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March 2015 · Twelve Current Principal Articles.

mnemotop_2_488I. Mnemosyne in Hades by Alan Wall.

The postcard was a cheap and convenient means of emblematising a place sufficiently distant from home that it deserved memorializing. And of course the postcard is democratically non-auratic; which is to say, that it abolishes distance cheaply. This postcard world is demotic, not hieratic. No temple doors could ever be closed against it.’ — from ‘Walter Benjamin and Aby Warburg: Photographs of Heaven, Photographs of Hell’, no. 5 in our series of ‘Reflections on Walter Benjamin‘.

TNR1top488II. Tasso and Menocchio — and Gawker by Alana Shilling-Janoff.

The New Republic at 100: ‘Immediacy is not necessarily a virtue, nor does it always promote the most well reasoned ideas. After all, the Information Age never represented itself as the Idea Age. But the question of time broadens when we consider the vast ocean of digital information. Ideas exist in the digital world, but they exist in seeming synchronicity, argument and opposition…on the same plane. That information is timely is of paramount importance, but in prizing it so, a claim on time conceived of more broadly, as a diachronic history, is lost.’

At the Globe.III. Writing to Shakespeare by Yves Bonnefoy.

‘This stage with nothing but itself—this metaphysical place, in short—mirrors the dimensions of the hope we peg to language. It offers itself unreservedly to what is sought by poets, always much more than the letter of their work. It permits us to glimpse what is unsayable in their perception of the world, or hidden in their relation to themselves: two things that are inexpressible.’  Translated by Hoyt Rogers whose three essays on Romeo and Juliet are published with Bonnefoy’s text.

Otto DixIV. War and words by Anthony Howell.

‘The promotion of glory (abetted by “stirring” narrative) is undermined by the irony of that metaphor: the membrane in the eye of a bird of prey. Browning recognised that power uses war to its will’s ends. Abstraction came massively into favour after the Great War. Artists and authors saw fiction and narrative as aiding the persuasive pathos of heroism. Yeats, editing the first Faber anthology of Modern Verse, refused to include Wilfred Owen, for whom realism was a mainspring, for whom the poetry was “in the pity.”’

Detail from the cover of 'Rememberer' by Ágnes LehóczkyV. Émigré poetry by Peter Riley.

What happens when a poet writes outside the comforts of her mother tongue? Peter Riley looks at the work in English of two Eastern Europeans, Carmen Buren and Ágnes Lehóczky, to find out. ‘In Bugan you get the presence of song in lineation and lyrical technique, the lyrical swoon; she also has the advantage of working in sentences as a consolidating force played against the lineation. In Lehóczky you get a narrative-like pressing forward (you really do start wanting to know what happens next)…’

robtsanda488topVI. The Bedouin and the Great Monastery by Hilary Gilbert.

For 1500 years, the Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai — the ancient monastery of St Catherine — located at the foot of Mount Sinai has had a staunch ally in the Bedouin of the Sinai. When the local police stood down during the last Egyptian revolution, the Bedouin stood up to protect the monks and their priceless icons and documents. But today, the ‘Bedu feel with good reason that their country is failing them.’ Published with The mosaic of the Transfiguration at St Catherine’s, a commentary on ‘the layers of meaning that the art of the Early Church produced by very simple means’. By Cyril Mango.

thtallis488top-3clnVII. The postmodern ‘Tallys’ and two more ‘raptures’ by Nigel Wheale.

‘Spem in alium is one of the supreme choral works of the European Renaissance, but the circumstances of its composition are debated: was it made to celebrate the fortieth birthday of Queen Mary I, 16 February 1556, or for the fortieth birthday of Elizabeth I, 7 September 1573? Why should this be of any interest at all? It was almost certainly of absolutely no interest to many of the people with whom I shared the experience of Janet Cardiff’s sound sculpture at the Cloisters.’

How’s the Mood-Board? Ben Lerner’s celebrated novel, Leaving the Atocha Station, is a starting point for a reflection on the fleeting emotional intelligence of postmodernism.

The Omega Point. ‘Can we read Lerner and Coupland (DeLillo got there first) as voices for the new New movement, the post-ironic, a decisive move beyond the crumbling stockade of the post-, but toward what? Resurgence of a new Naturalism, the return of Realism, even? There is, after all, plenty enough these days to be getting real about.’

remyflat488VIII. Remy de Gourmont. A dossier.

