UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The inward continuities : aesthetics, crisis and The anathemata of David Jones Li, Victor Paw Hoon 1975

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Notice for Google Chrome users:
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1975_A8 L05.pdf [ 7.28MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0093478.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0093478-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0093478-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0093478-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0093478-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0093478-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0093478-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0093478-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0093478.ris

Full Text

THE INWARD CONTINUITIES: AESTHETICS, CRISIS, AND THE ANATHEMATA OF DAVID JONES by VICTOR PAW HOON LI B.A., University of British Columbia, 1973 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of English We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1975 In presenting th i s thes is in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary sha l l make it f ree l y ava i l ab le for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th is thes is for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives. It i s understood that copying or pub l i ca t i on of th is thes is for f i nanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my wri tten pe rm i ss ion . Department of The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date £ e ^ L v v { ^ |?7£"" Abstract The purpose of this thesis i s to show the interrelationship between David Jones's writings on aesthetics, his expressed concern over the threat technology presents to the practice of art, and the compositional problems of The Anathemata. David Jones's aesthetic concepts appear idiosyncratic and strange to many of us because we no longer understand the language of poiesis and signs in which he speaks. Hence the language of his aesthetics needs to be trans-lated, his aesthetic concepts defined. Accordingly, the f i r s t three chap-ters explore Jones's writings on art and attempt to define and explain certain key terms in his aesthetic vocabulary, terms such as poiesis, sign, sacrament, anamnesis, 're-present,' materia poetica, and so on. The fourth chapter investigates David Jones's contention that the arts are in a state of c r i s i s i n our technological epoch. The dominant u t i l i t a r -ian ideology of our technocracy, Jones argues, threatens the 'extra-utile,' gratuitous nature of a r t i s t i c activity. Consequently, he believes that a modern aesthetic must be based on anxiety. This chapter also discusses how Jones's aesthetic views presented in the f i r s t three chapters furnish at once a critique of modern technological trends and an aesthetic valid for our epoch. In the f i f t h chapter, The Anathemata i s examined in the context provided for i t by the preceding chapters. In particular, this chapter examines the problems (especially of a structural nature) faced by David Jones i n compos-ing a long poem like The Anathemata. It also argues that Jones successfully solves the problem of unity i n The Anathemata by adopting a flexible struc-ture which not only accommodates a multiplicity and variety of allusions, ideas, and themes, but, at the same time, manages to conjoin them into an ordered whole. i Finally, the thesis concludes that the central principle which informs David Jones's writings i s his belief in the interrelatedness of a l l things, a belief supported by his practice as an artist and his faith as a Catholic. i i Table of Contents Page Introduction 1 Chapter I Art as Polesis 6 Chapter II The Work of Art as Sign and Sacrament 21 Chapter III The Poet and his Materia 38 Chapter IV An Aesthetics of Crisis 52 Chapter V The Flexible Unity of The Anathemata . . . . . . . . 81 Conclusion • • 125 Selected Bibliography 130 i i i Acknowledgment I wish to thank the director of my thesis Mr. Andrzej Busza for his patient guidance and friendly advice. i v Introduction An illuminating connection of meanings can be discerned in the lettering David Jones designed for the cover of the paper-back edition of The Anathe- mata. These words appear on the book's cover: DAVID JONES' ANATHEMATA FABER LONDINIUM. Faber i s of course the name of the publishing company: Faber and Faber Limited, London. But i n i t s Latin form i t i s also an apt de-scription of the book's author—a maker. The proximity of 'Faber' to 'Lon-dinium' i s perhaps David Jones's way of suggesting, however obliquely, the Latin meaning of the former. Anathemata, a word that w i l l be examined in greater detail later, means those man-made things offered up to God. In i t s Latin form, London may be regarded as a synecdoche of Britain and i t s histor-i c a l past (especially Roman Britain). David Jones, faber, makes works of art out of the cherished things he has inherited from the cultural past of Britain and offers them up as anathemata. We have, therefore, in the words which appear on the cover of The Anathemata, a statement, i n shorthand, of the central concerns of David Jones, artist and cultural conservator. The word 'connection' i s a password that allows us access to the works of David Jones. His writings on art and his own practice of such arts as painting and poetry are based on the belief that there is an intimate connec-tion between art and our humanity. Art i s , therefore, as inseparable from the past of man as i t i s from his present. The inseparability of art from the cultural past i s clearly stated by Jones. The potency of art, Jones ar-gues, resides to a great extent on "the continued validity of a whole unbro-ken past, as parti-coloured as Joseph's coat, as seamless as the tunic 'wove from the top throughout' for which the soldiers cast lots. Incidentally, that seamless vesture i s an apt figure of art: either you have i t a l l or (in the long run) you w i l l not have i t at a l l . You cannot dissever i t . " The 1 2 practice of the arts, therefore, depends "upon some apperception of that con-tinuous sign-making which is an entailed inheritance, coming to us from our 1 remote forebears." At the same time, however, the present plays a crucial role i n determin-ing the practice of art and the direction that practice w i l l take. The ar-t i s t , Jones writes, i s born into a given c i v i l i z a t i o n a l situation, and con-sequently, his problems ( i . e . his problems as an artist) w i l l be what might be called 'situational problems.' He continues: If, owing to a complex of causes, sable-hair brushes, Chinese white and hot-pressed water-colour paper went off the market, you would, i f you were a user of such commodities, be faced with a situational problem of a very awkward but fundamental-ly material s o r t . . W e l l , the situational problem which con-cerns us here i s of an equally objective nature, but so far from affecting only the materials of one particular kind of a r t i s t , i t affects man-the-artist as such, and affects him not at one peripheral point, but crucially.2 The situational problem which concerns David Jones the most i s that posed by the u t i l i t a r i a n ideology of our technological c i v i l i z a t i o n . Not only i s this u t i l i t a r i a n ideology opposed to the non-utilitarian and gratuitous making of works of art, but in i t s drive to improve our material condition, i t has often been destructive of past traditions that have stood in i t s way. Thus, for an artist like David Jones whose aesthetic i s based on the concept of gratuitous making and the establishing of an unbroken continuity with the past, discussion about art inevitably means a confession of anxiety over the c r i s i s facing i t . This thesis w i l l argue that an aesthetic such as Jones's, which considers the arts in relation to society, w i l l inevitably have to be, in our technological age, an aesthetic based on anxiety. "Esthetics," the American artist Barnett Newman once declared, " i s for 3 the artist as ornithology i s for the birds." But while aesthetics may be as unnecessary to an artist as ornithology is to a bird, the same conclusion i s not applicable to an art-audience or to bird-watchers. A bird-watcher, 3 after a l l , must know something about the physical traits and behavior pat-terns of a bird i f he i s to distinguish between a finch and a wren. Simi-l a r l y , a knowledge of the nature and function of art helps an audience to a better and more appreciative understanding of works of art. The uneducated eye sees nothing. My discussion of David Jones's aesthetics i s prompted by such a consideration. In trying to identify a rare species of bird, a knowledge of ornithology is especially necessary. Similarly, a discussion of aesthetics i s necessary in the case of David Jones. For even among artists Jones i s something of a rara avis. His aesthetic concepts are unfamiliar to many of us. They strike us as unique and idiosyncratic. But i f Jones's aesthetic concepts appear strange to many of us, i t i s because we no longer understand the language of poiesis and signs i n which he speaks; a language, incidentally, that a me-dieval audience would have had far less trouble understanding. The language of Jones's aesthetics must, therefore, be translated, his concepts defined, i f we are to understand a poem like The Anathemata. Accordingly, the f i r s t three chapters of this thesis w i l l explore David Jones's writings on art and attempt to define and explain certain key terms in his aesthetic vocabulary, terms such as poiesis, sign, sacrament, anam- nesis, materia poetica, 're-presentation,' and so on. The fourth chapter w i l l then investigate Jones's anxiety over the d i f f i c u l t i e s our technologi-cal c i v i l i z a t i o n imposes on the practice of art. This chapter w i l l also dis-cuss how the aesthetic views presented i n the f i r s t three chapters furnish at once a critique of certain modern trends and an aesthetic valid for our d i f f i c u l t epoch. Finally, in the f i f t h chapter, The Anathemata w i l l be ex-amined i n the context provided for i t by the preceding chapters. This thesis, therefore begins with a general discussion of David Jones's aesthetics and ends with an examination of a specific poem. By organizing my study in this 4 manner I hope to avoid the narrowness of the explication du texte approach without, however, losing myself i n generalities. 5 Footnotes 1 "Use and Sign," The Listener, 24 May 1962, p. 901. 2 David Jones, "Preface," The Anathemata (London: Faber, 1952), pp. 22-23. Subsequent references to The Anathemata w i l l be indicated i n the text of the thesis under the abbreviation A. 3 Quoted in Harold Rosenberg's The Anxious Object (New York: Horizon Press, 1966), p. 172. Chapter I Art as Poiesis 'art'....comprehends a l l our activities from boat-building to poetry. -James Joyce David Jones was born into a family of craftsmen. His grandfather John Jones of Holywell, Wales, was a plasterer, and his father, James Jones, a printer. On his mother's side, his grandfather Eb Bradshaw was a "Thames-1 side mast-and-block maker." As a young woman, David Jones's mother, Alice Bradshaw, had taken up drawing and we are told that some examples of her 2 work were "framed about the house." Raised i n such a household, i t i s not surprising that David Jones should hold the view of art as a s k i l l i n making. This view of art as a s k i l l i n making finds expression in David Jones's insistence that aesthetics should not consist of speculations on the nature of art; instead, i t should be, for the practising a r t i s t , an attentive en-quiry into, and a practical approach to, the day to day problems that con-front the artist i n the course of his work. Ars i s adamant about one thing [David Jones writesj t she com-pels you to do an infantry man's job. She insists on the t a c t i l e . The artist i n man i s the infantryman in man....To-day most of us are staff-wallahs of one sort or another. That may be why so much that i s said concerning the things of Ars reminds one more of what the General's wife said to the cabi-net minister concerning war-aims than of what i s factually 'war' for those in the place of contact.^ By insisting that art should be contactual and that the proof of i t s nature is i n i t s making, Jones i s able to argue that a f u l l and satisfactory an-swer to the perennial aesthetic question, "what i s a work of art?", can emerge only i f we are prepared to extend our definition of art to include not only the finished artefact but also the human activity of making. Thus 6 7 Jones's aesthetic i s a practical aesthetic for i t proceeds as an enquiry into the disciplines of art and exhibits a concern for the problems encoun-tered in making a work of art. In an autobiographical talk broadcast on the Welsh Home Service of the B.B.C., David Jones acknowledged a debt to Eric G i l l and the other craftsmen of the Guild of St. Joseph and St. Dominic at Ditchling for helping to shape his understanding of the nature of art. In this connection Jones also men-A tioned the name of Jacques Maritain. That Maritain's name should immedi-ately follow that of G i l l i s appropriate for G i l l and his associates at Ditchling found in Maritain's Art et Scolastique a coherent philosophical exposition of the nature and function of art that agreed with their own views on art. views gained through practical experience. They obviously thought Maritain's book important, for i n 1923 the St. Dominic's Press at Ditchling printed on hand-made paper 500 copies of John O'Connor's translation of the 5 book under the t i t l e of The Philosophy of Art. It was through Eric G i l l and his c i r c l e that David Jones became famil-iar with the writings of Maritain. As he described i t : "Round about 1923 there was available John O'Connor's translation of Maritain. and that, from the pen of a formal philosopher, provided certain reassurances and further data with regard to some matters which had occupied our thoughts as makers 6 of things." The last phrase, "makers of things," furnishes us with the reason for Maritain's considerable influence on Jones and his friends at Ditchling. For i n Art and Scholasticism. Maritain outlines an aesthetic which sees art as "the making of a work" and which argues that "wherever you find art you find some action or operation to be contrived, some work to be 7 done." In the tradition of Aristotle and the medieval Schoolmen, Maritain argues that art i s an activity of making, a poiesis. 