WIFTER THAN REASON by Douglas ay

WIFTER THAN REASON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A generally unbrooding look at Robert Graves: sunny, sensible, straight-forward; it's also well-balanced- alas, inordinately so. For there's too much palaver over the poet's namby-pamby Georgianism and not nearly enough on the '40's and '50's during which Graves' deeply individualistic devotion to the Muse hit home and he produced poems of a marvelous poise and precision. The development is defined through he realms of both style and sensibility, including his hopping about from England to Egypt of Majorca, and his rummaging in and out of critical crotchetiness and controversy, especially as vis-a-vis his relationship with Laura Riding and the half-wacky, half-wizardly wise pronouncements they made on modernist technique and philosophy. Three crucial prose works are spotlighted: the autobiographical Goodbye, and the scholarly White Goddess, and Greek Myths. And a rather unsuccessful attempt is made to psychologically document Graves' career from early whimsy to later vision, the focal points being, respectively, the WWI and the Mediterranean enlightenment. But Dr. Day's ools are never very sharp; he skims hither and thither, always settling for much less than he promises. Still it's the first full-length American assessment of a major figure and as such a must.

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 1963
Publisher: Univ. of North Caroline