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April 2017 · Twelve Principal Articles.

I. Thoughts on Germany by Orson Welles.

‘You’d journeyed down from Berlin, and, in a break in the journey, you’d come upon this real, live munitions maker. There he was, with a flower in his button-hole, an Argentine girl at his side, a respectful ring of Swiss bankers all about him, smoking an Havana cigar on the borders of an Italian lake. The eyes in the sharply drawn, solid-looking head, are set in a questing expression. They are the eyes of a shrewd hunter, but you surprise in them a curious pallid emptiness—a dead spot. It is as though the centre of a target were painted white, or like the vacuum in the heart of a tornado.’

II. Letters on Japanese Nō theatre by Oswald Sickert.

The Japanese get much more out of subtleties of rhythm (or, rather, out of playing hide-and-seek with one simple rhythm) than we do and are correspondingly lax about the interval between one note and another. I don’t believe a European would have thought of dividing the drum beats between two instruments….Every subsidiary detail of the performance possesses, I don’t know how to say, but a solidity. It’s there — God knows how it came there; but there it is, and it’s not a contrivance, not an ‘idea’.

III. Wittgenstein’s ‘mental engineering’ by Alan Wall.

Wittgenstein spent much of his early life looking at and using engineering diagrams. ‘At the origins of language and writing we find pictography, and pictography finds its modern descendent in the diagram. The diagram achieved one of its most splendid modern incarnations in the 1931 London Underground Map of Harry Beck, still in use today. We see there what diagrams are for: to analyse a system into its inter-related functions, and then proceed to portray those functions with ruthless simplification. That in one sense is what Wittgenstein was attempting with the atomic propositions in the Tractatus.’

brunetierepinceIV. ‘Do you know Brunetière?’ by Erik Butler.

It’s unusual for a critic to be despised to the point where social events are organized to express revulsion. But Ferdinand Brunetière antagonized France at a particularly volatile moment. ‘The Third Republic incubated twentieth-century Europe: accelerating industrialization, democracy, mass movements, colonialist projects, nationalism, anti-Semitism, secularism, and more still. Now, at the outset of a new millennium, perhaps Brunetière’s day has come again.’ A dossier with an appreciation by Yetta Blaze de Bury from our archive and a supplemental ebook by Elton Hocking.

prosepoetrytop488V. The Prose Poem by Anthony Howell.

With prose poetry, each sentence comes at you from its own direction. Each is its own whole, an atomic sentence. That is, it may differ from the previous sentence as much as one atom may differ from another…In my view, some of the finest prose poems have been written by those mystics and philosophers who engage us through the saying. An aphorism with its laconic precision is equivalent to a prose “verse”.’ Published with E. Grant Duff’s ‘Balthasar Gracian, from our archive.

gallanttop488VI. Materializations by James Gallant.

Settled science: ‘Facts were facts, and [Nobelist Charles] Richet’s list of scientists who had examined the most gifted physical mediums for trickery “not once, but twenty, a hundred, or even a thousand times” — and found none — included Alfred Russel Wallace, a colleague of Darwin’s who wrote on various aspects of evolutionary theory, and physicist-chemist Sir William Crookes.’ Published with Wallace’s ‘A Defence of Modern Spiritualism, from our archive.

'Night Hauling'VII. Seeing in the dark by Daniel Bosch.

‘The optical is the existential… Night estranges. The certainties of day-lit labor yield to doubt: What was that? At night our imaginations, less-constrained by the sharp edges of the visible, and, as in childhood, less-convinced by rationalization and counter-evidence, confirm and reconfirm: We are not safe in night. We do not belong to it.’

musictop488VIII. Zoran Music in Dachau by Steven Jaron.

‘A Czech friend of mine used to say to me: ‘‘You know, tomorrow or the day after, it’ll be our turn to burn. A thing like this will never happen again. We are the last to see a thing like this.” Later, when I could no longer hold things in, when the memories of the camp surged up inside me, I began to paint them, many years after. Then I realized that it was not true. We are not the last.’

paztop488IX. Octavio Paz at Cambridge, 1970 — a memoir by Richard Berengarten.