8 The concept of art as poiesis finds i t s classic formulation i n a brief but significant chapter of Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics. In Book VI, chapter 4 of the Ethics. Aristotle distinguishes between making (poiesis) and doing (praxis). Aristotle argues that art involves "a rational faculty 8 exercised i n making something." (Aristotle, as i t w i l l become clear, uses the term 'art' In Its generic sense, as does David Jones i n his writings.) In fact, he continues, there can be no art that cannot be so described. He then concludes with a definition of art which i s worth quoting i n f u l l : An art i s nothing more or less than a productive quality exercised i n combination with true reason. The business of every art i s to bring something into existence, and the practice of an art involves the study of how to bring into existence something which i s capable of having such an ex-istence and has i t s efficient cause i n the maker and not i n i t s e l f . This condition must be present, because the arts are not concerned with things that exist or come into exist-ence from necessity or according to Nature, such things having their efficient cause i n themselves.9 There are several points worth noting i n Aristotle's definition of art. F i r s t , his definition of art i s an Inclusive, generic definition; he does not distinguish between the fine arts and the useful arts such as pottery-making for example. Second, he emphasizes the fact that art i s an activity of making. Third, his definition concerns i t s e l f with the practice of art, the how of making. And f i n a l l y , Aristotle makes an important point when he says that a work of art has i t s efficient cause i n the maker and that, consequent-l y , i t owes i t s existence not to Nature or necessity but to i t s being made by man. These Aristotelian ideas greatly influenced David Jones's thinking on the nature of art. Brief and fragmentary though Book VI, chapter 4 of The Nichomachean Ethics may be, Jones has described i t as a "foundational fragment," one that "contains so much for those concerned with the kind of 10 thing that art i s . " If art i s poiesis then phronesis or prudence ( i . e . practical wisdom) 9 belongs to the realm of praxis. According to Aristotle, phronesis or pru-dence i s concerned with right doing or action. It i s "a rational faculty exercised for the attainment of truth i n things that are humanly good and 11 bad." As such, prudence i s both an intellectual and a moral virtue where-as art i s solely an intellectual virtue that concerns i t s e l f with the ra-tional production of artefacts and not the rational performance of moral actions. Prudence does not involve the making of something; rather, prudence i s a quality Inherent i n what a man does. Through poiesis something i s brought into existence; "whereas i n doing something ^ praxisJ the end can only be the doing of i t v e i l . " Aristotle's definition of art as poiesis and the distinction he drew between the poiesis of art and the praxis of prudence greatly influenced medieval thinking on the subject of art. As Maritain points out in Art and  Scholasticism, the medieval Schoolmen were very interested i n the question: "How does Prudence, at once an intellectual and moral virtue, d i f f e r from 13 Art, a merely intellectual virtue?" As we can see from this question, the Schoolmen adopted the Aristotelian distinction between art and prudence and made i t the point of departure for further enquiries into differences between the two. Maritain's Art and Scholasticism closely follows the arguments of these medieval 'aestheticiahs' and devotes i t s opening chapters to a discussion of making and doing (or action, as i t i s translated by J.F. Scanlan). Doing or action, as the Schoolmen defined i t , "consists i n the free use (free being here emphatic) of our faculties or i n the exercise of our free w i l l consid-ered not i n relation to things themselves or the works of our hands, but 14 simply i n relation to the use to which we put our freedom." Now, since our w i l l or appetite tends to our good, and moreover, since i n the Christian sense our good i s ultimately tied to our perfection i n God, the Schoolmen 10 logically saw doing as belonging to the realm of Prudence, "the queen of the moral virtues...[who] measures our acts i n their relation to an ultimate end 15 which i s God Himself." To doing the Schoolmen opposed making, which they defined as "productive action, considered not i n relation to the use to which, assuming i t , we put our freedom, but simply i n relation to the thing 16 produced or the work taken by i t s e l f . " Making i s therefore concerned not with the perfection of man but with the perfection of the work. Consequent-ly , art, whose only governing law i s that i t should look to i t s own good, belongs to the sphere of making. But though art pursues a non-human end i t i s human i n i t s method of working. A l l works of art bear the mark of reasoned activity, and since man i s the only creature that can be deemed rational, i t follows that the activity of art i s human even i f i t s end i s not. Art i s not just an activity; i t i s a rational activity. Art involves some work to be done, but that work i s controlled by man's reason. If the matter of art i s that which has to be worked on, then i t s form i s that direction and shape conferred on i t by the mind. Thus, i f prudence i s at once an intellectual and moral virtue, then art i s solely an intellectual virtue. Maritain could, therefore, see art as more intellectual than pru-dence -which i s dependent on w i l l , and declare: "...art remains entirely by 17 the side of the mind." David Jones found i n the Aristotelian and Scholastic definition of art a statement of his own views. These views are eloquently expressed i n an essay entitled "Art and Sacrament." In this central essay, Jones adopts the art-prudence distinction only to show that while the two may be d i f -ferent i n kind they are also interdependent. Jones, therefore, departs somewhat from the Aristotelian-Scholastic position that Maritain outlines in his book. 11 In Art and Scholasticism, Maritaln argues that not only are art and prudence different In kind, they are also opposed to one another. He talks about a conflict between the prudent man and the a r t i s t . While the prudent man c r i t i c i z e s a work of art from the perspective of morality and measures i t against the good of man, the ar t i s t defends his work in the name of what he considers a higher virtue, Beauty. Thus, as Maritaln maintains: "It i s 18 d i f f i c u l t . . . f o r the Prudent Man and the Artist to understand one another." However, as a Christian, Marltain sees a resolution to the conflict i n the concept of an inclusive Christian Wisdom: "...Wisdom, being endowed with the outlook of God and ranging over Action and Making alike, alone can com-19 pletely reconcile Art and Prudence." "Art and Sacrament", Jones t e l l s us, was written partly i n objection to the view that art and prudence are opposed to each other or that they have claims against each other. Moreover, unlike Maritaln, Jones i s able to reconcile art and prudence without recourse to any s t r i c t l y theological ar-gument. What links art and prudence together, according to Jones, is man's freedom. Acknowledging the fact that "we a l l are committed to a Prudentia of sorts," Jones goes on to say that i t i s precisely because, unlike any other creature, man i s endowed with reason and a measure of free w i l l that 20 he is also committed to Prudentia's world of faith and morals. In other words, man belongs to a world of faith and morals because he is a free agent; and because man i s a free agent, and therefore not subject to a pure determinism, he i s also the only creature capable of gratuitous acts. And i t i s this a b i l i t y of man to act gratuitously that also commits him to Ars and makes him an a r t i s t . To emphasize the importance of the role played by the gratuitous i n that human activity we c a l l art, Jones compares the transitivity of beastly activity to the intransitivity of man's a r t i s t i c endeavours. The spider's 12 web and the honey-comb, according to Jones, may be compared favourably to the most Ingenious of man's works. They may even be considered beautiful after a fashion. But these ingenious designs of beasts show no evidence of the gratuitous. The activities of animals are determined and controlled by their instincts. And their instincts direct them to create objects that would ensure their survival or satisfy their needs. Thus the creations of animals are wholly functional, their activities purely transitive. Man, on the other hand, i s a free agent capable of acting gratuitously and intransitively. Not a l l his actions are determined or controlled by natural instincts. Consequently, not a l l of his creations are functional or have survival value. Man i s the only creature who creates for the sake of creation; his works often exhibit a concern for their own good rather than some other u t i l i t a r i a n good. We may r e c a l l that for Aristotle "the arts are not concerned with things that exist or come into existence from 21 necessity or according to Nature." For Aristotle art must be free of' ne-cessity; hence, gratuitousness i s part of his definition of art. We may also r e c a l l that for the medieval Schoolmen "the virtue of art has only one object, the good of the work to be done; to make matter resplendent with beauty, to create a thing i n accordance with the laws of i t s being, inde-22 pendently of anything else." Here again art i s defined as a gratuitous and intransitive activity. The object of art is not the good of something else. Art i s for art's sake. Or to be more precise: "Art i s the sole i n -23 transitive activity of man." To repeat: animals lack freedom of w i l l ; and because they lack free-dom of w i l l they are irresponsible agents guided solely by natural instinct; and because they are irresponsible agents their making lacks gratuitousness and cannot, therefore, be called art. The 'incorporeal intelligences' or angels, to take the other extreme from beasts, have freedom of w i l l l i k e men 13 and hence can be described as prudential beings. But they are not artists because they lack, corporeality. Animals have corporeality but not free w i l l , and are therefore rejected by Prudentia and Ars alike. Angels have free w i l l but no corporeality and are therefore prudential beings who can-not make things. Situated between the beasts and the angels, men are cor-poreal and have a measure of freedom and are therefore both prudential beings and artists* Thus, man's freedom which makes him Prudentia's sub-ject also enables him to serve Ars. As Jones puts i t : " . . . i t i s a degree of freedom of some sort that causes man to be, of necessity, an art i s t and the same freedom of sorts commits him of necessity to Prudentia." Or again, as Jones declares: "Man could not belong to Prudentia except as an 24 art i s t and he could not be an art i s t but for that tie-up with Prudentia." It i s typical of David Jones that he should find a 'tie-up' between art and prudence. For central to a l l of David Jones's works i s the belief that i f one looks carefully one can discover a l l kinds of tie-ups, connec-tions, and continuities i n the world. After a l l , for a Catholic like Jones, the world must be the rational construction of a rational Mind. It i s , therefore, apposite that for Jones art i s not only an activity but an activity of f i t t i n g together, and consequently, the end of art i s the achievement of the perfect f i t . In a sense, the artist's activity i s like God's: the rational construction of a unity i n which everything f i t s . As Jacques Maritain puts i t , the artist i s "an associate of God i n the making of works of beauty; by developing the faculties with which the Creator has endowed him...and making use of created matter, he creates as i t were i n 25 the second degree." But while God creates i n the ' f i r s t degree' ex  nihil o, man creates i n the 'second degree' out of created matter or 'shapes' as Jones ca l l s them. Art i s , therefore, an activity of juxtaposing and f i t t i n g together 'shapes' of some sort to create a 'form' of some sort. 14 The created matter or 'shapes' used may be simple or complex. As Jones describes them: They may be of material substances or they may be of imma-t e r i a l concepts given tangible, visual or audible expression and the resultant 'form' which these 'shapes' i n juxtaposi-tion created w i l l vary accordingly. Thus a piece of turned iron pierced at intervals, and formed at one end to handle, by which we regulate the opening of a casement-window i s neither less or more contrived by Ars than are those juxta-posings of concepts that take material expression under the shapes of arranged lines of words, spaces, commas, points, by which poets regulate the openings of casements for us to enjoy and suffer the sights they would show us.^ 6 We may observe here i n passing that Jones's description of a poem as the "juxtaposings of concepts that take material expression under the shape of arranged lines of words, spaces, commas, points" i s also an apt description of The Anathemata. For the present context of discussion, however, the important point to note i s Jones's grouping together of the making of a window-latch and the writing of a poem under the heading of Ars. Jones points out that the 'form' created by the juxtaposings of 'shapes' may vary according to the simplicity or complexity of the 'shapes' employed. Thus a poem i s different from a window-latch and a window-latch i s d i f -ferent from a painting or a chair. But though these 'forms' or artefacts are different from one another, they are alike i n their making which i s an intransitive activity of juxtaposing and f i t t i n g together with no other end than that of achieving a 'good f i t . ' Thus, while there i s to any making a transi t i v i t y , a passing over into the state of an object, the making i t s e l f i s an intransitive activity concerned only with the perfecting of i t s own process. Let us take as an example for discussion the making of a window-latch. This i s a d i f f i c u l t example for a window-latch, unlike a poem, i s patently a functional object. And indeed, in a certain sense, we can say of the making of a window-latch that i t i s transitive, that i t has for i t s object a functional implement that regulates the opening and closing of 15 windows. Yet we may c a l l this making of a window-latch 'art.' i f we discern in the making any sign of the gratuitous. That i s to say, i f we see i n a window-latch any indication of the gratuitous like a f i l i g r e e design traced along i t s length, or a certain pronounced and non-essential curve to i t s handle, we can c a l l i t s making art because the maker, in making the window-latch, was obviously as interested i n the beauty and perfection of the work as he was i n i t s functionality. Such a window-latch would be the embodiment of a union of the useful and the gratuitous and the latter characteristic would qualify i t as a work of art. Admittedly a professional philosopher may find many logical faults i n the attempt to ascribe intransitivity to window-latch making. Jones himself was aware of such a problem, and he con-27 fesses that his examples and analogies may sometimes break down. But his argument that window-latch making may be an intransitive activity, and hence, as much an art as poem writing, obtains our assent whenever we are moved to discover beyond i t s u t i l i t y , the self-sufficient beauty of a patch-work quilt or a glazed porcelain vase or a finely woven rattan chair. It i s Jones's attempt to base the unity of the arts on the concept of intransitivity that leads him to consider and compare such disparate activ-i t i e s as window-latch making, poem writing, bowling i n a cricket-match, picture painting, boat-building, boot-making, horticulture, cake baking, carpentry, and the celebration of Mass. He argues that any definition of art must take into consideration the whole f i e l d of making and not dwell solely on such obvious arts as painting and music. This i s one of the rea-sons why Jones takes exception to the sort of distinction a r t - c r i t i c s and connoisseurs make between the fine arts and the crafts. In a review of Bernard Berenson's Aesthetics and History, Jones takes the eminent art historian and connoisseur to task for insisting on a distinction between 'art' and 'artefact.' Going against the grain of such received views as 16 Berenson's, Jones writes: I can see no difference—of kind, but only of i n f i n i t e de-grees, between works of the 'arts of form' once u t i l i t y has to any degree been overpassed and where the quality of gra- tuitousness has to any degree been operative, whether i t be a wooden spoon carved by a Welsh peasant for his sweetheart, or Bewcastle Cross, or our old favourite, the Aphrodite of Melos, or Picasso's Chandelier, pot et casserole emaillee, or the enamelled 'Battersea shield' i n the British Museum, or the headstones i n Cookham churchyard..., or the beasts i n manganese in the Lascaux caves, or Fouquet's Virgin of Melun, or the Capel Gannon fire-dogs, or Leonardo's Virgin and St. Ann. In a l l these almost absurdly diverse works, u t i l i t a r i a n death has been swallowed up i n the victory of the gratuitous. It i s the only rubicon I know of dividing the a c t i v i t i e s of man....There i s l i t t l e or no point, so i t seems to me, i n stressing the differences of degree. I believe the tendency to stress those differences of degree and to posit a difference of kind comes from theorists rather than from workmen, from 'philosophers' rather than from 'makers.'