: Popular Fiction and British Culture, 1880–1914 is an interesting example of both these developments. He brings a fresh perspective to the interrogation of the realist/ modernist, high/low cultural divide by privileging the role of tales of masculine adventure in the development of the novel at the turn of the century and argues that, properly understood, romance was ‘culturally central’ in the way in which it offered

‘its readers a species of popular theory of social change’ (p. 117). This in itself is not

a new field, but the structure of Daly’s book, its range of material, and his

confidence in handling issues of colonialism and masculinity convey a wide and vibrant picture of the turn-of-the-century literary community. His inclusion of the Irish Revival in this context, for instance, is very welcome, although the history and literary context almost drown out the individual texts in this chapter. On the other hand, the discussion of Ernest Hemingway breaks Daly’s cultural and period frame without any great benefit and tends to leave the interesting final chapter, which surveys and analyses the relation between action novels and early cinema, as a rather stranded coda. Sue Sims, Hilary Clare and Robert J. Kirkpatrick bring another genre, children’s school stories, to the foreground in (Aucmuty and Wotton, eds.) The Encyclopaedia of Girls’ School Stories and The Encyclopaedia of Boys’ School Stories. These two companion volumes contribute to the growing interest in children’s literature and its relationship to mainstream culture by attempting to systematize and, to some extent, evaluate the popular school story genre. Both encyclopedias have dates which extend outside this period, covering the late 1700s to 1999, but all the editors locate the early twentieth century as the golden age of school stories. A substantial part of the text is A–Z entries of writers, but in addition there are fourteen short commentaries with bibliographies of connected topics, including brief listings of annuals and girls’ school story papers as well as narrow sub-sets of the main topic, such as convent stories and pony school stories, or, in the case of boys’ stories, ‘real schools’ and ‘red circle school’. By the editors’ own confession their volumes are not comprehensive and the organization is more than a little arbitrary—a

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compromise accepted in their mission to put school stories on the literary map. These shortcomings are more than outweighed by the value of this material being put at last into the public domain. Readers who are interested in the methodological problems posed by compiling these encyclopedias should read Rosemary Auchmuty, ‘The Encyclopaedia: Origins and Organisationand Hilary Clare, ‘Lifting the Veil: Researching the Lives of Girls’ School Story Writers’ (Children’s Literature in Education, 31:iii[2000] 147–58 and 159–65). Detective fiction is another genre which continues to fascinate critics, and this year is no exception. Detective Fiction and the Rise of Forensic Science by Ronald R. Thomas does not fall comfortably into one literary period, but it is necessary reading since Thomas provides such a fascinating and informative context for the flowering of this distinctive Edwardian genre. He traces the change from ‘character’ to ‘identity’ as a variable political agenda made possible by the rise of photography, anthropology and fingerprinting, and mirrored in the evolution of detective fiction in America and Britain. He ranges the work and practice of contemporary criminologists such as Havelock Ellis, Francis Galton, Gina Lombroso-Ferrero and Charles Goring alongside the novels of Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Conan Doyle and Joseph Conrad in Britain and Edgar Allen Poe, Dashiell Hammett, and Mark Twain in America. There are several reasons why this book is particularly valuable to early twentieth-century studies. One is the way in which Thomas brilliantly conveys the power that science and technology came to exert over the literary imagination and how it appeared to offer an answer to the imponderables of fin-de-siècle and post-1900 doubts and indirections. Secondly, Thomas’s argument sweeps up a hundred years of detective novels, cutting across the tired categorization of modernism, popular fiction, genre and high art to demonstrate writers’ vigour and creativity in responding to the intellectual challenges of their times. Detective fiction is assuming greater importance in literary studies from year to year, but Thomas raises the stakes, claiming that ‘even if we accept some list of essential characteristics by which to define a genre we designate as “detective fiction,” the historical forces that brought the form into being have found their way (more or less) into virtually every other kind of literature in the period as well’ (pp. 288–9). Thomas’s argument certainly illuminates many of the early twentieth- century literary concerns with race, science, society, human value and the integrity of the personality, as well as issues of literary form and value. Only gender seems untouched by a scientific and literary communality which still unquestioningly gendered crime as masculine. Joseph A. Kestner, The Edwardian Detective, 1901–1915, has a much narrower focus. The highlighting of the distinctiveness of this period and the close examination of thirty well-known, neglected, canonical and popular detective novels, including works by G.K. Chesterton, John Buchan, Joseph Conrad, Baroness Orczy, Robert Barr, Conan Doyle and many others, are intended to demonstrate the vigour of Edwardian fiction and the immediacy of its engagement with society. Kestner opens the book and each of the three chronological sections with potted histories and lists of ‘important’ events grouped (apparently) randomly into paragraphs. The selected texts are then explored in the light of these historical ‘facts’. This method leads to considerable repetition and a sense of overstated argument, which ultimately renders rather thin Kestner’s straightforward and

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worthwhile aim to demonstrate detective fiction as the ‘enduring index’ of the Edwardian age. Robert Kuhn McGregor’s and Ethan Lewis’s latest contribution to Sayers studies, Conundrums for the Long Week-End: England, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Lord Peter Wimsey, is rather bland. Read as an introduction to the body of Wimsey novels, this book is acceptable. It makes its way chronologically and diligently through the works, offering summaries, contextual information and some historical and/or biographical analysis of each of the novels. But the approach is critically innocent, and there are too many occasions when the mingling of Sayers’s own life with her fictional creations, Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane, stops being interestingly mischievous speculation and starts being naive cross-association. A particular problem for the British reader is the way in which the authors have organized the historical context in small parcels of information spread through the book like short history lessons: summaries of the First World War, the decline of the aristocracy and, particularly, the General Strike of 1926 feel packaged and lacking in empathy. Consequently, the ‘England’ of the title never becomes more than a series of historical events in a way that would enlighten readers on either side of the Atlantic. However, the authors’ greatest failure is in allowing Wimsey to become more important than Sayers’s achievement in creating a detective for her times. Sayers’s reputation shrinks as a result—her talent limited to writing bits of her life and immediate context into a series of pleasant novels. A more general survey of the period and one which is not focused on genre is Hapgood and Paxton, eds., Outside Modernism (also reviewed in section 1(a) above). The first of the two introductory essays considers early twentieth-century fiction in terms of transformative continuity, while the second considers the modernist agenda through an examination of current scholarship. Within this framework, the essays investigate the boundaries of realism and modernism and the stability of literary categories in the work of well-known but neglected writers such as John Galsworthy and G.K. Chesterton, war writers such as Frederic Manning, and women writers such as Rebecca West, Sylvia Townsend Warner and Maud Diver. G.K. Chesterton has already earned two mentions this year. Does this suggest the green shoots of a revival? As always, it is hard to say. James V. Schall, in Schall on Chesterton: Timely Essays on Timeless Paradoxes, makes no claim to contribute to Chesterton’s literary achievement but simply records his responses to Chesterton’s regular column in The London Illustrated News between 1905 and 1931. This is Chesterton at one remove. Even so, Schall’s fascination with Chesterton does rub off and tempts the reader back not only to his journalism, but also to the fiction and poetry, so briefly dealt with here in ‘Second Thoughts on Detective Stories’, ‘The Invisible Man’ and ‘A Picture of “Tuesday”’. We must be grateful to Catholic publishing houses and scholars for keeping Chesterton’s work in the public domain; one hopes that it will also bring Chesterton to the wider literary community. Mark Knight, in ‘Chesterton and the Problem of Evil’ (L&T 14:iv[2000] 373–84), straddles theological and literary concerns. He responds to charges against Chesterton of a wilful optimism by considering his attitude to evil through a discussion of the play, The Surprise [1932] and his writings on the book of Job [1907] in the light of the Free Will Defence, whose status as theodicy or defence was itself at the centre of theological debate. He argues that Chesterton’s personal recognition that ‘life could only be explained by taking the middle ground between

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reason and mystery’ (p. 382) is made possible through his art and notably through the metaphorical and allegorical exuberance of The Man Who Was Thursday [1908]. In contrast, Elmar Schenkel focuses on Nietzschean ideas (i.e. how Nietzsche’s work was understood and used by British thinkers and writers) and their impact on Chesterton’s writing, in ‘Paradoxical Affinities: Chesterton and Nietzsche’ (in Stark, ed., pp. 241–51). Ideas of Superman, of unlimited growth, of strength and of eternal recurrence, and rejection of history were ideas Chesterton detested but which he used to test out his own beliefs in a way that Schenkel claims demonstrates ‘a deep love-hate relationship, a revealing symmetry’ (p. 247). He argues that the common ground lay in a shared intellectual iconoclasm—a recognition of the power of apparent unreasonableness, their rejection of systematically organized thought— although their philosophical ends were different. Paula M. Krebs, Gender, Race, and the Writing of Empire: Public Discourse and the Boer War [1999] is an important contribution to the study of this period and brings us to one if its continuing concerns—issues of empire. Krebs raises pertinent and provocative questions about the literary production of works about the war, and offers illuminating readings of Olive Schreiner and the so-called writers of empire, Conan Doyle, H. Rider Haggard and Rudyard Kipling. Conan Doyle is set against W.T. Stead in a debate about the sexual honour of the British soldier; H. Rider Haggard, acclaimed as an expert for his knowledge of and romances about Africa, resisted being transformed from romance writer to South Africa war correspondent, while Kipling, famous for his stories and poems of the Indian Raj, was successfully co-opted as defender of the empire in the press, but never succeeds in making South Africa part of his own imaginative landscape. Set against these three friends is Olive Schreiner, whose nationality gave her the authority to interpret South Africa for the British and whose intellectual struggles to plot a future for South Africa’s ethnic groups and their layers of colonial masters makes fascinating reading. However, Krebs’s argument is most stimulating in the questions it raises about the hybrid social, political and cultural identity of upper-class men whose bestseller status in the fiction stakes won them public trust and an authoritative platform in the traditional newspapers and newly emerging popular press. This is probably the earliest example of what has become a feature of national and international crises in the modern world, and Krebs’s discussion suggests a new infrastructure for understanding the nature of literary production during this period. Which brings us to Kipling, who continues to command considerable critical attention. Kipling emerges from Don Randall’s study Kipling’s Imperial Boy:

Adolescence and Cultural Hybridity as a subtly nuanced and responsible writer responding creatively and diversely to the drama of British and Indian relations in the second half of the nineteenth century. Randall takes what he calls ‘liminal boys’ in Kipling’s work as figures of transitional identity whose function is ‘to negotiate the contact zones of empire’ (p. 160) in the post-Mutiny period, and to explore the cultural hybridity that might result from these unions. A lengthy chapter entitled ‘Genealogy of the Imperial Boy’ sets up an impressive context for understanding the plasticity of adolescent identity and therefore its importance as a site of change. Randall’s focus on the adolescent also incidentally contributes to interest in the child as subject and as reader noted elsewhere. The Jungle Books [1894], Stalky and Co. [1899], and Kim [1901] are given equal weight in a discussion which is unencumbered by attempts to define their status in terms of their assumed readership

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or to dismiss the child as subject as childish matter. Stalky and Co. emerges particularly strongly from this approach, dropping its ‘boys’ school story’ tag to be located firmly in Kipling’s own literary and political development. In fact, an underlying theme of the discussion is Kipling’s growing skill in finding forms which allowed the interplay of ambiguities and resistances contingent on the imperialist project to flourish within a stable vision of empire. This is a satisfyingly argued book that takes into consideration an impressive range of critical approaches (sometimes overladen with current jargon) which also has a confident and convincing belief in the value of Kipling’s work. Andrew St John’s excellent and informative article, ‘“In the Year ’57”:

Historiography, Power, and Politics in Kipling’s Punjab’ (RES 51[2000] 62–79), brings together colonial history, British literary history and the recovery of a neglected piece of Kipling’s writing to illuminate the development of Kipling’s aesthetic. Using an uncollected two-part article called ‘In the Year of ’57’ written by Kipling and published in the Civil and Military Gazette in 1887, St John explores the narrator’s attempt to reconcile the ‘rugged, inchoate textuality’ of pre-Mutiny, non- regulated administration in the Punjab with the ‘systematic, “theoretical” approach to the historical material’ of the post-Mutiny, utilitarian, centralized government of India (p. 75). Insights into the nature of Kipling’s own aesthetic gleaned from this clash of political and linguistic styles are then applied to Plain Tales From the Hills and, briefly, to Kim. In ‘Three Ways of Going Wrong: Kipling, Conrad, Coetzee’ (MLR 95:i[2000] 18–27), Douglas Kerr explores the dilemma for colonial rulers of balancing knowledge of the colonized with the necessary assertion of a pure national identity and its changing emphasis from the early twentieth century to the post- colonial perspectives of late twentieth-century South Africa. Kipling’s ‘Beyond the Pale’ and ‘To be Filed for Reference’ from Plain Tales from the Hills [1888] and Conrad’s Heart of Darkness [1902] all explore the fates of European men who transgress racial boundaries, and therefore national codes, and whose stories are related by a fascinated narrator in what Kerr calls ‘the relationship between outlaw and lawman’ (p. 24). This relationship is defamiliarized in Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians [1982], but most crucially made current and unfinished by Coetzee’s use of the present tense. Kerr’s juxtaposition of these texts reopens both Kipling and Conrad to history’s immediacy rather than its pastness. Angela K. Smith is the latest contributor to the current interest in women’s writing and the First World War with her two companion volumes, one anthology and one of criticism. Her anthology, Women’s Writing of the First World War (also reviewed in section 1(a) above), is a brave and mostly successful attempt to weave a narrative of the war from a series of extracts representing a range of women and literary forms and comprising divergent opinions. The material is broken up into familiar sections: ‘The Battle Front’, ‘The Home Front’ and so on, and Smith draws on a high proportion of well-known names whose published works are relatively, even easily accessible, such as Beatrice Webb, Vera Brittain, the Pankhursts and Radclyffe Hall, but her choice of material is excellent, its positioning interesting and enlightening, and its literary value clearly an important criterion. The evenness of tone that helps to make the anthology coherent and readable from beginning to end (an unusual achievement) has its downside. Most of the extracts were written by highly intelligent, educated, even upper-class British women—indeed one of the successes of the book is the sense it conveys of how the war was a forcing-house for

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such women. The occasional shifts of tone introduced by extracts such as G.K. Brumwell’s short article ‘The Masseuse’, take the reader pleasantly by surprise, but they are all too infrequent. Smith’s companion volume, The Second Battlefield (also reviewed in section 1(a) above), is broad in scope and generous in its sympathies. Its chief interest is the range of works she discusses, and the lucid way in which she illuminates the interactions between women’s lives, war history and literary struggle. Each chapter produces a new perspective for the reader. I particularly enjoyed the chapters ‘Private to Public’, which examines how women drew on their diaries and letters to create novels, sometimes many years later, and ‘Living Words’, which includes a discussion of Evadne Price’s answer to Erich Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, and the examination of the literary and emotional triangle which juxtaposes H.D.’s Bid Me To Live with Richard Aldington’s Death of a Hero. By the end of the book she has persuasively argued and demonstrated the ‘empowered status of women as writers’. This makes it all the more surprising that she attempts to hook these insights into a tenuous argument about modernism, which by the end of the book I felt she had lost interest in herself. Smith calls one chapter ‘Accidental Modernisms’ and another ‘Female Modernisms’, diluting the term to virtual uselessness by implicitly claiming that any writing which reconfigures conventions and/or re-examines the function of writing under the stress of the new must necessarily be modernist. Nothing could be further from the truth, as she herself demonstrates through the political radicalism and intimate engagement with the imperatives of reality that many of these texts amply reveal. It is refreshing to turn from war to friendship and to consider representations of women’s friendship and rivalries in the inter-war years in Diana Wallace, Sisters and Rivals in British Women’s Fiction, 1814–1939. Wallace sets herself the considerable task of analysing the novels through the different perspectives of the social and political context, modern feminist theory and biographical and textual analysis. The first and second sections construct two parallel histories. The first is social and political: it provides clear and interesting information to suggest the force and range of the public debates about women which shaped her chosen novelists, May Sinclair, Rebecca West, Vera Brittain, Winifred Holtby and Rosamond Lehmann. The second deals with the development of feminist theory, highlighting those aspects—mainly Freudian-inspired psychoanalytical approaches—she thinks enable understanding, and stressing that their importance lies in their diversity. A chapter is then devoted to each writer, who is placed in terms of literary history, biographical influences, and their treatment of the central theme of friendship and rivalry. This seemingly rigid division of material actually works extremely well. Within each chapter Wallace offers a range of arguments and perspectives so that the cumulative effect is admirably open-ended. Much has been written about women writers at the turn of the century and this book is particularly well timed in extending discussion past the First World War into the 1920s and 1930s. In her edition of the Selected Letters of Rebecca West, Bonnie Kime Scott claims that the letters reveal West ‘as a defining intellect of the twentieth century’. Rather disappointingly, they do not do this. The promise of at least some of the vast body of letters she wrote was that they would reveal an intellectual trajectory, a sense of literary mission, a possible coherence over the sixty or more years of her career. It is difficult to judge whether Kime Scott missed an opportunity, or whether her subject

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simply made it difficult for her: West did not use her letters for intellectual or literary interchange, and reveals herself in an increasingly negative light as the years pass. Despite her latter-day public status and her continual engagement in public affairs, these letters seem a shrunken version of the Rebecca West we would hope to meet. Kime had a daunting task, but her sectional introductions do not help the reader to understand the nature of West’s apparent defensiveness: they are contextual rather than interpretative. Kime’s (or her editor’s) decision to footnote the letters is less than ideal. It might have been more helpful to preface each letter with its context and dramatis personae, leaving editorial decisions and minor references to the footnotes. Whatever its limitations, this collection is important not only in furthering West studies (the more material in the public domain the better) but in filling out the picture of what it meant to be a woman writer in the early decades of the twentieth century. Sylvia Townsend Warner, The Salutation, introduction by Claire Harman, is a collection of fifteen of Townsend Warner’s unpublished or long out-of-print short stories. As such it is part of the steady re-evaluation of Warner’s work and a welcome contribution to that most valuable part of literary recovery—putting a wide range of an author’s work into the public domain. Claire Harman stakes the value of the collection on the title story ‘The Salutation’, and most of the introduction is taken up by an interesting discussion of that unpublished writing and its relationship with Warner’s novel Mr Fortune’s Maggot, published three years previously in 1927. I think Harman could usefully have included bibliographical information about the other stories. Why choose to republish ‘deliberately trivial’ or ‘heavily derivative’ stories without locating them in their literary context? However, it is no bad thing for a modern reader to confront these stories freshly, and what emerges clearly is that they are chiefly concerned with style: with clarity of observation, precision of language and simplicity of structure. Warner captures moments of importance in ordinary lives with an unerring touch, and throughout she is capable of bringing a picture into sharp focus with the simplest of images: ‘[her] slumbers ranged from the slight gauze of inattention suitable for sermons, to the quilted oblivion fit for a winter’s night’ (p. 17). It is always hard to predict what Wellsian scholarship will produce: this year it is A.B. McKillop’s The Spinster and the Prophet: A Tale of H.G. Wells, Plagiarism and the History of the World. McKillop unashamedly goes for the narrative and treads a fine line between historical accuracy and imaginatively coloured assumptions and speculations in his account of the Deeks v. Wells case, in which Florence Deeks sued H.G. Wells for plagiarism in a series of court cases between 1927 and 1933. The interleaving of the stories of Deeks and Wells over the years from the mid-1880s to the conclusion of the case presents Florence as another of Wells’s women whom he could use and then set aside. This is a fascinating unravelling of an episode in the life of a famous man of letters in his sixties, and makes riveting reading. But there is plenty for the scholar too. The book is well researched and thoroughly documented and, along the way, gives fresh and disturbing examples of the closing of ranks among the literary classes, male intellectual hegemony, publishing practices and the intolerable marginalization of intelligent but powerless women. Most valuable are the insights into how Wells wrote. Sadly, McKillop finally falls foul of male arrogance himself. Deeks’s history, he claims, is unreadable today, and her subsequent writing no longer original. This

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seems a strange judgement given the writing of a period that produced Malthus, Nordau, Havelock Ellis and Baden Powell. Perhaps, if nothing else, Deeks’s feminist history might have historical value. The case of Florence Deeks gets only a brief footnote in David C. Smith (ed.), The Correspondence of H.G. Wells, volumes i–iv [1998; briefly reviewed in YWES 79[2000]), but how illuminating of Wells that small fact is. Smith’s systematic gathering of and selection from what is available of Well’s huge correspondence necessarily gives us the broad sweep of the man as he crosses the world and addresses the world’s concerns. These are the letters of a literary man, but they are not about literary matters: these letters are to do with business—not daily, banal business but the business of a man with many friends, considerable social status, and a relentless timetable and who is driven by ideas. The range of his correspondents is impressive and the loyalty of his friends over long periods of time testifies to his personal attractiveness and value. Yet it is hard to discover the man in these letters, except in the briefest glimpses. This year sees the publication of two books about two friends—Christopher Scoble, Fisherman’s Friend: A Life of Stephen Reynolds and Edward Thomas, Light and Twilight, which link unexpectedly to reintroduce a missing theme to early twentieth-century studies—that of landscape and rural simplicity. In his own time, many established critics and writers accepted Stephen Reynolds as part of their literary circle and expected a great literary future for him. When he died at the age of 38 from the influenza epidemic that swept across Britain in 1919, the body of writing he left behind was small. His most significant public success was A Poor Man’s House [1909], which he claimed to be the ‘genesis of autobiografiction’, a new genre for those writers constrained and subdued by the conventions and expectations of writing novels (p. 135). Christopher Scoble’s biography is, to some extent, a regional work, published in Devon to celebrate the life of a man who chose Devon as his spiritual home and brought the world of the fishermen he lived and worked with to the national stage. However, the success of Scoble’s project for scholarship is the light it throws on the literary and intellectual milieu of the time, locating Reynolds in the broader context in which he can be clearly seen as representative of his time, his class, and his gender through previously unpublished letters and biographical accounts. Well educated, handsome and talented, he was unable to find a way to bring together his creativity and the hard grind of earning a living (‘I am bending every nerve to earn my own living’, p. 279), or to acknowledge and live out his homosexuality under the microscope of the urban literary scene presided over by Edward Garnett. He turned instead to the working classes, to manual labour and to the simplicity of rural life in Sidmouth. This book does not attempt to make false claims for Reynolds’s literary talent, but it does add to the sum of our knowledge of masculine identity and literary commerce at the turn of the century. Laurel Books’s collection of Edward Thomas’s essays, first published in 1911, opens the door further into an aspect of Edwardian culture that, at the moment, seems out of step with the modernity that is being discovered in women’s writing, war writing, and genre innovation. Yet Thomas’s evocation of a spiritualized and aestheticized rural landscape, which was such an important trope of the pre-war period, offers the reader a glimpse of a world and a way of writing that seems to be dissolving even as we read. Each of the fourteen essays revolves around an epiphany

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arising from the intense observation of the world through a heightened, and sometimes morbid, sensibility. The writing is full of Thomas’s defamiliarizing observations—‘pearly snails, the daisies and the chips of chalk like daisies’ (p. 14)—but in his prose these descriptions belong to the tradition of Richard Jefferies yearning for a Romanticism that could make ‘I and poet and lover and flowers and cloud and star … equals’ (p. 34). This is an Edwardian mindset that continues to elude sympathetic scholarly discussion, much as imperialism did until comparatively recently: alienation and embarrassment often intervene between the critic and such texts. Laurel Books’s collection is a timely prompt, respectfully put together as an aide-memoire not just to a period, but to the literary experiments of a writer on the cusp of literary transition. To conclude with E.M. Forster, and Henry S. Turner’s discussion of ‘Empires of Objects: Accumulation and Entropy in E.M. Forster’s Howards End’ (TCL 46:iii[2000] 328–45). Turner sees Forster as a historical anachronism in temperament but a modern in intellect, who wrote Howards End to explore whether and how the traditional notion of ‘value’ could make sense in a modern, technological world. Turner transplants a Marxist vocabulary of economic processes (accumulation, surplus and labour) into the visible manifestations of objects and possessions to demonstrate the destabilization of social meaning and their new existence as sites of value ambiguity and conflict. He substantiates his argument by concentrating on ‘a straying of objects across the topography of the novel’ (p. 336)—notably Leonard Bast’s umbrella—and the tendency of possessions to abandon stability and become problems and/or surpluses—notably the Schlegels’ furniture and their father’s library. The article concludes with a brief discussion of the Basts, which suggests that the abstracts of class and culture might also be understood as ‘straying objects’.