His refuge in the rue des Saints-Pères ‘contained a narrow rectangular ante-room, a tiny kitchen filled with book-shelves and with books on the stove, an immense dining-room, surrounded with book-shelves filled and double-filled with books; the study was walled with books, the armchairs and chairs of faded yellow velvet supported heaps of books, and more heaps of books filled every nook and corner; the view from this study was a piece of wall and a triangle of sky above the roof. . .’ Contributions by Ezra Pound, Richard Aldington, Paul Cohen, and John Taylor, with Selections from ‘The Problem of Style’.

IX. Etiquette by Alexander Zubatov.

‘Though inculcating blind obedience to one’s own clan is going a bit too far, there is a significant degree to which taking pride in one’s society and customs is necessary for individuals to feel enchantment, to go about their lives with the requisite sense of steady purposefulness. We do not have to go all the way to embracing the proto-Nazi nationalism of Hans Freyer or Carl Schmitt to believe that, in such an environment, a milieu where the people feel a strong sense of national purpose and pride, of collective destiny, as history has shown again and again, culture can thrive.’

X. Italian poetry now by Francesco Giardinazzo and Marco Genovesi.

The work of these two poets represents the two directions emerging in modern Italian poetry — and in modern European culture, generally. In the words of translator Hoyt Rogers, ‘Giardinazzo remains firmly attached to the complex heritage of Italian verse, and to the European tradition as a whole’. Marco Genovesi, on the other hand, has been influenced as much by Jim Thompson as by Dante. Translations by Hoyt Rogers.

XI. Therianthropes and vents by Alan Wall.

‘In some of the earliest representations of ourselves that exist, we have presented ourselves as therianthropes — part human, part animal. We are engaging in that mimetic activity we have subsequently named art, and we are also engaging, as therianthropes, in the impersonation of other creatures or beings. This we can call mimicry, but it is also the activity at the root of ventriloquism, a sacred activity in our earlier history…’


The anthropology of anthropology.XII. Anthropology, empire and modernity by Alan Macfarlane.

‘The rapid onrush of liberal capitalist democracies which finally triumphed after the Second World War, and which had been eroding many western ancien régimes from the eighteenth century onwards, is over. The assumption that we would all end up like America is no longer sustainable. This means that the future is unpredictable and we need to understand in detail what is happening.’ The Huxley Lecture, Royal Anthropological Institute.

Top image: Detail from the cover of Rememberer by Ágnes Lehóczky.

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Edited by Denis Boyles and Alan Macfarlane.

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Editors, contributors, and contact details.

A Partial Archive of the New Series.

Poetry Notes by Peter Riley.
Reflections, Clues & Labyrinths by Alan Wall.
Letter from Venice by Robin Saikia.
Una Visione Estesa by Keith Johnson.
Currente Calamo by Michael Blackburn.
Museums & Collections by Ian Sansom.
Reviews and comment on books, etc.

For a search of the complete archive use the ‘search’ box in the right-hand column.

Fortnightly serials.2011: Golden-beak in eight parts. By George Basset (H. R. Haxton).
2012: The Invention of the Modern World in 18 parts. By Alan Macfarlane.
2013: Helen in three long parts. By Oswald Valentine Sickert.

2011: The Intensive and Extensive Worlds of Anthony Trollope’s Framley Parsonage by Lucy Sheehan, Columbia University.
2012: A Competitive World: Ambition and Self-Help in Trollope’s An Autobiography and The Three Clerks by Rebecca Richardson, Stanford University.
2013: Sanction, pragmatic pursuit and civil society in Trollope’s The Eustace Diamonds by Andrew Lallier, University of Knoxville.
2014: Love in a time of politics by Gregory Brennen, Duke University (graduate) and Trollope and Darwin by Molly Menickelly, William & Mary (undergraduate).

POETRY NOTES by Peter Riley.

Three poems by Alain-Fournier in new translations by Anthony Costello and Anita Marsh.
Children of war in Palestine by Manash Bhattacharjee.
Two poems by Lawrence Binyon.
Poems from ‘special effects’ by Iain Britton.
Monochronos by Hugh Chisholm.
Peter Dent: In Close Formation.
The Bibliomania by John Ferrar, MD.
Eight telegrams from the city under siege by Marco Genovesi, in translations by Hoyt Rogers.
Ten poems by Francesco Giardinazzo, translated by Hoyt Rogers.
The Convergence of the Twain by Thomas Hardy.
Grandeur, a new poem by Andrew Jordan.
Ocean by Ann Lauterbach.
Three poems by Osip Mandelstam, in new translations by Alistair Noon.
Two poems by Lawrence Markert.
Pomenvylope No. 10 by Nicholas Moore.
Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen.
Recessional and other new poems by Hoyt Rogers.
Umbrella by Myra Sklarew.
A Morning by William Stafford.
A Voice from the Nile by James Thomson [B.V.].
Jon Thompson: Three new poems.
Two poems from the hôpital Broussais by Paul Verlaine.
The Art of Writing and other new poems by Alan Wall.
Signals and two new poems by Michelene Wandor.
Screeds 1 by Stephen Wiest.

