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

This item is taken from PN Review 55, Volume 13 Number 5, May - June 1987.

News & Notes
J. F. Hendry died on 17th December, 1986, suddenly and unexpectedly. Known first in relation to the New pocalypse movement, perhaps the central person in it, he continued to regard it not as an episode in literary history but as the presentation of a case for certain priorities. Some glimpse of what these were, are, can be had in the essays Language and the New Orthodoxy (PN Review 48) and Apocalypse Now (Chapman 31). The continuity with his Myth and Social Integration (1940) is clear, although his thought had deepened over the years, informed by experience as translator and interpreter, with U.N.O., International Atomic Energy Agency, and other international organizations.

His concern with the importance of translation, and the problems involved, took him to Laurentian University, Ontario in 1966, and the founding of a school of Interpreting and Translation. He attacked bad literary translations with some force.

He did not abandon poetry in the late 1940s; indeed a late unpublished long poem Keeper of The Light may include his best work. His travels kept him away so long, especially from Glasgow, his birthplace and home-place, that publication was at best fitful until the collections Marimarusa (1978) and A World Alien (1980). The past few years found him consolidating the philosophical book Expanding Image, the summa of his concerns with language, epistemology, society. New material was continuously being incorporated. He also wrote fiction. Fernie Brae (1947) is reprinted by Polygon in 1987, and there is a body of imaginative prose in his Nachlass. He was completing a novel at the time of his death. He included The Caves of Altamira in a new Penguin Book of Scottish Short Stories (1969). This "story" is of a kind of prose-poetry in which he excelled. It brings out his sense of a need for an image of a situation, to comprehend details which do not cohere or signify. There also he delineates problems of a loss of ego, destruction or denial of self. Poetry was for him what overcomes misleading compartmentalisations of thought and feeling: deceitful clarities of quasi-scientific and/or political catechisms. His critical writings are an extension of a defence of poetry into the relation between language and the break-up of society.

He was a friendly and generous man with a considerable sense of humour. He would have deserved Yeats's praise of Wyndham Lewis: he had intellectual passion. In recent years based part of the time in Glasgow, his most frequent appearances in print were in the Scottish magazine Chapman (15 Nelson Street, Edinburgh) which will publish a feature on his work later this year.
ROBERT CALDER

In January this year Ewart Milne died. Born of Anglo-Irish parentage in Dublin in 1903, he spent several years as a seaman before starting to write poetry in his thirties, his early work appearing in The Sunday Referee along with that of Dylan Thomas. When the Spanish Civil War broke out he worked as a volunteer for the Spanish Medical Aid Committee and led several convoys of ambulances and medical supplies through France and into Spain. It was then he wrote the stories which were recently collected in Drums Without End (Aquila, 1985) his only excursion into fiction. He went back in Ireland when the Second World War began but returned to England in 1942 to work on the land. He contributed to many Irish magazines though most of his books were published in England. Perhaps this form of dual nationality worked against his recognition, the English thinking of him as Irish, while the Irish labelled him as English because of his ancestry and residence. With his return to Ireland and a long silence after his wife's death in 1964, it was not until the 1970s that his work was adequately noticed again. Cantata under Orion was published by Aquila in 1976 and The Folded Leaf in 1983. Before his death he had finished revising the manuscript of a collection which Aquila expect to bring out later this year. (Y.L.)

Joseph Vicens Foix, poet and translator, has died in Barcelona, aged ninety-three. He was to have presided over an important gathering of Catalan writers and intellectuals for Catalan independence in February. He translated the work of the Surrealists into Catalan, and was a friend of Miro, Dali and Eluard. As a poet, he manifested little patience in his texts with those he described as 'the grand, the satisfied, the established, the conformists, and the widows who are chaste and resigned'.

The English Association has published its Presidential Address for 1986, 'Fragment Poetry' by F. T. Prince, reflections in verse on the shapes and shifts of such fragments and the verse-address itself a framework within which a series of poems was read out by way of 'literary conversation, not critical method'. Shoring fragments against ruining poetry 'The art itself will try and cry for/Fullness, meaning, not fragments'. The poem comes with its notes, the notes with their poems, a small anthology, from 1 Priory Gardens, London W4 1TT. (Professor Prince's predecessor in 1985 was Bernard Levin offering light on 'A Shakespeare Mystery' and in 1984 Sir William Rees-Mogg accounted for 'The Plain Style in English Prose'.)