(b) The English Novel, 1930–1945 Robert Hoskins’s Graham Greene: An Approach to the Novels deals with the whole of Greene’s writing life, not merely incidentally but as a central aspect of its main purpose. Hoskins argues that Greene’s career falls into two main phases, characterized by different kinds of protagonists and by differing relationships between those protagonists and the novels’ obsessive and allusive literary frameworks. Thus the impact on meaning of Greene’s references to, for example, Conrad, William Le Queux, Christopher Marlowe and Wordsworth are carefully and fully traced through his novels. Though literary and other species of allusion and intertextuality have been previously noted by many Greene critics, Hoskins brings these observations together into a new and productive approach to Greene’s whole oeuvre. He suggests that the first-phase novels of the 1930s are inhabited by protagonists who are trapped in plots of which they are unconscious, while the novels of the 1940s and after are distinguished by increasingly aware characters, who can at least comment on the kind of narratives they feel themselves to be in, and in some cases can even attempt their own contributions to the script. Cates Baldridge’s Graham Greene’s Fictions: The Virtues of Extremity [1999] argues that Greene’s particular concern is with the extreme, the absolute: ‘it is his angry impatience with the lives of safety and security that most of us long for … that lends the world of his fictions its most distinctive and disquieting tone, for to enter fully into his novels is to understand that … comfort and stasis are always already

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deadening complacency’ (p. 2). Throughout his career Greene’s novels trace a struggle between a ‘mediated’, second-hand life and an ‘absolutistic’ life which actually tries to see things as they are, whether in political or religious terms. Baldridge suggests that there has been a certain degree of critical desire to normalize or mainstream Greene’s vision, particularly perhaps the theological implications of his narratives. Indeed, he argues that the best word to describe Greene’s religious ideas is ‘heresy’, but that these views in no sense belong to some already ‘recognizable category of historical Christian heresy’ (p. 3). Baldridge’s second chapter, on Greene’s conceptions of God, is especially impressive. Focusing initially on The Power and the Glory, the chapter traces conceptions of God in the major novels. Baldridge argues that the God of Greene’s novels is one who is more human that absolute: ‘The God of The Power and the Glory appears to be a watchmaker who for some reason has ceased to wind and oil his creation, as if the same entropy that decrees the running down of the mechanism had palsied the hands of the Maker as well’ (p. 66). Paradoxically, however, this weakened God is actually more absolute in Greene’s terms than the absolute God as usually conceived, for Greene links stasis to the mediated, and struggle and boundedness with the ‘virtues of extremity’. God as author of the universe can only, for Greene, be interested (and interesting) through participation in a narrative, not as a figure above narrative: ‘he understood that no Narrator who proclaimed Himself to be wholly above struggle, anguish and defeat could long hold our interest’ (p. 89). Other chapters, such as chapter 5, ‘The Honorary Marxist: Political Philosophy in Greene’s Novels’, are similarly thought-provoking and illuminating. Neil Macdonald published an important short review article about Greene’s most famous novella/film, The Third Man, ‘The Return of Harry Lime’ (Quadrant Jan./ Feb.[2000] 92–4). This draws attention to the fact that the version of the film that is widely known is the American release, which was extensively re-edited by David O. Selznick. The article coincided with screenings in Australia of a version of Alexander Korda’s British release, directed by Carol Reed, which Greene himself was closely involved with, restored by the Australian Film Institute. The article discusses interestingly the way in which the novella/screenplay was built up by Greene and Reed together, and also assesses the extent to which Orson Welles’s stories about his own creative contribution to the film can be relied upon. Gene H. Bell-Villada published an article exploring the influence of Greene on Gabriel Garcia Marquez: ‘What the Young Gabriel Garcia Marquez Learned from the Master Graham Greene: The Case of “Un Dia De Estos”’ (Comparatist 24[2000] 146–56). The article starts from the Columbian writer’s observation that Greene taught him to ‘evoke the warm climate of the tropics’ (p. 146), and goes on to analyse the ways in which Marquez’s work draws on Greene’s representations of climate from The Power and the Glory onwards through ‘its utter lack of exoticism, its ordinary, everyday quality’ (p. 147). Jerome Meckier’s interesting article, ‘Aldous Huxley, Evelyn Waugh and Birth Control in Black Mischief’ (JML 23:ii[2000] 277–90), discovers a source for Waugh’s satire on birth control in Azania in, or via, a newspaper article by Huxley. The article, ‘Japanese Advertisement’, appeared in the Chicago Herald and Examiner [2 May 1932]. It is not clear where Waugh might have seen it: though Meckier says that a number of Huxley’s essays for the Randolph Hearst syndicated press were reprinted in English newspapers, it is not clear if or when this particular

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article was. Nevertheless, Meckier’s attribution of the article as a source seems very convincing. Huxley was inspired to write the piece after seeing a pictorial advert for condoms in a Japanese newspaper while dining in a Japanese restaurant in London. The picture, showing two contrasting family scenes resulting from use or otherwise of the pictured contraceptives, will immediately remind readers of Waugh of the similar promotional image deployed by Seth in Black Mischief [1932]. One family is numerous and starving, the other of limited number, with plentiful food on the table. From Huxley’s description of these scenes, Waugh probably developed his own, more elaborated, version. The attribution of this source would in itself be of interest, but Meckier can further show from the manuscript of Black Mischief that a substantial portion of the novel was already written before Waugh engaged with the contraceptive advert idea. Up to that point there was no discussion of contraception as one of the advantages of Western progress; Waugh’s indications of material to be inserted make it likely that the birth-control pageant and advertisement were all added at a later stage, when four chapters were already written. Therefore, as Meckier concludes, the ‘Japanese advertisement’ had a marked and major role in shaping the novel, ‘rounding off the plot and satire together’ (p. 289), giving Waugh a brilliantly resonant way of linking technology and sterility as central to what he saw as the dead end of Western ‘progress’. Fred Inglis published an essay on the 1980 Granada Television adaptation of Waugh’s novel entitled ‘Brideshead Revisited Revisited: Waugh to the Knife’ (in Giddings and Sheen, eds., The Classic Novel: From Page to Screen, pp. 179–95). The essay suggests that the scale of this work marked the invention of a new genre— the seriously extended serial adaptation of a classic novel (in this case taking eleven hours of screening time). Inglis explores the various contexts from which Waugh’s novel constructed its meanings at the end of the Second World War and goes on to suggest the new accretions and deletions of meaning which the adaptation could bring about in the early 1980s. The essay particularly analyses the adaptation’s treatment of the Catholic themes of the novel, noting that, for the ‘humanist- consumerist producers and audience’ (p. 189), the adaptation shifts the already powerful emphasis on elegant foreign sightseeing and aesthetic experience even more firmly to the centre. For ‘humanist consumerists’, the appeal is ‘in terms not so much of Christian redemption, but in the larger more unkillable hope that a good yarn will keep the promise of happiness implicit in all art’ (p. 194). In ‘Bruised Boys and “Fallen Women”: The Need for Rescue in Short Stories by Elizabeth Bowen’ (SCR 32:i[1999] 88–9), Jeanette Shumakker discusses ideas of illusion, self-awareness and rescue in Elizabeth Bowen’s short fiction—an area of her work which has, as Shumakker comments, been generally neglected in favour of critical work on Bowen’s novels. The article discusses the three stories, ‘The Return’, ‘Summer Night’ and ‘Ivy Gripped the Steps’, seeing in each of them a concern with a paralysis which stems largely from a romantic illusion that an external agency will act as rescuer. Illusions of escape thus function as enforcers of imprisonment. The theme is seen as linked to Bowen’s position as an Anglo-Irish writer: ‘Bowen’s double perspective allows her to illuminate characters’ disillusionment when seeking an impossible rescue from a rapidly changing society that alienates them’ (p. 96). Rosamond Lehmann’s first novel, Dusty Answer [1927] is discussed in Andrea Lewis’s ‘“Glorious pagan that I adore”: Resisting the National Reproductive

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Imperative in Rosamond Lehmann’s Dusty Answer’ (SNNTS 31:iii[1999] 357–71). This fine article gives a nuanced and illuminating account of Lehmann’s early novel, particularly by historicizing the relationships of the central character Judith Earle in terms of contemporary British constructions of lesbianism and its relation to the national imperatives of heterosexual reproduction (in several senses) after the Great War. Lewis links her recovery of the forgotten contexts in which ‘sexuality was tied to national anxiety’ (p. 368) to her exploration of why Lehmann’s novel invited so much less controversy than Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness published the year after, and subsequently banned. Lewis argues convincingly that the main lesbian relationship in Lehmann’s novel is both more easily overlooked than the lesbian identity represented in Hall’s novel and, paradoxically, more troubling to English ideologies, since Judith, while not assuming any lesbian identity characterizable as monstrous, nevertheless ‘fails to fulfill the national reproductive imperative’ and calls into question ‘the endurance of Englishness’ itself (p. 369).

(c) Joseph Conrad Conrad studies have not produced as many high-quality monographs this year as we have become used to recently, but the work reviewed shows an admirable variety of critical locations from which he is being reassessed. While the major fictions continue to receive a great deal of attention, most notably in the special issue of The Conradian devoted to Lord Jim, many of the lesser-known texts have received sustained treatment and in many cases have inspired more original work than the tried and tested subjects. Of particular prevalence amongst this year’s output are studies engaging with the psychological, emotional and aesthetic consequences of Conrad’s exile, but equally interesting is the emergence of a body of criticism devoted to reading the fictions as traumatic narratives, a development which is overdue. The outstanding contribution to Conrad scholarship this year is Robert Hampson’s Cross-Cultural Encounters in Joseph Conrad’s Malay Fiction. Hampson sets out to analyse not just the cultural and political collisions of East and West, but also the ideological and imaginative frameworking within which the Malay fiction is contained. Indeed the prior encoding of ‘Malaysia’ (an intrinsically problematic geopolitical term in itself) forms a significant part of the early chapters of the study as Hampson considers the construction of Malaysia in the writings of early Western recorders such as Thomas Raffles, James Brookes and Hugh Clifford. These chapters provide essential contextualization for the subsequent readings of Conrad’s principal Malay fictions, and foreground the Malay peninsula as a politicized space as contested by literary representation as by racial or cultural heterogeneity. Through his examination of Conrad’s career-long fascination with Malaysia, Hampson suggests a process of ‘turning inward’ (p. 29). By this he implies that the initial attempts to portray the Malay world (in Almayer’s Folly and An Outcast of the Islands) gave way to ‘self-conscious engagements with the conventions of adventure romance in Lord Jim’ (p. 30) in the face of the otherness of the East. Increasingly, from ‘Karain’ onwards, Conrad chooses to explore the problems of representation of Malaysia in a self-reflexive intervention into the textualization of the region. Hampson insightfully explores the trajectory of this inward turn and interestingly extrapolates from Conrad’s fictional insecurity an interpretation of a more personal sense of exile and nomadism. Concluding with a

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section on the importance of homecoming in the fiction, he argues that Conrad’s writing resists coding within stable boundaries of representation and is instead poised between contexts which are at once familiar and alien. This is a substantial piece of scholarship which throws new light on Conrad’s Malay fiction, and, while it builds on established intellectual paradigms, provides a valuable assessment of the textualization of geopolitical space. Michael A. Lucas’s Aspects of Conrad’s Literary Language is a complex, yet surprisingly engaging, analysis of the linguistic structures and eccentricities of Conrad’s major writings. Taking as his starting point the acceptance of a compacted yet prolix style, Lucas seeks to account for Conrad’s idiolect through a brief history of his pattern of language acquisition. This leads him to the conclusion that the spoken, seafaring English encountered by Conrad in the early 1880s strongly affected his grasp on grammatical precision. Allied to his voracious consumption of English literature which, Lucas argues, resulted in an understanding of English more literary than oral, this education led to a writing style characterized by a semantic and syntactical compression. Through close analysis of the major texts, and by comparison against the work of his native English-speaking peers, Lucas shows Conrad’s writing to be heavily dominated by noun-words at the expense of function- words. While it is interesting and well demonstrated, the application of this study to an understanding of Conradian aesthetics is perhaps limited. Lucas’s claim that the prevailing vision of a fragmented reality being evident in an extensive lexis and frequent ‘use of descriptive adjectives, manner adverbs and other modifying elements’ (p. 202) is an unconvincing attempt to marry linguistic acquisition with modernist aesthetics. Nevertheless, this is an intriguing insight for the hardened Conrad scholar. Ian Watt’s contribution to Conrad studies is further reinforced by a posthumous collection of his essays—Essays on Conrad. Bringing together an eclectic selection of previously published pieces, the volume stands testament to Watt’s enduring engagement with Conrad. The essays comprise a mixture of critical articles, introductions, and contributions to other volumes. As a whole they provide an excellent overview of Conrad’s writing, but they are an equally revealing indicator of the recent history of Conrad scholarship. Popular themes, such as the dialogue between alienation and solidarity, jostle with an assessment of the use of humour in Typhoon, while analysis of Conrad’s attitude to racism sits beside Watt’s entrance into the debate on the merits of The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’. Some of these essays are of more interest than others and, while some are beginning to seem dated, others are as fresh and insightful as ever. What this collection shows above all is the breadth of Watt’s work on Conrad and the consistently engaging and readable nature of his writing. Of particular personal interest are the two final essays, both autobiographically intertwining the author’s and critic’s lives. ‘Around Conrad’s Grave in Canterbury’ recalls Watt’s researches into the wrangling over Jessie Conrad’s inscription on her husband’s gravestone, while ‘“The Bridge Over the River Kwai” as Myth’ recounts Watt’s own experiences as a Japanese prisoner of war. Although hardly the most critically hard-headed of pieces, these last succeed largely because of their lack of objectivity. Watt’s contribution to Conrad’s studies in these essays reminds us that research is too frequently a process by which the passionate become the dispassionate. This collection goes some way to reversing that trend.

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In the journals this year there is the usual mixture of the meticulous and the scrupulous which characterizes Conrad scholarship, and while one or two articles appear to this reviewer to be stillborn, they are on the whole a satisfactory haul. The Conradian devotes its volume to two special issues: one containing a collection of little-seen manuscripts relating to Conrad, the other a paean to Lord Jim, which celebrated its centenary in 2000. In this number is Michael Greaney’s slightly quirky ‘Lord Jim and Embarrassment’ (Conradian 25:i[2000] 1–14). Greaney makes a valid and interesting case for the significance of shame, guilt and embarrassment in Lord Jim. By tracing the motif of the blush, he draws parallels between the numerous instances of social dis-ease in the novel and the more serious structural ‘embarrassments’ that problematize the process of reading Lord Jim. In the same number Cedric Watts’s essay ‘Bakhtin’s Monologism and the Endings of Crime and Punishment and Lord Jim’ (Conradian 25:i[2000] 15–30) takes issue with the Bakhtinian notion of the dialogic text. Not only does Watts disagree that Dostoevsky’s work is ‘uniquely’ dialogic, as Bakhtin contests, but he also argues that Lord Jim’s ending points to the inadequacy of Bakhtin’s theory that no writer after Dostoevsky was truly dialogic. Watts’s essay is a systematic dismantling of an idea, and while that idea has already undergone serious challenge elsewhere, its basic tenets bear repetition. In ‘“He was Misleading”: Frustrated Gestures in Lord Jim’ (Conradian 25:i[2000] 31–47) Allan Simmons examines proleptic structures in Conrad’s fiction, structures which, he argues, are ultimately misleading for they do not develop as the reader anticipates. Combining analysis of the novel’s ‘anticipatory gesturing’ with a consideration of the intertextual framework of reference to the adventure romance, Simmons contends that readers’ expectations of Jim’s failure to live up to a literary heroism are confounded by a romanticized resolution. Mining a popular seam, ‘Reading as Homecoming: Expatriation as a Critical Discourse in Lord Jim’ (Conradian 25:i[2000] 48–63) by Ludmilla Voitkovska, approaches the well-worn terrain of Conrad’s exilic status and the impact of that on his writing. Her argument is fresh, however. She claims that Conrad’s decision to write in English alienated him from his own Polish reading public while granting him only an uncomfortable access to English signification systems. She also draws interesting parallels between the relationship between Jim and Marlow and that between Conrad and his reader. While the influence of Tadeusz Bobrowski on Conrad’s life and writing is well documented, the impact of Bobrowski’s younger brother Stefan is less noted. In ‘“Usque ad finem”: Under Western Eyes, Lord Jim and Conrad’s Red Uncle’ (Conradian 25:i[2000] 64–71) Andrzej Busza provides a brief chronology of Stefan’s short life and violent death before drawing comparisons between the doomed political activist and Jim. Admittedly those parallels are not convincing, but the recuperation of Stefan Bobrowski is valuable. J.H. Stape’s contribution to this special issue is ‘Louis Becke’s Gentlemen Pirates and Lord Jim’ (Conradian 25:i[2000] 72–82). In it he considers the intertextual correspondences between Becke’s South Sea yarns and Lord Jim with particular reference to the portrayal of pirates. Brief but interesting. The strangely missing crew of the Patna forms the central focus for Gene Moore’s first essay in this year’s Conradian. In ‘The Missing Crew of the Patna’ (Conradian 25:i[2000] 83–98) he considers why, when Conrad’s previous writings had celebrated the ordinary seafaring man, only five

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members of the crew of Jim’s vessel are identified. Ultimately, he concludes, the insignificance which is attached to the other crew members in the narrative reflects Jim’s own failure to acknowledge the interdependence of crew and officers. It is this myopia which situates him resolutely within the romanticized world of seafaring adventure literature. The second number of this year’s Conradian is distinctive in that it brings together a number of documents related to the life and publication history of Conrad. The journal is to be commended for the presentation of material which is of limited accessibility, and for the excellent editorial work that has been brought to bear on the documentation. Among the papers reproduced are personal recollections: G.F.W. Hope’s ‘Friend of Conrad’ (Conradian 25:ii[2000] 1–56) and Wilfred Partington’s ‘Joseph Conrad Behind the Scenes (Conradian 25:ii[2000] 177–84), both edited by Gene Moore; a stage adaptation of ‘Victory’ by Basil MacDonald Hastings, edited by Moore and Allan Simmons; and Conrad’s notebook (Conradian 25:ii[2000] 205–44) and Last Will (Conradian 25:ii[2000] 245–51), edited by Allan Simmons and J.H. Stape and Hans van Marle respectively. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of these documents is, as general editors Moore, Simmons and Stape acknowledge in their foreword, the presence of Conrad in and around them. Whether it be in the margins of others’ writings, or in the direct intervention of Conrad to correct or amend biographical detail, the interpenetration of subject and critic is strangely thrilling. While the editors have placed these documents in the wider critical domain, they do so without overweaning commentary or editing, and their success should be witnessed in a much broader critical assessment of the texts’ significance. The artistic and personal implications of Conrad’s exilic status also catches the attention of Andrea White who, in this year’s Conradiana, explores the complexly intertwined cultural topography of the early years of his marriage to Jessie. Her essay ‘“The Idiots”: “A Story of Brittany” under Metropolitan Eyes’ (Conradiana 32:i[2000] 4–19) examines the Conrads’ honeymoon in northern France and considers the ethnographic models that emerge from the stories written during the trip. Also in this number is the first of this year’s two essays on ‘Amy Foster’. Sue Finkelstein’s interesting ‘Hope and Betrayal: A Psychoanalytical Reading of “Amy Foster”’ (Conradiana 32:i[2000] 20–30) seeks the traces of Conrad’s own psychological traumas in his writing. ‘Given such a legacy of trauma, and given its enormous toll on his self-esteem,’ she asks, ‘how did Conrad manage to plumb his own depths enough to become a writer of imaginative fiction?’ (pp. 23–4). Through a reading of ‘Amy Foster’ Finkelstein shows how Conrad sought to accommodate his traumatized consciousness within his fiction, but succeeded instead in recreating ‘his inner world in which abandonment and betrayal always triumph’ (p. 27). Celia Kingsbury writes of Conrad’s disgust with the hypocrisy of bourgeois suburban morality in ‘“The novelty of real feelings”: Restraint and Duty in Conrad’s “The Return”’ (Conradiana 32:i[2000] 31–40, while Bruce Harkness provides an entertainingly robust riposte to theoretical appropriations of Conrad in ‘An Old- Fashioned Reading of Conrad; Or, “Oh, no! Not another paper on Heart of Darkness!”’ (Conradiana 32:i[2000] 41–6). S. Ekema Agbaw and Karson L. Kiesinger, ‘The Reincarnation of Kurtz in Norman Rush’s Mating’ (Conradiana 32:i[2000] 47–56), explore the intertextual revivification of Kurtz in Norman Rush’s novel Mating [1991], while Richard James Hand, ‘“The stage is a terribly searching thing” Joseph Conrad’s Dramatization of The Secret Agent’ (Conradiana

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32:i[2000] 57–65), contributes a short, but well-worked essay on Conrad’s own dramatization of The Secret Agent. In ‘“Nothing to be done”: Conrad, Beckett and the Poetics of Immobility’ (Conradiana 32:i[2000] 66–72) Ted Billy examines the prevalence of non-action in the work of Beckett and in Conrad’s ‘Victory’. He contends that Conrad’s characters are, in moments of existential crisis, rendered incapable of decision and consequently physically and psychologically paralysed. It is an interesting argument and one that deserved greater development, particularly in the section on the differing modernist/postmodernist stances towards immobility. Finally in the first number of Conradiana, Jane M. Ford contributes ‘Father/Suitor Conflict in the Conrad Canon’ (Conradiana 32:i[2000] 73–80). In it she argues, not entirely convincingly, that the incestuous relationship between father and daughter is a significant theme in the work of Dickens, James and Conrad. Furthermore, she contends that this incest results in conflict between father and daughter’s suitor; a reversed Oedipal triangle that, in Conrad’s case, possibly reflects his own amorous liaisons with considerably younger women. Dorothy Trench-Bonett’s ‘Naming and Silence: A Study of Language and the Other in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness’ (Conradiana 32:ii[2000] 84–95) is a sensible, if not particularly original, riposte to Achebe’s claims of racist representation in Heart of Darkness. Examining the names used to describe Black African subjectivities, Trench-Bonett suggests that indicative use of the term ‘nigger’ is reflective of victimization rather than denigration. In the latter parts of her essay she also suggests that the silence of the indigenous Africans is not a conscious denial of speech to the inarticulate on Conrad’s part, but a political statement on the silence of the oppressed. Also writing on Heart of Darkness, Donald Wilson makes a case for the novella as a coded engagement with its late Victorian readership’s attitude to homosexuality. ‘The Beast in the Congo: How Victorian Homophobia Inflects Marlow’s Heart of Darkness’ (Conradiana 32:ii[2000] 96–118) argues, again not totally originally, that Conrad’s largely male audience would have struggled to accept the obsessive fascination that Marlow develops for Kurtz. Nevertheless, Wilson argues that the novel contains clear indications of homosexual undertones, and it is these that constitute the ‘heart of darkness’ as much as Kurtz’s moral degeneration. ‘Time as Power: The Politics of Social Time in Conrad’s The Secret Agent’ (Conradiana 32:ii[2000] 123–43), by Mark Hama, rejects notions of the authoritarian nature of modernist time as fundamental to the novel, and instead installs a Foucauldian vision of time as fluid, individually articulated and, above all, powerful. Through an examination of three characters’ perceptions of time, Hama contends that time in The Secret Agent is an act of willed social organization rather than an oppressive force. The correspondence between St Thekla, the first female martyr, and the character named Tekla in Under Western Eyes is examined in Debra Romanick Baldwin’s ‘Politics, Martyrdom and the Legend of Saint Thekla in Under Western Eyes’ (Conradiana 32:ii[2000] 144–57). Arguing that Conrad’s novel attempts to encapsulate the very essence of Russia, Baldwin claims that the inclusion of mystical and scared allusions to Thekla were fundamental to the creation of that atmosphere. Like Sue Finkelstein’s essay in the first number, Brian Shaffer’s ‘Swept from the Sea: Trauma and Otherness in Conrad’s “Amy Foster”’ (Conradiana 32:iii[2000]

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163–76) also engages with the traumatic conditioning that exile brought about for Conrad. The shipwreck which besets the story’s principal character is metaphorically interpreted as being equivalent to the trauma of loss involved in exile, and the consequent feelings of detachment, difference and alterity within the host culture. The third number of Conradiana also contains John Lutz’s essay ‘Centaurs and Other Savages: Patriarchy, Hunger and Fetishism in “Falk”’ (Conradiana 32:iii[2000] 177–94). He contends that ‘Falk’—one of Conrad’s more controversial works—attacks bourgeois values and social mores which seek only to mask the ‘breakdown of moral bonds produced by capitalist social relations’ (p. 178). The story shows, he argues, how social solidarity has given way to a rapacious code of individualism dictated by a brutal economic pragmatism. Perhaps the most thought-provoking essay in this year’s Conradiana is Tom Henthorne’s ‘An End to Imperialism: Lord Jim and the Postcolonial Conrad’ (Conradiana 32:iii[2000] 203– 27). Although it starts unpromisingly as yet another engagement with Achebe’s charge against Conrad of racism, the article develops into a persuasive argument for a reading of Lord Jim as evincing the revolutionary preconditions of the post- colonial state. In this number Richard Hand follows up his essay on the dramatization of The Secret Agent with an article on ‘Christopher Hampton’s Adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent’ (Conradiana 32:iii[2000] 195– 202). The third number also contains reproductions (edited by J.H. Stape) of nineteen letters from Conrad’s close friend, John Galsworthy: ‘From “the most sympathetic of friends”: John Galsworthy’s Letters to Joseph Conrad, 1906–1923’ (Conradiana 32:iii[2000] 228–45). Although bare without commentary, these letters do throw an interesting light upon an intimate and enduring literary friendship. Outside the main Conradian journals there have been significant contributions from scholars in Studies in the Novel. The journal offers three essays this year, the first being Tony Brown’s ‘Cultural Psychosis on the Frontier: The Work of the Darkness in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness’ (SNNTS 32:i[2000] 14–28), which explores the ways in which darkness becomes intrinsically connected to, and responsible for, the ‘horror’. Mark Larabee takes Conrad’s assertion that the setting of The Shadow-Line should not be expected to relate to a historically specific locale, and examines this reticence against just such a locale. Through comparison with contemporary charts, guides and accounts, ‘“A mysterious system”: Topographical Fidelity and the Charting of Imperialism in Joseph Conrad’s Siamese Waters’ (SNNTS 32:iii[2000] 348–68) Larabee reveals significant topographical alterations by Conrad, before relating those changes to his thematic structuring of The Shadow- Line. Thirdly John G. Peters’s essay, ‘Joseph Conrad’s “Sudden Holes” in Time:

The Epistemology of Temporality’ (SNNTS 32:iv[2000] 420–41) considers Conrad’s presentation of time, and in particular the experience of dislocation when subjective and objective systems of temporality collide. It is an interesting, if less provocative, paper than Mark Hama’s in Conradiana. Finally this year, Indira Ghose’s essay ‘Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and the Anxiety of Empire’ (in Glage, ed., Being/s in Transit: Travelling, Migration, Dislocation, pp. 93–110) offers nothing more than a tired reiteration of the popular tropes of Conradian criticism.