*** The last sentence i n the foregoing quotation betrays a rather hasty and polemical tone uncharacteristic of Jones and more like a statement that his mentor, Eric G i l l , would have made. But polemical tone aside, i t re-flects Jones's approach to questions of art. Jones's essays on art are always more concerned with the practice of art than with the discriminations of taste. He writes from the point of view of a practitioner and not from that of a connoisseur, while the connoisseur i s interested i n the finished product, the practitioner i s more concerned with the process of production. The connoisseur's interest i n art may be termed 'secondary' i n so far as that interest i s directed to the result of an activity rather than to the  activity i t s e l f . On the other hand, the practitioner's interest i n art is 'primary' because he i s interested i n the activity of art i t s e l f . This i s not to say that the a r t i s t i s not interested i n the result of his work; rather, the point i s that i f the ar t i s t i s not concerned with the process of making then the end result of his efforts w i l l not amount to much and w i l l not engage the 'secondary' interest of the connoisseur. 17 Now, when Jones says that he sees l i t t l e point i n stressing differences of degree among works of art, he i s speaking as a practitioner whose inter-est i n art i s of the 'primary' sort. Distinctions of degree, so dear to a r t - c r i t i c s and connoisseurs alike, do not really offer us a definition of art. What these distinctions do i s help us distinguish between good and bad works of art; they offer us a lesson i n taste rather than an understand-ing of the principles of art. Unanswered by a r t - c r i t i c s and connoisseurs, the question remains: What i s the activity we c a l l art? This question, Jones argues, can only be answered i f we adopt the practitioner's point of view and fix our attention on the activity of art rather than on the d i f -ferent products of that activity. To understand the nature of art we must turn from the 'secondary' consideration of works of art to the 'primary' consideration of the activity that i s art. Any definition of art must, therefore, be radical; radical i n the sense that i t must begin by consider-ing the activity of art, the 'root' from which grow 'secondary' aesthetic concerns. The discussion so far has shown that central to Jones's aesthetic i s the belief that the 'root' of art i s the activity of making. Moreover, as we have seen, making or poiesis includes a l l the act i v i t i e s of man to which i s attached a degree of intransitivity and gratuitousness. Consequently, Jones believes that art embraces a wide range of a c t i v i t i e s . He quotes Joyce favourably: "'art'r..comprehends a l l our activities from boat-build-29 ing to poetry." Although he i s i r r i t a t e d by any sort of distinction be-tween the fine arts and the 'lesser' crafts, Jones does not deny that a poem i s different from or even better than a boat. He believes, however, that instead of concentrating on 'secondary' differences of form, the far more important thing to do is to seek a common factor which would enable us to consider as art both the writing of a poem and the building of a boat. 18 Believing that 'a desire and pursuit of the whole i s natural to us a l l , " Jones opts for a definition of art that i s inclusive rather than exclusive. The alternative to such a definition, Jones argues, would be "too Jekyll and 30 Hydish to afford us satisfaction." As we have noted earlier, central to a l l of Jones's works i s the belief that there are a l l kinds of continuities and connections i n the world. His inclusive definition of art can therefore be regarded as another indication of this belief. Two important principles emerge from Jones's view of art as a making or poiesis. F i r s t , art as poiesis means art as an activity of making, or to be more specific, an activity of f i t t i n g together. Second, the concept of art as poiesis leads naturally to a consideration of the whole f i e l d of man's making and to a realization of i t s unity i n the concept of the gratuitous. The f i r s t principle inevitably leads to the second; art i s a making and making comprehends a wide range of human act i v i t i e s . As we shall see, The Anathemata i s an elaboration of both principles: i t i s a poem about the making of i t s e l f as well as a record of man's making from the cave-paintings of Lascaux to "The Wasteland" of T.S. E l i o t . 19 Footnotes 1 David Jones, "AutobiographicalTalk." in Epoch and Artist (London: Faber, 1959), p. 26. Epoch and Artist w i l l henceforth be abbreviated as EA. 2 Ibid. 3 'VThe Utile," EA, p. 183. 4 See "Autobiographical Talk," EA, p. 30. 5 In 1930 a new translation of Art et Scolastique by J.F. Scanlan was pub-lished under the t i t l e of Art and Scholasticism by Sheed and Ward, New York. This i s the edition used in my thesis, and i t w i l l henceforth be abbreviated as AS. 6 "Art and Sacrament," EA, p. 172. 7 Maritain, AS, p. 4. 8 The Ethics of Aristotle, trans. J.A.K. Thomson (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1955), Book VI, chapter 4, p. 175. 9 Ibid., pp. 175-76. 10 "Art and Sacrament," EA, p. 172. 11 The Ethics of Aristotle, Book VI, chapter 5, p. 177. 12 Ibid. 13 Maritain, AS, p. 1. 14 Ibid., p. 5. 15 Ibid., p. 6. 16 Ibid. 17 Maritaln, AS, p. 11. 18 Ibid., p. 66. 19 Ibid., p. 67. 20 "Art and Sacrament," EA, p. 147. 21 The Ethics of Aristotle, Book VI, chapter 4, pp. 175-22 Maritain, AS, p. 98. 23 "Art and Sacrament," EA, p. 149. 24 Ibid., p. 150. 25 Maritain, AS, p. 49. 26 "Art and Sacrament," EA, p. 151. 27 Ibid., p. 153. 28 "A Note on Mr. Berenson's Views," EA, pp. 274-75. 29 "Art and Sacrament," EA, p. 172. 30 Ibid., p. 153. Chapter II The Work of Art as Sign and Sacrament The true sign annihilates per-spective. -Saunders Lewis The work w i l l make present to our eyes, together with i t s e l f , some-thing else, and s t i l l something else, and s t i l l something else i n -definitely, in the i n f i n i t e mir-rors of analogy. Through a kind of poetic ampliation, Beatrice, while remaining the woman whom Dante loved, i s also, through the power of the sign, the light which illuminates him. -Jacques Maritain If art i s an activity of making, what is the nature of the things made? Put concisely, the answer would be: "...the things made by the activity of art are not only the things of mundane requirements but are of necessity the 1 signs of something other." As the notion of sign i s of crucial importance for an understanding of David Jones's aesthetic, his concise answer needs expounding i n greater detail. This chapter w i l l attempt such a detailed ex-position of Jones's concept of the work of art as sign. In "Art and Sacrament," an essay which contains his most complete state-ment on the nature of art, David Jones argues that the palaeolithic drawings of animals on the cave-walls of Lascaux are evidence that from the earliest times to the present man i s as much a maker of signs as he i s homo sapiens. Palaeolithic man, Jones continues, "juxtaposed marks on surfaces not with merely u t i l e , but with significant intent; that i s to say a 're-presenting,' a 'showing again under other forms,' an 'effective recalling' of something 2 was intended." Since these palaeolithic drawings transcend the merely u t i l e , they must qualify as works of art, for as we have seen, Jones defines 21 22 as a work of art any man-made thing that reveals the slightest evidence of the gratuitous, the more than merely u t i l e . But while a work of art must exhibit a certain gratuitousness, this gratuitousness does not imply a lack of meaning i n the work of art. As David Blamires points out, though the activity of art may be gratuitous, i t i s not meaningless. "On the contrary," Blamires continues, " i t s very gratuitousness i s significant i n the etymo-3 logical sense of the word." Thus, as Jones's description of the Lascaux drawings implies, a work of art i s gratuitous (in the sense that i t s making is not dictated solely by u t i l e considerations arising from certain needs) and, at the same time, significant. It i s precisely because a work of art transcends the merely u t i l e that i t s significant purpose becomes apparent. Or to put i t another way: once we become aware that a work of art is not made with solely u t i l e intent we are required to look for the real reason be-hind i t s making; and, for David Jones, man makes works of art with s i g n i f i -cant intent, that i s , with the intent to 're-present' or 'effectively r e c a l l ' something other. For David Jones, therefore, the work of art i s a sign. David Jones's argument that a work of art may be regarded as a sign be-cause i t 're-presents' or 'effectively recalls' something other i s supported by the Scholastic definition of the sign: "Signum est i d quod repraesentat aluid a_ se potentiae  cognoscenti. i r" For scholastics, the sign i s that which makes present for knowledge something which i s other than i t s e l f . The sign makes manifest, makes known: and i t makes manifest or makes known something distinct from i t s e l f , of which i t takes the place and with re-gard to which i t exercises a ministerial function, and on which i t depends as on i t s measure.^ Thus, when David Jones argues that a work of art 're-presents' and 'shows again under other forms' something other than i t s e l f , he i s presenting us with the view that the work of art i s a sign. 23 If Che work of art i s a sign, then what i s the relationship between i t and the prior 'reality,* the something other i t 're-presents'? David Jones attempts to answer this question by resorting to analogy. He writes: "From the doctrinal definition of the substantial Presence in the sacramental Bread, I learnt by an analogy...that a tree i n a painting or a tree i n an embroidery must not be a re-presenting only of a tree, of sap and thrusting wood; i t must really be 'a tree,' under the species of paint or needlework or 5 whatever." In believing the Bread to be the Body of Christ, Catholics hold "the view that sign and thing signified...[havej a true identity....and re-ject the opinion...that such an identification overthrows the nature of a 6 sign." Such a view, Jones maintains, provides an analogy for the arts. The analogy between the Christian doctrine and the arts leads to the conclusion that the work of art and the 'reality' i t 're-presents' share an 'identity.' The word 'identity' i s to be understood of course in a special sense. By 'identity' Jones seems to mean both a difference and a sameness. Thus, i n the example he provides, the painting of a tree contains the 'tree' under the species of paint. That i s to say, though the signified (the tree) i s present i n the sign (the painting), thereby allowing for a sameness, i t is present under the species of paint, thereby making for a difference. Similarly, looking at a painting of, say, the Matterhorn, one does not mistake the painting for the real mountain i t s e l f . And yet one sees the Matterhorn when one looks at the painting; one sees the Matterhorn i n the painting; one can therefore say that the Matterhorn i s present i n the paint-ing i n another mode of existence. There i s a cogent discussion of just such a sign theory in Maritain's essay "Sign and Symbol":~ The external senses make use of signs (I see Socrates when I see his statue, my eye sees him i n i t ) . For the use of the sign does not necessarily involve inference and com-parison. There i s thus a certain presence—presence of 24 knowability—of the signified i n the sign; the former i s > there i n ali o esse, i n another mode of existence.7 Maritain then quotes John of St. Thomas on a point of cardinal importance for a sign theory: "Quid est i l l u d i n signato conjuncturn signo. et praesens  i n signo praeter lpsum signum et entltatem ejus? Res-pondetur esse ipsummet slgnatum i n alio esse." "What may be that element of the signified which i s joined to the sign and present i n i t as distinct from the sign i t s e l f and i t s own entity? I answer:. No other element than the very signified i t s e l f i n another mode of existence." 8 Returning to the example of the painting, one can ask the same question that John of St. Thomas asked: "What i s that element of the Matterhorn which i s joined to the painting and present i n i t as distinct from the painting i t -self and the mountain's own reality of rocks and snow?" The answer would be: "No other element than the Matterhorn i t s e l f i n another mode of existence." Thus when one looks at the painting one does not just see the canvas with i t s lines and masses of colour, one also sees the Matterhorn; not the actual Mat-terhorn of rocks and snow, to be sure, but a Matterhorn i n ali o esse, a Mat-terhorn of paint. One can therefore say that the lines and masses of colour which constitute the painting 're-present;' make present i n their visible form, the mountain i t s e l f . This idea was expressed by Jones when he said that a painter ought to t e l l himself: "This i s not a representation of a mountain, i t i s 'mountain' under the form of paint." And then, by way of emphasizing the importance of this principle, he added: "Indeed, unless he says this unconsciously or consciously he w i l l not be a painter worth a 9 candle." Jones's belief that the mountain in a painting i s indeed a mountain, under the form of paint, allows him to declare as axiomatic the proposition 10 "that a l l art i s 'abstract' and that a l l art 're-presents.'" A work of art i s never simply an impression, or imitation, or copy of a re a l i t y . It 2 5 i s an abstraction of that reality. By abstraction i s meant here both a with-drawal from the particular to arrive at the general and the essential, as well as a drawing away or separating of a certain part or parts from some 11 whole for closer consideration. To return to the painting of the Matter-horn, we can say that the mountain we see in i t i s an abstraction of the real Matterhorn; the mountain i s painted in such a way that what we see i s the 'essential* Matterhorn, i t s general feature, a triangular peak capped with snow, immediately recognizable to a l l ; but at the same time, i n painting the mountain the a r t i s t has concentrated on certain aspects of the Matterhorn, isolating and emphasizing certain visual qualities at the expense of his total sensory experience of the mountain (obviously, works of art are prevented by the limitations of their respective media from expressing the total experi-ence of a 'reality;' hence a l l works of art are necessarily abstractions of the 'real'). The painting of the Matterhorn i s , therefore, an abstraction, in both senses of the term, of the Swiss mountain. Having learned his post-Impressionist lesson well, David Jones argues that an art-work i s a 'thing* i n i t s own right and thus, an abstraction and not an impression of some other thing. He quotes approvingly what Cezanne 12 i s reported to have said: "We must do Poussin again after Nature." The same quotation as i t appears i n J.F. Scanlan's translation of Maritaln's Art and Scholasticism i s differently worded and perhaps clearer in meaning: 13 "What we must do i s Poussin over again on Nature." In making that state-ment, Cezanne was probably thinking of the Poussin who painted a landscape like "The Death of Phocion" with i t s classical proportions and mathematical precision. He also probably meant that we must like Poussin not slavishly copy nature but paint nature with an eye to the rules and demands of the art of painting. We should also note that this advice to "Poussin over again on nature" came from a painter who painted several pictures i n which appear 2 6 abstract forms of l a montagne Sainte-Victoire. If i t i s true that the abstract quality i n B o t t i c e l l i ' s Primavera, or in Finnegan's Wake, or i n the shape of the liturgy, or i n the shape of a 14 tea-cup, renders