The Czechoslovak dramatist and essayist Vaclav Havel was awarded the prestigious Erasmus Prize in November 1986. The prize is presented by the Erasmus Foundation, with the support of the Dutch government, 'to honour persons or institutions making an exceptionally important contribution to European culture, society or social science'. Havel did not travel to Rotterdam for the ceremony, for fear of being refused re-entry into Czechoslovakia; he is a founder-signatory of Charter 77, the Czechoslovak human rights movement which had its tenth birthday in January 1987. Havel's most recent play Temptation is translated in full in the November/December 1986 issue of Index on Censorship, and an excellent collection of texts by, and tributes to, him will shortly be published by Faber & Faber in Vaclav Havel: Living in Truth.

The first volume of the long-awaited Oeuvres Complètes de Jules Laforgue has just been published by L'Age d'Homme of Lausanne, with two more volumes to follow. One of the contributing editors is David Arkell whose Looking for Laforgue is to be published by Carcanet in paperback this July. In an introduction to the Oeuvres Complètes Lawrence Durrell writes that while Rimbaud had little humour and Baudelaire had almost too much self-pity, Laforgue's irony had the 'tone that soldiers advancing to battle permit themselves. They have no hope, but they have a last-minute gaiety.' Anvil Press have recently published, in a bi-lingual edition, Peter Dale's verse translations of Laforgue's poems (see PNR 53).

The Edinburgh Review is always enterprising and striking, though it favours a type face even more taxing than the small print on this page. For issue 75 Peter Kravits has assembled two symposia: one, a celebration of W. S. Graham with memoirs, critical accounts, poems by him and for him; the other a set of critical essays on John Berger, several prompted by Geoff Dyer's Ways of Telling (Pluto Press), the first extended critical study of Berger's oeuvre. Issue 77 promises to link recent developments in Scottish culture with those in Eastern Europe and Central America.

The British Council is concerned that its publication British Book News is not meeting the needs of bookbuyers, especially those overseas. So from April 1987 the main part of the journal will consist of bibliographic listings of forthcoming books, with library classification numbers, some indication of the academic level for which the book is intended, and an annotation of up to 50 words. However, the annotation is to be 'supplied' (sic) by the publishers - albeit edited by the BBN staff - and at the expense of the present reviews by independent reviewers. Each issue will also include bibliographical articles on recent books in 'specialist' subjects.

We have received Black Night of Kilwa, a novella by Hazel Mugot, published by de Silva (Seychelles) and described by Scriptmate Newriter Editions as the first electronically formatted and laser-printed paperback, and produced in three weeks (including text capture and finishing). This provision for marketing on-demand, high-speed, short-run, not 'desk-top but disc-tape' publications offers glimpses of publishers equipping for laser-print Star Wars. More detail is available from Laserbacks (01 341 7650). The penultimate chapter of the novella advises 'Accept the technology - reject the arrogance . . . Break loose from the mechanized world of white men. Monotony, their world. And to the world that opens senses.'

The representative of an African chief visits Victorian Birmingham to be wooed by industrialists offering firearms or coffee. A medical student from Trinidad starts his course at Birmingham University. These and other stories form The View from Tindal Street published by the Tindal Association for School and Community (Balsall Heath, Birmingham). This might suggest a grim shouldering of commitment to community, class and culture, but the stories have a sharp, particularized directness and between them build to a coherent set of perspectives on a local but not untypical experience. Moreover it's an attractively produced piece of community publishing.

The latest number of Puertaoscura, the large-format periodical from Malaga, is a North African issue; aptly, its 92 pages are numbered back-to-front. It is superbly produced, illustrated with new and period photographs and with Arab and Berber designs. It includes Moroccan poetry, articles on images of Morocco in the cinema, and a conversation with Paul Bowles containing this one brief exchange in English: 'Paul, do you watch TV?' - 'Do you think I should?' Enquiries to Puertaoscura, San Agustin 6, 29015 Malaga, Spain.

The inaugural meeting of the Northern Association of Writers in Education took place at the Arvon Foundation Centre at Lumb Bank on Saturday February 7th. This followed national and regional conferences in 1986 on Writers in Education. The aims of the Association will be to promote the educational ideals of writers, to reach as wide a range of students as possible, to liaise with organisers, teachers and advisers in order to influence the development of new schemes, to promote writing courses for teachers, to arrange skills-sharing sessions amongst their own practitioners and to help new writers to gain educational experience. In addition it is hoped to produce a directory of practitioners sometime during 1987.

The Association will hold its first major event at Lumb Bank on May 17th as part of the national Poetry Live promotion. Four poets will run a day of writing workshops which will culminate in an evening reading. Further information about NAWE can be obtained from: John Killick, The Secretary, NAWE, 5 Slater Bank, Hebden Bridge, W. Yorks. (Graham Mort).

This item is taken from PN Review 55, Volume 13 Number 5, May - June 1987.



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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