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(d) Wyndham Lewis

This has been quite a slow year for criticism of Lewis, and an even slower one for the sending of review copies, which makes this task somewhat problematic. Of the material available the following two essays were outstanding. In Twentieth-Century Literature Paige Reynolds has published ‘“Chaos invading concept”: Blast as a Native Theory of Promotional Culture’ (TCL 46:ii[2000] 238–68). This article examines the explicitly populist methods employed by Wyndham Lewis in the launch of Blast. Involving the use of typographies and syntax more commonly associated with mass advertising, Blast sought, so Reynolds implies, to question the relationship between high art and mass culture. By employing techniques common to advertising Lewis was also attempting to promote English art as being at the forefront of international culture. Lewis and the Vorticists positioned themselves, in Reynolds’s view, at the nexus between high and low art and claimed sole control over the ability to effect a negotiation between the two. The essay interestingly dovetails the interests of the Vorticist movement with those of an increasingly technologized society, but also with the interests of the burgeoning middle-class retail sector. In manipulating the machinery of a promotional culture, those involved with Blast were merely reflecting the modernist Zeitgeist. This is an excellent essay, which makes a significant contribution to the study of the area.

Andreas Kramer’s essay, ‘Nationality and Avant-Garde: Anglo-German Affairs in Wyndham Lewis’s Tarr’ (in Stark, ed., pp. 253–62), refutes readings of the novel as anti-German, preferring to point to the subversion of literary character that makes nationalist stereotypes redundant. The argument is sound and the explication convincing. Kramer shows that, although stereotypical caricatures of both English and German manners seem to support a reading of the novel as derogatory towards the Germans, this is in fact problematized by Tarr’s own relationship with his Englishness. By deconstructing the dialogue of nationalities Kramer suggests that Lewis’s ultimate aim is not denigration but the revelation of identity as fluid and inter-national rather than fixed and nationalistic.

(e) George Orwell

It seems a while since we had a good year in Orwell studies. For too long books have been appearing that cover the same psycho-biographical ground, when they are not claiming that the only aspect of Orwell’s writing worth considering is his politics. New perspectives need to be taken in order to move Orwell out of the post-Cold War phase of criticism and into more productive, energetic terrain. The books this year, while not especially poor, seem to exemplify this problem. Orwell criticism has had its fair share of work on how far the world has moved towards the nightmarish vision of Nineteen Eighty-Four. On the whole these efforts have been hysterical treatises against the contemporary political or moral Zeitgeist, and few contain much level-headed appraisal. Steven Carter’s A Do-It-Yourself Dystopia: The Americanization of Big Brother manages to be both slightly hysterical and dispassionate at the same time. His book is an attempt to reveal the ways in which modern American society has become intrinsically Orwellian. Not simply that; America, he suggests, has willingly adopted many of the basic Party tenets for social control with such enthusiasm that they are able to condemn in others the lack of freedom that they have joyously internalized. Carter examines the way in which ‘Doublethink’ and ‘Newspeak’ have not just become accommodated within

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American speech and thought-patterns, but have become the linguistic norms by which individuals perceive their realities. While many of the previous publications in this vein have been thinly disguised attacks on the personal antipathies of their authors, Carter’s does offer some interesting insights into the anthropology and sociology of modern America. His discussion of how political and corporate-speak has diluted and ultimately degraded language is interesting, albeit not entirely original. Indeed a certain familiarity is the overwhelming response to this book; it has been produced in one form or another for twenty years, and Carter’s just seems sixteen years late. Good points are made, but the comparison seems tired and dated. The most interesting feature of the book’s publication is the confirmation of the ongoing power of Orwell’s vision as a yardstick for the development of social structures. As student study guides go, Mitzi Brunsdale’s Student Companion to George Orwell is a relatively successful example of the genre. Its intended audience is the secondary-level student, and for that age group this is an accessible yet provocative study of Orwell. The companion consists of a contextualizing biographical chapter followed by a chronological analysis of the major writings. The principal theoretical approach is psycho-biographical, but the parallels drawn between life and writing are sufficiently robust to be convincing. Each chapter offers critical analysis of a text, or set of texts, from the perspectives of plot development, major thematic elements, character development and literary/stylistic devices. The writing is clear and the structuring logical, and undoubtedly this book will serve its purpose. Too many of the Orwellian idiosyncrasies, both political and personal, are ironed out for my liking, and the tone is perhaps too simplistic even for this level. Too little time is spent on important issues such as the Blair/Orwell identity crisis and the dialogue between the texts and their various politicized receptions. Nevertheless, Brunsdale does show herself to be more sensitive to Orwell’s ideas of Britishness than some recent American writers on the subject, and this is a useful and above-average addition to the field.

(f) D.H. Lawrence The trend towards theorizing Lawrence that I identified last year continues apace this year in both books and articles, and once again I can begin by discussing a major example with a symptomatic title, Robert Burden’s impressive and scholarly book, Radicalizing Lawrence: Critical Interventions in the Reading and Reception of D.H. Lawrence’s Narrative Fiction. This detailed and demanding text is hugely ambitious in its attempt to bring Lawrence together with almost every single major critical theory in contemporary literary studies, with chapters devoted to Freudian and post-Freudian psychoanalysis, Foucauldian discourse analysis, Bakhtinian dialogics, deconstruction, feminism, and masculinity theory—all traversed by periodic engagements with a debate about ‘Modernism, Modernity, and Critical Theory’ (the title of Burden’s concluding chapter). Burden approaches his task with great crusading zeal, and rightly makes no apologies for adopting such a strong theoretical position on Lawrence: ‘bringing theory to Lawrence is an affirmative strategy, radicalizing what has hitherto been reduced to the transparencies and positivisms of traditional, anti-theoretical criticism’ (p. 10). Burden writes with force and clarity throughout, and he demonstrates a sure grasp of both the theories he deploys and a

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broad range of Lawrence studies (though he overlooks some key critical texts in places). Anybody wishing to gain a sophisticated overview of either field will find this a convenient, reliable and stimulating repository of information and ideas. Having said this, one needs a good deal of stamina to read the entire book (which runs to nearly 400 closely written pages), as it is, in fact, rather too ambitious—not only in trying to cover so many different theoretical approaches to Lawrence (there are potentially several books here), but also in trying (as it does) to explain and critique all those theories in the process. Indeed, the book at times reads like a primer of critical theory rather than as a study of Lawrence, and the massive scope of that subject (i.e. theory) means that this inevitably leads to a certain overload of information and a certain over-intricacy and digressiveness of argument, especially given that the often cited (if often long deferred) aim is actually to apply the theories to Lawrence. In this sense, the book is simply too cluttered with material to make a truly compelling case about Lawrence and theory, either overall, or in each individual chapter (although some chapters are more compelling than others). Burden’s exclusive focus on Lawrence’s major novels is perhaps a little conservative in view of the radical ambitions of the book (and it leads him into some further laborious ‘clearing of the ground’ of old debates), but several of his readings do pay rich dividends in revealing new facets of these familiar works. I would single out the truly innovative central chapters on ‘Deconstructing Masculinity’ (chapters 4 and 5, dealing with Aaron’s Rod, Kangaroo and The Plumed Serpent) and the less wholly original but thorough and insightful discussion of Bakhtin’s theories in relation to Women in Love, The Lost Girl and Mr Noon (chapter 3). Burden, it seems to me, unfairly plays down the significance and scope of earlier Bakhtinian approaches to Lawrence (and he seems to be unaware of some others), but he nevertheless provides one of the fullest overviews of this branch of Lawrence criticism currently available. Terry Wright’s D.H. Lawrence and the Bible at first also promises to engage usefully and innovatively with critical theory in its approach to Lawrence’s career- long ‘creative dialogue with the Bible’ (p. 251), which is the subject of the book. Wright’s brisk first four chapters certainly suggest a systematic theoretical agenda in their detailed concern with questions of intertextuality, with the theories of Bakhtin, Bloom and Derrida, and with the broadly Nietzschean paradigm within which Lawrence developed his philosophical and artistic stance towards the Bible. These chapters are well informed and clear, and seem to set the scene for a fuller working out of their implications in the body of the book. However, Wright does not really fulfil this promise in the ensuing chapters where, on the whole (there are notable exceptions), he adopts a type of source-hunting approach which largely abandons any claim to theoretical sophistication in favour of a rather mechanical determination to account for all major biblical allusions in almost every one of Lawrence’s texts (with the unaccountable exception of The Virgin and the Gipsy). This is not to underestimate or disparage what Wright has positively achieved in tracing all these allusions and in accounting (often very insightfully) for their contextual and intertextual significance. This book is undoubtedly an important contribution to the field and deserves to become a key source of reference for anyone interested in Lawrence’s use of the Bible. But I think Wright has missed a valuable opportunity to engage with the full range of artistic and intellectual issues at stake here by failing to develop a truly original and sustained critical argument.

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Part of the problem is his reluctance to participate seriously in the existing critical debate about how Lawrence’s art and thought grapples with his Christian and biblical heritage. Wright explicitly acknowledges some important critical precursors in what he tries to do, and his bibliography bespeaks a fairly comprehensive familiarity with Lawrence scholarship generally; but he almost nowhere enters into any detailed dialogue with other critics that might help him clarify just what still needs to be done in terms of this debate and just what it is that is distinctive in his own approach to the topic. Wright properly admits that he is by no means the first critic to argue that Lawrence constantly appropriates and reaccentuates the language of the Bible for his own philosophical, artistic and religious purposes, but it is not quite good enough then simply to claim a quantitative difference and say, as Wright effectively does, ‘but I’m going to do it in much more detail’ (see p. 12). The quantitative analysis of biblical allusions is valuable, as I have said, but one has the right to expect more than this from a critical monograph. The third of only three books on Lawrence this year is D.H. Lawrence: The Novels by Nicholas Marsh, a type of composite study guide to Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow and Women in Love. As an introductory text, the book inevitably goes over much familiar territory, and its scope does not allow for the development of any radically new ideas about the three novels; but Marsh provides a well-informed and perceptive comparative introduction to these works and suggests useful follow-up activities for further study. He covers the essentials of Lawrence’s life, work and critical reception briskly and reliably, and presents a good overview of Lawrence’s place in the development of the novel. There is also a useful sampling of relevant criticism illustrating different approaches to Lawrence. The strongest aspect of the book, however, is its close attention to textual detail, and Marsh himself is an excellent close reader of Lawrence, frequently sparking fresh insights into familiar passages and skilfully drawing attention to the distinctive features of Lawrence’s style. In her detailed review essay, ‘Psychodynamics, Seeing, and Being in D.H. Lawrence’ (MFS 46:iv[2000] 971–8), Elizabeth M. Fox broadly concurs with my briefer comments here last year (YWES 80[2001]) on monographs by Jack Stewart and Barbara Schapiro, seeing these works, as she puts it, as ‘milestones in Lawrence studies’ (p. 971). Both Schapiro and Stewart develop aspects of their monographs in separate articles this year. In ‘Sadomasochism as Intersubjective Breakdown in D.H. Lawrence’s “The Woman Who Rode Away”’ (in Rudnytsky and Gordon, eds., 123– 33), Barbara Schapiro continues to tease out the post-Freudian textual psychodynamics of Lawrence’s ‘courageous’ treatment of intersubjectivity, casting fresh light on this critically controversial story which is seen here as ‘a disturbing enactment of the psychological dilemma inherent in masochistic fantasy’ (p. 129). In ‘Color, Space, and Place in Lawrence’s Letters’ (DHLR 29:i[2000] 19–36) Jack Stewart becomes one of the very few critics to have written in serious analytical detail on Lawrence’s letters, and probably the first to have done so on the letters as presented in their newly established texts (and sequence) in the Cambridge edition. In considering the letters as ‘intrinsically literary in communicating a vision in words’, Stewart effectively applies to the letters his approach to Lawrence’s other writings in The Vital Art of D.H. Lawrence [1999]—and he does so in an equally insightful, scholarly and elegant manner, strikingly bringing to life the way in which Lawrence himself ‘lives in his letters’.

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An appropriate, if slightly less compelling, companion piece to Stewart’s essay is Bibhu Padhi’s ‘D.H. Lawrence’s Non-Fiction Prose: The Deeper Strains’ (DHLR 29:i[2000] 37–50). Padhi, too, primarily considers stylistic elements of Lawrence’s non-fictional prose (mainly the essays), and with a similar ulterior focus on Lawrence’s ‘vision’ and ‘aesthetics of spontaneity’. Andrew Harrison presents a differently orientated and more tightly circumscribed stylistic analysis in his fascinating and finely detailed study of ‘Electricity and the Place of Futurism in Women in Love’ (DHLR 29:ii[2000] 7–23). After briskly and authoritatively surveying Lawrence’s familiarity with futurist art and writing, Harrison carefully details how the quintessential futurist image of electricity—an early suggested name for Futurism was ‘Electricism’—permeates the novel’s language and ‘polarises’ its meanings and relationships. Gerald Doherty, in ‘A Question of Gravity: The Erotics of Identification in Women in Love’ (DHLR 29:ii[2000] 25–41), engages in a similar enterprise of analysing how meanings and relationships are polarized in the novel by specific rhetorical strategies. Doherty’s more complex approach, however, is underpinned by psychoanalysis and seeks to show how different metaphors function to structure and represent processes of psychological identification (in the case of Gerald and Gudrun) or dis-identification (in the case of Birkin and Ursula). This concern with merging and separation (and polarized ‘star equilibrium’) is standard fare in discussions of Lawrence (and it echoes Schapiro’s approach above), but Doherty’s distinctive blend of post-structuralism and psychoanalysis adds a new stylistic dimension to our understanding of this theme. Ben Stoltzfus demonstrates a different form of post-Freudianism in his ‘“The Man Who Loved Islands”: A Lacanian Reading’ (DHLR 29:iii[2000] 27–38). More suggestive than convincing, this represents a newly accented rather than wholly new interpretation of this much-analysed text. The view that the story dramatizes Cathcart’s death-wish is hardly ground-breaking, but Stoltzfus elaborates his argument in an intriguing and unusual way, and presents Lacanian ideas in a helpfully lucid manner. The essay nevertheless finally undermines itself in its contrived conclusion, which sees Stoltzfus literally rewriting the ending of Lawrence’s story by appealing to ‘floating signifiers that, although not themselves present in the text, are nonetheless there, under erasure so to speak’ (p. 36). Other items from this year’s three numbers of the D.H. Lawrence Review include useful bibliographical and historical studies. Jacqueline Gouirand provides an extensive update of work in France, ‘A Checklist of D.H. Lawrence Translations, Criticism, and Scholarship Published in France, 1986–1996’ (DHLR 29:ii[2000] 43–53), while Mark Kinkead-Weekes and John Worthen, in ‘More about The Rainbow’ (DHLR 29:iii[2000] 7–17), draw attention to some newly discovered materials relating to that novel’s history: these include a previously unpublished early review, and a marked copy of the novel which shows that Lawrence continued to revise it even after publication. Steve Ressler’s essay in the same number also concerns Lawrence’s processes of revision by considering how the ‘Broken Chronology in The Rainbow’s “Anna Victrix” and “The Cathedral”’ helped Lawrence achieve a ‘weighted conflict between his warring lovers’ (DHLR 29:iii[2000] 19–25: 24). Adam Parkes’s essay, ‘D.H. Lawrence and Federico Beltrán Massés: Censorship, Obscenity, and Class’ (DHLR 29:i[2000] 7–18), represents an excellent piece of

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original research into the immediate social, cultural and legal context of the suppression of Lawrence’s exhibition of paintings in 1929. By comparing the reception of a contemporaneous exhibition by the ‘society’ painter, Beltrán Massés, Parkes neatly demonstrates how (as in the Lady Chatterley case) class was a key point at issue here. Drawing on various contemporary documents, Parkes contributes valuable new information to our growing understanding of how fundamentally Lawrence’s reception was shaped by questions of censorship. This is the broader significance too of James T. Boulton’s researches into the recently opened Home Office file on Lawrence’s Pansies, which was also banned in 1929. His essay, ‘D.H. Lawrence’s Pansies and the State, 1929’ (JDHLS [2000] 5–16), describes the new information thrown up by the file, and explains how it contributes to a fuller picture of the history of Pansies. In particular, he shows how determinedly, and sometimes secretly, the authorities sought to suppress the publication and distribution of the unexpurgated edition of the book, even after the initial seizure of manuscripts and the publication of the expurgated edition in July 1929. Hitherto, it was not known—and Lawrence could not have known—how narrowly the unexpurgated ‘for Subscribers only’ edition of August 1929 escaped prosecution. It would be interesting, now, to see how one might combine the new information provided in these two historicizing essays, and to consider if, how, and to what extent official attitudes to each case (poems and paintings) were interrelated. Several other forms of historical perspective on Lawrence are explored in essays this year. In ‘Trespassing: Philip Larkin and the Legacy of D.H. Lawrence’ (DHLR 29:iii[2000] 41–8) Rebecca Johnson, Philip Larkin’s archivist, explores the poet’s conflicted ‘relationship’ with Lawrence, arguing that he ‘ruthlessly pillaged D.H. Lawrence’s life and work in order to feed his own creative imagination’ (p. 41) before distancing himself from Lawrence later in his career. John Fordham, too, considers Lawrence’s literary legacy, this time to working-class writers, in ‘Death of a Porcupine: D.H. Lawrence and his Successors’ (L&H 9:i[2000] 56–66). Fordham makes a brisk case for recognizing the complexity of Lawrence’s works in terms of their class significance, and refreshingly reminds us that Lawrence was ‘always inevitably involved in a determinedly social and correspondingly textual class struggle’ (p. 64). Ann Ardis also engages with questions of social class in her reconsideration of Lawrence’s ambivalent relationship to modernism in ‘Delimiting Modernism and the Literary Field: D.H. Lawrence and The Lost Girl’ (in Hapgood and Paxton, eds., pp. 123–42). Discussing music hall, cinema, and literary ‘high’ art partially in terms of their different class formations, Ardis interestingly (though not entirely originally) explores the ways in which The Lost Girl provides ‘a self-reflexive commentary on aesthetic production in Britain at the turn of the twentieth century’ (p. 138). She seems unaware of the pioneering work of George Hyde in exploring self-reflexive and music-hall elements in Lawrence’s work, and Hyde has added inventively to his critical output on Lawrence with his highly original essay on a music-hall source for the catch-phrase ‘that’s that’ in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, ‘Lady Chatterley’s Unlikely Bedfellow: George Robey and the Language of Lawrence’s Last Novel’ (JDHLS [2000] 17–36). Like Ardis and Fordham, Roger Ebbatson explores aspects of the social and cultural context of Lawrence’s work in ‘“England, my England”: Lawrence, War and Nation’ (L&H 9:i[2000] 67–82). Ebbatson’s reading of the named story as a

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symptomatic text of its period involves a wide-ranging and sophisticated theoretical perspective which, among other things, dialogizes Lawrence’s fiction in relation to both realism and modernism. The Lawrentian dialogue with modernism is picked up in Howard J. Booth’s thought-provoking if slightly truncated argument in ‘Lawrence in Doubt: A Theory of the “Other” and its Collapse’ (in Booth and Rigby, eds., pp. 197–223). Booth’s particular engagement with modernism here is a post- colonial one, as he explores how Lawrence draws on typically modernist strategies in his struggle to develop a theory of ‘otherness’ in his encounters with foreign races and places. Eva Yi Chen takes perhaps a more thoroughgoing post-colonial perspective in her essay, ‘Primitivism, Empire, and a Personal Ideology: D.H. Lawrence’s Travel Writings on the Indians of the American Southwest’ (JDHLS [2000] 52–88). Yi Chen’s essay is over-long, and a little tortuously argued at times, but it usefully grapples with many of the key issues at stake in developing a post- colonial perspective on Lawrence. Ronald Granofsky’s treatment of race, on the other hand, looks back to more traditional psycho-biographical approaches to Lawrence. In ‘“Jews of the wrong sort”: D.H. Lawrence and Race’ (JML 23:ii[1999–2000] 209–23), Granofsky traces anti-Semitic utterances in Lawrence’s works to an underlying fear of merger and ‘boundary violation’ (p. 218) that is rooted in pre-Oedipal psychic formations and is therefore more to do with women than with Jews. Effectively playing a variation on Judith Ruderman’s well-known ‘devouring mother’ thesis on Lawrence, Granofsky thus (over-)ingeniously exposes Lawrence’s anti-Semitism as a type of misogyny in disguise. In a convoluted and overwritten exploration of Lawrence’s engagement with the cultural other, Gregory Frank Teague, ‘Levels of Participatory Experience in D.H. Lawrence’s Italy Books’ (Real 25:ii[2000] 49–76), draws on a heady mixture of Schopenhauer, Jung and Bakhtin to show how Lawrence ‘participated’ differently in Italian modes of being at the different moments of his career represented by his three Italian travel books. Gary Adelman, in ‘The Man Who Rode Away: What D.H. Lawrence Means to Today’s Readers’ (TriQ 107–8[2000] 508–36), gathers an interesting, if eclectic, range of contemporary opinions on Lawrence, from undergraduate students, on the one hand, to professional writers, on the other. Teaching a Lawrence seminar in 1997, Adelman was prompted by his students’ generally negative response to the writer to initiate a sort of dialogue between their views and those of established authors, so he wrote to 110 novelists asking them to comment on his students’ views and to indicate their own attitudes to Lawrence. Forty-four of the novelists responded (including, for example, A.S. Byatt, Doris Lessing, Erica Jong, William Gass and John Fowles) and substantial extracts from their widely varied replies are printed here, providing what should be a useful archive of contemporary opinion for future reference. By coincidence, another contemporary writer, Pico Iyer, also records his feelings about Lawrence in an independent essay, ‘Lawrence by Lightning’ (ASch 68:iv[2000] 128–33). This is (perhaps unsurprisingly) one of the best-written essays of the year and provides an affecting personal perspective on Lawrence’s characteristic qualities as a writer. It is certainly a ‘passionate appreciation’ rather than a critical study, but in its account of both youthful and mature encounters with, in particular, The Virgin and the Gipsy, it also provides a closely considered reflection on the changing (and, for the writer, enduring) significance of Lawrence’s work, which, though primarily personal, inevitably takes

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in some common features of a general reading history and thus adds significantly to the ‘archive’ assembled by Adelman.

In ‘At the End of The Rainbow: Reading Lesbian Identities in D.H. Lawrence’s Fiction’ (IFR 27:i–ii[2000] 60–7), Justin D. Edwards makes some promising observations about the dominant and emergent sexual paradigms within which Lawrence worked, but ultimately makes little real progress in developing the existing critical debate on Lawrence’s sexual and gender politics (a debate which Edwards is only partially informed about). Jonathan Long’s ‘D.H. Lawrence and Nakedness’ (JDHLS [2000] 89–109) usefully draws attention to an unexpectedly neglected area of Lawrence studies, but then does little more with the topic than simply to catalogue a variety of instances of nakedness in Lawrence’s works (including the paintings). Drawing on Deleuze and Guattari, Stephen Alexander also focuses on Lawrence’s celebration of ‘naked’ spontaneity and desire in ‘The Strange Becomings of Sir Clifford Chatterley: A Schizoanalysis’ (JDHLS [2000] 37–51). This sounds rather abstruse, but Alexander actually ends up taking a fairly conventional 1960s view of Lawrence as a champion of free sexual expression and ‘polymorphous perversity’. In ‘The Religious Initiation of the Reader in D.H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow’ (Mosaic 33:iii[2000] 165–82), Charles M. Burack draws creatively on phenomenology and reader-response theory to argue that Lawrence’s poetic use of

a rhythmic ‘initiatory structure’ in The Rainbow is designed to evoke numinous

states of consciousness in the reader. Rightly relating this strategy to the modernist concern with epiphany, Burack, however, strains to establish what is surely too schematic (and ultimately inevitably subjective) a view of Lawrence’s designs on the reader. Moreover, although better informed than many critics mentioned here, Burack does neglect one or two critical precursors who have argued along similar lines: Peter Balbert’s D.H. Lawrence and the Psychology of Rhythm [1974], for example. John R. Harrison, in ‘The Flesh and the Word: The Evolution of a Metaphysic in the Early Work of D.H. Lawrence’ (SNNTS 32:i[2000] 29–48), more coolly analyses how Lawrence’s ‘ontology and epistemology are woven intuitively

into the fabric of the … early fiction’ (p. 30). Harrison tries to correct what he sees

as the general misconception that Lawrence’s theories tend to pre-date their fictional

reworking by showing how, in particular, his earliest imaginative works clearly experiment with ideas that are only later conceptualized theoretically (in ‘Study of Thomas Hardy’, for example). This is an intelligent and well-written essay, unusual here for concentrating on Lawrence’s very earliest works.

Primarily focused on the other end of Lawrence’s career, two essays take the motif of death as their subjects. Alan W. Friedman’s ‘D.H. Lawrence: Pleasure and

Death’ (SNNTS 32:ii[2000] 207–28) is the more conventional of the two and is really no more than a rapid trawl through the later fiction to consider what is seen as Lawrence’s repeated ‘treatment of the Freudian deathwish’ (p. 214). The main unifying argument here is that Lawrence reflects a paradoxical modernist desire to reverse the traditional Victorian death-bed scene in resurrectionary fantasies which,

in their affirmative yea-saying, actually bespeak their deepest anxieties about death.