these examples of man's making works of art, then i t i s equally true that works of art also 're-present,' as the second half of Jones's axiom has i t and as the discussion of the hypothetical Matterhorn painting has shown. One can, therefore, say that the work of art i s a sign exhibiting simultaneously a separation from and an 'identity' with some 'reality.' The work of art i s an abstraction of a 'reality'; i t i s separate and different from the 'reality' i t seeks to communicate; as a sign i t i s different from i t s signified. But the work of art also 're-presents' a 'reality'; i t shares an 'identity* with the 'reality' i t seeks to communi-cate; as a sign i t includes within i t s e l f the signified i n another mode of existence. Such a view of the nature of the work of art, though somewhat paradoxical, nevertheless guides us through the confusion that surrounds such words as 'abstract' and 'representation' and puts an end to the meaning-less s t r i f e between those who prefer 'representational' art and those who prefer their art 1 abstract.' Throughout the discussion so far, I have followed Jones's use of the hyphenated 're-present.' This hyphenating of the word i s not a preciosity of style; Jones has a good reason for doing so. Using as example Hogarth's painting, "The Shrimp G i r l , " Jones explains why he prefers the hyphenated 're-present' to the unhyphenated form. The unhyphenated 'represent' has the conventional meaning of the exhibiting of an image or the copying of some ob-ject or person. Thus to ask what Hogarth's painting represents i s to re-ceive the simple answer: a young female street-vendor. We are obviously no closer to what the work in fact i s . But, argues Jones, "If I wrote 're-presented such and such' there i s a slight gain and 're-presented such and 27 15 such under other forms' i s s t i l l more of a gain." With the hyphen i n i t , 're-present' yields the meaning of a presenting again of something. This i s definitely a gain for i t emphasizes the importance of the medium (that which does the presenting) and allows the work of art to be more than just a mere copy since the 'original' i s present i n i t i n a l i o esse. Thus through a c l a r i f i c a t i o n of his use of the hyphenated 're-present,' Jones i s able to arrive at the following description of what Hogarth's paint-ing i s : "It i s a 'thing,' an object contrived of various materials and so ordered by Hogarth's muse as to show forth, r e c a l l and re-present, s t r i c t l y within the conditions of a given art and under another mode, such and such a reality. It i s a signum of that reality and i t makes a kind of anamnesis of 16 that reality." But what i s the 'reality' of which Hogarth's painting i s a signum? Superficially, one could say the painting 're-presents,' under the form of paint, "a female street-vendor's mortal flesh and poor habiliments seen under our subtle island-light i n the gay squalor that was eighteenth 17 century low-life i n England." But i n fact the 'reality' i s too complex and complicated for us to describe with any certainty what i t i s . Goodness knows what that 'reality' was i n Hogarth's mind. Though the fact that he claimed to have discovered something he called 'the line of beauty,' and wrote an analytical treatise attempting to prove i t and to thereby establish a canon of aesthetics based on formulae of proportions, should be sufficient to warn us that that 'reality' was complex and that the conveyance of i t in paint involved a lot besides verisimilitude to the accidents of nature....'Shrimp G i r l ' i s but a label only for a complex of realities.18 The quotation marks around 'reality' are therefore cautionary; they warn us that the 'reality' 're-presented' by a work of art may be more complex than we think. The same caution has informed the placing of quotation marks around 'reality' i n this chapter. A painting, then, may 're-present' a natural object or person; but i n turn the 'person' or 'object' i n the painting may 're-present' a remote and 28 19 complicated matter. Hogarth's painting not only signifies a 'shrimp g i r l , ' i t also signifies a complex 'reality.' Thus a work of art may simultaneously *re-present' a simple as well as a complicated 'reality.' In Dante's great poem, Beatrice i s not only the Florentine lady whom Dante loves, she i s also a manifestation of the authority of the Church, Holy Wisdom, and Divine Love. Similarly, a poem about dear Flo may also turn out to be about "Flora Dea and Venus too and the First Eve and the Second also and other and darker figures, 20 among them no doubt, Jocasta." Picture also i n the mind's eye the follow-ing scene: a group of soldiers on a wet hill-road at sundown watching a pretty lass drive a red-coloured cow before her. What does the scene c a l l to mind? Years later, one of the soldiers recalling this encounter with the cattle g i r l wrote in a letter to a friend: It was a red sundown and I was coming with some other Fusil-iers along a wet hill-road by a white washed cabin and we met a g i r l with a torn white shift of sorts with a red skirt with a plum-coloured wide hem to the skirt which reached a b i t below the knee; and she had auburn hair floating free over her shoulders and i n the wind, and her feet and arms were bare and she had a long stick; she was driving a red-coloured cow before her and the evening sun bathed a l l these differing reds and bronzes....For some reason that's another image I associate with Troy—the red sunset on the red cat-t l e - g i r l i n Munster...cattle raiders, horse raiders, sol-diers, queens, queans, and the red as of flames—and the great dignity—well, fuit I l i u m . 2 1 The author of the letter has created out of the momentary encounter with the c a t t l e - g i r l the sign of a 'reality' that i s a complication of Helen of Troy, the idea of feminine beauty, perhaps Aphrodite i n tattered disguise, the pas-sions of men, the destruction of c i t i e s , and those lines i n the Aeneid de-scribing a Troy i n flames. The author of the letter was David Michael Jones, and i t i s a good i l l u s t r a t i o n of his belief that in making a work of art "there i s always a recalling, a re-presenting again, anaphora, anam-22 nesis." Like his painting, "Aphrodite i n Aulis," i n which soldiers from different times and places—Greek and Trojan warriors, an Arthurian knight, 2 9 British 'Tommies,' Wehrmacht troopers—are ranged on the same plane around Aphrodite who is also Iphigeneia (a s a c r i f i c i a l victim like Christ) and, i n -evitably, the Madonna, Jones's letter abolishes the barriers of time, space, and identity by compressing and conflating together the remote past and the twentieth century, Troy and Munster, the beautiful Helen who launched a thousand ships and the auburn-haired c a t t l e - g i r l i n tattered dress. The laws of perspective are violated. Or as Saunders Lewis puts i t : "The true sign 2 3 annihilates perspective." We shall see the same annihilation of perspec-tive when we examine The Anathemata. In that long poem, in which nearly every noun i s a sign, the distances and separations of perspective are re-placed by the conflations of anamnesis. The sign not only recalls what may have been forgotten, i t also shows forth and makes known what would otherwise remain mute. Without Jones's letter, Helen of Troy would not have shone through the mean vestments of the c a t t l e - g i r l . "You need a poet," William Carlos Williams once remarked, look-2 4 ing across a park, "otherwise i t would a l l be voiceless." The sign is the audible voice man the artist gives to the voiceless. The sign must, how-ever, not only be 'audible,' i t must also i n some sense be i n t e l l i g i b l e ; that i s to say, an observer looking at a sign must know i t to be a sign made by another man signifying something other than i t s e l f . It i s important to note here, in order to avoid confusion, that by sign Jones means 'conventional' signs and not 'natural' signs such as smoke which i s the 'natural' sign of a f i r e . Thus, as a rational construction i n t e l l i g i b l e to others, and as man's way of giving voice to the voiceless, the 'conventional' sign i s an invaluable cultural tool. It enables a person to communicate his experiences, feelings, and ideas to others. In fact i t would be impossible to conceive of a human culture without signs. As David Jones puts i t : "...man i s essen-2 5 t i a l l y a culture-making a n i m a l a n d a culture i s nothing but a sign." 3 0 Thus where we have culture we have signs, and where we have signs we have culture. Most of us would agree with Jones's contention that the work of art i s i n some sense a cultural sign. But few of us would be prepared to follow David Jones i n taking the argument a step further. Jones argues that the signs made by man must be 'sacred.' "Ars knows only a 'sacred' activity," 26 he declares. But why does a sign imply the sacred? A sign implies the sacred because a sign 're-presents' a 'reality.' Now for anything to be real, the argument continues, i t must have esse, 'being.' And 'being' can only be good because bonum et ens convertnntur (good and being are inter-27 changeable). Having established the goodness of 'reality,' Jones can con-clude: "A sign then must be significant of something, hence of some 'real-i t y , ' so of something 'good,' so of something that i s 'sacred.' That i s why 28 I think that the notion of sign implies the sacred." If the argument ap-pears rather abbreviated i t i s probably because Jones has taken i t for granted that his readers would be familiar with, i f not subscribe to, cer-tain Christian assumptions such as the belief i n the goodness of God's cre-ation. As i t i s , Jones's argument makes sense only i f we suspend for a moment our scepticism and grant him his assumption that because 'reality' i s good, the work of art which 're-presents' i t must be 'sacred.' The main purpose of David Jones's argument, however, i s not to lead us into metaphysics or theology; rather, i t i s to show us that such terms as 'sacred,' 'sacrament,! and 'religion' have meanings other than those normally attributed to them. Believing i n continuities and expressing concern over the separation of the Sacraments with a capital 'S' from sacraments ( i . e . 29 signs) with a small 's,' he t e l l s us: "Such dichotomies are not healthy." He, therefore, attempts to rescue the term 'sacrament' from those Christians who see i t i n a specialized and narrow sense and from those secularists who 31 view such a term with suspicion or h o s t i l i t y . By recovering the word's primary meaning, Jones i s able to declare that i n as much as a work of art 're-presents' a 'reality' that is good, i t i s also a 'sacrament;' that i s to say, i n so far as a thing shows forth a 'reality' that is good, and i n so far as goodness pleases God, that thing is made holy and consecrated and becomes, therefore, a 'sacrament' (sacrum in Latin meaning a holy thing or place). A similar desire to recover a word's primary meaning informs David Jones's use of the word 'religion.' He does not use the word in i t s more accustomed sense "as pertaining to pieties, dispositions of the w i l l , ex-30 p l i c i t acts of worship, states of mind or soul." In his usual fashion, Jones uses the word 'religion' i n i t s primary and inclusive sense. He notes that 'religion' shares a common etymology with 'obligation,' that the same root is present in 'ligament,' and that in a l l three words a binding of some sort i s indicated. Thus, as Jones describes i t : "(The word 'religion'J re-fers to a binding, a securing. Like the ligament, i t secures a freedom to function. The binding makes possible the freedom. Cut the ligament and 31 there i s atrophy—corpse rather than corpus." The notion of binding to-gether reminds one of the juxtaposing and connecting activity of art. More-over, when Jones says that the binding makes freedom possible, we are re-minded that he regards the Intransitive and gratuitous activity of art as a manifestation of man's freedom. The activity of art i s therefore identified as a 'religious' activity. As Jones declares: "Implicit i n the activity called art, and belonging to the very essence of that activity there i s that 32 which makes i t a ligament." The activity of art can be termed 'religious' because i t binds things together to form a healthy, freely functioning corpus. Departing from the common usage of the terms 'sacrament' and 're-ligio n , ' Jones can say that art i s a 'religious' activity of making signs that are sacred, 'sacraments.' 3 2 In making the claim that works of art are 'sacraments' and that the activity of art i s at i t s root a 'religious' activity, Jones i s not contra-dicting any fundamental dogma of the Church. While i t i s true that the Church retains the term 'sacrament' for those seven 'sacraments of faith,' i t also provides for the use of 'sacramentals' or sacred signs patterned after the 'sacraments of faith.' The 'sacramentals' are instituted i n the belief that "there i s scarcely any right use of material things that cannot 33 be directed to the sanctification of man and the praise of God." It ap-pears, therefore, that when David Jones puts quotation marks around the word 'sacrament' to distinguish i t from the 'sacraments of faith,' he i s really talking about what the Church calls 'sacramentals,' material things that rightly used become consecrated objects. It i s of central importance to David Jones that Christianity i s commit-ted to the use of sacraments. He has i n fact declared bluntly: "No arte-facture no Christian religion"("Preface," A, p. 31). What he means i s that i f not for the fact that man i s an a r t i s t and his natural activity that of making signs, the central act of Christian worship, the Eucharist, would be without meaning. For the institution of the Eucharist i n the Cenacle i n -volved a making, a poiesis. Certain manual acts were performed and certain signs were instituted by Christ and handed down to the fa i t h f u l as "a tra-34 d l t i o 'received of the Lord.'" These manual acts involving material sub-stances "can have been done only by virtue of the doer being a man along with us; more ex p l i c i t l y , by his being man-the-artist along with us." Jones can therefore conclude: "What was done [in the Cenacle] would have been neither 35 necessary nor possible unless man i s man-the-artist." Moreover, what was done i n the Cenacle was a sign-making and hence an act of Ars. The everyday things, the food and drink common to a given c i v i l i z a t i o n a l milieu, yet already typic and significant 33 owing to some milleniums of association with r i t e , cultus, disciplinae (thus saturated with Ars) were, i n the supper-room, declared to signify such and such. So far from there being any abrogation of Ars there was a deliberate employ-ment of Ars by the gratuitous institution of a new and impletive r i t e . ^Emphasis minej.-*0 The Christian religion, therefore, commits man to poiesis, to an act of Ars. "Do this for an anamnesis of me," Christ commanded when he instituted the 'art-form' of the Eucharist; and whenever the faithful obey this command they commit themselves to Ars, artefacture, sign. In addition, their commitment requires participation i n an activity, for anamnesis means more than just remembrance. As Dom Gregory Dix (whose influence Jones acknowledges in a footnote i n the "Preface" to The Anathemata) puts i t ; {Anamnesis3 i s not quite easy to represent accurately i n English, words like 'remembrance' or 'memorial' having for us a connotation of something i t s e l f absent, which i s only mentally recollected. But i n the scriptures both of the Old and New Testament, anamnesis and, the cognate verb have the sense of 're-calling' or 're-presenting' before God an event i n the past, so that i t becomes here and now opera- tive by i t s effects.37 Consequently, for the fa i t h f u l , the command, "Do this for an anamnesis of me," means not just a mental recollection of the 'art-form' of the Eucharist, i t also means a re-enactment of Christ's sign-making, and hence, a commit-ment to poiesis and Ars. For Jones, therefore, Christianity makes explicit what i s implicit: that art i s the natural activity of man. David Jones concludes his remarkable essay, "Art and Sacrament," the general arguments of which this chapter has outlined, by quoting the French Catholic theologian, Maurice de l a T a i l l e : "He [Christ] placed Himself i n 38 the order of signs." The same quotation also serves as epigraph to Epoch  and Artist, a selection of Jones's essays on art i n which "Art and Sacrament" i s included. Jones placed great importance on this quotation for i t supports his belief that a close relationship exists between the central act of Chris-tian worship and the natural sign-making activity of homo faber. Art, sign, 3 4 and sacrament—these qualities are evident i n the works of man, from the cave paintings of Lascaux to the abstract canvases of Ben Nicholson, from baking a cake for Susan's birthday to an anamnesis of what was done on Maundy Thursday. Man lives i n a world of signs, and Christianity takes cog-nisance of this fact by emphasizing that Christ "placed Himself i n the order of signs." Footnotes 35 1 "Art and Sacrament," EA, p. 150. 