Richard Berengarten: New Poems.
Kelvin Corcoran : ‘After Argos…’
Anthony Costello: three new poems.
Two new poems: ‘Eucalypso Redux’ and ‘Battleships/Romance’ by Alex Houen.
Quite frankly, a sequence by Peter Hughes.
Three poems by Steve Kronen.
Happiness Is the New Bedtime by Becka Mara McKay.
Six new poems by Peter Robinson.
Four poems by John Welch.

The Old Man By Robert Coover.
Dennis and Dinny by James MacGuire.
A Recollection of L’Adorée by Ethel Dilke.
An Encounter by Robert Coover.
New fiction by Conor Robin Madigan.

Rabindranath Tagore: A Dossier
Rabindranath Tagore. A dossier:

Pounds March 1913 encomium from The Fortnightly Review archive; Yeats introduction to Gitanjali, Tagore’s first English-language collection; William Rothensteins reminiscence of Tagore in London; Harold Hurwitzs amusing account of Pound’s vicious about-face on Tagore; and an early Tagore poem, also from the March 1913 Fortnightly.

Yves Bonnefoy. A dossier:

Dialogics: Fifty years by Anthony Rudolf; Image and poiesis by Alan Wall; new translations by Beverley Bie Brahic and Hoyt Rogers; The Curved Planks, with a note, ‘Dear Paula’: An artist’s portfolio by Paula Rego with new translations by Anthony Rudolf.

Remy de Gourmont. A dossier:

His refuge in the rue des Saints-Pères ‘contained a narrow rectangular ante-room, a tiny kitchen filled with book-shelves and with books on the stove, an immense dining-room, surrounded with book-shelves filled and double-filled with books; the study was walled with books, the armchairs and chairs of faded yellow velvet supported heaps of books, and more heaps of books filled every nook and corner; the view from this study was a piece of wall and a triangle of sky above the roof. . .’ Contributions by Ezra Pound, Richard Aldington, Paul Cohen, and John Taylor, with Selections from ‘The Problem of Style’.

venicetop488La Serenissima, a portfolio.

Of all the beach towns in all the world, Venice is unique. Not that there is a paucity of souvenir stands or snack vendors. But what a boardwalk. In our imaginations, we see it idealized and always from a distance. Up close, of course, it’s quite different. In this portfolio, assembled by contributing editor Hoyt Rogers: A Venetian’s view of Venice, by Michele Casagrande; City for sale, by Robin Saikia;Venice and the theatre of memory, images by Gigi Bon and text by Hoyt Rogers; and a collection of extraordinary photographs by Alvise Nicoletti, a detail of one of which is above.

The function of criticism at the present time by Matthew Arnold.
Anthony Hecht by Daniel Bosch.
Anthony Rudolf’s literary Wunderkammer by Harry Guest.

The Boss.

Who is Bruce Springsteen? by Peter Knobler.
Vorticism by Ezra Pound.
Pound’s First Canto by Anthony O’Hear.
Derek Wallcott and the T.S. Eliot Prize by Michelene Wandor.
Lux, lumen and the lights of science: Alan Wall on William Blake.
Robert Bly’s prose poetry by Myra Sklarew.
Textuality by Alan Wall.

John Masefield.

Narrative Poetry by Peter Riley.
John Ashbery’s translation of Rimbaud by Martin Sorrell.
The elegies of Susan Howe by Jaime Robles.
The New Libertine by Anthony Howell.

Modern Italian poetry introduced by Hoyt Rogers.

Ten poems by Francesco Giardinazzo; Eight telegrams from the City under Seige by Marco Genovesi.

The poetry of the second person: Robinson and Welch, by Peter Riley.
Bernard Stone and the Turret by Brian Patten.
The inside of the open mind by Frank Jewett Mather.