Howard J. Booth’s more original ‘“A Dream of Life”: D.H. Lawrence, Utopia and Death’ (ES 80:v[1999] 462–78), an essay missed last year, actually argues something very similar, but in a more biographically oriented way. Lawrence’s later writings, for Booth, modulate into utopian fantasies precisely because of

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Lawrence’s real illness and his real fear of death. They provided Lawrence with a means of projecting himself ‘away from his health problems into an ideal space’ (p. 478). However, Booth’s fascinating analysis of ‘A Dream of Life’ [1927] demonstrates how Lawrence’s repressed fears constantly resurface in the ‘uncanny’ elements of the story. A cautionary comment about Booth’s essay, though, may be represented by Stanley Sultan’s labouring, in ‘Lawrence the Anti-Autobiographer’ (JML 23:ii[1999–2000] 225–48), of the critical commonplace that Lawrence’s characters are never mere ‘facsimiles’ of the author, and that, though Lawrence obviously drew on his own experiences, this was always only ‘a method for making fiction’. Three volumes (21, 22, 23) of Etudes Lawrenciennes for 2000 together contain some twenty-five essays deriving from a 1999 conference held in Paris on the theme ‘D.H. Lawrence: After Strange Gods’. As might be expected, these cover almost the whole range of Lawrence’s oeuvre from a variety of perspectives, and, though there is inevitably some unevenness across the three volumes, the general standard of all these essays is high, with a refreshing emphasis on new approaches to Lawrence as well as on some of his less familiar works. As just two examples of this stimulating and innovative range of work, one might mention Garry Watson’s ‘Rethinking This- Worldly Religion: D.H. Lawrence and French Theory’ (EL 21[2000] 21–49) and Aline Ferreira’s ‘A Reading of D.H. Lawrence and Luce Irigaray’s Notion of Wonder’ (EL 22[2000] 43–60). Mention should be made of the publication of the final volume of the Cambridge edition of Lawrence’s letters. Scrupulously edited by the indefatigable James T. Boulton, The Letters of D.H. Lawrence, vol. viii: Previously Uncollected Letters/ General Index prints letters to and from Lawrence which came to light too late to be included earlier in the correct sequence of the edition. It also includes corrigenda and addenda to the previous volumes, a few previously published but uncollected letters, and an extensive index to all eight volumes. Essays or other work which I have not been able to access include the following:

Laurie A. Sterling and Kathryn Yerkes, ‘“The mastery that man must hold”: Little Red Riding Hood Grows Up in Lawrence’s “The Woman Who Rode Away”, Silko’s “Yellow Woman”, and Carter’s “The Company of Wolves”’ (POMPA [2000] 62–9); Justin Williamson, ‘“The Living Moment”: D.H. Lawrence’s Poetic and Religious Vision in “Fish”’ (POMPA [2000] 37–47); William M. Harrison, ‘Thinking Like a Chicken—But Not a Porcupine: Lawrence, Feminism, and Animal Rights’ (LIT 10:iv[2000] 349–70); Gregory Tague, ‘Self Recovery in D.H. Lawrence: Schopenhauer, Estrangement, and the Sublime’ (R/WT 8:i–ii[2000] 53– 64); and Masako Hirai, ‘Tanizaki and Lawrence (or East and West): The Paradox of Love between Mother and Son’ (in Vervliet and Estor, eds., Methods for the Study of Literature as Cultural Memory, pp. 161–73). Finally, George Hyde (JDHLS [2000] 134–5) reviews what looks to be a valuable addition to the Lawrentian canon, in a Japanese collection of his visual art, Paintings and Writings of D.H. Lawrence (Tokyo: Sogensha [2000]). Most of the text is apparently in Japanese, but ‘what we have here is the richest harvest so far of Lawrence’s intensely personal work as a painter and as a graphic artist’ (p. 134).

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(g) James Joyce This year saw the publication of a significant new addition to the trend of biographical studies. John McCourt’s engaging volume documenting Joyce’s Triestine period provides further confirmation that Ellmann’s monumental tome is no longer the last word in Joyce biography. The Years of Bloom: James Joyce in Trieste, 1904–1920 provides a compelling case for re-evaluating the importance of Trieste for Joyce’s work by relating his artistic development to the cosmopolitan life of the city in which he lived, on and off, for a decade and a half, for it was here, argues McCourt, that Joyce came to a more subtle (less chauvinistic) understanding of women, and befriended a number of Jews whose characters and knowledge informed his later fiction. McCourt offers another model for the character of Bloom—one Theodor Mayer, the Hungarian Jewish editor of the irredentist newspaper Il Piccolo, who also happened to be a mason, stamp-collector and sometime exponent of ‘the gentle art of advertising’. More than any one specific model, however, what emerges most strongly is a portrait of Bloom as Triestine, notably in his retorts in ‘Cyclops’, his cosmopolitanism and ‘rejections of nationality, of persecution’ (p. 73). McCourt’s local knowledge of Trieste fuels his readable, fast-moving narrative. There are several critical comments offered as well, including observations that link Joyce’s early life to phrases in the portmanteau language of Finnegans Wake. For instance, the dialect of Trieste, Triestino, which Joyce ‘learned to speak … brilliantly’ was ‘a living encyclopaedia of the cultures, nations and languages which had been assimilated in the city’ and ‘in this respect the language of Finnegans Wake is an exaggerated, exploded version of Triestino’ (pp. 52–3). If The Years of Bloom is a little short on photographic depictions of its subject, another book by John McCourt, James Joyce: A Passionate Exile, certainly makes up for that shortcoming. Essentially a coffee-table book, it contains many excellent pictures, including some of Trieste, and a slightly skewed ‘brief life’ that stresses the importance of the Triestine middle years at the expense of the less well documented Paris years. McCourt has also contributed an essay on Giacomo Joyce, ‘The Importance of Being Giacomo’ (JoyceSA 11[2000] 4–26), arguing that more important than a precise identification of the model(s) for the female protagonist is her escape from the ‘lustful and sometimes violent gaze’ (p. 24) of Giacomo. Another study of Joyce’s Triestine poem in prose is ‘“At the center, what?” Giacomo Joyce, Roland Barthes and the Novelistic Fragment’ (JJQ 36:iv[1999] 765–80), by Michel Delville, which sees it as a Barthesian ‘novelistic’ text. Although Attridge and Howes, eds., Semicolonial Joyce, is a collection of original essays, it merits discussion here as a book in that it collectively provides a significant contribution to recent discussions of Joyce’s relationship to colonial and post-colonial cultures. As the editors point out, the term ‘semicolonial’ is characteristic of Joyce’s ambivalence towards hard and fast political statements, for it not only confuses the already complex relation between colonialism and post- colonialism but typically intermingles the political with the linguistic. The first essay, ‘Dead Ends: Joyce’s Finest Moments’, by Seamus Deane, is a characteristically brilliant and provocative reading of some of the Dubliners stories, and also forwards the dominant argument of the book: that ‘to be colonial is to be modern’, that ‘Joyce’s political critique’ of the paralysis and fantasy invoked by colonial conditions also ‘points up how characteristic this is of the conditions of

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modernity. What the Dubliners suffer from is not the inability to enter into modernity; it is the inability to escape from it’ (p. 33). Deane suggests that Joyce’s ‘critique’ ends with the penultimate story of Dubliners, and that from then on he ‘surrenders critique for aesthetics’ (p. 34). Not all the other contributors would agree with this last analysis, seeing as they do Joyce’s continued and lifelong engagement with cultural politics and the politics of representation. Another fine essay, Joseph Valente’s ‘“Neither fish nor flesh”; or, how “Cyclops” Stages the Double-Bind of Irish Manhood’, offers an excellent reading of the twelfth episode of Ulysses as an interrogation of the Victorian/Edwardian construction of masculinity as it was ‘supportive—even constitutive—in the delineation of ethnic differences between colonising and colonised peoples’ (p. 96). In Valente’s discussion, the Citizen’s apparent descent into bestiality is an enactment of ‘colonial hypermasculinity’ (p. 106)—the mimicry of the strong man of violent resistance who falls prey to the colonizers’ simianization of the colonized—and Bloom’s attempt at dignified self- control mimics ‘colonial gentlemanliness’ (p. 124) only to end up criticized as emasculation. That Joyce sees no way beyond this impasse of colonial manhood is Valente’s pessimistic conclusion. The final essay of the collection, ‘Authenticity and Identity: Catching the Irish Spirit’, by Vincent Cheng, warns of the dangers of any such search for authenticity in the colonial debate, as both academic and popular appropriations of Irishness—from post-colonial theory to the below-deck shenanigans in the film Titanic—can tend to reproduce comfortable stereotypes. As is so often the case, Joyce’s writing has anticipated the questions now raised to explore it. Without exception, the essays in this volume (some of which are listed elsewhere in this review) are interesting and provocative for further study, including Katy Mullin’s analysis of Joyce’s subversive use of emigration narratives in ‘Eveline’ and Elizabeth Butler Cullingford’s discussion of Joyce’s inventive genealogy and geography. They all generally contend that Joyce’s work engages with Irish colonization and its attendant themes, and where some are short of gripping textual analysis all are worthy contributions to an important volume. An apt and open conclusion may well be Emer Nolan’s warning from her overview of Joyce and post-colonialism that ‘Joyce may present a polyphony of voices—translating this into a politics is by no means straightforward’ (p. 85). Recent work that has placed Joyce in the context of Irish historical and cultural transformations has been supplemented by Willard Potts’s Joyce and the Two Irelands. Potts analyses a broad range of Joyce’s prose in the context of the Revival. It is in his definition of the Revival in a lengthy opening chapter that this book stakes its claim, seeing it primarily in religious terms as the offshoot of sectarian division. Potts outlines the broad socio-religious differences among Revival figures, and argues that Joyce was very much a part of the Revival and that he never fully shook off his own Catholic upbringing. After its initial contextualization, the book then discusses, in a chapter each: the Critical Writings, Dubliners, Stephen Hero and A Portrait, Exiles and Ulysses. These discussions elucidate Joyce’s references to the Revival, and Potts seems particularly keen to list as many Protestants as he can find in the work. However, given his definition of the Revival, and his argument that Joyce had no truck whatsoever with nationalism, Potts’s focus on Protestants (he does not differentiate between forms thereof) seems designed to find traces of a sectarian residue, which, of course, are duly found. Joyce, then, could break from literary tradition, he could step aside from nationalism, but he remains caught,

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according to Potts, within ‘the traditions and feelings of his Catholic culture’ (p. 198). This may well be the case, yet it seems only reasonable not to detach religious sectarianism from other cultural, national and imperial issues. Other investigations into the various political backgrounds and contexts of Joyce’s work have appeared in a number of essays. These include June Dwyer’s ‘Feast and Famine: James Joyce and the Politics of Food’ (Proteus 17:i[2000] 41– 4), a discussion of cultural identity after the Famine and Joyce’s representations of eating, particularly in ‘The Dead’. On a different tack, in ‘Penelope, or, Myths Unravelling: Writing, Orality and Abjection in Ulysses’ (TPr 14:iii[2000] 519–31) Gerardine Meaney suggests that Joyce unravels myths of national culture at the expense of reinstating myths of the feminine: Molly’s ‘masterpiece of oralization’ (p. 526) comes close to abjection. Two essays appeared in a broad-ranging collection, Booth and Rigby, eds., Modernism and Empire. In ‘Modernism, Ireland and Empire: Yeats, Joyce and their Implied Audiences’, C.L. Innes discusses the ways in which Yeats, and especially Joyce, suggest a specifically Irish and politicized audience for their work alongside a more generalized reception, and in ‘“Hanging over the bloody paper”: Newspapers and Imperialism in Ulysses’, John Nash argues that a reading of The Times as a source for the ‘Cyclops’ episode shows Joyce engaged in an anti-imperial parody of that newspaper. The political implications of the spatial representation of Dublin in Ulysses are discussed by Andrew Thacker in ‘Toppling Masonry and Textual Space: Nelson’s Pillar and Spatial Politics in Ulysses’ (ISR 8:ii[2000] 195–203). Alongside this may be read Enda Duffy’s ‘Disappearing Dublin: Ulysses, Postcoloniality and the Politics of Space’ and Marjorie Howes’s ‘“Goodbye Ireland, I’m going to Gort”: Geography, Scale and Narrating the Nation’, both in Attridge and Howes, eds., Semicolonial Joyce. Duffy’s argument bears a strong resemblance to that of Innes, citing knowledge of 1904 Dublin as a hallmark of the projected community of readers in Ulysses. ‘The politics of space’ recurs in Anne Fogarty’s essay, ‘Remapping Nationalism: The Politics of Space in Joyce’s Dubliners’, which includes a brief discussion of the relations between gender and urban space in ‘Eveline’ and ‘Clay’. This is in Bataillard and Sipière, eds., Dubliners, James Joyce: The Dead, John Huston, which also contains a section of seven essays and a bibliography devoted to Huston’s film of ‘The Dead’. One of these, ‘The City of Dublin and its Symbols’ by Laëtitia Crémona, again takes up the theme of spatial politics. Yet another form of spatial organization in ‘Eveline’ is discussed in an intriguing essay by Peter de Voogd, ‘Imaging Eveline, Visualised Focalisations in James Joyce’s Dubliners’ (EJES 4:i[2000] 39–48), who argues that the story operates a series of visual set- pieces dramatizing Eveline’s melodramatic ‘self-willed victimisation’ (p. 48). Two collections of essays by long-standing readers of Joyce appeared this year, and they exemplify the variety of output which Joyce studies still attracts, each providing a memoir of decades spent in Joyce scholarship. Derek Attridge, one of the most productive and consistently challenging of Joyce critics, has moulded a number of previously published essays—on deconstructive Joyce, ‘popular’ Joyce, ‘Clay’, character, ‘Penelope’, postmodernity and narrative, interpretation and language in the Wake—into a single volume, Joyce Effects: On Language, Theory, and History, to which is added an autobiographical introduction. Here, Attridge chronicles his development as a critical thinker, and his attendance at Joyce symposia. In a not untypical gesture, he turns against the ‘formulaic applications’ (p.

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15) of the theoretical schools that have been so readily accommodated within Joyce studies. This is not to say that Attridge has lost faith in either Joyce or critical endeavour—rather, he reaffirms his (and others’) ‘commitment to Joyce’—but he does call for a reading of Joyce that rethinks his role in the institution of literary production and consumption. What worries Attridge about the expansion of Joyce studies is that its library of scholarship which makes annotation and glossary so readily available no longer challenges its readers but has instead won ‘cultural supremacy’ as the greatest example of Western literary culture, and is now ‘a text

that confirms us in our satisfied certainties’ (p. 185). It is at least refreshing to read

a Joyce critic challenging the unabashed growth of Joyce scholarship and instead

positing a contemporary cultural milieu for reading what has become of Joyce. One essay that partially addresses these issues is ‘The Genealogies of Ulysses, the Invention of Postmodernism, and the Narratives of Literary History’ (ELH 67:iv[2000] 1035–54) by Brian Richardson, which discusses that novel’s place in critical conceptions of literary history (or histories), especially in relation to the category postmodernism. Attridge’s chapter on the relationship between sexual awareness and language in A Portrait is complemented by a discussion of selfhood,

sexuality and epiphany by Joshua Reynolds in ‘Joyce’s Epiphanic Mode: Material Language and the Representation of Sexuality in Stephen Hero and Portrait’ (TCL 46:i[2000] 20–33). Morton P. Levitt’s collection, James Joyce and Modernism: Beyond Dublin, brings together several decades’ worth of essays on Joyce under some consistent critical themes; modernist art, Jewishness, myth and, above all, Joyce’s humanity. This is in many ways a traditional salute to Joyce, and the author depicts a

‘paradoxical sense of a conservative Joyce’ (p. 12): a writer who ‘lends himself well

to new approaches’ but who ‘transcends … a particular time’ (p. 12). This last claim

may perhaps account for the subtitle, which is itself the title of the final essay of the book (in fact, this essay bears the book’s title, inverted), and is perhaps the most revealing of Levitt’s approach. In the foreword to this essay, Levitt argues for reading Joyce as a modernist rather than a postmodernist, and for his continued belief in ‘the literary and human values which I find in Joyce, and which to me are the essence of Modernism’ (p. 263). Precisely what these values are Levitt does not say, but the title is telling enough; Levitt’s Joyce is hardly a middle-class Irish Catholic of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries at all; he is, rather, the embodiment of a European high art, the ‘aura’ (p. 272) that has inspired numerous others. One interesting offshoot of Levitt’s collection is the practice of appending a few autobiographical pages to each essay, as these themselves provide an insider’s fragmentary account of the burgeoning industry of Joyceans.

A new and thorough work by Weldon Thornton, Voices and Values in Joyce’s Ulysses, returns to the familiar critical terrain of the novel’s stylistic variety. Thornton argues that the point of the range of styles in the latter part of the book is not to illustrate some form of linguistic relativism but to highlight ‘how inept each of these styles is in comparison with the initial style’ (p. 2). This is most clearly brought out in Thornton’s analysis of the ‘Cyclops’ episode, wherein the ‘secondary narrative voice’ is seen to expose the ‘hollowness’ (p. 40) of an undiscriminating parodic tone, a voice that parodies all values including pacifism and love. The initial style, by contrast, is taken to affirm certain values in its choice of event, vocabulary and method. So the values hereby affirmed include the ‘sincerity and commitment

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and intellectual courage’ of Stephen, Bloom’s openness and concern for others, and

a critique of Mulligan’s ‘materialism, mockery, and cynicism’ (p. 39). The initial

style, it is argued, thus provides ‘a normative base that underlies … the later episodes’. Such a reading produces a Ulysses that is very much character- and story- based, a novel that many of its early readers and some today would not recognize as

the same book. The initial style is praised by Thornton for its careful replication of

a cultural milieu and for ‘subverting modernist dualisms’ (what, precisely?), but,

what, then is the point of the later styles if the initial style ‘fulfills Joyce’s purposes

so effectively’ (p. 97)? Thornton numbers among those later styles both the ‘Aeolus’ and ‘Wandering Rocks’ chapters. The latter is read as a critique of the narrative viewpoint which presents a fragmentary urban experience or ‘mechanical view of the city’ (p. 137). In support of this reading, Thornton cites the several acts of kindness by various characters in the chapter, the narrator’s ‘errors’ (‘deceptions’ would be a better word) and the ‘more positive image’ of Dublin ‘offered by the

novel as a whole’ (p. 142), although such evidence is itself misleading since it means

a very limited appraisal of Father Conmee (for instance) and a highly contentious

assessment of Joyce’s Dublin. If there are broader questions that might be posed of Thornton’s thesis, this is nonetheless a carefully plotted book, richly laced with detailed allusion and close readings of all the chapters, thankfully in an argumentative order and not in the pattern of the book. Questionable as its argument may be, this is still a very handy guide for students and teachers, which includes careful assessments of much previous work on this topic.

It is perhaps surprising that relatively few specific studies of Ulysses have appeared this year. However, a bibliographical commentary, Recent Criticism of James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’: An Analytic Review by Michael Patrick Gillespie and Paula F. Gillespie, does provide an extensive updating of similar projects. It carries chapters on reader response and post-structuralist thought, gender and sexuality, psychological readings, cultural and post-colonial criticism, and the editions of Ulysses. This is perhaps a starting-point for students bewildered by a whole library of Joyce scholarship, providing one- or two-page summaries of many recent titles, but the coverage is not comprehensive, so it does not really suit research purposes. The chapter that includes discussion of even ‘unalloyed deconstruction’ (p. 23), for instance, omits all mention of Derrida’s essay, ‘Ulysses Gramophone’. If the parodies in Ulysses represent, for Thornton, a perversion of the normative initial style, then for Christy L. Burns parody means something quite different. Her book, Gestural Politics: Stereotype and Parody in Joyce, defines parody as ‘an unstable representation that itself never fully masters any law or object’ (p. 10). Thus defined, parody includes the very act of writing a text such as Ulysses, as well as such examples as Bloom’s engendered performative character. Parody, then, becomes less a description of a remodelling of a prior text and more a state of becoming, and as such can be widely applied. Burns’s argument takes in Joyce’s representations of women, gays and Irish nationalism, as well as attempting an overview of Joyce’s aesthetics. She finds that Joyce gestures towards stereotypes in such a manner that they are both reinforced and ironically undermined. As stereotypes usually operate in a humorous way in Joyce’s writing, this also involves Burns in a catalogue of Joycean comedies. Perhaps Joyce’s serious stereotypes would have provided an interesting topic as well? She investigates Joyce’s relation

to the theories of gesture propounded by Mercel Jousse in the 1920s, and develops a

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notion of gesture wherein ‘the limits of bodily gesture and material sensations’ (p. 1) are exposed as semantic blindspots that reveal a textual politics. Burns concludes by turning this onto textual materiality—the very printed embodiment of physical language. It is no surprise that the argument is based mainly upon readings of Finnegans Wake. While Burns has discussed some of the ambivalent stereotyping of Joyce’s politics, the issue is also central to some more studies of Joyce’s depictions of Jewishness. In ‘Bloodsucking Bloom: Vampirism as a Representation of Jewishness in Ulysses’ (JJQ 36:iv[1999] 981–97), Lori B. Harrison focuses on the ambiguities of the vampire-figure as both Jewish and Irish, dead and alive. Richard Beckman, in ‘Joyce’s Ungentlemen’s Club (for Jews and Dandies)’ (JJQ 36:iv[1999] 799–812), offers a social critique of ‘the gentleman’ in ethical and class terms, noting that Bloom and Earwicker are not ‘gentlemen’. Another side to Joyce’s sometimes uncomfortable stereotyping is discussed by Willy Maley in ‘Kilt by kelt shell kithagain with kinagain”: Joyce and Scotland’ (in Attridge and Howes, eds.). Maley argues that Scotland is portrayed by Joyce as a ‘sister subject nation who has, in order to curry favour with England, betrayed her Hibernian sibling’ (p. 209). In addition to Thornton’s study of narrative voice in Ulysses, the prolific and improving Florida James Joyce series has produced two more books this year. One of these, Joyce’s Comic Portrait by Roy Gottfried, sets out to do for Joyce’s first novel what others have done for Joyce’s later novels, that is, to show that A Portrait is also a comic work. Rather than the familiar Dedalian rhythm of rise and fall, of progression and irony, Gottfried argues that the narrative also carries ‘an alternate motion of tumbling’—‘a pratfall rather than a tragic fall’ (p. 3). He shows how educative institutions normally regarded as key to the serious Bildungsroman are also sites of comic subversion, not necessarily by Stephen but certainly in others’ voices. Hence the Portrait of artistry and irony is also one of vulgarity and humour. Stephen is, in Gottfried’s terms, two-headed, much as the language of the novel contains ‘a comic doubleness of diction’ (p. 47), a narrative conflation of ‘the lofty … with the low’ (p. 55). The middle chapter is a speculative diversion into possible humorous contexts, arguing that Joyce did not do all his reading in Marsh’s Library, but was also ‘likely to have read’ (p. 84) such popular journals as the Dublin Illustrograph, from whose articles he was able to concoct enough slang and innuendo to service his ready wit. Joyce also read the columns of one Edgar Wallace in the Daily Mail, and Gottfried argues that these were also part of the potential comic context within which A Portrait was written. The final two chapters return to textual analysis, of both Stephen Hero and, briefly, Ulysses. In a sparse year for Portrait publications, Gottfried has produced a bold and imaginative book with an original and well-researched thesis. The other Florida publication, R.J. Schork’s Joyce and Hagiography: Saints Above!, is a collected narrative of many years’ research and publications documenting Joyce’s use of the literature of sainthood, from the apostles to ‘a newly canonised Passionist priest’ (p. xi) as they appear in the fiction or fleetingly pass through his correspondence. Schork presents such a wealth of material relating to Joyce’s Jesuitical teaching and esoteric reading, as well as to centuries of Catholic canonization, that this book will probably be the standard work on its topic for many years. It is not strictly a reference work, being told in a narrative elucidation, yet its detail is such that it will provide a useful supplement to other Joycean reference

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tomes, notably for Finnegans Wake, with which most of this study is concerned. One of the most interesting saints in Joyce’s work is of course Joyce himself (there is a brief chapter on fictitious saints), and this unofficial St James rubs shoulders with Stephen, the first martyr, and Patrick and Kevin, as well as lesser-known holy men, as in the tradition of the ‘hairy hermit’. Schork also adds a calendar of feast- days as they appear in Joyce’s work. In sum, this is a helpful volume, of interest to the curious browser and the specialist researcher. In a lean year for genetic criticism, two articles in the dependable Joyce Studies Annual stand out. Finn Fordham’s ‘Mapping Echoland’ (JoyceSA 11[2000] 167– 201), provides a new and interesting method within genetic analyses. Fordham takes one element from the text—in this case the title itself—and traces its revisions through Joyce’s drafts, rather than, as is more usually the case in genetic work, through the notebooks. This method provides a ‘hidden narrative’ (p. 169) of a motif’s evolution, potentially allowing for a cultural-contextual reading beyond most genetic practices. In ‘Joyce’s Sources: Sir Richard F. Burton’s Terminal Essay in Finnegans Wake’ (JoyceSA 11[2000] 124–66) Aida Yared shows, through an analysis of the Wake notebooks, that at three different compositional stages Joyce read Burton’s Terminal Essay (attached to his seventeen-volume translation of the Arabian Nights, and which Joyce owned in his Trieste library), and Yared helpfully provides transcriptions of these notebook allusions. Other essays on Joyce’s last work include ‘In the “Numifeed Confusionary”: Reading the Negative Confession of Finnegans Wake’ (JNT 30:i[2000] 55–95) by Damon Franke, a treatment of confession and denial in the Wake’s narrative, and Strother B. Purdy’s positive answer to his own question in ‘Is There a Multiverse in Finnegans Wake, and Does That Make it a Religious Book?’ (JJQ 36:iii[1999] 587–602). Several essays have once more treated issues of translation. Aiping Zhang discusses Xiao’s rendition of Ulysses in ‘Faithfulness through Alterations: The Chinese Translation of Molly’s Soliloquy in James Joyce’s Ulysses’ (JJQ 36:iii[1999] 571–86), while Friedhelm Rathjen offers some comparative sample passages and a commentary on translators’ methods in ‘Sprakin sea Djoytsch? Finnegans Wake into German’ (JJQ 36:iv[1999] 905–916). In ‘Universalizing Languages: Finnegans Wake meets Basic English’ (JJQ 36:iv[1999] 853–68), Susan Shaw Sailer looks at C.K. Ogden’s Basic English version of I.8 that appeared in transition [March 1932].