2 Ibid., p. 155. 3 David Jones: Artist and Writer (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1971), p. 24. 4 Jacques Maritain, "Sign and Symbol," i n Ransoming the Time, trans. Harry Lorin Binsse (New York: Scribner, 1941), p. 218. 5 Quoted i n H.S. Ede, "David Jones," Horizon. 8 (1943), 128. 6 "Art and Sacrament," EA, p. 170. 7 Maritain, "Sign and Symbol," p. 220. Also see John W. Hanke's Maritain*8  Ontology of the Work of Art (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973) for an ex-cellent discussion of Maritain's theory of sign, especially pp. 52-67. 8 Ibid. 9 "Art and Sacrament," EA, p. 170. 10 Ibid., p. 173. 11 For an interesting discussion of the two meanings of abstraction i n art, see S. Giedion's The Eternal Present: The Beginnings of Art (New York: Pantheon, 1962), pp. 12-14. 12 "Art and Sacrament," EA, pp. 170-71. 13 Maritain, AS, p. 48. 14 See "Abstract Art," EA, p. 265. 15 "Art and Sacrament," EA, pp. 173-74. 16 Ibid., p. 174. 36 17 "Art and Sacrament," EA, p. 174. 18 Ibid. See Maritain, AS, pp. 45-46. Also see Hanke, p. 47. 20 "Art and Sacrament," EA, p. 167. 21 Quoted i n Rene Hague, "David Jones: A Reconnaissance," Agenda, 5, Nos. 1-3 (1967), 63. 22 "Art and Sacrament," EA, p. 167. 23 "Epoch and Artist," Agenda, 5, Nos. 1-3 (1967), 115. 24 Quoted in Hugh Kenner, The Pound Era (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1971), p. 512. 25 "Art and Democracy," EA, pp. 87-88. 26 "Art and Sacrament," EA, p. 157. 27 Ibid. 28 Ibid. 29 "Preface by the Author," EA, p. 13. 30 "Art and Sacrament," EA, pp. 160-61. 31 Ibid., p. 158. 32 Ibid., p. 160. 33 The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy  (De Sacra Liturgia), trans. Dom Gregory Bainbridge (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1967), article 61, p. 26. 37 34 "Art and Sacrament," EA, p. 162. 35 Ibid., p. 167. 36 Ibid., p. 169. 37 The Shape of the Liturgy (Westminster: Dacre Press, 1945), p. 161. 38 "Art and Sacrament," EA, p. 179. Chapter III The Poet and his Materia ...to make a shape out of the very things of which one is oneself made. -David Jones Only God creates ex ni h i l o . Man must create out of pre-existing mat-ter. This fact must be firmly registered i f we are to understand David Jones's aesthetic. For out of man's dependence on matter comes Jones's de-fi n i t i o n of art as the juxtaposition or f i t t i n g together of pre-existing materia or 'shapes.' Now. while i t i s true that the mind plays a crucial role in the form-making activity of art, there must be, to begin with, some sort of matter to be formed. Jones agrees with Maritain's statement that 1 "art abides on the side of the mind." But he also adds that Maritain, along with Classical and Medieval philosophers, understood the practice of the arts to belong to the 'practical' and not the 'speculative intelligence.' "That i s to say the art i s t has to make 'things.' He cannot make them from 2 nothing...he can 'make' only from what i s contactually known to him." In this chapter I w i l l explore certain aspects of Jones's contactually known materia poetica. I w i l l confine my attention to Jones's art of poetry be-cause, as he puts i t , the other arts are not as "occupied with the embodi-ment and expression of the mythus and deposits comprising...[V]cultural complex [as poetry is] "("Preface," A, p. 19). 'Contactual' i s a key word that appears often i n David Jones's writings on art. Assessing Malory's Morte Darthur, he notes that Malory "could s t i l l write authentically of knighthood," and praises him for being 'contactual': [Malory'sj. data (his visual, f e l t , data I mean), were accurate, experiential and contactual. And something of that sort i s a 3 8 3 9 necessity to the making of a work, there can be no getting round that necessity i n the long run* The imagination must work through what i s known and known by a kind of touch. Like the Yggdrasil of northern myth, the roots must be i n hard material though the leaves be conceptual and i n the _ clouds; otherwise we can have fancy but hardly imagination. 3 Another poet, a physician who lived i n Rutherford, New Jersey, put i t more A concisely: "Say i t , no ideas but i n things." For Dr. Williams, physician-poet, 'contact' was essential either i n delivering babies or making poetry out of the speech of immigrant Polish mothers. No ideas but i n those things one knows and knows by a kind of touch. Or: "To make a start, / out of 5 particulars / and make them general." It i s a long way from Rutherford, N.J., to Harrow-on-the-Hi11, but the infantryman of 1915 would have under-stood the physician. The infantryman was to write a prize-winning book which 6 had to do with some things he "saw, f e l t , and was part of." He was also to write: "The contactual i s essential. You have to have been there. Ars i s adamant about one thing: she compels you to do an infantryman's job. She i n -7 sists on the t a c t i l e . " And: "'We proceed from the known to the unknown.' The concrete, the exact dimensions, the contactual, the visual, the bodily, what the senses register, the assembled data f i r s t — t h e n i s the 'Imagination' freed to get on with the job. The vague, the fanciful, the generalized 8 have no place." The scholastic injunction, "We proceed from the known to the unknown," chimes pleasantly with the declaration "No ideas but i n things." Together they t e l l us that men know things and that out of known things come ideas and poems. Out of such known things emerged, from New Jersey, Pater- son, and from Harrow, The Anathemata. What are the known things for David Jones? The answer inevitably i n -volves biography. After a l l , as David Jones reminds us, one can only "make a shape out of the very things of which one i s oneself made"("Preface," A, p. 10). In the autobiographical talk broadcast on the Welsh Home Service of 40 the B.B.C., Jones began by recounting two apparently irrelevant and unre-lated facts: the l i t t l e known victory of the Welsh prince Owain Gwynned over his Welsh and English enemies at Coleshill i n 1149. and the birth of James Jones i n 1860 i n Holywell, about three miles north-west of the scene of Owain Gwynned's victory. A connection nevertheless exists; for David Jones, son of James Jones, an 'inward continuity' can be discerned between the dates 1149 and 1860, a continuity supremely relevant to his practice of the visual and aural arts. But however unapparent, the connection i s real enough: for that victory [at Coleshill] symbolized the recovery of a tract of Britain that had been i n English possession for well over three centuries. Had that twelfth century re-covery not occurred the area around Holywell would have remained within the Mercian zone of influence. In which case i t s inhabitants would, centuries since have become wholly English i n tradition, nomenclature and feeling. Had local history taken that course, i t follows that I should not now be speaking to you at the invitation of the Welsh B.B.C., as an artist of Welsh a f f i n i t i e s . You see by what close shaves some of us are what we are, and you see how accidents of long past history can be of importance to us in the most intimate sense, and can determine integral things about us.' Several important points emerge from this passage: f i r s t , Jones's deep feeling for things Welsh; second, his belief i n the shaping influence of local culture; and third, his conviction that history, far from being merely a record of the past, determines "integral things about us" and i s therefore 'present' i n our cultural identity. Locality and history were to dictate that David Jones's heritage and cultural identity would be complex. In 1885 David Jones's father moved to London, and i n 1888 married Alice Ann Bradshaw, "the daughter of a Thames-side mast-and-block maker, whose wife [the poet's maternal grandmother], was 10 of partly Italian descent." His father's move to London and marriage to a Thames-side resident made David Jones a Londoner; and the port of London and i t s main waterway and link to other cultures, the Thames, were to provide 41 him with materia for such pieces of writing as "The Lady of the Pool" sec-tion i n The Anathemata. James Jones's marriage to an English g i r l of partly Italian descent was also to enlarge David Jones's materia poetica by i n -corporating into his Welsh heritage the traditions of the English and the Mediterranean peoples. David Jones's conversion to Catholicism i n 1921 was to draw the Londoner closer to Rome. "The loves of Britain and Italy are a 11 long-standing a f f a i r , " Jones declares. Evidence for such a love af f a i r may be found in the Romano-Celtic past of Britain; or i n Geoffrey of Mon-mouth's claim that the Kingdom of Britain was founded by Brutus, great-grandson of the founder of Rome, Aeneas; or in the history of those mission-aries the Church i n Rome sent to convert the British heathens. David Jones's heritage i s indeed a mixed bag. Or to alter the metaphor somewhat, thereby incorporating a pun, there are many things i n David Jones's 'locker': there are the things native and local to Brit a i n — t h e things Welsh, for instance; and then there are also the things of foreign derivation—the things Christian and Roman, for example. That a l l these things are mixed and jumbled-up i n one small 'locker' does not make an enquiry into David Jones's materia poetica any easier. Nevertheless, the complexity, and com-plications of his heritage should be noted not merely for i t s biographical interest, but also because "as one i s so one does" and "making follows being"("Preface," A, p. 11). Thus, asked what The Anathemata i s about, Jones wrote: I answer that i t i s about one's own 'thing,' which res i s unavoidably part and parcel of the Western Christian res, as inherited by a person whose perceptions are totally con-ditioned and limited by and dependent upon his being i n -digenous to this island. In this i t i s necessarily insular; within which Insularity there are the further conditionings contingent upon his being a Londoner, of Welsh and English parentage, of Protestant upbringing, of Catholic subscrip-tion ("Preface," A, p. 11). 4 2 Jones's admission to a certain insularity of outlook points to an im-portant characteristic of his writings. Gertrude Stein's comment on the insularity of English literature i s appropriate here: [English poetry] i s the poetry of the things with which any of them [the English] are shut i n i n their daily, completely dai-ly island l i f e . It makes very beautiful poetry because any-thing shut i n with you can sing. There are the same things i n other countries but they are not mentioned not mentioned i n that simple intense certain way that makes English poetry what i t i s . ... (jhe English poets] have shut i n with them i n their daily island l i f e but completely shut i n with them a l l the things that just i n enumeration make poetry, and they can and do enumerate and they can and do make poetry, this enumera-t i o n . 1 2 One may quarrel with Stein's sweeping statement; but what she has to say of the insularity that leads to the writing of poetry which enumerates the things 'shut i n ' on the island of Britain i s as apt a description of David Jones's poetic practice as we can hope to find. A simple example of the poetry of enumeration occurs i n the following passage from Jones's In Parenthesis (and i t i s interesting to note that the Britisher's insular habit of enumeration survives even in a retrospect ac-count of events that occurred i n France): Picks, shovels, dredging-ladles, carriers, containers, gas-rattles, two of Mrs. Thingumajig's patent gas-dispersing flappers; emptied S.A.A. boxes, grenade boxes, two bales of revetting wire, pine stakes; rusted-to-bright-orange barbed wire of curious design—three coils of i t ; fine good new dark efficient corkscrew staples, splayed-out a l l ways; three drums of whale o i l , the splintered stock of a Mauser r i f l e , two unexploded yellow-ochre toffee-apples, their strong rods unrusted; three left-leg gum-boots; a Scotch officer's fine bright bonnet; some type of broken pump, i t s rubber slack punctured, coiled like a dead slime-beast, reared i t s brass nozzle out from under rum-jar and picket-maul. This trove piled haphazardly, half-submerged. You must have a lumber room where you have habitation.^ The trove may be piled haphazardly, but where there i s enumeration there i s also the taking of an inventory. The discarded things, half-submerged and 4 3 ignored, are remarked on, named. A wasteland of junk becomes the lumber room of a human habitation. By naming the discarded things the poet re-deems them from their state of neglect; like Lance-Corporal Aneirin Merddyn Lewis, the poet's language "brings i n a manner, baptism, and metaphysical 14 order to the bankruptcy of the occasion." But to enumerate or take an inventory i s also to appropriate, to gather-in, to hoard. And what goes into David Jones's 'locker' i s more than picks and shovels. In the 'locker' that i s The Anathemata we find things as ancient as the bones of Tyrannosaurus or as modern as "The Wasteland," as monumental as Vi r g i l ' s Aeneid or as slight as the song " A l l the Nice Girls Love a Sailor," as sophisticated as the Greek kore or as crude as the "Venus of Willendorf," as tragically serious as Malory's account of the mutual fratricide of Balin and Balan or as charm-ingly surrealistic as the nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence." Inspecting the contents of David Jones's 'locker' we discover that though most of the things bear a 'Made i n Britain' label, the entry of for-eign imports i s not prohibited. After a l l , Britain i s a maritime nation, an island approachable from a l l directions; and London, i t s capital, i s a 'free port' with lenient 'customs officers.' For David Jones, Britain's insularity does not mean isolation; for him, the seas that surround Britain are not barriers but 'trade routes' through which come 'foreign goods' to enrich and stimulate 'local manufactures.' Thus, when Jones celebrates the local he i s not being narrow or parochial; for the local i s made up of various things, some of which come from overseas. While Jones shows "an appreciation of 15 the particular genius of places [and] men," he also recognizes that B r i t -ain i s made up of several particularities, that i t shows forth a 'several-i t y . ' The contents of David Jones's locker reflect,' therefore, the "great 16 confluity and dapple...that is...the shape of things a l l over Britain." In the London of The Anathemata, for example,- we hear a babble of accents: 44 Welsh-accented English mingles with the French of Mediterranean sea-ports, Billingsgate Cockney jostles university Latin. London i s as Br i t i s h (not English but British which already means a 'severality') as i t i s Western European; i t shows forth a 'severality.