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This item is taken from PN Review 94, Volume 20 Number 2, November - December 1993.

News & Notes
The first issue of Index on Censorship under the editorship of URSULA OWEN is devoted to the former Yugoslavia. Any hope that the issue might have been out of date by the time it hit the news-stands, and that peace might have broken out, was dashed by the collapse of peace talks. The contributors to Vol 22 No 7 reflect not only on the terrible human cost of the conflict in the Balkans but on the terrifying long-term consequences, and on the role of writers on all sides. The voices of women are heard in this issue with especial force; and Dragan Klaic's straightforwardly grim article 'End of a Multicultural World' is particularly ominous, and not only in the Bosnian context.

The new Agenda (Vol 31, No 2) is subtitled The Sixties Reconsidered and edited by Peter Dale. Dale concentrates on those figures and movements that occupied the 1960s foreground. A rueful, complacent dialogue with Ian Hamilton wanly echoes the famously vigorous 1962 conversation between Alvarez and Davie in the review, a dialogue which defined contrasting agendas for ageneration of writers. The minimalism in which the 1960s fizzled out is celebrated, the ghost of Pound is implausibly evoked, and there are gestures towards the Children of Albion and concrete poetry. Something is missing: editor William Cookson quietly identifies the absence in a note following Dale's editorial. 'Lasting poetry remains timeless and is therefore always contemporary - it does not date, like the ephemera- often the most popular in whatever era.' The figures whose absence from this issue he notes are the late Pound, Tom Scott, Basil Bunting, David Jones and Geoffrey Hill. Dale has in a curious way lopped the 1960s out of the continuity in which they exist, reflecting on an environment hostile to its own best productions, as literary environments often are.

A bitter-sweet phenomenon of the 1960s was JOHN CALDER'S publishing enterprise, born in the 1950S and doggedly surviving against the odds (never quite as harsh as Calder has painted them) ever since. Now Calder Publications has moved to France where he feels the climate is more congenial to culture. Rightly he recalls an aspect of the 1960s not attended to in Agenda: the presence of Jenny Lee, and the insistence on access by all to the best of the arts. It was a time when the past was still thought to exist as an enabling resource for anyone interested in interrogating it; irrelevance in art was seen as extending, instructive, challenging; and bien pensant intellectuals had not learned to condescend to and patronise 'popular audiences: The magazine Slow Dancer, a fruit of the 1970s, has published its 30th issue, a fat swan song after fifteen hectic years. Conceived at an Arvon course by John Harvey and Alan Brooks in 1976.This terminal issue, redolent of the best and worst of the last two decades, is a valuable anthology, available from D.H. Lawrence country-58 Rutland Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 5DG (16opp, £5 00).

LES MURRAY received the Australian National Book Council Award for his collection of poems Translations from the Natural World.

France has been celebrating the centenary of GUY DE MAUPASSANT (d.1893), nowhere more vigorously than at Feécamp, which was both his birthplace and the setting of his finest story. 'La Maison Tellier' is the tale of the town bordello which caused such consternation among the regulars when it closed down to celebrate the First Communion of Madam's niece. Now to mark the occasion, a journalist has identified the spot where it all happened: the original Maison Tellier, it seems, was at 22 boulevard de la République. (D.A.)

WOMEN AND POETRI: a conference and festival, is scheduled to be held at Oxford Brookes University from 8 to 10 April 1994.The organisers intend to combine 'original, high-quality academic papers with a weekend festival of readings and performances by contemporary women poets. The papers will cover abroad historical range and include discussion of representations of women in male poets, as well as female practitioners.' Further information is available from Vicki Bertram, School of Humanities, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane, Headington, Oxford ox3 OBP.

DREW MILNE'S magazine Parataxis: modernism and modern writing, describes itself as 'devoted both to the critical re-thinking of modernism and to the publication of contemporary writing. Parataxis aims to allow substantial discussion of the legacies of modernism, while refusing to characterise modernism as that which is simply past.' Issue 4, now available, includes poems by John Wilkinson, Denise Riley and Stephen Rodefer, as well as essay and interview material. For further information contact Drew Milne, School of English and American Studies, Arts Building, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BNl 9QN.

LEO FERRÉ, the poet who was also a highly regarded ćomposer/singer, died on France's national day 14 July. He was 76. He wrote two of Juliet Greco's most famous songs, 'Jolie mome' and 'Paris canaille'. According to James Kirkup, obituarist extraordinaire of the Independent, it was Ferré's anarchist black shirts and trousers that inspired her own sombre garb.

ATTIPAT KRISHNASWAMI RAMANUJAN, the poet, translator from the many Indian languages, and teacher, died in Chicago in July. He was 64. He studied at the University of Mysore (he was born there) but taught at the University of Chicago from 1961. Apart from the merits of his own verse and translations, as an advocate he did readers the inestimable service to opening up large areas of the rich literature of India.

PETER HOY, scholar, bibliographer, writer, translator and teacher, responsible in whole or in part for the literary magazines Priapus (with John Cotton), Fishpaste, and The Journals of Pierre Menard (with Tony and Brenda Rudolf), died in Oxford in July. He was 59. At Oxford he was fellow of French at Merton and Fellow Librarian at the college library, one of the richest in Europe. An abiding passion throughout his life was the production of the private presses, and his fruitful association with the artist Rigby Graham led to valuable collaborations.

ROGER WODDIS, familiar for many years as the comico-political poet of the New Statesman, died in London in July. He was 76.

The death of the Croatian writer ANTUN SOLJAN was announced in July. One of the leading figures in the Croatian firmament, Soljan born in 1932 and best known as a novelist, started as a poet and continued with poetry throughout his life, keeping faith with the past but also insistently addressing his contemporaries in a language drawn from the contrasting resources of modern speech and past usage. He translated Eliot, Henry Miller and Lewis Carroll.

The Japanese poet and scholar SHUSON KATO died in Tokyo in July. He was 88.

The generous and controversial translator KIMON FRIAR (Kimon Kalageropoulos), who did more to popularise modern Greek literature in English after the war than anyone else with his work on Kazantzakis and others, died in Athens in May at 82.Writing in the Independent, Michael Moschos tells us that Friar 'leaves behind, stacked in a small Athenian flat, the richest extant archive on Greek poetry of the last 50 years'.

Poems are solicited for an anthology on the theme of WELSH HISTORIC' LANDSCAPE/GARDENS. An s.a.e. to Kathy Miles, Derlwyn, Cribyn, Lampeter, DyfedsA48 7ND, will result in further details and guidelines. The deadline for submissions is very near.

This item is taken from PN Review 94, Volume 20 Number 2, November - December 1993.



Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this item to editor@pnreview.co.uk
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