3. Post-1945 Fiction

Jane Dunn’s biography of Antonia White, first published by Jonathan Cape [1998], has been re-issued by Virago in paperback. There are only two previous biographies of White, written by her daughters, Susan Chitty (Now to my Mother [1985]) and Lyndall Hopkinson (Nothing to Forgive [1988]). Both have very obvious familial axes to grind, and caused some controversy when they were published. Dunn’s biography is thus the first thorough attempt at the history of the complex and fascinating life of Antonia White. There is much to savour in this biography, which is meticulously researched and fluently written. Dunn explores carefully and perceptively the impact on White of her childhood conversion to Catholicism, her long and painful struggle with mental illness, her turbulent emotional life, including

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her brief and doomed marriages, and her constant feeling that she had failed as a woman. Dunn leaves the task of literary analysis and commentary to other hands, and is unapologetic about reading White’s fiction for what it might tell us about her psychological, sexual and emotional life. She has a keen eye for a good story, however, and begins with a wonderful, extraordinary story of White’s funeral service, during which a black cat entered the church and circled around the coffin, and reappeared at the graveside as White’s coffin lay in the ground. This seemed to confirm to White’s mourners, who knew of her passion for cats, that ‘the cat had been sent by her as a sign of approval’ (p. 1). Dunn later recounts the story of a Society of Authors party in 1960, at which White was serially misrecognized as Noel Streatfield, Antonia Ridge, and then told by Rebecca West’s husband ‘I have never forgotten that delightful book of yours about the Three Rivers of France’ (p. 375). Virago played a crucial role in rescuing White from such obscurity, and have thankfully issued Dunn’s biography in paperback. This is an invaluable source for all those interested in White, and may even succeed in returning readers to such soulful, searching novels as Frost in May and The Lost Traveller. Jeremy Gibson began working towards a critical study of the writings of Peter Ackroyd prior to his tragic death in 1996, and Julian Wolfreys was asked to develop and complete this work, which has now been published as Peter Ackroyd: The Ludic and Labyrinthine Text. The authors exhibit at every turn a shared love of Ackroyd’s writing, which creates a peculiar and fascinating tension between the deconstructive mode of exegesis, familiar certainly from Wolfreys’ other work, and the concern of the authors to pay homage and respect to Ackroyd. The book includes three generous interviews with Ackroyd, and his reviews and critical writings are quoted favourably throughout the book. This might lead to the impression that the authors are too ‘close’ to their subject, although they prefer to think of it as a kind of reciprocity between writer and critic, part of what is discussed in the introduction as ‘a very serious game’ between text and critical contexts. The discussion of the critical reception of Ackroyd’s writings tends to sneer a little too much at curmudgeonly English reviewers, but once the authors embark upon their own forays into the ‘ludic and labyrinthine’ in Ackroyd they mine some rich seams of thought and analysis. The focus of the book is primarily the novels, although there is a chapter on Ackroyd’s three volumes of poetry, and several biographies are discussed in a chapter on Ackroyd’s London. The chapter on London, indeed, is a brilliant exploration of the density and complexity of the city as it is woven through the intricate patterns of Ackroyd’s writings. The authors argue that Ackroyd has been consistently concerned with a particular kind of stylized Englishness, often camp or theatrical, and that his writings continue to address and complicate issues of representation, identity and culture in contemporary England. G. Peter Winnington’s Vast Alchemies: The Life and Work of Mervyn Peake is one of two biographies of Peake which have appeared this year (Malcolm Yorke’s volume is reviewed in section 1(a) above). Winnington is the editor of Peake Studies, and displays an impressively detailed knowledge of Peake’s life and work in this volume. The emphasis tends to be on Peake’s development as an artist and illustrator rather than his skills as a writer, and this leaves the book a little short when it comes to detailed commentary and analysis of Peake’s literary works. Winnington succeeds in providing a readable and lively account of Peake’s life and creative achievements, and this biography will serve as an accurate and reliable

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source for Peake scholars. The pace of the narrative is, if anything, a little too lively. Winnington does not dwell as long as he should on the significance of Peake’s childhood years in China, nor on the traumatic effects on Peake of his visit to Belsen. This is in part the result of Winnington’s reluctance to surmise or speculate beyond the biographical facts which he can establish from letters, conversations or other sources. The parallels between the early life of the Chinese boy emperor and Titus Groan seem to me to be too ‘numerous and striking’, to use Winnington’s words, to be anything but convincing, although Winnington can’t help cautioning that ‘it may just be a coincidence’ (p. 31). The death of Iris Murdoch in 1999 inevitably prompted some reassessment and revaluation of her work, particularly the twenty-six novels she wrote between 1954 and 1995. In Psychological and Religious Narratives in Iris Murdoch’s Fiction, Robert Hardy begins such a reassessment in the predictable but productive domains of Murdoch’s preoccupation with psychoanalysis and theology. Hardy is especially concerned with Murdoch’s exploration of the possibilities for the future of religion after belief in God has died, and of the problems of moral psychology. This takes the form of a more detailed examination of Murdoch’s use of, and approaches to, Freudian and Jungian theories of psychology, as well as close readings of the moral universe of Murdoch’s fiction. Hardy does not just treat Murdoch’s novels as case studies for working through the rudiments of a godless morality, however. He is also attentive to the personae and masks of her fiction, and analyses Murdoch’s psychoanalytic interest in the stories that her characters tell about themselves. Hardy reads Murdoch’s novels in conjunction with Freud’s texts—The Message to the Planet in relation to Moses and Monotheism, for instance—to show how close Murdoch was to Freud’s arguments, but returns in the conclusion to Murdoch’s ambivalent relationship to Jung’s theories to show how indispensable psychoanalytic ideas became to her attempt to think through a humanist morality. Hardy’s book also contains a preface by Bran Nicol which sets the current contexts for studying Murdoch’s fiction. Penelope Fritzer’s Ethnicity and Gender in the Barsetshire Novels of Angela Thirkell is a short but valuable study of Thirkell’s twenty-nine novels of social satire, written between 1933 and 1960. In contrast to other Thirkell commentators, Fritzer argues that Thirkell is at her best in the novels written in and about the immediate post-war years, when the ‘brave new world’ ushered in by the Labour government provided a rich source of satire for her conservative, nostalgic sensibility. It is perhaps in this spirit that Fritzer refers to Thirkell’s ‘rediscovered significance as a writer’, and celebrates her work as ‘marvellous social history in addition to charming fiction’ (p. 17), although, to be fair, Fritzer also gives voice to those critics who have found the sexism, classism, and racism of her work a barrier to appreciation. The book is neatly divided into an introduction, about forty pages on ethnicity, about forty pages on gender, and a conclusion. The chapters on ethnicity and gender are jaunty summaries of various references and representations throughout the novels. In the case of ethnicity, for example, Fritzer trawls through the various allusions to Jewish, Irish, German, Scottish, Welsh, American, and, of course, English characteristics, to the empire and the war in Europe, to ‘foreigners’, and discusses the nature of Thirkell’s patriotism. For Fritzer, Thirkell’s preoccupation with ethnicity, and her mockery of various ethnic groups, is to be thought of as humorous: ‘to take umbrage is to miss the point’ (p. 58). Thirkell can

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apparently be excused from any accusation of xenophobia or racism because she treats English characters to the same degree of mockery as foreigners. The chapter on gender focuses on the representation of ‘couples’ in Thirkell’s novels, her benign, oblique allusions to homosexuality (e.g. ‘unusual friends’), and her scornful treatment of educated or career women. Fritzer explains the absence of ‘feminist’ points of view as the product of Thirkell’s time and setting, but this is far from adequate as an understanding of Thirkell’s conservative treatment of gender relations. Fritzer concludes by encouraging ‘the discerning reader’ to judge Thirkell’s work ‘consonant with its chronological context’ (p. 110). This rather deviously implies that Thirkell’s time was as conservative, xenophobic and sexist as her fictions. If Thirkell’s more unseemly views are to be excused by their time, Fritzer might at least take care to present a more detailed and nuanced examination of the period. Maroula Joannou’s Contemporary Women’s Writing: From ‘The Golden Notebook’ to ‘The Color Purple’ surveys the concerns and achievements of British and American women writers between 1962 and 1982. It is deeply rooted in the experiences of student radicalism and the women’s movements of the 1960s and 1970s, and combines expert, persuasive analyses of a wide range of women’s writing with a subtle reading of the politics of difference that emerged from that time. Joannou chooses to focus on ‘woman-centred writing’ rather than ‘feminist writing’, and argues that ‘feminist’ is a problematic term in relation to fiction. This enables Joannou greater flexibility in addressing feminist concerns in ‘even the most unpromising of woman-centred texts’ (p. 11). Joannou’s knowledge of the period extends far beyond the obvious landmarks, and insists on the centrality of ‘popular’ genres—detective fiction, science fiction, and confessional writing—to a fuller understanding of women’s writing (and women’s reading). Chapters on motherhood, working-class women, ‘commonwealth’ writers, and black writing interrogate the intersections of gender, class, nation, post-colonialism and sexuality, while a chapter on ‘continuities and change’ considers the women’s writing of the period in relation to notions of tradition and experimentation. The distinguishing features of Joannou’s book are the lucidity and breadth of her analyses, which contain important considerations of writers as diverse as Pat Barker, Nell Dunn, Margaret Drabble, Lynne Reid Banks, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Buchi Emecheta, Jean Rhys, Ursula Le Guin, Anita Brookner, and Angela Carter, to name just some. This is an important, reliable and erudite assessment of women’s writing in the 1960s and 1970s, and will become one of the standard authorities on this period. Joannou concludes with a careful, judicious estimation of the likely reception of women’s writing in the twenty-first century: ‘The reader of women’s fiction in the twenty- first century is likely to be faced with a disjunction between a sophisticated and potentially liberating understanding of the unstable nature of all gendered and sexual identities and of the institutions that sustain them, which is offered to her by a combination of post-structuralist ideas and feminist theory, and a desire for more permanent identities and representations to contest the demeaning and restricted views of women which have historically prevailed’ (p. 191). There is no more important issue than food—as a material and symbolic activity, as the core of our self-identity, as a major part of our social and cultural rituals, as a political and economic matter. It is an important concern in contemporary feminism, as food and eating are inevitably caught up in discourses of mothering, the body,

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sexuality, and home. It seems such an obviously fundamental issue that it is difficult to understand why Sarah Sceats’s book, Food, Consumption and the Body in Contemporary Women’s Fiction, is without immediate comparisons or precursors. Sceats is conscious of this, and provides a thorough, lucid account of the cultural and symbolic significance of food and eating, as well as tracing how food functions in the novels of Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, Angela Carter, and to a lesser extent Michèle Roberts and Alice Thomas Ellis. The ingredients for Sceats’s recipe, if you’ll pardon the metaphor, are all in place: Foucault and Kristeva on the body, Barthes on social ritual, Chodorow on mothering, Freud and Klein on sexuality, and an array of feminist and psychoanalytic writing on breast-feeding, food, fat, eating disorders, desire and consumption. Sceats’s achievement in this book is to bring two narratives together, in a sense, the story of the cultural meanings of food and eating, and the story of how contemporary women writers have employed food as a symbolic signifier of forms of love, power and communication. These intertwined narratives follow a trajectory from the individual focus of the first three chapters to the social, communal focus of the last three. In the conclusion Sceats recognizes that social practices of food consumption are subject to sweeping global forces of change, and ponders the impact of such change on the idea of food as a language, as a form of social exchange. Her deductions in the book generally are neither startling nor radical, but provide an intelligent and cogent assessment of the centrality of food to contemporary women’s fiction. Tamás Bényei’s Acts of Attention: Figure and Narrative in Postwar British Novels is not so much a book as five essays bound together. There are no connections made between the chapters, no conclusion, and the introduction is short and makes no claims to advancing a thesis or overview of post-war British fiction. The essays are, however, wonderfully attentive and incisive in their analysis of novels by Evelyn Waugh, John Fowles, William Golding, Jeanette Winterson, and Ian McEwan. Bényei approaches each novel from the perspectives of postmodern narratology, focusing in each chapter on distinct tropes and modes of narrative. Brideshead Revisited is explored as ‘an allegory of mourning’, its apparently Bildung narrative form paradoxically consists of a strongly nostalgic mode. The French Lieutenant’s Woman is also read as an allegory, this time of the narrative process itself, particularly in the novel’s simultaneous deployment of narrative authority and seduction. William Golding’s sea trilogy is examined for its concern with ‘the tropological, figurative nature of the way we make sense of the world’, what it means to be ‘in’ language. The shortest chapter in the book regards Winterson’s The Passion as a novel which constantly attempts to lose its way, and ‘risks itself’, as an exemplary narrative mode of auto-deconstructive criticism. The final chapter considers the parallel stories in Ian McEwan’s The Innocent, and how any attempt to map the relationship between the two stories collapses. This leads Bényei to interrogate ‘the place between’ narrative, the interstitial spaces through which narrative fails or falters, as a way of thinking about deconstructive narrative strategies. Perhaps a more general overview or thesis might have done more damage than good in this case, for Bényei’s essays work well by exploring the singular narrative modes and strategies at work in each of his texts. The assiduous attention Bényei pays to each text makes for rewarding, perceptive reading, and this book, or at least each of its essays, makes valuable contributions to understanding narrative modes in post-war British fiction.

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James Maurice Ivory’s Identity and Metamorphoses in Twentieth-Century British Literature examines figures of metamorphoses in five fictional texts: Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, Virginia Woolf’s Orlando: A Biography, Angela Carter’s The Passion of New Eve, James Joyce’s Ulysses and Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. The inclusion of Kafka rather disturbs the coherence of Ivory’s field of study; one could equally argue that the ‘British’ in the title is not quite appropriate either to encompass the work of Joyce and Rushdie. After the chapter on Kafka, which analyses the social and economic contexts of Gregor’s horrific transformation, Ivory pairs chapters on Woolf and Carter for their shared concern with gendered identities and gender-crossing, and chapters on Joyce and Rushdie for common interests in mobilizing tropes of hybridity and plurality in the service of a post-colonial politics. The chapters on Carter and Rushdie are lamentably short, which tends to make Ivory’s general claims somewhat imbalanced. The overview provided in the conclusion does little to formulate theories or speculations about the function of figures of metamorphoses in twentieth-century ‘British’ literature, which is also to say that the value of Ivory’s book lies in his close readings of such figures. There is a more general thesis to be sought out in Ivory’s subject-matter, which is the political function of figures of transformation in the writings of feminist and post- colonial writers, but Ivory’s conclusion can only advance tentative and vague suggestions as to what this might entail. There are several overlapping themes developed in Valerie Krips’s The Presence of the Past: Memory, Heritage, and Childhood in Postwar Britain. Krips shares with many recent cultural commentators an interest in themes of loss, mourning and nostalgia in post-war British culture, and the materialization of those themes in the heritage industry. She is also interested in the ambivalent and shifting condition of ‘memory’ in post-war culture, as a site of both reassurance and disquiet. She combines these themes brilliantly and persuasively in the study of children’s fiction, as it has been read, produced and fetishized in post-war Britain. The result is a subtle account of the contemporary fascination with children’s literature, not just for the appeal of its stories, but for the ways in which children’s books have become cultural artefacts and heritage objects. Krips considers for the most part the fiction produced for children between the 1950s and 1980s, by such authors as Philippa Pearce, Rosemary Sutcliff, Susan Cooper, and Alan Garner. But there is almost as much discussion of the editions, interpretations and cultural resonances of earlier writers such as Lewis Carroll, Beatrix Potter, Frances Hodgson Burnett and Kenneth Grahame. In particular, Krips astutely acknowledges that children’s literature is characterized by ‘dialectic engagement as it responds to adult memory and to childhood understood in terms of a personal and collective past’ (p. 25). It straddles the times of adult past and childhood present, and this, for Krips, makes it peculiarly well suited to an exploration of the cultural functions of memory and ‘living history’. There are occasions in Krips’s book when the various strands of her enquiry pull apart, so that it seems as though there is a brief narrative of post-war history followed by an analysis of a piece of children’s literature. In general, however, she succeeds in weaving into a cogent study an important and complex configuration of themes. In examining this period of children’s literature in relation to themes of nostalgia, memory and commodity fetishism, Krips is also, of course, reflecting on issues very pertinent to more recent times, and one cannot help but wonder how current debates about J.K. Rowling and Philip Pullman might fit with

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her analyses. Finally, I could quibble that Krips’s chapter on editions of ‘classic’ children’s texts should include a few plates showing the illustrations and cover designs she discusses, but perhaps I would then be accused (justifiably) of the fetishism she associates with such editions. Christianson and Lumsden, eds., Contemporary Scottish Women Writers, is a collection of exploratory essays on a very underdeveloped critical field. This is reflected in the introductory nature of many of the essays, which cover Kathleen Jamie, Liz Lochhead, Sharman Macdonald, Sue Glover, Rona Munro, Lara Jane Bunting, Jackie Kay, Muriel Spark, Candia McWilliam, Agnes Owen, Emma Tennant, Elspeth Barker, Alice Thompson, Janice Galloway, and A.L. Kennedy, among others. The introduction admits a degree of shyness about considering these writers under the rubric of ‘Scottishness’, and indeed this seems to form something of a dilemma for some of the contributors. The ‘nation’ as a construct has been profoundly questioned and revised in contemporary critical theory, which perspective informs many of these essays, but the newly emergent political formations in Scotland have prompted interest in what comprises Scottishness and Scottish literature (not least in the two volumes reviewed here, and Anderson and Christianson’s volume reviewed in section 1(a)). The editors recognize that this issue of how Scottish women writers are addressing their relationship to political and cultural nationalism is complicated by matters of gender, language, race, location, class, sexuality, and so on, to the extent that some writers considered in the volume (A.L. Kennedy is the most notable example) resist the very label of ‘Scottishness’. To be fair, most of the essays don’t really insist on the obvious issues of identity, but the agenda is there nonetheless in Margery Palmer McCulloch’s essay on tradition in Scottish women’s poetry, Helen Boden’s consideration of ‘Kathleen Jamie’s Semiotic of Scotlands’, Susan Triesman’s essay on Sharman Macdonald, and Alison Lumsden’s essay on Scottish women’s short stories. One problem for the editors is that, in avoiding making any definitive statements or even advancing a hypothesis about what kind of Scotland or Scottishness emerges from contemporary women’s writing, the only alternative seems to be a rather slack celebration of variety: ‘What perhaps is most notable about Scottish women writers today is their diversity; they write in a number of styles and genres and take as their subject-matter a wide variety of themes’. This is to say that there is nothing ‘notable’ about them as Scottish writers at all. It is difficult, of course, to identify trends in the contemporary, but there is much more to be said on the matter than this volume manages to articulate. Cairns Craig’s study, The Modern Scottish Novel: Narrative and the National Imagination [1999], is much more assured in placing Scottish literature within a particular configuration of social, cultural, linguistic, religious and historical contexts. This is an ambitious, impressive and hugely enjoyable exploration of the recurrent themes, concerns and styles of modern Scottish novels, from John Buchan and Neil Gunn to the more recent flourishing of Scottish writing from A.L. Kennedy, Alasdair Gray, Janice Galloway, James Kelman, Irvine Welsh, Muriel Spark and many others. This is no chronologically ordered narrative of Scottish literary history, but an authoritative and inspiring consideration of how Scottish novelists in the twentieth century examined notions of community, history, imagination, language, dialect, faith, and art. Craig shows how the prevailing historical and cultural conditions in modern Scotland have produced inventive

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adaptations of the novel form, but also, correlatively, fictional experiments have had their part to play in reimagining the conditions of Scotland’s cultural and political existence. The introduction makes for an eminently sensible sifting of concepts of tradition, narration, national imagination, and Scotland’s ‘predicament’, and establishes solid foundations for the chapters to follow. In the book as a whole, Craig proves himself to be widely knowledgeable about Scottish literature, culture and history, a persuasive and subtle interpreter of texts of all kinds, and to possess an astute and incisive ability to reveal the underlying continuities behind diverse texts and contexts. The result is a reliable and rewarding study of Scottish fiction, an outstanding contribution to research and understanding of Scottish literary studies. Two volumes published in the Manchester Contemporary World Writers series merit review here: Barry Lewis on Kazuo Ishiguro, and Elaine Yee Lin Ho on Timothy Mo. Lewis sees Ishiguro as exemplary of a distinctly twentieth-century mode of exile and estrangement, and argues that Ishiguro’s novels address the struggle between displacement and dignity. The introduction sets out clearly Ishiguro’s own sense of homelessness, and the various attempts by critics to ‘locate’ him in Japanese or English cultures. Lewis identifies the defining tendencies of Ishiguro’s first three novels as ‘concision and stylistic reticence’, and concentration on ‘a limited point of view, usually that of an unreliable narrator’, which he abandoned in The Unconsoled for ‘a rambling picaresque style’. The book is organized into chapters on each of the novels, and each chapter addresses fruitful issues in Ishiguro’s work. How Japanese is his writing, for example? Lewis draws from the tendency by reviewers to compare his early novels to various forms of Japanese art, to argue that Ishiguro’s Japan is fictive, a self-consciously artificial construct. He considers A Pale View of Hills in relation to Japanese ghost fictions, An Artist of the Floating World in relation to Japanese cinema, and The Remains of the Day as an exploration of the meanings of ‘dignity’, in which the character Stevens sees himself as ‘a personal integer within a larger whole’. Lewis argues that The Unconsoled seems to mark a break in Ishiguro’s work: it differs from the first three novels in style, and yet concludes that it continues Ishiguro’s exploration of memory as the figurative projection of a world ‘uncertain, quivering, and subject to erasures and displacements’. The penultimate chapter of the book attempts an overview of Ishiguro’s literary career, which proves illuminating. Lewis argues that the pattern of his work to date can be described as ‘sequent repetition-with- variation’, and defends the virtues of The Unconsoled, which received damning reviews when it was published in 1995. In the postscript, Lewis argues that Ishiguro’s most recent novel, When We Were Orphans, merges the restrained realism of his first three novels with the dreamscapes of The Unconsoled. This book is a splendidly lucid account of Ishiguro’s preoccupations and styles, which makes intelligent commentaries on the cultural contexts and formal innovations of the writer’s work. Elaine Yee Lin Ho’s book on Timothy Mo bears some similarities to Lewis’s book on Ishiguro. Both novelists were received initially in England principally through the optic of the ethnic or cultural configurations which formed the subject of their early publications. Both Ho and Lewis are concerned with displacing the misguided assumptions which prevail in early reviews of their respective authors’ work, particularly the idea that novels such as Mo’s The Monkey King, or Sour Sweet, or Ishiguro’s A Pale View of Hills, are ‘representative’ of Chinese or

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Japanese culture generally. Ho argues convincingly that Mo’s novels offer ‘substantive and riotous critique’ of such confusions, and explore the complexity of cultural and ethnic identities. The Monkey King and Sour Sweet exist both as satires on ‘Chinese’ culture, and as interrogations of the cultural interchange between Chinese and other cultures in the cultural melting-pots of Hong Kong and London. From these ‘domestic’ narratives, Mo moves into a mediated form of the historical novel in An Insular Possession and The Redundancy of Courage, but Ho argues that Mo’s theme remains the difficulty of cross-cultural relations. Both novels, however, also develop a critique of the conventions of historical and political representation, and offer sceptical counter-narratives to the discourses of imperialism and nationalism. Ho illuminates the publishing controversy surrounding Mo’s fifth novel, Brownout on Breadfruit Boulevard, and the surprising redirections in style and form which characterize the novel, and which presage his most recent work, Renegade or Halo. Ho’s assessment of Timothy Mo’s work is a valuable and astute introduction, a very welcome evaluation of a writer who has to date received scant critical attention. In contrast, Martin Amis suffers perhaps from too much attention, critical or otherwise. Nicolas Tredell has sampled reviews and critical essays of all Amis’s fictional works for The Fiction of Martin Amis: A Reader’s Guide to Essential Criticism, from the Icon series of readers’ guides. This is a useful volume for students, as it provides extracts from most of the more significant appraisals of Amis’s writings, and Tredell narrates the story of Amis’s development, and the evolving reactions to his work and public image. He emphasizes from the outset that Amis is a controversial figure in contemporary media and literary circles, and some of the extracts are selected for their part in the controversies. For the most part, however, Tredell selects and introduces the extracts for the critical issues they raise. Responses to The Rachel Papers tend to focus on how close Amis is to his protagonist, Charles Highway. The reviews and essays on Dead Babies consider whether the novel works as Menippean satire or not. Reviewers of Success attempt to assess how successful Amis has become as a writer. Other People is discussed as a ‘martian’ text, with Blake Morrison observing that ‘Martin Amis’ is an anagram of ‘Martianism’. Money opens up debate about the relationship between English and North American cultures, and about the intrusive author in contemporary fiction. The chapter on Einstein’s Monsters includes Adam Mars-Jones’s attack on Amis’s masculine posturing, while the chapter on London Fields opens with discussions of why the novel was excluded from the Booker short-list, before advancing to themes of apocalypse and authorship. The pieces on Time’s Arrow reflect on Amis’s responsible handling of the Holocaust, while Tredell studiously avoids the publicity wrangles which dog considerations of The Information. The final chapter on Night Train and the Heavy Water stories testifies to Amis’s continuing power to provoke contrasting, and controversial, responses. Tredell makes a good job of selection, editing prudently and generously as required, and splices the extracts together well. The introduction to the volume could have been more substantial, however, as Tredell offers little more than an overview of Amis’s career, and a rather redundant summary of the extracts included in each chapter. It is more fulfilling, however, to read a collection of complete essays, rather than the fragments offered in the Icon readers’ guides, and this is what Macmillan’s New Casebooks series is all about. Alison Easton has edited the collection of

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‘contemporary critical essays’ on Angela Carter. Her introduction provides a good, lucid overview of Carter’s current critical standing, and the ten essays in the volume span the range of critical approaches to her work reasonably well. They are all feminist essays, perhaps expectedly so, and they will all be familiar to students of Carter’s work: they are by Mary Russo, Gerardine Meaney, Sally Keenan, Merja Makinen, Jill Matus, Christina Britzolakis, Heather Johnson, Sally Robinson, Kate Webb, and Jean Wyatt. The surprising absences are Lorna Sage and Clare Hanson, who are quoted a number of times in the introduction, but not included. Carter’s work has understandably attracted considerable attention, particularly in relation to issues of gender, psychoanalysis, and myth, but, like Easton, I look forward to the future critical work which will situate her more thoroughly in relation to historical and cultural contexts. In terms of Carter’s current situation in literary criticism, however, this collection offers much of the best work available. As a one-stop volume of critical essays on Carter, Easton’s collection should find its place very quickly on recommended reading lists. Christopher Pressler’s So Far So Linear: Responses to the Work of Jeanette Winterson is a short, underdeveloped appreciation of Winterson’s fiction. The author acknowledges in the preface that the book is not ‘a strict piece of literary criticism’, and this proves to be the case, for it combines suggestive readings with partially explored contexts and cursory insights. Pressler pursues some clear theses:

that The Passion is better read as a new version of history than as a fairy tale, that in Written on the Body Winterson is engaging medical language poetically, and that Sexing the Cherry explores fundamental psychological oppositions in the brain; but such theses tend to rely upon sketchy outlines of concepts derived from popular science. There are ample signs of a close acquaintance with, and evident appreciation of, Winterson’s work, but the book lacks the precision and coherence which it might have achieved. As a result, its contentions are often woolly:

‘Winterson’s achievement is to have extended her imaginative processes into every subject with which she deals.’ Winterson is the subject of the final chapter in Andrea L. Harris’s Other Sexes:

Rewriting Difference from Woolf to Winterson. Harris’s book examines the notion that women writers have explored ‘the border between masculine and feminine, in other words, the place where these terms overlap and intersect, forming other sexes that cannot be described with the language at our disposal’ (p. xii). She does this through an opening discussion of the ‘deconstructive feminism’ of Spivak, Butler, Irigaray and others, followed by chapters on each of four novels: Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood, Marianne Hauser’s The Talking Room and Jeanette Winterson’s Written on the Body. Much of Harris’s book is too heavily descriptive, either of theoretical debates or fictional plots. In the chapter on Winterson, she explains the novel’s exploration of the interrelationship between self and other, and its theme of the ethics of love. Her chief argument in relation to the novel is examined really rather briefly: it is that Winterson’s narrator is an ambivalently gendered figure who is ‘feminine under the guise of the universal/ masculine’ (p. 146). The narrative voice is de-gendered, adopting the universal or masculine subject position, and so would be disturbing from an Irigarayan point of view. But it is also a radical, bold move, if we follow the logic of Monica Wittig, as it liberates women from the burden of always being categorized by their sex. This is clearly a productive ambivalence for Harris, but it deserves further explication.

