THE DOUBLE AXE and Other Poems by Robinson Jeffers

THE DOUBLE AXE and Other Poems

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Here is the latest Robinson Jeffers' cocktail,- one part Sophocles, one part Lone Ranger, a dash of William Faulkner, and plenty of bitters. It is a two part epic The Double Axe: -- the first, The Love and the Hate, is the familiar pseudo-Greek tragedy in a California setting, this time having to do with the return of a young G.I. who has been either buried alive, or has arisen from the dead (this reader was puzzled) and has come home to plague his mother who is hitting it up with a young lover. In the end everyone dies a violent death and the old ranch-house burns down. This is simple and easily recognizable Jeffers' stuff....The next part, The Inhumanist, has to do with an old man who has become caretaker of the remains of the old homestead after its burning and whose best friend seems to be the double-edged axe to which he directs a lot of conversation. This part, though more obscure, has its quota of rape, death and violence... The upshot of the whole seems to be Jeffers against our participation in World Wars I and II; Jeffers against Hitler and Roosevelt; Jeffers against the human race in general. His youths are as handsome and incestuous as ever; his wives and mothers as adulterous; his old men as lecherous, violent and driveling. Jeffers does like the California landscape and can't say too much (so he thinks) about it since it will last when the race of mankind is gone. He predicts World War III and this country's destruction at the hands of Russians or Germans or Japs, whom he does not hate. The publishers disclaim authority for his political views in this puerile and violent rodomontade, while the author proclaims his love for his publishers. To this reviewer his popularity is a puzzle; but he has his followers, and they will like this volume, no doubt. Even to the faint note of fascism, fashionable among the adherents of the Beard and Wallace schools of thought.

Pub Date: July 19th, 1948
Publisher: Random House