* Other places are therefore present in a particular place; to celebrate the local i s also to celebrate the uni-versal. Starting from particulars we arrive at the general. Out of par-ticulars and differences emerges an identity; or to be more precise, the identity of a place i s the relationship of particulars, of differences. Not only other places, but other times are also present i n a particular place. The passage from 'then' to 'now,' the change of people and cultures on the same unchanging s i t e , i s best expressed, according to Jones, by James Joyce's celebration of the palimpsest of s i t e : "Northmen's thing 17 made Southfoik's place." Joyce's compact sentence describes, i n short-hand, the history of changes that have taken place on the stationary un-changing site of Dublin. It speaks of how the Viking (Norsemen) assembly, or 'Thing,' i n time, metamorphosed into the 'Suffolk Place' of modern Dub-l i n . Thus a particular place, s i t e , or locality contains not only the spatial extensions of other places or sites, i t also contains the temporal extensions of the past. To know a place i s to know i t palimpsestically. People and cultures come and go, but the site remains to ensure continuity. On the unchanging site the remains of the various cultures deposit them-selves, accumulate, p i l e up, form strata. The geological metaphor i s a favourite of Jones. His description of the geology of Arthurian!a applies as well to the geology of s i t e : "There are the sedimented strata l a i d down on earlier strata, there are the intrusive rocks thrust up from fires long since dead, there are the inversions and the faultings, there are the strange erratics brought by flows from very far off, there are the recent 18 deposits and there i s metamorphosis, and pseudomorphosis as well." 4 5 Geology furnishes us with the language to describe the layered struc-ture of our cultural deposits or myths. (By myth i s not meant a f i c t i t i o u s narrative but a recorded body of tradition; Jones links 'myth' to the Greek mythos which means something told, and hence, for future generations, a record of the past—"Preface," A, p. 40, n. 1.) But i t i s archaeology which 19 i s the poet's profession. If poetry i s "the song of deeds," then the poet's task i s to be an 'excavator' of deeds that have entered the s o i l of history. Like the archaeologist, the poet's business i s "to keep open the 20 lines of communication" by digging up and revealing deposits from the past. According to Elen Monica, Lady of the Pool, seller of lavendar and dispenser of amorous favours, "what's under works up"(A, p. 164), Like archaeology, poetry must see to i t that what's under works up. This credo i s stated plainly i n the "Preface" to The Anathemata; "I believe [declares Jones^ that there i s , i n the principle that informs the poetic art, a some-thing which cannot be disengaged from the mythus, deposits, matiere, ethos, whole res of which the poet is,himself a product"("Preface," A, p. 20). The writing of poetry involves an 'excavation' of the poet's own culture, a l l the layers of i t . Jones's method of poetic 'excavation' was made the sub-ject of an encomiastic essay by a professional archaeologist, Stuart Piggott. Praise from such a quarter merits a quotation of some length, especially since Mr. Piggott's remarks bring "splendidly to light" the exploratory 'ar-chaeological' method of the poet who i s the subject of his praise: Perhaps i t i s not for nothing [Mr. Piggott begins] that 'de-posits' i s a favourite word of his Jjones], both i n poetry and i n prose. 'Deposits' are an essential part of his poetry....It i s a significant and revealing word. Deposits may imply a slow his t o r i c a l process of accretion, stealthily forming s i l t s , slow strata, the layers of a pearl; or again, they are the man-made caches and hoards—hidden treasures; votive, r i t u a l and foundation deposits, and the last great deposit of a l l , the body in burial. Medieval (and indeed modern) Treasure Trove law turns on the question of the ani- mus retrovandi, the intent to recover which was i n the mind 46 of the man who made the deposit. Was the treasure buried with * an intention or at least a hope that i t would again be re-trieved by the owner or his heirs? But whatever the animus may have been, i t s aspirations were not always f u l f i l l e d , and the treasure lay unregarded and lost. David Jones does not let poetic treasure trove go unclaimed: like the Crown in law, he steps in as ultima haeres to the deposits, and brings them splendidly to light. He explores poetic deposits with the anxious care of the good excavator (far better than Schlie-mann "who digged nine sites down in Helen's laughless rock"), alert for the unexpected feature, the illuminating oddness, the links that bind culture to culture.21 As archaeologist the poet uncovers the deposits of the past. But the un-covering i s also a recovery, a gathering-in safely of the treasures lost or unclaimed. The poet i s an archaeologist because he i s also a conserver of things. As ultima haeres, David Jones can draw on the buried treasure troves of Britain for materia poetica. Thus, into a 'locker' already crammed with such foreign treasures as Vergil's Aeneid, the Heimskringla, and Greek kouroi, go such ancient native treasures as the 20,000 to 40,000 year old remains of the Upper Palaeolithic South Welshman buried in Paviland lime-rock in Gower (see A, p. 76, n. 1), the megaliths found a l l over South Wales and Cornwall, and the earliest Welsh poems by Taliesin and Aneirin. One is therefore tempted to argue that David Jones's 'locker' i s as magical as the bag Rhiannon gave to Pwyll in the old Welsh tale "Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed." In that tale Rhiannon's magical bag can be f i l l e d with a l l the meat 22 and drink of seven cantrefs and yet be no fuller than before. And i f we know in addition that a 'cantref' i n Welsh means a hundred towns we can bet-ter appreciate the magical f l e x i b i l i t y and spaciousness of Rhiannon's bag. As we shall see, David Jones's The Anathemata i s a veritable Rhiannon's bag, the contents of which prove to be for the reader un embarras de richesse. Other materia poetica that goes into Jones's magical 'locker* are those indelible and painful memories of l i f e i n the front-trenches during the Great War and the more agreeable memories of a v i s i t to the Middle East i n 47 1934. In Parenthesis, for example, i s a book which draws largely from Jones's experience as a front-line infantryman i n the Great War. Moreover, military terms and imagery pervade the texture of a l l his work, from the soldiers of his painting "Aphrodite i n Aulis," to the analogy he drew be-tween the artist and the infantryman in his essay, "The Utile." In The  Anathemata there i s a remarkable and moving description of a Christmas truce during which Bri t i s h 'Tommy' and German 'Jerry' exchange g i f t s ; and the whole description i s personally signed by David Jones with the words: "when I was a young man i n France"(A, p. 216). Memories of his v i s i t to the Middle East, and especially Jerusalem, provided him with materia for most of the-poems i n his latest book (and last to be published i n his lifetime) to ap-pear, The Sleeping Lord. Poems like "The Wall," "The Dream of Private Clitus," "The Fatigue," and "The Tribune's Visitation" have for their sub-ject the grousing of Roman soldiers of mixed recruitment (with the inevi-table Celt from Britain among them) stationed i n Palestine around the time of Christ's Passion. In a letter to his friend, Saunders Lewis, David Jones describes how on seeing a squad of British soldiers armed with riot-shields and batons on parade i n Jerusalem, he was reminded of the Roman legions of 23 two millenia ago. Out of such sights and memories come poems like "The Fatigue." Similarly, certain passages i n The Anathemata owe their origin to memories of the Middle East tr i p (see, for example, A, p. 52, n. 2 and p. 231, n. 1). Jones's v i s i t s to Bethlehem and Jerusalem also provided him • with a first-hand 'feel' of these significant Christian sites; and for a poet who believes i n working contactually, getting a first-hand 'feel' of these places i s important especially since the Nativity and the Passion are two important subjects of his poems. Both trips abroad were forced on Jones. He went to France as a member of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers; and his trip to the Middle East was recommended 4 8 for medical reasons. He describes his v i s i t to the Middle East as 'forced': "'Forced' because of i l l n e s s , for i t i s certain I should never have gone to Palestine off my own hat, for I hate what our American friends c a l l 'going 24 places.'" Gertrude Stein's description of the English poet who shuts i n with himself the things of his island, the better to sing them, can also stand as a description of David Jones's l i f e and work, between which there exists a clear continuity. For i n later l i f e , David Jones himself was a 'shut-in,' an invalid of sorts who for reasons of i l l health did not budge from the cluttered room he occupied for years at the Monksdene Residential Hotel i n Harrow-on-the-Hill. But temperament also played a part in turning 25 him into what a friend described as "a sociable hermit i n a cave." We catch a glimpse of the temperament that was to turn the older David Jones into a recluse i n these words of the younger painter: "I always work from the window of a house i f i t i s at a l l possible. I like looking out onto the world from a reasonably sheltered position. I can't paint i n the wind, and I lik e the indoors outdoors, contained yet limitless feeling of windows and doors. A man should be i n a house; a beast should be i n a f i e l d and a l l 26 that." David Jones may have been a hermit, but he lived, as the foregoing statement implies, i n "a cave with a view, a f u l l cave not an empty one, 27 with everything marked with the occupant's sign-manual." A cave through which the light of memory fil t e r e d through; for David Jones faithfully served Mnemosyne, mother of the Muses, i n his cave. A cave that i s also a 'count-ing-house' i n which David Jones the poet made out of counting, poetry. A cave that i s also a 'locker' i n which David Jones, lik e a miserly Gobseck, stored the treasures he found, following as advice Picasso's "I do not seek, I find"("Preface," A, p. 35). 4 9 The poet, then, must be a collector, enumerator, and conserver. He must be, according to Jones, "something of a vicar whose job i s legatine—- a kind of Servus Servorum to deliver what has been delivered to him"("Preface," A, p. 35). The poet i s keeper and guard of the materia poetica, the treas-ured myths of his culture. What Jones describes as the genuine function of myth holds equally true for the function of the poet: "To conserve, to de-velop, to bring together, to make significant for the present what the past holds, without dilution or any deleting, but rather by understanding and transubstantiating the material,...saying always: 'of these thou hast given 28 me have I lost none.'" In The Anathemata this function i s admirably f u l -f i l l e d . So i f David Jones's 'locker' i s a 'safe' into which a l l i s safely gathered i n , i t i s also an 'archive' to which we may gain access and from which we may learn. Finally, from the previous chapter, we may r e c a l l that the a r t i s t i s a maker of signs. We may also remember that a sign 're-presents' and 'recalls' a 'reality.' A sign i s by nature both expansive and contractive, centrifugal and centripetal. It moves outwards to i t s 'referent' or 'referents' so that i t may gather them into i t s e l f i n order that i t may 're-present' them, that i s , make them present again i n i t s e l f . A sign collects and gathers i n i t s 'referents' in order to show them forth. A sign i s therefore both a 'locker' (which gathers in) and an 'archive' (which shows forth). It i s l i t t l e won-der, then, that David Jones should see the poet as both a conserver and a sign-maker; the two activities are one and the same. 5 0 Footnotes 1 David Jones, "Looking Back at the Thirties," London Magazine, 5, No. 1 (1965>, 53. 2 Ibid. 3 "The Myth of Arthur," EA, p. 244. 4 William Carlos Williams, Paterson (New York: New Directions, 1963), Book I, i , p. 14. 5 Ibid., Book I, "Preface," p. 11. 6 David Jones, "Preface" to In Parenthesis (London: Faber, 1937), p. ix. 7 "The Utile," EA, p. 183. 8 "James Joyce's Dublin," EA, p. 306. 9 "Autobiographical Talk," EA, p. 25. 10 Ibid., p. 26. 11 "The Myth of Arthur," EA, p. 221. 12 "What i s English Literature," i n Gertrude Stein: Writings and Lectures  1909-1945, ed. Patricia Meyerowitz (Baltimore, Maryland: Penguin, 1971), pp. 34-35. 13 In Parenthesis, p. 90. 14 Ibid., p. 2. 15 Quoted i n Robin Ironside, David Jones (Uarmondsworth: Penguin, 1949), p. 14. 16 "Preface by the Author," EA, p. 17. 51 17 Quoted by Jones i n "The Arthurian Legend," EA, p. 210. 18 David Jones, "Foreword" to R.W. Barber's Arthur of Albion (London: Barrie and Rockliff, 1961), p. v i i . 19 "Past and Present," EA, p. 140. 20 Ibid., p. 141. 21 "David Jones and the Past of Man," Agenda, 5, Nos. 1-3 (1967), 77-78. 22 See The Mabinogion, trans. Gwyn Jones and Thomas Jones (London: Dent, 1949), pp. 13-15. 23 Letter from David Jones to Saunders Lewis, i n Agenda, 11, No. 4-12, No. 1 (1973/74), 23. 24 Ibid., pp. 23-24. 25 Quoted i n Janet Watts, "David Jones," Guardian, 9 June 1975, p. 8. 26 Quoted i n H.S. Ede, "David Jones," Horizon. 8 (1943), 131. 27 William Blissett, "David Jones: Himself at the Cave-mouth," University of  Toronto Quarterly. 36 (1967), 264. 28 "The Myth of Arthur," EA, p. 243. Chapter IV An Aesthetics of Crisis What forces our interest i s Cezanne's anxiety—that 1 s Cezanne's lesson. -Pablo Picasso In the preface to his f i r s t published book. J_n Parenthesis, David Jones expressed his concern that modern technology may disrupt the age-old ways and activities of man (this concern from one who witnessed and was never to forget the deadly efficiency of high explosives and poison gas). In partic-ular, as an a r t i s t , he asks: "It would be interesting to know how we shall ennoble our new media [the products of technology} as we have already en-nobled and made significant our old—candle-light, f i r e - l i g h t , Cups, Wands 1 and Swords, to choose at random." In Parenthesis was published in 1937. Twenty-eight years later Jones concluded an essay by quoting the foregoing passage from the "Preface" to In Parenthesis along with the comment that although much had happened since 1937, he did not think there had been "any radical change i n direction but rather a vast extension and unprecedented acceleration of the technologies referred to, which leaves the dilemmas of 2 the a r t i s t much the same, but intensified." The intensification of the artist's dilemmas i s reflected i n Jones's post-1937 writings. Where the "Preface" to In Parenthesis b r i e f l y touched on the problems that face the modern a r t i s t , the "Preface" to The Anathemata and essays such as "Art and Sacrament," "The Utile," and "Use and Sign" make those problems a central part of their concern. What emerges from these essays i s an aesthetics of c r i s i s , a view of the practice and function of contemporary art founded on anxiety; anxiety over modern technology's dis-ruption of man's age-old sign-making activity. We can, therefore, para-5 2 5 3 phrasing Picasso, say that what forces out interest i s David Jones's anx-3 iety, an anxiety that i s also his lesson. In the passage from the "Preface" to In Parenthesis quoted above, an important question i s posed: How shall we ennoble and make significant our new media? On the surface, the answer appears simple enough. One could point, for example, to the glorification of the machine by the Italian Futurists. Or, closer to home, one could mention the attempts to ennoble the Dynamo by Bri t i s h and American poets of the th i r t i e s ; Stephen Spender's "The Express" or "The Landscape near an Aerodrome" are good examples of such an attempt at ennobling and making poetic the products of modern tech-nology. But a l l these attempts are more revealing of man's i n t r i n s i c need for beauty than they are of the nature and aims