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February 2018 · Twelve Principal Articles.

I. Dreams…and nightmares of four civilisations by Alan Macfarlane.

‘It is extremely difficult to pierce to the core of a civilisation. However, one indirect, but powerful, way to do this is to examine the dreams and the nightmares that haunt daily life. Civilisations characteristically project their beliefs, identities and anxieties onto a mirror of ‘The Other’. The dreams, or ideal types of behaviour to which we should aspire, tell us about the hopes of a civilisation. The anxieties and worries, the way in which this ‘Other’ mirrors the fears of powers that are believed to be trying to undermine a civilisation’s beliefs and institutions are equally revealing.’

II. Doctor Gachet by Anthony Costello and Emma Storr.

You will see the doctor now — this time through the eyes of Vincent van Gogh. Anthony Costello and Emma Storr have written an examination of that most intimate of platonic relationships, the doctor and the patient, and the influence they exert on each other. A preview chapter from an anticipated book. And for more on doctors and what they see, have a look at these: Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s Dreams of Nerve Cells by Charles Vecht and Zbigniew Kotowicz by Anthony Rudolf.

III. Roger Fry and the formalist project by Marnin Young.

For painter Walter Sickert (right), the so-called Post-Impressionists are united only by their wilful “deformation” and violations of “quality,” but Roger Fry’s formalism owned the future. Both wrote about the 1910-11 Grafton exhibition for The Fortnightly Review. ‘The difference between the two texts, republished here, is about as good a demonstration as one could find of an intellectual watershed.’

IV. The Utopian Animal by David A. Eisenberg.

As Aristotle observed, “all men by nature desire to know.” But knowledge, that is absolute knowledge or wisdom, is unattainable, hence the enduring pursuit of it and the unceasing restlessness that reposes in man. Utopias preclude this pursuit; they promise an end to this restlessness. They do not presage the attainment of wisdom, so much as an end to the perpetual striving for it.’

V. Shakespeare’s ‘Islamic’ masterpiece by Nigel Wheale.

‘The utter strangeness of Shakespeare’s “The Phoenix and the Turtle” in English literary convention is revealed by comparisons, and connections, with texts from older, more exotic traditions – Indian, Persian, Arabic, Berber Numidian, which have resonances with these verses from the English Midlands, around 1601.’ Second of a two-part consideration of ‘Let the Bird of Loudest Lay’.

VI. The New Beauty by Anthony Howell.

‘What is beauty in the age of The Avengers: Age of Ultron – a film which cost $279 million to make and grossed over a billion? What is beauty when Damien Hirst [above] tells us that his Venice Biennale exhibit cost him £50 million to make? As an aesthetic ideal, wealth stimulates a veritable culture of prizes, breaking down the divide which has traditionally separated art from sport. It’s an ideal that stimulates competition and incites envy, isolating one creative from another and thus ensuring against revolution. Very neatly, the rebellious “tradition” of the salon des refusés has been annulled by the oligarchs.’

Orson Welles.VII. 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.’

VIII. A Memorial Dossier honouring Yves Bonnefoy, with contributions by Hoyt Rogers and Anthony Rudolf.

‘Bonnefoy’s valedictory book [Together Still] is a lucid meditation on anamnesis as we live it in the present,’ notes Hoyt Rogers, one of Bonnefoy’s translators and the author of the personal introductory note to this Memorial Dossier which includes not only Rogers’s translations from Bonnefoy’s final book of poems, but also two additional essays by Rogers on Shakespeare and Bonnefoy and the collaborative process of translating Bonnefoy’s work. Also here: a translation from L’Improbable, by Anthony Rudolf, and ‘Two Visits to Paris‘, an intimate memoir of Rudolf’s last meetings with Bonnefoy after a half-century of friendship. A detailed index of work by and about Yves Bonnefoy appearing in The Fortnightly Review is here.

IX. 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.’

brunetierepinceX. ‘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.

gallanttop488XI. 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 archiv

musictop488XII. 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.

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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. In The Fortnightly’s online template, illustrations on text pages are thumbnails with captions embedded. To enlarge an illustration, click on it. To read a caption, hover over the illustration. Some video elements also appear as thumbnails. To play them full-screen in YouTube, click twice. Pressing the escape key will return you to the originating page.

