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This review is taken from PN Review 93, Volume 20 Number 1, September - October 1993.

WRIGHT & LEFT PAUL MULDOON, Shining Brow (Faber) £5.99
VICKI RAYMOND, Selected Poems (Carcanet) £6.95
JOHN GOHORRY, Talk into the Late Evening (Peterloo Poets) £6.95
PAUL MILLS, Half Moon Bay (Carcanet) £6.95
ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER, Scornflakes (Bloodaxe) £5.95

The last year has seen a surge of interest in Frank Lloyd Wright. Besides newspaper features and television specials, a new gallery devoted to Wright's work and containing one of his office interiors was opened at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Now comes Frank Lloyd Wright - the Opera. Composed by Daron Aric Hagen, it tells the story of the architect's disastrous love affair with Mamah Cheney, the wife of one of his wealthy clients.The libretto is by Paul Muldoon who, in opting to call the work Shining Brow has to hand a convenient symbolic complex. 'Shining Brow' is the literal translation of 'Taliesin', the legendary bard with whom Wright, thanks to a Welsh mother, claimed fond affinities. It was also the name he gave to the summer home in Spring Green, Wisconsin where he set up his practice after being ostracized by the Chicago establishment, referring to the architectural custom of situating a house on the crest of a hill. However firm a hold this gives Muldoon, as a Celtic artist, on his subject matter, (the fictional) Wright's Celtic preoccupations are always questionable and skillfully linked with the kind of high romanticism which can be seen alternately as dazzling genius or fraudulent cant. Is Frank a fake?

Wright is presented by Muldoon as the autocratic romantic artist; 'And some are destined to rule' is his Malvolian opening line as he walks in on a chorus of draftsmen. Art, and in particular architecture which requires so many ...


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