of technology. The auto-1 mobiles of the Italian Futurists are not the automobiles of Ford or General Motors. When F.T. Marinetti, the leading theorist of Italian Futurism, de-scribed an automobile as a "snorting beast [with]a torrid breast" or as a "fine shark...speeding along...on i t s powerful fins," he was not speaking A the language of the automobile manufacturers. For the engineers and the technocrats, the automobile is not, as i t was for Marinetti, a symbol of bestial potency and brute power; rather, the automobile i s regarded solely as a means of transportation, and the more effici e n t l y i t can proceed from point A to point B the better i t i s . Similarly, while the express may glide by majestic as a queen or flame by like some fiery comet i n Stephen Spender's poem, i t i s merely an engine to the engineers who designed i t and an express-train to the men who have to speed i t from one place to another so i t may liv e up to i t s name. What i s at issue i s not how successfully or unsuccess-ful l y Spender or Marinetti utilized the products of technology as subject matter; rather, the point to consider i s that automobiles, trains, and other inventions of modern technology are made with efficiency as their 5 4 determining characteristic and u t i l i t y their ultimate end* Lacking the gratuitous these products of modern technology are not works of art. While a painting of a locomotive by Umberto Boccioni (his "States of Hind: The Farewell" of 1911 for example) or a, poem about an express by Spender are works of art* the same cannot be said of the locomotive that i s the subject of the painting or the express that i s the subject of the poem. Ultimately, neither Spender's poem nor Boccioni's painting ennoble or make significant the actual express or locomotive. Thus* those paintings and poems which have as their subject the products of technology are instructive for they t e l l us not only of the human need to convert the s t r i c t l y ' u t i l e ' into so many gratuitous 'snorting beasts*' or 'sleek sharks,' or 'majestic queens,' but also inform us, i n their choice of subject matter, that the 'ut i l e ' sur-rounds us at every turn. It i s the tension between the accelerating proliferation of the 'ut i l e ' and the persistent human need for art that i s the source of David Jones's anxiety. In asking how one may ennoble the new inventions of technology, Jones has already acknowledged a separation between the gratuitous but en-nobling activity of art and the 'utile' activity of technology. This 'sep-aration' Jones and his friends christened 'The Break.' Historically, Jones situates this 'Break' i n the nineteenth century (though i t s causes may be located earlier i n time): ...in the nineteenth century [Jones writes], Western Man moved across a rubicon which, i f as unseen as the 38th Para l l e l , seems to have been as definitive as the Styx. That much i s I think generally appreciated. But i t was not the memory-effac-ing Lethe that was crossed; and consequently, although man has found much to his l i k i n g , advantage, and considerable wonder-ment, he has s t i l l retained ineradicable longings for, as i t were, the farther shore("Preface," A, pp. 15-16). For Jones, the crossing of this unseen rubicon meant Western man's entry into the brave new world of technology, a world i n which i f the light of 55 knowledge lengthens so does the cold strengthen to c h i l l the arts. That the t i t l e of a book of essays by David Jones should be Epoch and  Artist t e s t i f i e s to his belief that a close connection exists between a given h i s t o r i c a l situation and the practice of art. The problems of the a r t i s t are what Jones calls 'situational problems;' that i s to say, whatever the artist's temperament or bias may be, the problems he faces are objective problems, problems that are inherent in the particular h i s t o r i c a l situation he finds himself i n . The artist can therefore be seen as a sort of seis-mograph sensitive to the least tremor of a 'situational problem.' "The whole complex of these [situational] d i f f i c u l t i e s , " Jones writes, " i s p r i -marily f e l t by the sign-maker, the a r t i s t , because for him i t i s an im-mediate, day by day, factual problem. He has somehow or other, to l i f t up valid signs; that i s his specific task"("Preface," A, p. 23). And most of the d i f f i c u l t i e s faced by the modern art i s t can be attributed to the tech-nological mentality of the epoch i n which he l i v e s . It i s the, mentality spawned by modern technology that more than i t s 'utile' products threatens to disrupt man's sign-making ac t i v i t y . This modern p o s i t i v i s t i c and pragmatic mentality is perhaps best revealed i n the words of the Hegelian Dr. Caird, Master of B a l l i o l (circa 1900): It i s the peculiar strength of the modern time that i t has reached a clear perception of the f i n i t e world as f i n i t e ; that i n science i t is p o s i t i v e — i . e . that i t takes particular facts for no more than they are; and that i n practice i t i s unembarrased by superstition— i. e . by the tendency to treat particular things and persons as mysteriously sacred. The f i r s t immediate awe and reverence which arose out of a confusion of the absolute and universal with the relative and particu-la r , or i n simpler language, of the divine and human, the ideal and the real, has passed away from the world.^ The eminent Dr. Caird offers us a sophisticated version of Bitzer's d e f i n i -tion of a horse as nothing but a quadruped. The reductionist who sees a thing as nothing but a thing and takes particular facts for no more than 56 they are w i l l obviously be impatient of, i f not hostile to, the 'vagaries' of art. To the man who, i n Kathleen Raine's t e l l i n g words, sees " i n the 6 pearl nothing but the disease of the oyster," the sign-making activity of art w i l l appear as a lot of superstitious nonsense and metaphysical rubbish. To the pragma t i s t for whom a spade i s a spade, the view that a thing may be the sign of something other Is mere fancy and to be tolerated as one toler-ates a child's caprice. With the Dr. Cairds and Bitzers clearly i n the majority, the modern artist's sign-making activity can only become more and more d i f f i c u l t . David Jones's anxiety centres precisely on the problematics of sign-making i n an epoch, the dominant sensibility of which is indifferent, i f not hostile, to the concept of sign and sacrament. The problem i s succinctly posed by Jones: The technocracy i n which we live i s of i t s nature concerned with the purely u t i l e , with what functions. This of neces-sity demands a preoccupation with the analytical, with for-mulae that have as their end the furthering of devices as signa of something other than themselves. As the ar t i s t i s concerned precisely with making things that are signa of some otherness (no matter what) his works would appear to have no essential and crucial place i n such a situation were the matter carried to i t s logical conclu-sion. ^  And to Jones such a 'matter' seemed increasingly to be carried to i t s l o g i -cal conclusion. In a conversation with Peter Orr, David Jones forwarded a similar view that the arts are i n "a state of c r i s i s , " and expressed his worry that modern schoolboys "don't easily accept the language of allegory 8 which, of course, i s almost the whole language of the arts." These school-boys don't easily accept the language of allegory or analogy because our educational system, which i s progressive and geared to modern ( i . e . tech-nological) needs, teaches them the values of logic, clear-sightedness, and precise thinking, values more suited to the prose of technology than to the 57 poetry of the imagination. Schoolboys nowadays are Bitzers who have as their teachers Dr. Cairds. Given such a situation the anxiety expressed by Jones i n the following passage i s not without reason: If the poet writes 'wood' what are the chances that the Wood of the Cross w i l l be evoked? Should the answer be 'None,' then i t would seem that an impoverishment of some sort would have to be admitted. It would mean that that particular word could no longer be used with con-fidence to implement, to c a l l up or to set i n motion a whole world of content belonging i n a special sense to the mythus of a particular culture and of concepts and realities"belonging to mankind as such. This would be true irrespective of our beliefs or disbeliefs. It would remain true even i f we were of the opinion that i t was high time that the word 'wood' should be dissociated from the mythus and concepts indicated. The arts abhor  any loppings off of meanings or emptyings out, any les- sening of the totality of connotation, any loss of reces- sion and thickness through("Preface t" A, pp. 23-24; emphasis mine). In a technocracy peopled with Bitzers and Dr. Cairds who take "particular facts for no more than they are." the recessive, thick, and coimotative lan-guage of the arts w i l l increasingly sound 'Jug Jug' to insensitive or i g -norant ears. The sensibility which takes "particular facts for no more than they are" w i l l i n practice be "unembarrased by superstition—i.e. by the tendency to treat particular things and persons as mysteriously sacred." Rid of our superstition, we no longer feel compelled to treat our fellowmen and Nature with the reverence and deference due things sacred. With superstition banished, the massive application of technology becomes possible. No longer sacred, the world becomes malleable to human w i l l . As the Mexican poet Octavio Paz observes: "For technology, the world presents i t s e l f as resist-9 ance, not as archetype: i t has reality, not shape." The task of technology i s therefore to shape the world. And i t s success i s attested to by the fact that the only reality we know today i s technological r e a l i t y : "...a reality so powerfully r e a l — v i s i b l e , palpable, audible, ubiquitous—that the real 58 r e a l i t y has ceased to be natural or supernatural; industry i s our landscape, 10 our heaven and our h e l l . " Technology has radically shaped not only the outer reality of our landscape, i t has also shaped our inner r e a l i t y , our very soul ( i f such a 'vague' word i s allowed to exist i n the vocabulary of technology). In his penetrating analysis of Western technological c i v i l i z a -tion, Jacques E l l u l argues that technique i n the form of psychology or sociology invades even the inner l i f e of people. E l l u l writes: Since the human sciences are applications of technical means, this entails rounding up those elements of the human person-a l i t y that are s t i l l free and forcing ('reintegrating') them into the expanding technical order of things. What yet re-mains of private l i f e must be forced into line by invisible techniques....Reintegration involves man's covert s p i r i t u a l a c t i v i t i e s as well as his overt actions. Amusements, friend-ship, a r t — a l l must be compelled toward the new integration, thanks to which there is to be no more social maladjustment or neurosis. Man is to be smoothed out, like a pair of pants under a steam i r o n . 1 * Technology, therefore, completely interposes i t s e l f between us and the 12 world; " i t closes every prospect from view." Whether we l i k e i t or not we are ineluctably citizens of a world shaped by technology. In a world shaped by technology, u t i l i t y and efficiency set the stan-dard for a l l other values. What we demand, David Jones claims, " i s that 'the wheels go round' not 'significantly,' not as signa of something other, 13 but with maximum u t i l i t a r i a n effectiveness." Jones's definition of the word 'utile' helps us to a clearer understanding of the purely functional nature of technological works: "I restr i c t the liberty of the word 'utile' and use i t only with reference to such things as carburettors and gull's pinions, that i s to say, I restr i c t i t to man's functional contrivances and to the contrivances of animals and the processes of nature (such as nest-14 building or mountain-buildingl." He goes on to argue that "the charac-t e r i s t i c works of our present technocracy at i t s best and at i t s worst seek 15 the 'utile.'" At i t s best our technocracy produces certain works that 59 may e l i c i t the adjective 'beautiful* from some of us. Thus, sleek war-planes or even "the gleaming and exact apparatuses...seen from the dentist's chair" may please us with their 'beauty.' But a l l such products of our technocracy, Jones i s quick to add, "derive their beauty from the play of 16 light on shapes which seek an uncontaminated utility"{Emphasis mine] . In other words, the beauty of a war-plane or a dentist's drilling-machine i s a secondary (or perhaps even accidental) attribute, u t i l i t y and efficiency being the determining characteristics of technological products. At i t s worst, our technocracy produces "the thousand-and-one utensils and impedi-menta of our daily l i v e s , " most of which may be described as "mediocre, 17 shoddy and s l i c k . " Thus "the search i n antique-dealers' shops for a single spoon that does not affront the senses" may no longer be dismissed as "an aesthete's faddishness or as a collector's craze or as an obsession with 18 the past." Moreover, such an effort " i s symptomatic of a general, i f muddled, nostalgia for things which though serviceable and u t i l e are not divorced from the extra-utile and which, on that account, conform to man's ordinary, normal and proper, i f obscured, desires—the fundamental desires 19 of a l l men, of Man." Thus, our efforts to secure from antique shops utensils which though serviceable are also beautiful, indicate that i n past civilizations the util e and the extra-utile were not divorced from one another as they are today. Instead, past civilizations have been characterized by a nuptials 20 of sorts, "a mutual Intermingling of the ut i l e and the i n u t i l e . " Though i t may have been a 'marriage of convenience,' i t was also quite f r u i t f u l : "And every now and again the progeny of that union has caused later genera-tions to wonder with a great admiration. Hence some have spoken of the 'miracle that was Greece' and others of 'that dear middle-age these noodles 21 praise.'" In fact, the marriage often had a dominant partner; when de-60 cision time came i t was the extra-utile, the gratuitous, the aesthetic that had the f i n a l say. As Jacques E l l u l observes: Jin the past] the modifications of a given type [of instru-ment] were not the outcome of calculation or of an exclu-sively technical w i l l . They resulted from aesthetic con-siderations. It i s important to emphasize that technical operations, lik e the instruments themselves, almost always depended on aesthetic preoccupations. It was impossible to conceive of a tool that was not beautiful. As for the idea, frequently accepted since the triumph of efficiency, that the beautiful i s that which i s well adapted to use—assur-edly no such notion guided the aesthetic searchings of the past. No such conception of beauty (however true) moved the artisan who carved a Toledo blade or fabricated a har-ness. On the contrary, aesthetic considerations are gra-tuitous and permit the introduction of uselessness into an eminently useful and efficient apparatus. 2 2 Such a preoccupation with the beautiful and the gratuitous was certainly true of the men who b u i l t the Cathedral of Chartres. But the same men must also have "assiduously applied themselves to the technics without which the 2 3 stone could not have climbed so high to canopy the Sacrament." Thus i n a construction like the Cathedral of Chartres, David Jones sees "sufficient evidence that... (in the Middle Ages} the ut i l e and the extra-utile were i n -2 4 dissolubly wed: there was no diriment impediment to that union." However, for modern technology to develop and advance, aesthetic con-siderations had to be jettisoned. To quote E l l u l again: The machine can become precise only to the degree that i t s design i s elaborated with mathematical rigor i n accordance with use. And an embellishment could increase air resist-ance, throw a wheel out of balance, alter velocity or pre-cision. There was no room i n practical activity for gra-tuitous aesthetic preoccupations. The two had to be sepa-rated. 