‘To him Paris was the centre of European intellectual and artistic ferment, not London. And certainly not Cambridge. On his visits to London in 1970, I don’t believe that Octavio was in contact with any writers considered – either by themselves or others – to be leading lights in the English literary Establishment of the time. Among most English poets, I don’t think he was yet known or appreciated, let alone widely read, other than by a few pioneers…’

dubouchet_top488X. André du Bouchet by Peter Riley.

The poetry of André du Bouchet ‘doesn’t describe or recount or expound; it doesn’t narrate or philosophise; it never touches politics or society and is essentially a poetry of the self but the poet defines it as a poetry of the non-self…it isn’t formal or lyrical or rhetorical or experimental; its language is both articulated and disjunct…’ Published with a subsequent translator’s response by Hoyt Rogers, along with a portfolio from Openwork, translated by Paul Auster and Hoyt Rogers.

yb-shakestop488XI. 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.

robtsanda488topXII. 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.’ With an update from August 2015: Further notes from South Sinai, by Hilary Gilbert.

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.

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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.
Clues & Labyrinths by Alan Wall.
Currente Calamo by Michael Blackburn.
Rejected! The history of literary disappointment by Stephen Wade.
Verisimilitudes: Essays and approximations by James Gallant.
The American Note by Chloë Hawkey.
Letter from Venice by Robin Saikia.
Una Visione Estesa by Keith Johnson.
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.
2016-17: The Survival Manual in eight parts. By Alan Macfarlane.

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).
2015: The Temporality of Realism and Romance in He Knew He Was Right by Sarah Faulkner, University of Washington.

POETRY NOTES by Peter Riley.

POETRY. Alphabetical by author.
Children of war in Palestineby Manash Bhattacharjee.
Vignettes (V) by Iain Britton.
An excerpt from ‘Blind Distance’ by Pierre Chapuis, translated by John Taylor.
Two poems by Arup K Chatterjee.
Lorenzo Calogero: Six poems in new translations by John Taylor.
Translations of Shakespeare’s sonnets, and five more poems, by Emily Critchley.
Hefted by Gary Evans.
Preface to ‘Émaux et camées’ by Théophile Gautier, translated by Harry Guest.
Five poems by Gëzim Hajdari, translated by Ian Seed.
‘After Tranströmer’ and four more poems by Colin Honnor.
My part in the downfall of everything: a satire on Deceit by Anthony Howell.
An excerpt from ‘Silent Highway’ by Anthony Howell.
Two Vilanelles by Zainab Ismail.
Four ‘ad-libs’ for John Berryman by Lawrence Markert.
Three poems by Anne Mounic translated by Harry Guest.
Six Poems by Lewis Oakwood.
‘X’, an excerpt from ‘Due North’ by Peter Riley.
The Lay of Love and Death of Christoph Cornet Rilke von Langenau, by Ranier Maria Rilke, translated by Harry Guest.
‘Recessional’ and other new poems by Hoyt Rogers.
Grandeur by Andrew Jordan.
Two Poems by James Russell.
Five poems by Jules Supervielle translated by Ian Seed.
Three new poems by Sanjeev Sethi.
Winétt de Rokha: Three Poems translated by J. Mark Smith.
Four Poems by Christopher Steare.
Partita for solo violin by Ruby Turok-Squire.
Two poems by Ruby Turok-Squire.
‘Y’, by Pierre Voélin translated by John Taylor.
The Art of Writing and other poems by Alan Wall.
Shrinking Cities and Small Station by Alan Zhukovski.

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 More Things Change by Michael Buckingham Gray
New York Hotel and Five Other Prose Pieces by Ian Seed.
Italian Lessons by Ian Seed.
Nine thimblefuls of fiction by Ian Seed.
Gold by Martin Sorrell.