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4. Pre-1950 Drama

The last two years have seen a resurgence of interest in the drama of the first half of the twentieth century, and especially a renewed interest in the state of British theatre between the wars. This interest has resulted in work that spans a number of areas of theatre, including historiography, textual studies, gender, political drama and the relationship between state censorship and drama. Barker and Gale, eds., British Theatres Between the Wars, 1918–1939, covers many of theses areas in an attempt to reposition inter-war theatre within histories of twentieth-century theatre as a whole. Barker’s introductory essay, ‘Theatre and Society: The Edwardian Legacy, the First World War and the Interwar Years’, analyses economic shifts in theatre ownership and the effects of the aftermath of the First World War on the cultural production of drama. Barker assesses the cultural legacy of the Edwardian period as

a shaping force for the drama of the 1920s and 1930s. Such spectacularly long-

running shows as Oscar Asche’s Chu Chin Chow are seen in the context of critical snobbery about the loss of the pre-war ‘play of ideas’ and a gradual shift in the class composition of audiences during the late 1910s and 1920s. The chapter continues by looking at the groupings of types of play in production, such as the Aldwych farces—mostly penned by Ben Travers—in the late 1920s and early 1930s. John Stokes’s ‘Body Parts: The Success of the Thriller’ continues in this vein with a focused analysis of the enormous numbers of thriller plays, popularized in the 1930s by authors and actors (such as Emlyn Williams) alike. Stokes draws, again, parallels between the social climate of the immediate post-war years and the cultural search for somehow alienated or violent, yet clever, heroes in plays such as Bull-Dog Drummond. The book also contains a number of chapters that focus on issues around gender and performance: James Ross Moore gives an overview of musicals and revue during the inter-war period, where the female body played a significant role; while John F. Deeney, in ‘When Men were Men and Women were Women’, looks at configurations of gender and sexuality in such plays as Journey’s End, The Children’s Hour and Design For Living. Maggie B. Gale, in ‘Errant Nymphs:

Women and the Interwar Theatre’, reassesses women’s contributions to the British inter-war stage, looking at the relationship between political and cultural change and the increased presence of women as playwrights and directors. A number of chapters turn to the specific relationship between politics and textual production. Tony Howard looks at Shakespeare productions in direct relation to ideology in ‘Blood on the Bright Young Things: Shakespeare in the 1930s’. Here he makes a correlation between nationalist and fascist thinking, and the ways in which characters such as Shylock were configured on the British stage. Ros Merkin, in ‘The Religion of Socialism or a Pleasant Sunday Afternoon? The I.L.P. Arts Guild’, also turns to politics in an analysis of the Independent Labour Party’s Arts Guild and the ways in which social and political debate were directly encouraged within an arts context, with performance groups being set up all over the country and plays being produced

as part of a bid to use drama in a consciousness-raising context. Mick Wallis brings

the book towards a close in his ‘Delving the Levels of Memory and Dressing Up in the Past’, where he assesses the growth in popularity of pageant performances in both rural and more urban contexts. Clive Barker’s closing chapter, ‘The Ghosts of War: Stage Ghosts and Time Slips as a Response to War’, gives the reader a detailed overview of the ways in which plays such as J.M. Barrie’s Mary Rose and

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Priestley’s Time and the Conways directly related to such cultural phenomena as a growth in the number of Spiritualist churches in Britain and in ‘new science’ works such as J.W. Dunne’s An Experiment with Time. Barker suggests that some dramas of the period could be seen as indirect responses to war because of the ways in which they play with time, memory, the dream, the paranormal and so on. This is a book which will be useful to anyone undertaking literary research in this period, and is the first to take on board the variety of types and contexts for British theatre and drama between the wars. It covers a wide area of new materials and does not fall prey to the dominance of canonical texts. Mick Wallis continues his work on British pageantry by focusing on the life and work of Mary Kelly, in ‘Unlocking the Secret Soul: Mary Kelly, Pioneer of Village Theatre’ (NTQ 16:iv[2000] 347–58). Here he documents Kelly’s work with large pageant productions, and her role as a moneyed woman within a rural community, looking at the social and political consciousness she brought to her work, the breadth and depth of which have been somewhat overlooked. Wallis also looks at Kelly’s own theatre writings and assesses her legacy in relation to the growth in number of amateur and professional pageants during the period and in the country as whole. With a similar sense of political drive, Steve Nicholson’s British Theatre and the Red Peril: The Portrayal of Communism, 1917–1945 is a welcome addition to the field. The book looks at the ways in which stage representations of Russia, bolshevism and ‘left thinking’ were constructed around the limitations of both censorship and the British fear of a radical political change such as had been witnessed during the Russian revolution. Nicholson points to the ways in which the process of stage censorship operated at a subliminal level. His argument that good plays were not written because of censorship is, however, somewhat tenuous, although the fact that manuscripts were generally submitted to the censor’s office by management appears to have acted as an inhibiting factor on playwrights—why write a play that you know will be banned? Nicholson is careful to frame successes such as the Phillpotts’ Yellow Sands in the context of anti-bolshevist feelings, but at times his assumption that we should judge the worth of plays rather than offer cultural readings or positionings is a little irritating. His readings of rarely discussed plays such as Izrael Zangwill’s The Forcing House, Hubert Griffith’s Red Sunday and Sean O’Casey’s The Star Turns Red are particularly useful, as is his dense documentation of the ways in which the Russian aristocracy became an object of fascination for theatre writers and audiences during the immediate post- revolutionary years. The book contains a detailed glossary of playwrights and production details and is derived in part from readings of the Lord Chamberlain’s collection at the British Library. Such an approach to theatre historiography is to be welcomed. Nicholas de Jongh’s Politics, Prudery and Perversions: The Censoring of the English Stage, 1901–1968, also makes use of the Lord Chamberlain’s collection but has less of a focus on the early part of the twentieth century. Even so, his early chapters, ‘Putting Women Straight’ and ‘Homosexual Relations’, will be of some use to scholars working in the field. The former looks at issues around censorship and women’s sexuality as well as giving useful analyses of the censor’s role in the production of plays such as The Vortex and Fata Morgana. De Jongh is very witty in his portrayal of the censor’s obsession with moral health and the ways in which censorship as a mechanism for cultural policing got more and more out of touch with

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social and cultural change. With the statutory look at Wilde, ‘Homosexual Relations’ does look briefly at inter-war texts, although a great part of the chapter covers ground already covered by the author in his earlier Not in Front of the Audience. John F. Deeney, in ‘Censoring the Uncensored: The Case of Children in Uniform’ (NTQ 16:lxiii[2000] 219–26), takes a more radical attitude to censorship. Here he re-examines a ‘lesbian’ inter-war text, Maids in Uniform, and questions the ways in which this text has been overlooked by contemporary feminists because it somehow escaped the censor’s eye and went on to a long West End run, and has thus tended to be viewed as conservative. Deeney questions our analytical framing devices, pointing out that a refusal to see the play as a link in a chain of twentieth-century ‘lesbian’ dramas is to undermine the significance of a work which confused the censor (who eventually provided a performance licence as long as the ‘setting remain German’) but presented very clear images of ‘other’ sexualities to a popular and often conservative audience. Deeney proposes that a negative interpretation of the play’s ending, which includes a suicide inspired by unfulfilled romantic passion, cannot be the only axis on which a reading of the cultural significance of the text turns. A similar invitation to reposition women’s contributions to inter-war theatre and drama comes in the form of Katherine Cockin’s Women and Theatre in the Age of Suffrage: The Pioneer Players, 1911–1925. This is a very dense and at times difficult book, although it represents original research and will be invaluable to students of female suffrage and the arts. The style is at times convoluted and one feels that the book could have achieved its aims in rather less space. Nevertheless Cockin’s project, to collect information on Edith Craig’s work with the independent play society the Pioneer Players, is a worthy one, and the introductory chapters, ‘The Costs of a Free Theatre’ and ‘The Feminist Play of Ideas and the Art of Propaganda’, will be particularly useful for undergraduates because of the way in which they lay out the basic arguments surrounding drama, theatre, art, commercialism and women’s suffrage that had currency during the period. Cockin makes a good job of documenting Craig’s work with Cicely Hamilton and Christopher St John, as well as her work with new texts by women playwrights and her promotion of texts by foreign playwrights. She misses out on some important work by other scholars in the field, such as Roberta Gandolfi, whose research on Craig as an innovative director might have enhanced her thesis. Despite reservations about style, this book will prove useful for anyone studying Edwardian theatre in general and women and twentieth-century theatre in particular. The work of women playwrights during this period has only been touched upon by a few scholars, and a number of these have pointed to the ways in which non- pluralistic feminist analytical frameworks have inhibited the inclusion of certain plays in a history of twentieth-century women playwrights. Many of the women writing for theatre of the period wrote for commercial contexts, or for political movements which did not necessarily promote feminist ideology over socialist. Ros Merkin’s chapter, ‘No Space of Our Own? Margaret Macnamara, Alma Brosnan, Ruth Dodds and the I.L.P. Arts Guild’ (in Gale and Gardner, eds., Women Theatre and Performance: New Histories, New Historiographies, pp. 180–97), is an attempt to renegotiate the work of these three women, who wrote for an overtly socialist context, as an important contribution to the development of popular and amateur

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mid-century drama. Merkin argues that gender played an important role in the plays analysed, but that it was foregrounded as part of a larger argument around socialism and domestic culture. Maggie B. Gale’s ‘Women Playwrights of the 1920s and 1930s’ (in Aston and Reinelt, The Cambridge Companion to Modern British Women Playwrights, pp. 23–37) presents women playwrights of the inter-war years as a challenging presence to the male-dominated theatre of the day. Gale invites the reader to reconsider the playwrights’ work in the light of the enormous social and economic changes which, even though outside a specific political movement, affected women’s lives in general, and their theatre writing in particular. She argues that the surface conservatism of many of the plays reveals a theatrical consciousness of the cultural anxiety around women and the family, work and economic power, as well as mirroring the theatrical conservatism of much of the theatre of the day. John Stokes also makes reference to the work of mid-century women playwrights in his article ‘Prodigals or Profligates; or, a Short History of Modern British Drama’ (NTQ 15:i[1999] 26–38), which traces the transformations undergone by the figure of the prodigal son (and daughter) in twentieth-century dramatic texts. Stokes’ argues for the influence of performers such as John Gielgud and Charles Hawtrey on the course of theatre history and the reading of theatrical texts. Theatrical histories are problematized in Maggie B. Gale’s re-reading of the career and persona of Clemence Dane, one of the most prolific playwrights, male or female, from the 1920s through to the 1950s and beyond. Dane’s first play A Bill of Divorcement [1921] was restaged throughout the 1920s and was filmed more than once. Other noted plays included Granite and Cousin Muriel. In, ‘From Fame to Obscurity: In Search of Clemence Dane’ (in Gale and Gardner eds., pp. 121–41), Gale charts Dane’s influence upon the theatrical world of her day, and questions the ways in which she has been either historically framed as conservative by feminists or as eccentric or naive by those writing, for example, biographies of Noël Coward (one of her crowd) or other theatrical figures such as Lewis Casson. Gale attempts to cut through the mythology of Dane as an eccentric—she was reportedly the model for Coward’s Madame Arcati in Blythe Spirit—and deconstructs her image in relation to autobiographical theory and theatre historiography as a means of understanding her lack of position in the cultural mapping of mid-twentieth-century British theatre and playwriting. One theatrical biography of particular note during the year has been Jonathan Croall’s Gielgud: A Theatrical Life, 1904–2000. Croall’s extensive research has produced a biography which offers the theatre and cultural historian some useful materials. Croall undertook extensive interviews with Gielgud’s friends and professional colleagues in order to draw a more intricately detailed picture of the man’s life and work. He manages to track Gielgud’s career in terms of the influence of practitioners such as Granville-Barker and J.B Fagan on the actor and vice versa, and through this gives us a real sense of Gielgud’s developing attitude towards the changing theatre of his day. The style is not particularly academic, but the research is sound enough to provide useful material for scholars. Christie Fox tackles the undervaluation of a mid-twentieth-century woman playwright in ‘Neither Here Nor There: The Liminal Position of Teresa Deevy and her Female Characters’ (in Watts, Morgan and Mustafa, eds., A Century of Irish Drama: Widening the Stage, pp. 193–203). Fox delineates Deevy’s career and her plays in terms of their problematic status for contemporary directors. Ultimately, as

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with many women playwrights of the period, the characters she created do not fit into a contemporary feminist framework for production, and so the lack of desire to put on new productions of her plays locates her work outside a re-visioned feminist canon. Deevy’s work broke with certain conventions of the representation of women in the theatre of the 1930s. Fox suggests that this ‘forgotten playwright’ imaged women ‘caught between worlds—between the public and the private, religious and secular, single and married’, in other words, she created characters for whom the notion of womanhood itself was in transition. Fox’s work links with that of Gale and of Merkin in its agenda of repositioning and re-visioning plays by a lost generation of women writing for theatre between the two world wars. Kaplan and Stowell, eds., Look Back in Pleasure: Noel Coward Reconsidered, has a similar revisionist imperative, but this time the author in question is not one who has been historically sidelined, but rather one who has never quite been taken seriously academically. The Coward centenary year [1999] saw numerous national and international productions of his plays, but this book is a collection of essays from the first academic conference dedicated to his work, held at the University of Birmingham (UK). The book includes interviews with directors Philip Franks, Philip Prowse and Sue Wilson and performers Maria Aitken, Judy Campbell, Corin Redgrave and Juliet Stevenson, as well as short essays by cultural historians and scholars such as Philip Hoare, John Stokes, Peter Holland and Alan Sinfield. David Edgar’s essay, ‘Noel Coward and the Transformation of British Comedy’ gets the volume off to a good start as he suggests that many contemporary writers have in fact ‘built on discoveries about how to write modern comedy which Coward pioneered’. In ‘Noel Coward’s Bad Manners’, Dan Rebellato weaves Coward’s manneredness in and out of contemporaneous texts on etiquette and ‘good behaviour’ to portray Coward not as a snob, as is usual, but rather as a subversive who was intent on exposing the superficiality of the class to which he appeared to aspire. Other chapters worth noting are Philip Hoare’s ‘It’s All a Question of Masks’ and Russell Jackson’s ‘The Excitement of Being English’. One hopes that this volume will set a precedent for others to follow as it creates a vital link between scholars, critics and practitioners, rarely gathered together under the same cover. It opens up new areas for debate on one of the most prolific playwrights of the twentieth century whose cultural significance has only just begun to be recognized in the academic world. The book is eminently accessible and will be very useful for undergraduates of literature and gender studies, as well as those with an interest in theatre. Coward features prominently in Alan Sinfield’s Out on Stage: Lesbian and Gay Theatre in the Twentieth Century, which also gives detailed treatment to playwrights such as Somerset Maugham, Terence Rattigan and John Van Druten. Sinfield is far more erudite on the cultural significance of censorship and provides closer readings of texts such as Young Woodley or The Green Bay Tree than Nicholas de Jongh. His cultural materialist approach provides both a strong sense of context and interesting ways into the texts examined; the chapter on ‘Society and its Others’ is particularly useful and covers a wide range of plays rooted in the 1920s and 1930s. Sinfield’s is a transcultural and transhistorical approach but it is also a literary one; he crosses from American to British contexts with too much ease, and this does not easily facilitate readings which stress the importance of the original conditions of theatrical production and cultural reception. Any student will glean a great deal of information

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from this book—play synopses, some information on critical reception, a sense of cultural mapping and so on—but they may not learn very much about the theatre of the day. Sinfield’s overall project of cultural mapping sometimes undermines the possibility of in-depth readings of the texts. Nevertheless, Out on Stage is a timely volume which will be of great use to students of cultural and literary studies. By comparison, Nicholas Grene’s The Politics of Irish Drama: Plays in Context from Boucicault to Friel has in some ways a far more contained agenda: ‘a critical analysis of the political interplay of dramatic text and context’. The book assesses Irish drama which is ‘self-consciously concerned with the representation of Ireland as its main subject’, and Grene looks at plays by O’Casey and Shaw as well as those by writers working for the Abbey Theatre in the early part of the twentieth century. This is a very readable book which, although it focuses mainly on the latter half on the nineteenth century, adds to scholarship related to mid-twentieth-century drama in English by offering clear links between theatrical, social and political contexts from one end of the century to the other. Similarly, Watts, Morgan and Mustafa, eds., A Century of Irish Drama, another collection of conference papers, provides numerous chapters on mid-twentieth-century Irish plays, with detailed sections on the early years of the Abbey Theatre and related playwrights, and a particularly good chapter on Sean O’Casey by Shakir Mustafa. Laura E. Lyon’s chapter, ‘Of Orangemen and Green Theatres’, on the rarely discussed work of the Ulster literary theatre, is also a worthy addition to the field of Irish theatre history; Lyon discusses nation, identity and difference in relation to the plays of Gerald MacNamara, among others. This volume should be on every twentieth-century drama reading list; it combines survey, detail and scholarship with innovative re-readings of plays. Overall, the last two years have seen an increase in scholarship in this area. There appears to have been a loosening of the shackles that defined mid-twentieth-century drama in terms of Auden and Isherwood, and a move towards perceiving the more commercial or popular playwrights of the era as worthy of serious analysis. The work of women dramatists has begun to be taken more seriously, as have the possibilities for new readings of old playwrights in their own cultural contexts, which may have been far more radical or subversive than we once assumed. Equally, the work on ‘political theatres’ of the day, begun by scholars such as Raphael Samuels in the 1970s and 1980s re-emerges, albeit at a tangent, with scholars such as Steve Nicholson and Mick Wallis, whose work on political theatre and amateur theatre will only enhance drama studies further.

5. Post-1950 Drama

What follows is a report on the books of 2000 by and about Alan Bennett, Edward Bond, Brian Friel, Trevor Griffiths, David Hare, Peter Nichols, Harold Pinter and Terence Rattigan. Next come comments on eleven more general books, of which the most ambitious are those by Richard Eyre/Nicholas Wright and D. Keith Peacock. Is there a contemporary dramatist for whom a book entitled ‘Understanding X’ is less needed than Alan Bennett? If the intended audience of Peter Wolfe’s Understanding Alan Bennett is American, then Wolfe should explain Burgess, McLean, Blunt and spying, and engage with the historical George III, which he does not do. He has not sought out British reviews of Bennett’s stage and television plays,

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and apparently has not tried to see the television work. He gives no sign of having visited Leeds or of knowing the audiences who love Patricia Routledge (unmentioned, but memorable in Talking Heads). That he writes of the ‘gun-happy’ streets of London (p. 22) and of ‘the Stratford Memorial Theatre Group’ (p. 142) does not inspire confidence. What he enjoys is finding improbable parallels: Blunt in A Question of Attribution is like Hedda Gabler (p. 151); An Englishman Abroad is ‘Brechtian’ (p. 148); Irene Ruddock in ‘A Lady of Letters’ is ‘Thoreauvian’ (p. 195). And this: ‘The burdens imposed by memory and the struggle to find a self by separating one’s true private history from the false vexes Graham Whittaker from A Chip in the Sugar as much as it does Proust’s Marcel or Joyce’s Stephen Dedalus’ (p. 179). Wolfe’s study should at best be called ‘Summarising …’ D.E. Turner’s Alan Bennett: In a Manner of Speaking [1997] is a better work; Alan Bennett: A Critical Introduction, by Joseph H. O’Mealy, is announced for 2001. Edward Bond has not written a widely admired play since Summer [1982]. However, more background material is appearing for his works and ideas than for those of any other living dramatist. The four volumes of his letters, noticed in my last report, have been followed by his essays, The Hidden Plot: Notes on Theatre and the State, and the two-volume Selections from the Notebooks, edited by Ian Stuart, also editor of the letters. Stuart reports that he has chosen to print about one- fifth of the notebooks. The entries, he explains, are of four kinds: ‘play drafts; commentary on the plays; Bond’s thoughts on life and the play in particular; and stories and poems which may or may not have any direct relevance to the play in hand’ (p. x). So, according to Stuart, we have ‘a rare and extraordinary insight into the outlook of Bond and the workings of his creative mind’ (p. x). Nothing personal can be found here, so readers are not entertained as they are by Nichols’s diaries, and we can only guess at the biography. That in about 1966 Bond withdrew to a country village is indicated here only by two sections entitled ‘Great Wibraham Papers’ and ‘Rothbury Papers’. Entries here show some of the trial-and-error thinking which led to the final form of Saved, Lear, The Sea, Summer and later work, data from which some future scholar may piece together a full study (though this would also involve study of manuscripts, which may not survive). The Notebooks contain some thinking about dramatists (Arthur Miller is a bête noire) and theatre; Bond is determined to resist conventions of form. The texts reveal an intelligent man attempting to see life steadily and whole, resisting external dictates. The Notebooks are not self-contained reading, and I doubt whether The Hidden Plot is of much interest except to admirers of Bond’s plays of the 1960s and 1970s and the smaller number who still follow his career. These writings are turgid and demanding, unlike essays by such dramatists as Arden and Edgar. The reader must start with the conviction that every word by Bond matters, be convinced of his continuing importance. Though Brian Friel has been writing for as long as Bond, only with Dancing at Lughnasa [1990] was he clearly established as an outstanding playwright. Some nine books about Friel, starting with D.E.S. Maxwell in 1973, precede the trio discussed here. Friel is a reticent man who believes that plays should speak for themselves, as he remarked as early as 1968. He has given few interviews since the earliest part of his career, except for those given to promote the Field Day company in 1980–4, with no interviews in the last ten years. So I am surprised to find that Delaney, ed., Brian

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Friel in Conversation, has 289 pages. Everything that matters—thirty-three interviews—is here, from Vogue to the Irish Times. The weakness is repetition, the strength in Delaney’s thorough introductions and a fair sense of Friel as both man and writer. The one interview Delaney missed should be recorded, about Translations: Owen Dudley Edwards, ‘A Question of Communication’ (Radio Times 30 Jan.–5 Feb.[1980] 18, 21). Delaney has also found and printed transcripts of four BBC Northern Ireland radio talks by Friel and an Irish television programme about him. Three of the longest interviews were in obscurity in Acorn, In Dublin and The Word. The first two of these, however, also appear in a British publication, Murray, ed., Brian Friel: Essays, Diaries, Interviews, 1964–1999 [1999]. Murray has scoops, an unpublished 1986 interview, the substantial ‘Seven Notes for a Festival Programme’ (exploring the startling idea that directors may be unnecessary) and twenty pages of notes on the genesis of Molly Sweeney and Give Me Your Answer, Do! Though these are tantalizingly short, they show the slow composition, an inability to settle to writing, and diverse reading, from Wittgenstein to Wallace Stevens. Murray’s short introduction surveys much of Friel’s output. Libraries and serious scholars need both; less specialized readers will find sufficient, and more variety, in Murray’s collection. Friel is one of the five writers considered in a new series, Faber Critical Guides (the other four are Pinter and Stoppard, discussed below, and Beckett and Sean O’Casey). The back cover states that the guides are for students and teachers, ‘for use in classroom, college or at home’—but not in the theatre? The format is a general introduction and extended studies of several plays, in Friel’s case well chosen, as good and representative: Philadelphia, Here I Come!, Translations, Making History, and Dancing at Lughnasa. Nesta Jones is conscientious but plodding. She gives none of the theatrical context: that Friel started writing soon after the Royal Court revolution in London and after landmarks by Thompson in Belfast and Keane and Murphy in Dublin. Such lines as ‘The structural devices of the divided self, time and memory are also thematic ideas’ (p. 21) made me wonder if plays have to be studied like this. Jones writes ‘because you only have access to the printed text’ (p. 13). Sorry, but students will rent the video of Dancing at Lughnasa, and have to try to spot differences with no help from Jones. I had mixed feelings when I began Stanton B. Garner Jr.’s Trevor Griffiths:

Politics, Drama, History [1999]. On the one hand, a full-length study of Griffiths is needed (we have at least one book on most of his contemporaries). On the other, that Derrida arrives on page 12, followed by Barthes, Bakhtin and Baudrillard, suggested for a while that this was not going to be the book I wanted. Garner’s account, in fact, is excellent. He understands the background very well, from the milieu of New Left clubs and the Universities and Left Review at the end of the 1950s to ‘that liminal, structureless decade between the fall of the Wall and century’s end’ (p. 226). He suggests that Griffiths’s ‘socialist aspiration’ always had ‘a certain elegiac melancholy’ (p. 89), and sees that ‘The contours of Griffiths’ career owe as much (or more) to such writers as Edward Thompson, Eric Hobsbawm, and Angus Calder as they do to figures within the theater’ (p. 51). Garner fails to explain The Party precisely, that Tagg is modelled on Gerry Healy and Ford on Robin Blackburn. His only slip, though, is to interpret the line in the play, ‘We’ve got upper second souls’, as about class, not university degrees (p. 86).