The Fortnightly Serials.
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 Palestine by 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.
Æcerbot by Steve Ely.
Hefted by Gary Evans.
Twelve prose poems by Monk Gibbon
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.
Grandeur by Andrew Jordan.
A Scrap of Paper by Paul Hyacinthe Loyson, Translations by JG Frazer and Edward Brabrook
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.
Winétt de Rokha: Three Poems translated by J. Mark Smith.
Two Poems by James Russell.
Six-Way Mirror by Robert Saxton
Parabola by Maurice Scully.
Five poems by Jules Supervielle translated by Ian Seed.
Three new poems by Sanjeev Sethi.
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.
Fetish by Alan Wall
The Art of Writing and other poems by Alan Wall.
Poems in Prose by Oscar Wilde.
Two poems from ‘Poems without Irony’ by Alex Wong
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
Things by D.H. Lawrence
The Vanishing by David Rea
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.

The Fortnightly Dossiers.

Ferdinand Brunetière, a Fortnightly dossier with essays by Erik Butler and Yetta Blaze de Bury and an ebook by Elton Hocking

On The Manager by Richard Berengarten: A critical dossier edited by Paul Scott Derrick, with contributions by A. Robert Lee, Anthony Walton and Kay Young.

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

Remy de Gourmont: A Fortnightly dossier with remarks 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.

A Memorial Dossier honoring Yves Bonnefoy with contributions from Hoyt Rogers and Anthony Rudolf.

Reflections on Walter Benjamin by Alan Wall.

The Tagore Dossier: Ezra Pound, W. B. Yeats (with a post-script by Marianne Moore), William Rothenstein, Harold M. Hurwitz and Tagore’s At the Fair.

COMMENTARY and REVIEWS. Alphabetical by author.
The function of criticism at the present time by Matthew Arnold.
The interview as text and performance by Richard Berengarten and John Dillon.
Octavio Paz in Cambridge, 1970 by Richard Berengarten.
Ringing the Changes by Paul Scott Derrick
The History of Imagism by F. S. Flint
Coleridge, poetry and the ‘rage for disorder’ by James Gallant.
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.
The Poems of Basil Bunting by Anthony Howell.
Asprezza: a Paean to the Pioneer of the Madrigal by Anthony Howell.
Two essays on Jane Austen by Thomas Kebbel.
‘Things’ by D.H. Lawrence.
The Case of Edmund Rack By Tom Lowenstein.
Notes from an Alpine Landscape by Tom Lowenstein.
Imagining Coleridge and Evans by Rachel Mann.
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.
Of wisdom and folly in art, from Eagle’s Nest, by John Ruskin.
The Poems of ‘H.D.’ by May Sinclair
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: Ben Lerner’s 10:04 by Nigel Wheale.
A Drohobych Diptych: The parallel lives of Bruno Schulz and Stepan Bandera by H.A. Willis
Duties of care in the study of literature by Alex Wong.
The poet as ‘strategic’ ironist by Alex Wong.
Spender’s last take by Andrew Graham-Yooll.

Karl O’Hanlon and Daragh Breen by Peter Riley.
Angela Leighton and Geraldine Monk by Peter Riley
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.

Poetry and the fearful symmetry by Daniel Bosch.
Zoran Music at Dachau by Steven Jaron.
The mosaic of the Transfiguration by Cyril Mango. A commentary on ‘the layers of meaning that the art of the Early Church produced by very simple means’.
Imran Qureshi by David Nowell Smith.
Peter Lanyon’s ‘Soaring Flight’ by David Nowell Smith.
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.
Pin- and Pencil-Making in the 21st century by Brent Ranali

The Funeral of Isaac Albéniz by James Gallant.
Francesco Roberto, From His Diaries by James Gallant.
Modern 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’.

The glass lantern shattered: Jeremy Bentham and the demise of the Panopticon Prison by Neil Davies.
Thoughts on Germany by Orson Welles.
The Bedouin of St Katherine 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.
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.
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 Fortnightly’s archive republished in this New Series.

List of Editors & Contributors.


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

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