PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Next Issue Sasha Dugdale, Intimacy and other poems Eugene Ostashevsky, The Feeling Sonnets Nyla Matuk, The Resistance Alex Wylie, Democratic Rags Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Two poems from the archive
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This article is taken from PN Review 1, Volume 4 Number 1, October - December 1977.

Looking Back on Maurras C.H. Sisson

I

THE INFLUENCE of Charles Maurras is something I should like to shake off. Its work on me was done long ago, as far as I can judge, and I am puzzled that he has not fallen into place, with Eliot, say, or Yeats, as a figure to whom I acknowledge a debt from a distance: an historical debt which, unpaid as such things always are, no longer concerns one very much. With Maurras it is different. The seduction remains, even though I cannot read through any of his books with approval. And if I am asked to summarize his achievements, I find myself usually talking about his limitations, even his vices. If I am asked what books of his one should read, to get some idea of his importance, I do not know what to point to. Did he in fact write a satisfactory book? Each of the books is nothing, in itself, and the compendia he himself produced-such as the Essais politiques in the volumes of Oeuvres capitales he prepared during his final imprisonment-seem jejune and inadequate when one turns to them after a long acquaintance with his performance. They must be a poor starting-point to the reader who comes fresh to his work, and give nothing at all to the inquirer who does not come with a measure of sympathy and understanding, from the rumours he has heard of them. And it has to be admitted that an intelligent inquirer, interested in the political ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image