Dossier: Ferdinand Brunetière, with essays by Erik Butler and Yetta Blaze de Bury and an ebook by Elton Hocking

La Serenissima: A dossier by Robin Saikia, Gigi Bon, Hoyt Rogers, Michele Casagrande, with photos by Alvise Nicoletti.

A Fortnightly dossier: Remy de Gourmont by Ezra Pound, Richard Aldington, John Taylor and Paul Cohen.

André du Bouchet: a portfolio of his verse translated by Paul Auster and Hoyt Rogers with an introduction to his work.

Reflections on Walter Benjamin‘ by Alan Wall.

The interview as text and performance by Richard Berengarten and John Dillon.
Octavio Paz in Cambridge, 1970 by Richard Berengarten.
Coleridge, poetry and the ‘rage for disorder’ and Otto Rank’s Variations on a Theme by James Gallant.
Peter Dent’s ‘starmaps left for night’ by Harry Guest.
A ‘slanting view’ of Peter Redgrove by Harry Guest.
The Prose Poem: What the Hell is it? by Anthony Howell.
Asprezza: a Paean to the Pioneer of the Madrigal by Anthony Howell.
Two essays on Jane Austen by Thomas Kebbel.
With Warhol on the Move by Charles Plymell.
The ‘awkwardness’ of Denise Riley, by Peter Riley.
Translating du Bouchet: An exchange with Peter Riley by Hoyt Rogers.
Shelley, the ‘divine poet’ by Gilbert Thomas.
Irony and Ironists by Alan Wall.
Walter Benjamin and Surrealism by Alan Wall.
Walter Benjamin: Notes for the End of Time by Alan Wall.
The Poet and the Dictionary by Alan Wall.
Textuality by Alan Wall.
Quixote on the Brooklyn Bridge: a Fortnightly Review of 10:04 by Ben Lerner by Nigel Wheale.
the poet as ‘strategic’ ironist by Alex Wong.
Spender’s last take by Andrew Graham-Yooll.

Lorenzo Calogero and Other Poets in Translation by Peter Riley.
Ilhan Berk by Peter Riley.
Poets, Calm by Peter Riley.
Poets, Angry by Peter Riley.
Christopher Middletonby Peter Riley.
From on high and from the tall grass by Peter Riley.
Poets once young by Peter Riley.
The New Pastoral in French Poetry by Peter Riley.
The Apophatic Poetry of André du Bouchet by Peter Riley.

The mosaic of the Transfiguration by Cyril Mango.
Imran Qureshi by David Nowell Smith.
Peter Lanyon’s ‘Soaring Flight’ by David Nowell Smith.
Poetry and the fearful symmetry by Daniel Bosch.
Zoran Music at Dachau by Steven Jaron.
How’s the Mood-Board? a Rapture by Nigel Wheale.
The Omega Point: a Rapture by Nigel Wheale.
‘Tallys’ and the Postmodern Sublime: a Rapture by Nigel Wheale.

Three essays on Romeo and Juliet by Hoyt Rogers.
Dead Heads by Bram Stoker.

The Work Programme by Ian Bourn.

Francesco Roberto, From His Diaries by James Gallant.

Ernest Renan by George Saintsbury.
The Obscure Charms of Mme Blavatsky by James Gallant.
Balthasar Gracian by E. Grant Duff.
Richard Barnfield by Ed Simon.
La Bièvre, the lost river of Paris. By Zoë Skoulding.
Herbert Palmer by Mark Jones.
Further notes from South Sinai by Hilary Gilbert.
Bigotry from Birth by Tom Zoellner.
Spritz at the Villa by Robin Saikia.
The Feast of the Redentore by Robin Saikia.

Michelson, Morley and the End of Certainty by Richard Jensen.
Materializations by James Gallant.
Thomas Young’s Bakerian Lecture by Christine Simon.

Scottish Independence — as seen from Orkney, by Nigel Wheale.
Roger Scruton and ‘the nonsense machine’ by Michael Blackburn.

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

List of Editors & Contributors.


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.

This site: © 2017. All rights reserved. Permission requests.


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