The anathemata: Fragments of an attempted writing
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David Jones's The Anathemata: 'Very probably the finest long poem written in English this century.' (W.H Auden) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
David Jones (1895-1974) was born in Kent. In 1915, then an art student, he went to war with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, where he fought in the battles of the Somme and Ypres. In 1922 he began a long association with the artist Eric Gill. In Parenthesis, based on Jones's experiences in World War I, was published in 1937, followed in 1952 by The Anathémata. David Jones's works are exhibited at the Tate Museum and the National Museum of Wales. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
However, the copy of this book is heavily foxed. Maybe it was stored in poor conditions; it can't be that old!
Both David Jone's In Parenthesis and Anathemata are remarkable poetic attempts at making sense of our shared UK history.
I look forward to the day when the BBC releases its broadcast versions of both poems. The atmosphere of Anathemata remains fixed in my memory and holding this well used but foxed copy somehow helps to recall the BBC experience.
It is a valuable service that the old book shops provide via Amazon. We can't all travel to such places as Hay-on-Wye, to spend happy, pleasurable hours searching for rare and valuable publications.
My grandfathers and the uncle that fought in WW1 and managed to survive became confirmed pacifists as a result of their experiences. However David Jones speaks eloquently through his personal experiences, transcending the personal through the lyrical process of melding his vision with myth and history into something both universal and redemptive. It is possible that only a Welshman could have written like this, the bardic tradition and all that...
Maybe an acquired taste in this day and age, all I can say is that it speaks to me.
The Anathemata is a quest for a series of signs that not just locate the British in the World but seek to ravel up the disparate voices of British history - essentially a mongrel project.In this respect it must be more important than The Wasteland
Jones' conception of the extent of his success is probably hinted at by his own choice of subtitle. It is an exceptionally difficult text to read but, perhaps, this is exactly Jones' point - that we have almost forgotten how to read slowly and thoughtfully, nay reverentially.
One day this book will be introduced into the 'Canon'. Get it and see why.
Very pleased with the book itself. Only problem,was the delay in delivery from Monteilbooks. I gather from other reviews this has been fairly common.
However considering their prompt & courteous reply to my complaint & immediate dispatch of the book ,I give them the full 5 star rating & would order from them again.
It's easy to rebut my complaint here. Another Wilson; Waterloo Press writer Lee once told me "content is irrelevant because you've got to say what you've got to say" and I love lines in the Anathemata like
"spire and triforium like great rivals met when all is done, nod recognition across the cramped repeats of their dead selves"
particularly within the near perfect rhythm of the whole Epic where commentators will tell you he's wrestling with the many strands of his identity; Welsh, English, converted Catholic, Westerner. I do feel he's wrestling with the lack of it.
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