on 16 July 2003
The startling thing about this new collection of his work, with previously unpublished material selected, is its contemporary tone. I think Inge does a lot to bring this out in her introduction and comments. For example, she talks of the terribleness of the marriage of religion and political struggle from Traherne's time as having a kind of poetic parallel with our own times of terror. Alternatively, Traherne's attitude seems so modern, as he pursues his own thoughts and intimations of truth. And who would have known that the new material Inge publishes could sound so contemporary in our scientific frame - in 'The Fly' the wonder Traherne has in 'much in little there' could have been spoken by a geneticist! And do read the story of the rediscovery of Traherne's manuscipts: it is a parable of that which is most valuable being also most fragile.