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This review is taken from PN Review 84, Volume 18 Number 4, March - April 1992.

GRAPHIC, AND LEXIC Anthony Rudolf, Wine from two glasses (Adam Archive Publications) £6; I'm not even a grown up: the diary of Jerzy Feliks Urman, edited and introduced by Anthony Rudolf (Menard Press/ King's College) £6

These books constitute the second and third parts of what their author not unnaturally considers a kind of trilogy, the prize-winning Primo Levi's War Against Oblivion having been published separately (and reviewed in P·N·R 81). In the more discursive of these sequels - the Adam lecture delivered at King's College London - Tony Rudolf refers to Levi (and the figure who, for him, is Levi's opposite role, Paul Celan, whose 'wine from two glasses' provides a title) only intermittently, the principal literary focus falling on George Oppen, though literature is only one of the many strands in a passionate and urgent text, 'against oblivion' with a vengeance. Wine from two glasses incorporates family business in the shape of a visit to Israel, though it is in no way a travelogue; time, and especially the atomized time of Rudolf's Polish origins, matters much more than space. The vertiginous aspects of the enterprise, which can modulate from items of intimate biography to clusters of cultural wisdom, can be discomfiting, but serve Rudolf's purposes accordingly. And, as often elsewhere, he finds points of reference where neglect or erosion seem to have triumphed; Peguy's Clio is one such ('this amazing and forgotten masterpiece') and Reuben Ainzstein's formidable Jewish Resistance in Nazi-occupied Europe another - the latter in connection with the Diary of Rudolf's second cousin. In his lecture Rudolf confronts what boils down to 'the problem of rhetoric', and he effectively admits thereafter that he has been rhetorical on issues which have to ...


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