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Garner quotes Griffiths as observing that ‘my plays are about the contradictions in my life’ (p. 45), yet biography is virtually excluded—simply the working-class boy who changes because of grammar school and university education. Griffiths is rightly placed as a northerner, so separate from ‘the metropolitan alternative theater culture’ (p. 3). Garner evaluates all the plays. He observes, for example, of Sam, Sam: ‘With the exception of Mercer’s early drama, no play explores so fully the psychological and social contradictions of postwar working-class mobility’ (p. 45). (But does Garner know David Storey’s In Celebration?) Equal space is given to film and television work, with clear accounts of what is unpublished. Garner believes that political drama is ‘one of Britain’s greatest contributions to twentieth-century theater’ (p. 14) but also that in the last twenty years critics have had difficulty discussing it, for the heyday is past (p. 187). Garner sees Griffiths recovering ‘the voices of social visionaries’ (p. 11) from the script of an unmade film about Tom Paine, through Tom Mann to Nye Bevan. Griffiths, he shows, explores ‘the irreconcilable conflict between what he calls the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ dimensions of revolutionary struggle’ (p. 64). His section ‘Gendering the Revolution’, on the interweaving of politics and sexuality, is especially good. The study is researched with exceptional thoroughness, using published interviews and many of Garner’s own. Not only has he tracked down the reviews in obscure papers and the comments in inaccessible journals, he appears to have read all about Griffiths’s subjects, from Danton and Gramsci to soccer hooligans. I closed the book seeing that Garner had made a strong case for Griffiths as an outstanding creator of socialist art, with Brecht and O’Casey. David Hare’s Acting Up is his diary of performing his Via Dolorosa from the first rehearsal through all the London and New York performances. Thus he does not deal with the travel, research and writing involved. Keeping this diary, he explains, ‘was the essential means of trying to understand what was going on. Knowing I would sit down every morning to lay out the previous day’s trials gave the experience calm and order … Acting Up is a diary of learning to act … I realize the purpose of my acting is to make me a better director, to understand acting better’ (pp. xi, xii, 4). He found that in London audiences engaged with the content, in contrast to the hit-or-flop mentality of Broadway. Parts are gossipy, with digressions: he is fascinated by American films, loves ‘the glorious articulation which a great stage provides’ (p. 21), writes of Judi Dench and Wallace Shawn. He discusses above all how audiences differ and how his performance changes from night to night. Hare is informative and entertaining as he reacts to rehearsals, fear, the relationship with the director, publicity, critics, interviews, celebrities, exhaustion. After reading Hare, Peter Nichols’s Diaries, 1969–1977 seem lightweight. Nichols takes us back to the years when the plays which are still his best known (Joe Egg to Privates on Parade) were new. Nichols is not writing for publication, though he has selected what is to be made public now. Readers have to dig for theatrical insights: he is a craftsman, not a theorizer; he remarks on the germ of Forget-me- not-Lane (pp. 73–4), reviews Hare’s Knuckle neatly (p. 373), describes why The Freeway failed (p. 377). We hear of the life of the dramatist, attempting to write and negotiating with directors. Mostly this is an enjoyable self-portrait of a modern man:

socializing, parenting, lustful, self-questioning, making faux pas, overhearing comic

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dialogues, with gentle ill-will towards relatives—the Bristol boy who attains Blackheath.

Difficult though it is to say anything new, Bill Naismith’s Harold Pinter for Faber Critical Guides appeared fresher and more sophisticated (as on ‘linguistic strategies’ in The Birthday Party, p. 59) than Jones on Friel. Naismith’s textual notes are fuller and he has a chapter on ‘context and background’. The other two plays discussed are The Caretaker and The Homecoming. I liked Naismith’s use of the comments of others (such as Simon Trussler placing The Homecoming as ‘intellectualised melodrama’, p. 157) and his comparisons with other plays: resemblances between late seventeenth-century comedies of manners and The Homecoming (p. 155). Naismith acknowledges that ‘the dimension of live performance is missing’ (p. 136), but though all three have been filmed (and surely Naismith has seen them), these are unmentioned. Why are film studies so rigidly separated from drama? Martin Esslin’s introductory survey, Pinter the Playwright, first published in

1970 and last expanded in 1992 appears in its sixth edition. Esslin has added eleven

pages on the three plays of the 1990s, worth reading for their personal, informed

view. Moonlight, for instance, he finds ‘a deeply tragic view of the human condition’ (p. 214).

Jim Hunter writes of Tom Stoppard for the Faber Critical Guides, with extended commentary on four major plays: he revisits three plays which he covered in his

1982 book, with the addition of Arcadia. His book succeeds partly because he

allows thirty pages for generalizations at the beginning and end; he also has twenty pages of textual notes on each play. He describes clearly the 1993 revisions of Travesties, but is confusing about the different versions of Jumpers. As with the other volumes, plays in performance are neglected, including the film of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, while Robert Gordon’s Text and Performance volume isn’t even in his bibliography. While the volume on Friel has very little for the informed, Hunter is so precise that I found much to admire, as in this summing up: Stoppard’s plays ‘are sympathetic to traditional beliefs: the notions of absolute good (with a possible absolute judge), of natural innocence, and of the almost heroic importance of art’ (p. 16). All three Faber guides have a prevailing joylessness: plays are for studying, and after that for reading about, in these ‘guides’. Michael Darlow’s biography, Terence Rattigan: The Man and his Work, is a revised, franker and considerably larger version of the book published in 1979. That, curiously, was co-authored with Gillian Hodson, a minor bibliographical puzzle— has he excised every sentence written by Hodson? Darlow believes that ‘the power of Rattigan’s best plays comes from the implicit rather than the explicit, from unspoken feelings, buried emotions and hidden truths’ (p. 16). Rattigan is a writer of the oblique (p. 482). Darlow asserts that all the work feeds directly on Rattigan’s life: not quite upper-class enough for Harrow; observer of his parents’ unhappy marriage and his father’s disgrace and philandering; his difficulty in facing his homosexuality. Though a narrow view of creativity, this provides a good start to a life-and-works study. Rattigan, from French without Tears [1936] to Separate Tables [1954], had an apparently effortless rise to fame and wealth. Yet being a success for Rattigan meant parties, champagne, dining at the Ritz: no wonder his serious plays are still not taken very seriously. Could this idle Bertie Wooster, a gambler, devoted to his Rolls, passionate about golf, have written

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The Browning Version and The Deep Blue Sea? Darlow only sketches the pathos of the man who wanted—some of the time—to be a great writer and did not want to settle for mere success. He considers the decline in quality in later plays, seeing that by the late 1940s Rattigan ‘was becoming increasingly cut off from sound advice’ (p. 254), surrounded by sycophants. By 1964, too, Rattigan was a sick man, drinking heavily. Darlow’s account is muted; he is too little a storyteller and too bland when he comments: he is usually recording where Rattigan was living and who his friends were. For the plays, he attends to the circumstances of production, and to critical reception, with short plot summaries and sketchy evaluations. He is thorough on Man and Boy, aided by letters about the actors who were considered and rejected. Variations on a Theme is usefully explained by the sad story of Margaret Leighton’s marriage to Laurence Harvey. His rare strongly negative comments—‘one is conscious of contrivance’ (p. 201) in The Winslow Boy; the film of The Deep Blue Sea has ‘grotesque and unsubtle exaggeration’ (p. 329)—lack supporting argument. Rattigan emerges as a clear example of what E.M. Forster labelled ‘the undeveloped heart’ of the Englishman, especially of the public school variety. Rattigan, with Coward, Priestley, Eliot and Fry, occupies a subdued phase of the British theatre, that between Shaw and Osborne: the reader is challenged to decide which plays by which writer deserve to survive. Richard Eyre and Nicholas Wright look ambitiously at twentieth-century theatre in Changing Stages: A View of British Theatre in the Twentieth Century, linked with the television series shown late in 2000. Eyre insists that ‘I needed to write the book before the series in order to find out what I thought and what I didn’t know’ (p. 7). ‘The task we set ourselves’, they write, ‘was to find out how we got here: to identify the people, the plays, the ideas that had come together over the last hundred years or so to bring about the flowering that we see today’ (p. 16). This book is entitled ‘a view of British theatre’ yet includes many Americans and digresses frequently to Brecht and other Europeans. Though Eyre is a director, the subject is playwrights, with little attention to actors or theatre buildings, and even less to theorizing about absurdism or anything else. The final chapter, entitled ‘Purity’, flings together Meyerhold, Artaud, Peter Brook, Grotowski, Kantor, Robert Wilson and Lepage. Space is found for pantomime and Ken Campbell. The first half of the book is history, sometimes responsive, sometimes a dutiful trudge through received opinion. The book is not authoritative, a Revels History, yet rarely distinctively personal, though the authors are great enthusiasts. When they reach the last thirty years, they appear to be recalling their best experiences of performance, which may explain the choice of plays for comment (nothing by Pinter after Betrayal); they also avoid lists of titles. Pinter has six pages, in fact, while John Arden has only three sentences, curiously split between two chapters. Charles Wood earns a passionate page: ‘There is no contemporary writer who has chronicled the experience of modern war with so much authority, knowledge, compassion, wit and despair’ (p. 250). The chapter on modern Ireland gives as the key chronology John B. Keane’s Sive [1959], Tom Murphy’s Whistle in the Wind [1961] and Friel’s Philadelphia, Here I Come! [1964]. The section on verse drama ends with the reminder that Tony Harrison brings this tradition to the present. Though Rattigan is briskly dismissed, Eyre and Wright emphasize what they enjoy, and this is a work to quote and savour. A few examples. Look Back in Anger

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comes from 1956 England, the context ‘the lack of choice, the lack of colour, the lack of public joy … sheer monochromatic greyness’ (p. 239). Hare’s A Map of the World is ‘part Shavian debate, part masked ball of the id’ (p. 292). The achievement of Sebastian Barry’s The Steward of Christendom is ‘to popularize a non-narrative play of atmosphere’ (p. 277). Eyre and Wright are eloquent, hitting the nail on the head in a few sentences, while factually correct too. They make modern theatre fun, exciting and important. Shellard, ed., British Theatre in the 1950s, consists of papers from a 1997 conference, and should be entitled ‘A few aspects of …’. The two best essays come from original research into the Lord Chamberlain’s censorship. Steve Nicholson writes of the censoring of foreign plays, with Genet’s Huis clos and Tennessee Williams provoking moralistic language. Kathryn Johnson examines the Lord Chamberlain’s especial concerns, homosexuality and the portrayal of Jesus. The reader with a general interest in the Lord Chamberlain’s actions is already well served by Nicholas de Jongh’s Politics, Prudery and Perversion: The Censorship of the English Stage, 1901–1968. Fiona Kavanagh Fearon has also done research, in the National Theatre files in the British Library, and brings out the rival ambitions of Peter Hall and Laurence Olivier, from 1959 to 1963. Previous histories of the National Theatre have established much of this, and Fearon’s focus is on the National in the 1960s. John Bull and Dominic Shellard follow the line taken by Dan Rebellato in 1956 and All That, challenging the received opinion that in that year everything was changed by Look Back in Anger. Bull rightly argues that Waiting for Godot [1955] was influential, noting also that Theatre Workshop settled in London in 1953 and that the Berliner Ensemble performed in London in 1956. Shellard’s title, ‘1950–54:

Was it a Cultural Wasteland?’, is promising, but in fact he rambles round the role of Binkie Beaumont in the West End and the number of musicals and French plays. He states: ‘What is perhaps most noticeable about the London stage between 1952 and 1954 is how completely indifferent it was to contemporary events’ (p. 37). This is not wholly true: Roger MacDougall in Escapade and Charles Morgan in The Burning Glass wrote of fear of war in the nuclear age; dramas at the Unity Theatre were urgently political; the lost form of intimate revue had social comment. The remaining four essays include an interview with Pinter about his acting in the 1950s, a familiar account of McMaster, Wolfit and his discovery of Beckett, plus his admiration for W.B. Yeats’s plays. Danny Castle succinctly summarizes Kenneth Tynan’s achievements, as a reviewer in the 1950s and at the National Theatre in the 1960s. Glenda Leeming revisits Christopher Fry, on whom she wrote a book in 1990, asking why his career fizzled out. Christopher Innes, who discussed Rattigan in his comprehensive Modern British Drama, revisits him. Innes begins: ‘He is almost always represented as the potentially serious playwright who sold out to popularity’ (p. 53), apparently unaware of the revaluation since Susan Rusinko’s 1983 study and revivals of the major plays. Shellard’s title requires what he does not provide: discussion of how far a ‘wasteland’ was alleviated by John Whiting’s Saints Day and Graham Greene’s The Living Room, with the work of Fry and Rattigan, T.S. Eliot’s The Confidential Clerk and perhaps N.C. Hunter. As for errors: there were not two elections in 1951 (p. 37); John Gielgud played Leontes in London, not Stratford (p. 37); the Tynan/Ionesco

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debate was in the Observer, not the Guardian (p. 86); the contents of Curtains and Tynan on Theatre are not identical (p. 98). Peacock’s Thatcher’s Theatre has divided objectives. His subject is sometimes precise, the response of dramatists and companies to Thatcherism, issues of ideology and cuts in funding. At other times he has a broader aim, that suggested by his subtitle, ‘British Theatre and Drama in the Eighties’. He begins with a long chapter on Thatcher’s government—the miners’ strike, the north–south divide, and so on—which may be useful contexts for young or North American readers, but barely connects with the rest of his book, and he follows this with an indigestible section on ‘arts and money’. Chapter 4 brings the reader to the response of left-wing writers to a right-wing regime. He begins, oddly, with Bond, although he sees that war was Bond’s main subject. He often reads narrowly for leftist ideas, so that Howard Brenton in Bloody Poetry is scrutinizing ‘the communal individuality of Anarchism’ (p. 74). There is much plot summary and little evaluation, though he successfully encapsulates the impact of such plays as Hare’s The Bay at Nice and Wrecked Eggs. Self-contained chapters follow. ‘Looking East’ discusses writers who responded to the demise of Communism. Peacock finds Churchill’s Mad Forest the best of these. ‘Carnivals of the Oppressed’ fashionably draws on Bakhtin, juxtaposing Ann Jellicoe’s community plays, the welfare state and John McGrath’s Border Warfare (though ignoring its sequel, John Brown’s Body). Peacock helpfully distinguishes Edgar’s Entertaining Strangers as first performed in Dorchester from the later version staged at the National Theatre. ‘Defusing a Refusenik’ deals narrowly with the demise of 7:84 England, and how McGrath was forced out of the directorship of 7:84 Scotland; Peacock draws heavily on McGrath’s book, The Bone Won’t Break. Turning to ‘women’s theatre’, Peacock distinguishes ‘socialist or materialist feminism, bourgeois feminism and radical feminism’ (p. 151), showing how, for example, the work of Claire Luckham differs from that of Sarah Daniels. Much information is crammed into the next section, on black theatre, which goes without transition from Caribbean writers to Hanif Kureishi and on to the companies Temba, Talawa and Tara. He notes three significant new dramatists who emerged in the 1980s: Jim Cartwright, Terry Johnson and Timberlake Wertenbaker. A breathless account of ‘Physical or Visual Theatre’ (p. 205) follows, a sketch of DV8 and Forced Entertainment. Peacock’s study has slips frequent enough to irritate, as he misspells Laurence Olivier (p. 4), Nichols (p. 28), Willy Russell (p. 48), Shaffer (p. 77), Albie Sachs (p. 90), Kristeva (p. 123), Mnouchkine (p. 126), Frances Gray (p. 130), MacLennan (p. 143), Caz Phillips (p. 171) and Ayckbourn (p. 217). He shows virtually no sign of having seen plays, writing instead of texts. Though he notes the dramatists who formed the anti-Thatcher 20 June Group, he does not comment on them signing petitions or taking part in demonstrations. I find it arbitrary that he takes an eleven- year chunk of an author’s work, practically ignoring earlier scripts. He also ignores their work for film and television, though Edgar’s Vote for Them and Hare’s films Strapless and Paris by Night could and probably should be fitted into his analysis. Peacock’s work is more useful for facts and some insights into some writers of the 1980s than for the more difficult subject of how politically minded authors use their art to react to a hostile government.

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Dominic Dromgoole’s The Full Room: An A–Z of Contemporary Playwriting gives his comments, personal and anecdotal, on 111 playwrights, nearly all British and almost all living. His book is worth reading for four reasons. He is a great, provocative phrasemaker. Berkoff is a ‘roaring lion’, Pam Gems is ‘the greatest living provider of turns for star actors’, Gray is ‘the poet laureate of dyspepsia’, Keeffe’s early plays were ‘the theatrical equivalent of The Clash’. Dromgoole has stimulating asides, many of them about his directing at the Bush Theatre. Second, he assesses what ‘heightened language’ means (p. 69), contrasts Peter Hall and Richard Eyre as directors of the National Theatre (p. 34), and brings out the role of the Old Red Lion in promoting new writing in the 1990s (p. 58). Third, he gives an original, brisk view of the major talents of our time. He prefers praise to blame, so becomes negative only when he writes of Edgar, Hare and Shaffer. Finally, he promotes new writers, to read and to watch for their next play. So he admires Richard Cameron, whose Doncaster is ‘a place of prickly heat’ (p. 44) and Judith Johnson, ‘an assured, still and sane voice’ (p. 154), who has been shouted down by lads ‘with their zippety-zappety language, their violence, their sexuality’ (p. 154). As scholars have come to realize that comment on drama should incorporate awareness of performance, three books of interviews deserve attention. Interviews provide raw material, and frequently I found that assessing the information was left to the reader. Duncan Wu, in Making Plays, has long interviews with Alan Bennett, Howard Brenton, Edgar, Michael Frayn and Hare, and with the five men who directed their most recent plays. Though the ostensible focus is on one play, Wu asks such broad questions as ‘Did the Thatcher years alter your vision as a writer in any way?’ (p. 98). He supplies substantial literary and academic introductions to each script, tracing, for example, how Brenton’s Magnificence anticipates his Sore Throats. I enjoy such incidentals as Bond baffling his actors by telling them to be Rolls Royces with weeds growing out of them (p. 69). The information here on Frayn’s Copenhagen is almost essential for full understanding of the play and Edgar is especially worth listening to because he knows so exactly what he is doing and clarifies the political context. For the other three, these commentaries are a kind of added gloss. Giannachi and Luckhurst, eds., On Directing, prints interviews with twenty-one directors, six of them women, in only 142 pages, so some are short. Helen Manfull, in Taking the Stage: Women Directors on Directing, interviews thirteen directors, weaving their statements together under nine headings, such as their training and their techniques in rehearsal (four women appear in both books). Thus On Directing focuses on individuals, particularly as the arrangement is alphabetical, so that we read adventurous younger men, such as Tim Mitchells, before the intellectual wisdom of Jonathan Miller. Taking the Stage, instead, emphasizes methodology. While Simon McBurney believes that there can be an ‘over-reverence for a text’ (On Directing, p. 69), Katie Mitchell takes an academic approach: ‘I spend a lot of time researching the background of the text, looking at its historical, socio-political and cultural context. I also look at the autobiographical details of the author’s life’ (On Directing, p. 95). Both books show how important companies with their own styles and audiences are in contemporary British theatre. Manfull informs on Shared Experience; Giannachi includes DV8, Graese, Tara Arts, Welfare State, Communicado and Cheek by Jowl; Druid and Théâtre de Complicité appear in both books. A few

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passages shed specific light on recent British plays. Manfull describes Brenton writing In Extremis at a Californian university (p. 115) and the collaboration of director and designer on Martin McDonagh’s Leenane trilogy (p. 26). In Giannachi’s collection, Garry Hynes notes that Royal Court audiences placed The Beauty Queen of Leenane in the tradition of Ibsen and Strindberg, while spectators in Galway correctly saw the Irish tradition, an ‘initial response’ which was ‘fundamentally different’ (p. 53). Taking the Stage incidentally presents a bibliographical puzzle. The British edition contains a statement that the book was first published in the US in 1997. Manfull’s In Other Words: Women Directors Speak was indeed published by Smith & Kraus. Taking the Stage, however, is longer, with a chapter added. More strangely, Deborah Warner features in In Other Words but has completely disappeared from Taking the Stage. Three of the studies to hand examine aspects of current British theatre, each giving some attention to playwrights. Readers who do not think narrowly in textual terms, but who see that theatre is collaborative and that performance is a fundamental consideration, will want to look at the complete books. The most wide-ranging of the three is Gottlieb and Chambers, eds., Theatre in a Cool Climate [1999]. The editors write that ‘this book arose out of the sense that an informal snapshot of contemporary theatre, written by a diversity of practitioners, would be of interest both now and in the future’ (p. 9), a millennium stocktaking. Nineteen essays follow, by dramatists (Pinter and Winsome Pinnock), actors, critics, directors, producers, designers, managers and literary managers. The editors note that the final five on this list were occupations that had not existed a hundred years earlier. The essays are insiders’ views on recent theatre history. Irving Wardle considers the period from 1956 on, arguing that the heart continues to be the West End. Peter Hall interprets through Thatcher: ‘From 1979 we forgot what subsidy was for and with it forgot what supporting the arts was about’ (p. 100). Five other essays merit a mention. Ella Wildridge of the Traverse, Edinburgh, has ideas on how to promote more and better new plays, including ending the neglect of the older generation (she names three Scots in this category, p. 164). Paule Constable is informative on the work of a lighting designer. Andrew Lavender examines the kind of theatre which either transcends words or makes words part of some larger stew: ‘The major explorations in British theatre in the 1990s have been aesthetic in nature. They are manifested in three distinct areas: an evolution in the nature of ‘writing’ for the theatre, the increasing presence of multi-media performance and the re-imagining of theatre space’ (p. 180). Jatinder Verma asserts the distinctiveness of Asian theatre in Britain, as he has done elsewhere, and Pinnock does the same for black theatre, one of protest. I wonder whether the essays or the title came first. For many are pessimistic: Gottlieb, Wardle, Cleo Sylvestre, Richard Eyre, Genista McIntosh, Constable (‘Audiences are staying away from many theatres’, p. 94) and Hall (‘There have been cuts in education programmes, school visits, training, all forms of outreach, and all forms of access’, p. 104). In contrast, Mulryne and Shewring, eds., The Cottesloe at the National: Infinite Riches in a Little Room [1999], celebrates the many ways in which this courtyard space has been used since its opening in 1976. The building and the plays staged in it are discussed thoroughly from every angle. The second half has extended and

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well-illustrated sections on eleven shows staged there, the longest on Tony Harrison’s version of The Mysteries. Four of the others are recent: Keith Dewhurst’s promenade treatment of Lark Rise; Pam Gems’s Stanley (theatre as chapel with half- finished murals); Julian Mitchell’s Half Life (conventional decorative set) and traverse staging for Hare’s Racing Demon. The survey of reviews of Racing Demon shows how the subject was variously seen as religion today, that state of the Anglican Church, or worship versus social work within the C. of E. Who Keeps the Score on the London Stages? is by a Bulgarian professor, Kalina Stefanova, and published in the Netherlands. Stefanova has diligently interviewed twenty-seven critics and a lot of producers, directors, press agents, a publisher—and four dramatists. Though she tells us who the critics are, their experience, their prejudices and enthusiasms, readers have to answer the title question for themselves as the eight-page conclusion is little more than admiration for the calibre of the critics. Of the playwrights, Ayckbourn and Arnold Wesker write blandly, though the latter observes neatly: ‘Since newspaper reviewing is one person’s opinion magnified out of proportion by print, I think there should be a warning at the top of every review, “This review could damage your perception of the play!”’ (p. 105). Steven Berkoff is predictably forceful and provocative: ‘Nothing much happens in English language any more. Most things are happening in other languages, other theatres, in other forms’ (p. 56). Edgar’s remarks are as usual thoughtful, for example, critics ‘could facilitate an understanding of why it was, for instance, that in the ’80s and ’90s a lot of people wanted to write plays about gambling and killing’ (p. 121). In the section on the current state of theatre, Sheridan Morley ‘would have liked to have seen more plays in the last 10 years that worry about the state of the nation’ (p. 148). Hall is pleased that ‘there’s a lot of talented new writing’ by the under-thirties (p. 158), while Nick Curtis complains of ‘a lack of quality control … not enough work is being done on plays before they go into performance’ (p. 143). In my 1998 report I noted two books of reprinted reviews by Americans, Mel Gussow and Frank Rich. This year brings Vanishing Acts: Theater since the Sixties, by Gordon Rogoff, mostly reprints from Village Voice. More than the others, this is an American view of the British. He states, for instance, of Hugh Whitemore’s Breaking the Code, ‘the English are never more odd than when they’re trying to be internally true without the slightest interest in internal psychology’ (p. 170). A fine journalist, a typical arresting opening is: ‘Would it were not so, but David Hare’s The Secret Rapture reveals him as a closet Tory’ (p. 183). Rogoff is often savage. He finds Louise Page’s Real Estate ‘the 9,000th play in this century to grapple with earth-shaking issues surrounding mothers, daughters, pregnancy, and neurotic loyalties’ (p. 178), while Pam Gems’s Camille is ‘extravagantly awful. … When Gems can find nothing to say, she says it again. … God save feminists from Gems’s missionary semiconsciousness’ (pp. 87, 88). Astutely, Rogoff observes that, when Hall directed Pinter, he ‘arranged Pinter’s characters like a curator setting sculptures at their best angles, the distance between them telling as much of their story as the light catching them in profile’ (p. 106). Rogoff rarely has space to substantiate his judgements, and he is better short and snappy than sustained. But dip into his book for striking prose, and assorted insights into plays, acting and the state of theatre. My word-limit is exceeded with four books still requiring mention. The most important is Richard Pine’s The Diviner: The Art of Brian Friel [1999]. Though Pine published Brian Friel and Irish Drama in 1990, his new book does not merely

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consider three more plays, but has changes throughout, to a ‘more political’ reading (p. x), with altered opinions on such texts as Translations. F.C. McGrath reveals his angle in his title, Brian Friel’s (Post) Colonial Drama: Language, Illusion and Politics [1999]. He goes conscientiously from ‘apprenticeship’ through ‘postmodern memory’ (Faith Healer) to ‘blindsight’ (Molly Sweeney). Penelope Prentice’s The Pinter Ethic: The Erotic Aesthetic has more than 500 pages. Her thesis in a comprehensive study is that ‘Pinter’s plays combine a focus on love and justice that presents an ethic expressed in new forms which challenge those currently received reflections on human powerlessness’ (p. xvii). The focus in Race, Sex and Gender in Contemporary Women’s Theatre: The Construction of ‘Woman’, by Mary F. Brewer [1999] is on theory and content, with chapters on motherhood, ‘woman’ at work and ‘woman’ as object and subject. The few dramatists featured, among them Sarah Daniels and Jackie Kay, receive little more than passing mention.