The daily routines of writers by Merritt Moseley.
James Smetham calls on the Ruskins by Mark Jones.
Letting down the élites by Alana Shilling (Theatre in New York).
F. T. Prince and other British mavericks, by Anthony Howell.
Robert Musil’s ‘Essayism’ and Modernity by Alan Wall.
A Man of Letters, an interview with Robert Louis Stevenson, by H. R. Haxton.
Poets of the Caribbean by Peter Riley.
New Dominican Poetry: ‘El Hombrecito’ – Baez and Pumarol. Introduced and translated by Hoyt Rogers.
Art and money and Miami by Alana Shilling-Janoff.

The new pastoral in French poetry by Peter Riley.
Francis Thompson by Katharine Tynan.
The saving social graces by Alexander Zubatov.
Anthony Howell’s year-end bedside reading table: Maris, Wills, Adcock, Clarke, Gardner, Colby.
Apollinaire, the war poet by Martin Sorrell.
Coleridge as a poet by Edward Dowden.
John Buchan by Roger Kimball.
Robert Duncan and the Occult by Peter Riley.
W. H. Davies and the gift of laziness by Martin Armstrong.


On Nicholas Moore by Martin Sorrell. Published with ‘Pomenvylope No. 10‘ by Nicholas Moore.

Veronica Forrest-Thomson: poetry beyond theories by Peter Riley.
The Feast of the Redentore in ‘A Letter from Venice’ by Robin Saikia.
Geoffrey Hill and the OED by Alan Wall.

The mosaic of the Transfiguration by Cyril Mango.
On Sculpture. By Anthony O’Hear.

The Beginnings of Greek Sculpture 1. The Heroic Age of Greek art.
The Beginnings of Greek Sculpture 2. The Age of Graven Images.
The marbles of Ægina. On the ‘philosophical aspect’ of Greek art.

Notes on the complexities of Post-Modernism by Charles Jencks.
Published with
Postmodernism and history, by Anthony Howell.

Vorticism at the Tate by Andrew Thacker.
Non finito by Anthony Howell.
Imaginatio lego sum by Daniel Bosch.

Elizabeth Taylor by Andrew Sinclair.
Sarah Bernhardt by Arthur Croxton.
The language of The King’s Speech by Stan Carey.
A solution to the mystery of Macbeth’s witches by W. J. Lawrence.
George Grossmith by Stephen Wade.

The beauty of quantitative easing by Nick O’Hear.

Who is Bruce Springsteen? by Peter Knobler.
Nick Lowe by Austin de Lone.
Andrea Missé, 1976-2012 by Anthony Howell.
Strictly Come Dancing by Michelene Wandor.

Fairness and family values by Stephen Asma.
A quest of the imagination by J. B. Bury.
On social disorder by Gerald Gaus.
Joseph de Maistre’s ‘different sort of progress’ by Anthony O’Hear.
The evolution of mystery by Maurice Maeterlinck.
Carlin Romano’s America the Philosophical, reviewed by Anthony O’Hear.
Is it possible to teach creative writing? by Michelene Wandor.

Death to the Reading Class by Marshall Poe.
Bookshop Memories by George Orwell.
The e-Hypnerotomachia Poliphili by Alana Shilling.
The Production and Life of Books by C. Kegan Paul.

The Bedouin who guard St Catherine’s by Hilary Gilbert.
La Bièvre, the lost river of Paris. By Zoë Skoulding.
Inventing Asia by Kate Hoyland.
Sir Richard Francis Burton by Ouidah.
Genealogy in America by Drew Moore.
Published with On ancestor worship by Herbert Spencer.
Fragment: Concepts of Time and the World We Live In by Alan Macfarlane.
Travel beyond the Grand Tour by Anthony Howell.

From the Øιλοκαλíα to Franny’s pea-green book. By Andrew Louth.
Panentheism and the god of Athens by Thomas Conlon.

Newton’s prisms by Alan Wall.
A calendar for Mars by Rev. George Lardas.
Mars by Sir Robert Ball.

That Scottish vote — as seen from Orkney in 2014. By Nigel Wheale.
Prohibition’s ‘original Progressives’ by Andrew Sinclair.
The virtues of European populism by Denis Boyles.
Iowa’s caucuses by Jon Lauck.
The Rosenbergs and their apologists by Allen M. Hornblum.

Included: Related material from the archives republished in this New Series.

List of Editors & Contributors.

Little Joe Chamberlain.

The complete index of Principal Articles | The complete index of Chronicles & Notices

Welcome to The Fortnightly Review. This is the New Series.

Chronicle & Notices: Our Rolling Register of Shorter Articles, Excerpts from Interesting Books, and Notes from Elsewhere on the Web.

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