6. Pre-1950 Poetry

More of a review than the recuperation its title implies, Holden and Birch, eds., A.E. Housman: A Reassessment, delivers less than it promises. Left over from the flurry of literary activity which marked the centenary, in 1996, of the publication of A Shropshire Lad, this anthology of critical essays finds senior critics such as Archie Burnett, John Bayley, and Norman Page alongside Geoffrey Hill picking over what remains a fairly limited output with, apparently, lasting popular appeal. It is not, however, wholly clear to or for whom these scholars speak. The anthology opens with Burnett on Housman’s ‘level tones’ (the quotation deriving from Kingsley Amis’s tribute, ‘A.E.H.’), treating the equivocal mastery of tone and diction which none of his fellow commentators overlooks. Some rather hollow contextualizing of A Shropshire Lad—a survey of its critical reception from Benjamin Fisher and P.G. Naiditch’s disappointingly inconclusive charting of ‘The First Edition of A Shropshire Lad in Bookshop and Auction Room’—is brightened by Trevor Hold’s fascinating if highly technical analysis of the collection’s ‘legacy of song’, Carol Efrati’s reading of Housman’s biblical re-readings, and Takeshi Obata’s tracing of the haiku and senryu-like qualities of Housman’s finely tuned lyricism. The poet is treated qua classicist by Kenneth Womack (‘Ashes Under Uricon: Historicizing A.E. Housman, Reifying T.H. Huxley, Embracing Lucretius’) and G.P. Goold (‘Housman’s Manilius’), and qua poet by John Bayley (‘Lewis Carroll in Shropshire’, because ‘the man who wrote [the poem] does not so much dissociate himself from the book as disappear into it, like Alice into Wonderland’), Keith Jebb (‘The Land of Lost Content’), Geoffrey Hill, whose acerbic ‘Tacit Pledges’ is the most compellingly critical account, and Norman Page (‘A.E. Housman and Thomas Hardy’). Placed beside Hardy, Housman appears to surprising advantage, but Page’s brisk comparison of their war poetry—inevitably focusing on Last Poems, primarily ‘Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries’ (it seems an unjustly limiting choice given the numerous parallels he lists) short-changes the younger writer. Perhaps the corner- cutting can be explained by the appearance this year of Page’s wide-ranging, abundantly detailed and beautifully illustrated Oxford Reader’s Companion to Hardy. Following volumes such as Frank Pinion’s Companion [1968], Commentary

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[1976] and Dictionary [1989] for example, this new Companion has much to live up to, but does so with a seriousness to be savoured. Including, besides an ample chronology, entries (indexed by subject) on everything from ‘executions, public’ to ‘Positivism’ and appending, as well as a highly organized bibliography, separate indexes of Hardy’s poems, characters in the novels, place names, glossary (of dialect words and expressions), and a record of films and radio broadcasts, it amasses and orders a wealth of information in a way which gravely takes account of, but never panders to, Hardy’s considerable general readership. Some forty contributors (Pinion himself, Dennis Taylor, Ronald Draper, Anthony Thwaite, and John Bayley among them) ensure diversions for the specialist, even the scholarly, student. With thoughtful management of subject entries (many closer to articles) and judicious cross-referencing, Page handles the encyclopedia-style format deftly. Here, for once, the biographical context supplied by people (friends and family jostle influences such as Keats, contemporaries such as Nietzsche and James Barrie, and admirers such as Auden) and places (real and imaginary) helps to ventilate but never overshadows literary context: almost eleven pages are devoted to ‘critical approaches’ and seven to ‘poetry’, not counting those (of several pages each) on named collections. Probably the longest entry is entitled, simply, ‘Hardy, Thomas’; here, as elsewhere, the very limits of the format give rise to a moving sense of how the differing worlds of poet and novelist interleave in the man and merge in his work. One of Page’s contributors, Tim Armstrong, has been responsible for my favourite book of this season. Haunted Hardy: Poetry, History, Memory is a salutary reminder of how few critics manage to bridge the divide between the finely tuned textual critiques Armstrong provides, and the advanced theories in which his readings are embedded, inflected by Derrida and the psychoanalytic work of Abraham and Torok. As this absorbing study demonstrates, Hardy’s work is haunted not simply by the figure to whom he wrote his finest elegies, his first wife Emma Gifford, but in many more subtle ways: a poet whose philosophical sophistication is apparent from his earliest meditations upon time, history, and public and private memory, the challenge of unravelling the ghosts and ghostlinesses of his writing, its idiom, formal rigour and often overt self-referentiality, is no picnic. Rummaging through the layered supplementarities of successive volumes (each ‘retravers[ing] old terrain’ and yet also ‘supplementary to each other’, p. 12) produced during a poetic career which, overlaying the tracks of the novelist, was itself supplementary, Armstrong’s gracefully written and theoretically scrupulous account both complicates and enriches the way as, he points out, individual poems ‘often read as if they had already theorized themselves’ (p. 6). He moves from the spectral realms of Hardy’s sceptical but imaginative interest in the psychological, informed by contemporaneous philosophical-scientific debates about materialism and spiritualism, to trace how childlessness (and the rumoured illegitimate son) echoes throughout the poet’s meditations on private and public loss, before addressing the historiographical positions adopted in occasional poems such as ‘The Convergence of the Twain’ and ‘Channel Firing’. In individual readings which hardly falter, Armstrong’s acuity revitalizes the most well-worn of the poems. I can’t recall a more stimulating or satisfying account of a poet for whom I’ve more than a soft spot. Scant attention is paid to Hardy by the periodicals aside from Poetry and Nation Review. He proves little more than a filter for James Keery’s rather disorderly two-

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part discussion of Donald Davie’s controversial treatment, ‘Inspired Triangulation:

Thomas Hardy and British Poetry’ (PNR 26:v[2000] 39–41) and ‘The Old Immortality Bunfight’ (PNR 26:vi[2000] 52–4). More fruitfully, David Yezzi, in ‘Thomas Hardy and American Poetry’ (PNR 26:iii[2000] 18–23), answered the recent reissuing of Davie’s work by contesting its claim that Hardy’s influence ‘dissipated on its way across the Atlantic’. Yezzi traces the reach of Hardy’s presence in such figures as Edwin Arlington Robinson, Robert Frost, John Crowe Ransom and even Pound, not only in their poetry, but in their own and others’ critical writings (e.g. Yvor Winters on Robinson) and, in the case of Ransom and more recently his student Robert Mezey, in their editing of Hardy’s poems. In conclusion Yezzi admits the partiality of his study, citing Bishop, Jeffers, Bogan and Penn Warren among other gaps in his argument. (That there is more work to be done on the complexities of Hardy’s position vis-à-vis modernist poetry was underscored in the following issue by a letter from John Lucas (PNR 26:iv[2000] 3), querying the reliability—in the light of a series of discrepancies brought to light in the book itself and later in Martin Seymour-Smith’s biography—of Graves’s Goodbye to All That, the source of Hardy’s infamous dismissal of vers libre. For Lucas, Hardy’s interest in both Pound, to whom he had written, and Eliot, proves the untrustworthiness of Graves’s account.) The appearance of a Penguin Modern Classics edition of Charlotte Mew’s Complete Poems, edited by John Newton, indicates that popular taste has begun to catch up with scholarly interest in this poet. However, a disappointingly perfunctory preface only implies, rather preposterously, that there is little to be said about her oeuvre, in spite of increasing critical evidence to the contrary. See, for example, the special issue of Victorian Poetry devoted to ‘Women Writers 1890–1918’ (VP 38:i[2000]), which includes Dennis Denisoff’s account, ‘Grave Passions: Enclosure and Exposure in Charlotte Mew’s Graveyard Poetry’ (pp. 125–40). Denisoff discovers in the moribund poetics of, for example, ‘In Nunhead Cemetery’, ‘Madeleine in Church’, and ‘The Narrow Door’ a highly gendered and sharply political reappropriation of the grave as site of liberation for a ‘woman-centred economy of affection and desire’ (p. 139). On the other hand, critical attention brings its own troubles, as a brief piece, ‘Poetry’s Maw’ (PNR 26:vi[2000] 11) by Val Warner, the most vigilant of Mew’s protectors, makes clear. She upbraids Ian Hamilton for ‘a chronological mistake’ in a discussion of Mew’s publishing history—broadcast on Radio 3 in a concert-interval talk entitled ‘Against Oblivion’, and featuring four neglected twentieth-century poets—which ‘rendered meaningless’ much of an account drawn, she says, from Hamilton’s work in progress, a twentieth-century version of Lives of the Poets. The mistake (confusing the date of a new edition issued in 1921 for the date of Mew’s first publication, actually 1915) led Hamilton into error after error. He got told, as they say. The pre-war writers have had a lean year. Poetry plays little part in Paul Peppis’s reassessment of the political complexities informing the emergence of modernism. In Literature, Politics and the English Avant-Garde: Nation and Empire, 1901– 1918, which he describes as ‘less a work of literary or art criticism or of politico- aesthetic theory than of cultural history’ (p. 18), Peppis re-excavates the influence of nationalist-imperialist ideologies over the European avant-garde. Wyndham Lewis, Vorticism and Blast are his chief interests. Although he emphasizes his inclusive approach, which aims to destabilize existing accounts of the pre-modernist moment

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by reading its literature in the light of its contemporaneous rather than post-war culture, and while figures such as Pound and Eliot inevitably haunt the work, Peppis pays little more than lip-service to poetry as a whole, and only at any length in the specific context of the war. Among the handful of poets he does mention (Bridges, Brooke and Ford Madox Ford among them), the most interesting choice is Helen Saunders, whose restlessly powerful ‘A Vision of Mud’, appeared in the ‘War’ number of Blast. Edward Thomas is the only other ‘Georgian’ to receive attention, vide Martin Dodsworth’s rescuing of ‘Adlestrop’ from the late Antony Easthope’s attentions, in ‘Edward Thomas, Seamus Heaney and Modernity: A Reply to Antony Easthope’ (English 49:cxciv[2000] 143–54). Dodsworth’s brief but deliberately ample reading of this resonantly familiar poem—answering a 1997 article published by Easthope in the same journal, ‘How Good is Seamus Heaney?’ (English 46:clxxxiv[1997] 21–36), was lent an unwarranted poignancy by Easthope’s death prior to its appearance. Dodsworth offers few surprises in correcting Easthope’s unrefined account of Thomas’s so-called anti-modernism, in alignment with that growing band of scholars intent on lifting modernism free from the binary-driven matrix by which it is conventionally confined. The Great War has spawned the usual range of treatments, many of which take retrospection as their focus (just as OUP marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Paul Fussell’s monumental The Great War in Modern Memory by reissuing it with a new six-page Afterword which briefly acknowledges the book’s dated dependence on Northrop Frye). Daniel Hipp’s ‘Ivor Gurney’s Return to the “Private” Experience of Warfare: Rewards of Wonder and the Poems of 1919–1922’ (ELT 43:i[2000] 3–36), considers poems written after the end of the war but prior to Gurney’s institutionalization in 1922. Hipp argues that Gurney’s experience of military life and combat had a curiously positive effect on a highly strung individual whose mental state was never robust. When the outbreak of war prompted him into the highly regulated, decision-free life of the private soldier, the routines of trench warfare, Hipp contends, brought him a psychological security which, when hostilities ceased in 1918, gradually disappeared. When poems like ‘First Time In’ (of which there are two versions, interestingly compared here) and ‘First March’ revisit and rewrite the wartime experiences described in earlier work, they do so with longing for the temporary equilibrium of the time. This highly personal subtext helps both to blunt and sharpen the mixture of public and private tensions which typically define war poetry: in Gurney’s case, the internalized struggle for mental peace both mirrors but subverts, even transcends, the horrors of the conflict on which the later poems draw; reviving them sustains him, albeit, tragically, not for long. Similarly, Norman Kelvin’s long and dense account of ‘H.D. and the Years of World War I’ (VP 38:i[2000] 170–96) is concerned to show how the poems which appeared in Sea Garden [1916], later collected as The God, underpin and are continually returned to later in an intimate cycle of self-referentiality. Kelvin is not alone in figuring this as palimpsestic: Diana Collecott usefully deploys the same term at more satisfying length in her H.D. and Sapphic Modernism, 1910–1950. The first substantial study of H.D. for too long, this careful examination of the private and public terrain of an elusive poetics speaks to recent feminist and post- structuralist debates about the intersection of sexuality and identity, as well as to a growing constituency of modernist revisionists about the reconciliation of text,

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intertext and context in the self-conscious lexical and tropic shiftings of H.D.’s highly wrought classicism. Collecott’s tracking of the Sapphic resonances of this elegant idiom is shrewdly judged. Having combed the oeuvre for evidence of direct borrowings of Sapphic fragments (an appendix charts the frequency with which these crop up), she reflects on the cultural as well as the personal and poetic significance of H.D.’s choice of resource. As an articulate but muted woman writer whose texts survive as fragments, and as a model of sexual ambivalence, her choice of forebear offers H.D. both public and private context. In Sappho’s practice and language, fractured as it was, she found an ancient poetic guide, language and image-store such as Pound and Eliot found in Homer and Virgil, as well as an emotional and psychological place from where the marginalized female communities, to which Bryher introduced H.D. after the breakdown of her marriage, could challenge and overturn the cultural norms which excluded them. Likewise, for Collecott, ‘in associating her own writings with Sappho’s, which Swinburne had described as “mutilated fragments”, [f]ar from presenting a diminished female body, H.D.’s doubling of herself with the Lesbian poet covertly opposes men’s power as writers, editors and critics with an empowered lesbian body’ (p. 15). Many of H.D.’s earliest readers will, as Collecott acknowledges, have recognized the codings this critique unpacks in reflecting on the ways in which the poetry frames its semiotic and semantic utterances about the cultural and literary place of the woman-identified (and by no means exclusively lesbian) woman in the modernist (and, thanks to writers like her, by no means either exclusively male or exclusively heterosexual) project. Collecott’s scope allows for both breadth and focus, lending a large portfolio of critical debates a historical coherence which remains valuably elastic; thus it can gesture at the presence of the highly coloured Romantic/Decadent influences—mediated chiefly for H.D. by Swinburne—which murmur through her poetic language. In this, and as its title hints in other ways, this book is much more than the transformative revision of a single writer: Collecott locates her critical narrative firmly in a woman- (rather than exclusively lesbian-) identified writing tradition while confidently, and without undue fuss, positioning her subject in a primarily female writing community. Such affirmative acts of gendering, even if they are not intended to be overtly political, are in themselves transformational; taking the gender-orientation of H.D.’s literary and social contexts for granted is one way of quietly calling the masculinity of literary modernism into question. Although Yeats’s colourful and contradictory presence informs a number of discussions, few treat him in isolation; almost all, however, follow the lead taken by Paul Muldoon, in his inaugural lecture as Oxford Professor of Poetry (published in pamphlet form as The End of the Poem: ‘All Soul’s Night’ by W.B. Yeats) in concentrating on the later work. As ever, the word-wizardry of Muldoon’s lecture is worth relishing for the suppleness and amplitude with which he invests a characteristically impacted idiom. In another closely argued but less virtuosic reading, ‘Yeats’s Rough Beast: The God for the Slaves’ (ELN 38:ii[2000] 61–71), Daniel O’Hearn bravely unpicks the considerable and complex ideological and spiritual tensions of ‘The Second Coming’. In pondering the opposition, set out in A Vision, between the ‘primary’ and the ‘antithetical’, O’Hearn anticipates one of the interests of Fran Brearton’s excellent The Great War in Irish Poetry: W.B. Yeats to Michael Longley, one of two good longer treatments. Much like its counterpart, Steven Matthews’s Yeats as Precursor: Readings in Irish, British and American

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Poetry (also reviewed by Brearton in section 8), Brearton’s forward-looking approach recontextualizes two enormous discourses by examining the various points of their intersection, and, as her title hints, converses throughout with Fussell. Around 35,000 Irishmen (out of some 200,000 who enlisted) died in the conflict. Such poignant details underpin this sophisticated analysis of, in the pre-1945 first section, the varying responses of Yeats, Graves, and MacNeice to the fact, function and effect of a war in which Ireland’s part has habitually been misunderstood, if not underestimated. As Brearton proves, Yeats is more interested than he pretends in a conflict he professed to ignore, not least because of a belief (which underpins the whole book) that ‘All creation is from conflict’. However, as Yeats also knew, this was no more the kind of war that mantra imagines than its poetry would prove to be the kind of nationally significant ‘creation’ he would have wished for. In fact, for Brearton, his reluctance to write about the war himself and disdain for poets like Wilfred Owen argues the depth of his uncertainty about the effect of a conflict which to some extent overshadowed, but also enlivened, interest in a domestic political agenda. Hence the different nuances of the four elegies he would write for Robert Gregory. Yeats’s equivocation emerges as the common reference point for the following chapters, each retracing a particular set of creative tensions attending its subject, respectively Graves and MacNeice, to his relationship with Ireland and his response to the war. Graves, for example, is carefully resituated in the complexities of a shifting literary context: if he is habitually written out of Irish literature, his part in ‘English’ poetry is also misunderstood. Brearton understands Graves’s entire oeuvre as a lengthy working out of a coherent response to the war which proves not only the accuracy of Yeats’s mantra but also the significance of his example. There are interesting parallels between ‘A Vision’ and The White Goddess, for example. In the chapter on MacNeice, Fussell takes second place to Samuel Hynes, whose work on the mythologizing of the Great War is the starting point for an examination of how MacNeice’s rehabilitation, by contemporary poets such as Michael Longley, as a poet of Northern Ireland, further complicates his response to the conflict. Although MacNeice is distanced from the Great War by age as well as upbringing, his interest in the subject not only reminds us of its impact on his generation, but of his difference from his peers in the Auden group, not least because of the way in which his own ideas borrow the ambivalence he sympathetically explores in The Poetry of W.B. Yeats. Matthews’s treatment, covering not one but three different literary cultures and focusing more decisively on Yeats, seems both broader and narrower than Brearton’s. In some ways, the case he makes is obvious: ‘Reading Yeats through the poets he has influenced is another way of re-reading Yeats himself, setting him in different lights and cultural contexts’ (p. 38). However, his study of a predictably diverse and fragmented array of poetic conversations with this generative, tension- filled presence, not all of which obey Harold Bloom’s formula of poetic influence, seems virtuosic (apart, that is, from some remarkable lapses of grammar and general ungainliness of expression). Yeats, after all, was the master of self-reinvention, ceaselessly warring, in public and in private, with any and all of the cultural traditions—historical, political, aesthetic—with which he knew himself, like it or not, to be associated. Bloom, Paul de Man and, most usefully, Derrida all enter a discussion of influence which, agonistically, strives and fails to escape its own Bloomian beginnings. Embedding what is, in fact, a survey of considerable range

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(moving, for example, from MacNeice and Austin Clarke to Auden and Davie to John Crowe Ransom and Allen Tate, being those who come closest to my domain) in Yeats’s dualistic sense of the word ‘tradition’ as that large cultural context by which the self is simultaneously secured and effaced, Matthews probes Bloom’s impacted paradigm through his textual deconstructions. Focusing on aporia-rich poems like ‘The Choice’, he reaches through Bloom towards more supple Derridean tropes of supplementarity and undecidability, which colour the poetic re- encountering of Yeats wherever and whenever it has taken place since his death. If this confident book has a flaw it is perhaps that it overreaches itself in attempting to treat so many of those individual encounters. Even so, it creates a sense of Yeats’s poetic stature more successfully for that breadth.

A much shorter essay by Matthews notes Byron’s impact on Yeats’s mature

idiom, and therefore, rather by default, on modernism—in all its divergences— overall. ‘Yeats’s “passionate improvisations”: Grierson, Eliot, and the Byronic Integrations of Yeats’s Later Poetry’ (English 49:cxciv[2000] 127–41), finds Herbert Grierson partly responsible for the ageing poet’s effort, in mature poems such as ‘In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewitz’ and ‘Coole Park 1929’, to reintegrate the public and private responsibilities Yeats once strove to separate. That shift in perspective was first commented on by Eliot, in the 1940 memorial address he delivered at Westminster Abbey, and to some extent underwrites the Yeats commemorated in Little Gidding. Matthews, however, is the first to retrace them to Byron, who is treated at some length in Grierson’s The Background of English Literature (published, and avidly read by Yeats, in 1925); the repeated use of ottava rima in the later poetry serves to support his case. He proposes that it is in this effort, to ‘re-integrate’ the passionate poetic self of private experience with the voice of public knowledge, that the later Yeats departs most conclusively from the principles and legacy of a modernism which was always more Eliot’s than his.

In a fairly fallow year for Eliot himself (not helped by the reluctance of some

publishers to forward review copies), I’ll start with one I missed last time: M.A.R. Habib’s The Early T.S. Eliot and Western Philosophy. A lively prose makes this penetrating examination of the philosopher manqué more readable than you might expect. In the first comprehensive scholarly account of Eliot’s chief philosophical writings (the doctoral work on Bradley, three unpublished graduate papers on Kant and a sceptical manuscript paper on Bergson) Habib pursues the irony which the poet cultivated under Harvard luminaries such as Irving Babbit and George Santayana. Situating Eliot in the ‘heterological’ tradition (opposing the post- Enlightenment liberal-humanist ideology reaching from Russell to Locke and Hume), Habib systematically examines how the ironist’s philosophy is refined in the complex stance of his poetics, and major critical principles like those of impersonality and tradition. Arthur Symons’s view of Symbolism’s opposition to bourgeois materialism propels Eliot—via Schopenhauer and Bergson—towards Laforgue, for example. In Laforgue’s humorously ironic poetics, the philosophically problematic relationship of the One and the Many is resolved by unifying the one fragmented self with the self-consciously dualistic version which stands outside and transcends it. From this example, Habib traces in the ironic voices of Prufrock and the lady of ‘Portrait’ a similarly elaborate and often deftly humorous synthesis of the poetic with the philosophical. But if antagonism to the liberal-humanist tendencies

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of bourgeois thought underpins Eliot’s interest in Kant and Bradley—his dissertation illuminating the self-aware forms of the 1914–19 poems—his attitude to them remains broadly ironic, just as his despairing pessimism remains, ironically, embedded in the economic, aesthetic and cultural institutions he professes to deplore. Habib’s account comes fruitfully to rest on the ironic philosophy of The Waste Land, embodied in the dualistic form and equivocal utterances of Tiresias. Irony is also implicitly at issue in Andrew John Miller’s ‘“Compassing material ends”: T.S. Eliot, Christian Pluralism, and the Nation State’ (ELH 67[2000] 229– 55), which pursues what Barbara Hernstein Smith, in