2 5 Thus, unlike David Jones's favourite 'Battersea shield' which, apart from i t s obvious use, has a significance and an aesthetic value a l l i t s own, the camera of the tourist (who, let us say, v i s i t s the British Museum in which that shield i s housed) i s merely a tool required solely to perform e f f i -ciently i t s function: taking photographs. A similar contrast may be drawn 61 between the purely functional factories, airports, and power plants of our technological epoch and the cathedrals, mosques, and Mayan temples of the past. The latter are what Octavio Paz describes as "works impregnated with significance: they endure because they were built upon lasting meanings, not 26 only because of the greater or lesser resistance of their materials." The Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century meant the triumph of technology and the separation of the u t i l e from the extra-utile; the for-mer was apotheosized and the latter shunted off to museums or cast aside as so many playthings one has outgrown. Yet i n an age of Coketowns, U t i l i t a r -ianism, and Blue Books, we also find the Gothic Revival, Morris and Co., and Yellow Books. As Jones reminds us: "In a world of Blue Books, Yellow Books are to be expected and are a sign of relative normality rather than 27 the reverse. The 'aesthete' i n man w i l l out." Unlike the 'aesthetes' of the nineties, however, men like Ruskin and Morris were not interested i n separating art from l i f e . Instead they sought to integrate art and society; they desired a marriage of the u t i l e and the extra-utile. Their admiration of the Middle Ages was based on the belief, however mistaken or simple, that such an integration of art and society characterized that age. In that im-portant chapter of The Stones of Venice entitled "The Nature of Gothic," Ruskin argued that the marvels of Gothic architecture were the work of humble 28 artisans allowed freedom to create. To Ruskin and Morris the lowliness and anonymity of these artisans testified to a society i n which the activity 29 of art was a natural and not a specialized or privileged activity. Mar-garet Grennan, i n her study of William Morris's 'medievalism,' t e l l s us that Morris took as a compliment the c r i t i c a l remark "that while the standard of craftsmanship was universally high i n the Middle Ages, few rose above their 30 fellows." To Morris the lack of 'geniuses' i n the Middle Ages meant that artists were not separated from workmen and accorded special privileges. 62 Unlike our own epoch i n which a few artists create works appreciated only by a comprehending few, Morris saw the Middle Ages as an age i n which every worker was an ar t i s t and every artist a workman. The Middle Ages, in Mor-ris's view, escaped from the modern age's " f a t a l schism between art and daily 31 l i f e . " A similar view was put forward by Eric G i l l , David Jones's mentor and friend, who was a founding member of the crafts guild at Ditchling: The a r t i s t , they [the men of the Middle Ages] held, i s the ski l l e d workman....The beautiful thing, they held, i s that which being seen pleases; and they did not dream of the possibility of useful articles being anything but beautiful or of the possibility of beauty being divorced from useful-ness. The idea of work, the idea of art, the idea of ser-vice and the idea of beauty were and are, i n spite of our peculiar century, naturally inseparable; and our century i s only peculiar i n that we have achieved their unnatural sep-aration. 32 However false or naive the 'medievalism' of Morris or G i l l may have been, they saw a return to the medieval principle of unity as the only way of closing the gap between art and the other activities of man. While sympathetic to the attempts to re-unify art and society, Jones also knew that such attempts could not hope to succeed i n our epoch. We may re c a l l from Chapter I Jones's' belief'that art "comprehends a l l our activ-i t i e s from boat-building to poetry." Such a belief i s consistent with the 'integrative' view of art held by Morris and G i l l . However, i n Jones's writings we also discover the 'pessimism' of a man who i s aware that the times are against any such integration of art and society. In our technoc-racy an a r t i s t l i k e Eric G i l l , Jones argues, " i s an oddity." He continues: Such a person {as Eric G i l l ] i s not knit with, has no neces-sary part i n , exists by sufferance of, our c i v i l i z a t i o n . . . . One need not necessarily subscribe to Spengler's whole thesis to admit that i n his 'technics instead of l y r i c s ' theme he shows us through which door the wind blows, and that steel wind gathers weight and drive as these unkindly decades pro-ceed. I find i t impossible to consider the work of Mr. G i l l without keeping i n mind this situation, because he sought to work as though a culture of some sort existed or, at a l l events, he worked as though one should, and could make a culture exist.33 6 3 Thus, though Jones praises Eric G i l l for his dedication to his art. he i s also forced to c r i t i c i z e his friend's insistence on working "as though a culture of some sort existed" or as though one "could make a culture exist." For the unpleasant truth i s that "we l i v e i n a period devoid of a cul*» " 34 ture." And i n the absence of a corporate culture there can be no corpo-rate renewal, though here and there a few individuals "may locally and in a 35 tentative and f l u i d manner make the desert bloom*" Moreover, i n a tech-nological society characterized by mobility and change, a culture rooted i n tradition and site does not stand a chance of flourishing. In fact, not only can a local culture not flourish, but technological advances, "one way or another and whether beneficent or otherwise, [have been] destructive of immemorial ways of l i f e , of rooted cultures of a l l sorts and of erosions too 36 numerous to mention, at a l l sorts of levels." Such destructions have oc-curred not only i n Jones's beloved Wales (see, for example, the essay "George Borrow and Wales" in Epoch and Artist) but also a l l around the world, from Africa to New Guinea, from the Indian sub-continent to South -America, from one country to another in the 'sad tropics.' In past cultures that were rooted i n tradition and s i t e , the a r t i s t and his audience shared a common language of signs. Moreover, in such a tra-ditional culture, the a r t i s t was a person of recognized status with clearly defined duties; i f he was a poet, for example, his role i n society would be that of custodian, rememberer, embodier and voice of i t s traditions, i t s mythus (see "Preface," A, p. 21). Art was considered part of the 'social fabric' and not some sort of 'cultural activity' to be indulged i n occasion-al l y or a form of entertainment to amuse the public. But i n the absence of a corporate culture, the artists of our technocratic 'megalopolitan dias-pora' ("Preface," A, p. 26) are, figuratively speaking, adrift. To continue the metaphor, modern artists having been cast out of our e f f i c i e n t l y run, 64 technological-niarvel-of-a-ship-of-state, are l e f t "drifting on [their] ex-37 peridental floats i n search of the goddess on a chancy ocean." The modern artist i s like Aeneas but without the consolation of knowing his destiny. Like Aeneas he harbours a sense of loss, and i n his lament we detect a longing for a destroyed past. But again, lik e Aeneas, he knows that he can only go forward. However, unlike the glorious destiny that awaited Vergil's hero Aeneas, we cannot t e l l i n advance what landfall the modern art i s t w i l l make. He can only continue to explore and fare forward anxiously. Thus, an aesthetics for the dispossessed modern a r t i s t , i f i t i s to avoid becoming a s t e r i l e 'aestheticism' isolated and divorced from the problems of i t s epoch, must be founded on c r i s i s and anxiety. In his perceptive review of David Jones's Epoch and Artist (the t i t l e of the review also serves as the t i t l e of this chapter), the American art-c r i t i c Harold Rosenberg praises Jones's book for containing "some of the most acutely relevant writing on contemporary form and value to have ap-38 peared in years." Jones's relevant insights, Rosenberg argues, come from the unique perspective he brought to contemporary problems of a r t i s t i c cre-ation. Unlike the usual elegist of cultural decline, Jones saw i n Western 39 civilization's c r i s i s of values "a valuable means of orientation." While conscious of modern decadence, and not without a touch of nostalgia for the past, Jones also realized that art can only go forward. In Rosenberg's opinion, Jones even took pleasure i n the questions raised by modern deca-40 dence. Pleasure, however, does not seem to be quite the appropriate de-scription of Jones's anxiety over the age's indifference or h o s t i l i t y to the practice of art. Rather than pleasure, i t was the instinct to survive (we w i l l do well to remember that Jones was an infantryman i n the Great War) which forced Jones to assess carefully the precarious position of the arts in the face of advances by the enemy—technology; to count sadly the cas-65 ualties suffered by the forces of art; and, with the flanks turned and the advance positions occupied by the enemy, to attempt to survive with some dignity, organize some sort of resistance, and hope somehow for small vi c -tories. Jones's writings on art are therefore "formed in the dual perspec-41 tive of regret and possibility." The regret for the losses suffered by-art Is balanced by a search for poss i b i l i t i e s of a r t i s t i c activity. To say of the elegaic strain i n David Jones's writings that i t i s a species of primitivism would be to argue a half-truth. Such a half-truth i s argued by Frank Kermode when he declares that Jones's primitivism " i s of the Romantic tradition; i t would have seemed painfully odd neither to Joyce... nor to Yeats, whose belief that art must be 'constantly flooded with the 42 passions and beliefs of ancient times' Mr. Jones would f u l l y endorse." But i f Jones's writings are "flooded with the passions and beliefs of an-cient times," they are also very concerned with current problems of a r t i s t i c creation. In fact, the criticism that Kermode levels at Jones, Jones had directed at Charles Williams's Arthurian poems. Jones found a lack of 'now-ness' in Williams's poems: "Somehow, somewhere, between content and form, concept and image, sign and what i s signified, a sense of the con-43 temporary escapes, or rather appears to me to escape." "What the a r t i s t l i f t s up," Jones further argued, "must have a kind of transubstantiated 44 actual-ness. Our images, not only our ideas, must be valid for now." At f i r s t glance, Jones's Romano-Celtic, Arthurian, and Christian materia poetica seems rather remote from the concerns of the present. But this materia from the past i s not used to build a fantasy-world one can escape to; rather, for Jones, the ancient materia serves to remind the present not only of i t s links to the past but also warns us that what we have gained through tech-nological advances we have lost i n the way of certain traditions. Jones's backward look cannot be interpreted, therefore, as a form of escapism or a 66 stubborn refusal to face current problems of a r t i s t i c creation; indeed, i t can be regarded as a critique of the present. The past i s valid for the present, i f i t reminds us of what we have lost. We are often too Involved, too immersed i n the here-and-now to have time to l i s t e n to the voices that speak the language of regret, of deprival. Moreover, most of us do not feel a sense of loss over the destruction of the past. The Canadian philosopher George Grant attributes this lack of a sense of deprivation to the modern belief that technology w i l l enable us to cre-ate freely a world we desire. Grant writes: " I t i s d i f f i c u l t to think whether we are deprived of anything essential to our happiness, just because the coming to be of the technological society has stripped us above a l l of the very systems of meaning which disclosed the higher purposes of man, and in terms of which, therefore, we could judge whether an absence of something was i n fact a deprival." With the 'de-construction' of traditional "sys-tems of meaning, given i n myth, philosophy and revelation" we are l e f t with-out any established language with which to c r i t i c i z e or protest against technological imperialism. As Grant notes: A l l coherent languages beyond those which serve the drive to unlimited freedom through technique have been broken up in the coming to be of what we are. Therefore i t i s im-possible to articulate publicly any suggestion of loss, and perhaps even more frightening, almost impossible to a r t i c -ulate i t to ourselves. We have been l e f t with no words which cleave together and summon out of uncertainty the good of which we may sense the dispossession. The drive to the planetary technical future i s i n any case inevita-ble; but those who would try to divert, to lim i t , or even simply to stand i n fear before some of i t s applications find themselves defenceless, because of the disappearance of any speech by which the continual changes involved i n that drive could ever be thought as deprivals. 6 If the language of technology has won the day, a l l we can hope for are a few sad voices reminding us of the costs of that victory. To quote Grant again: 67 Only In listening for the intimations of deprival can we li v e c r i t i c a l l y in the dynamo....Any intimations of au-thentic deprival are precious, because they are the ways through which intimations of good, unthinkable i n the public terms Jpf technology], may yet appear to us. The affirmation stands: how can we think deprivation unless the good which we lack i s somehow remembered? To reverse the platitude, we are never more sure that a i r i s good for animals than when we are gasping for breath.* 7 The writings of David Jones speak such a language of deprival. His view of the poet as a rememberer, his care for the heritage of Britain, his re-spect for local traditions, his anxiety over the obliteration of "the holy diversities" and the imposition of "the rootless uniformities" by our tech-nocracy, his fear that man the artist i n becoming man the u t l l i s t would become less than human—together, a l l these concerns (some would c a l l them 48 obsessions) form David Jones's language of deprival. For an example of how Jones's idiom of deprival works, we can consult any one of the l i s t s of arte-facts given i n The Anathemata; by l i s t i n g down the artefacts made by man the a r t i s t , Jones reminds us of what we have lost i n becoming man the u t i l i s t . Thus, by speaking of the deprivations caused by the acceleration of technol-ogy, Jones's writings affirm the need for, and the goodness of, those things we ignore and, consequently, have lost. In his essay on David Jones, Frank Kermode examines the gap between the 'two cultures' and concludes that the character of modern art " i s such that 49 i t must be i n conflict with a s c i e n t i f i c world-view to survive at a l l . " Such a conclusion, as much as he disliked i t , seemed to Jones to be the only answer. Unlike the artists of traditional cultures, Jones argues, the ar-t i s t " i n the present phase of our c i v i l i z a t i o n . . . i s no longer an integral 50 part of a living culture; he has to swim against the tide." Alienated from his c i v i l i z a t i o n , the a r t i s t turns antagonist. As Jones sees i t , "the tra-dition of the individual artist could only be i n our sort of c i v i l i z a t i o n , [and] i t i s , paradoxically, a contradiction, a f i f t h column, within that 6 8 c i v i l i z a t i o n , and here i t shares the honours of sabotage with the tradition of religion, for both are disruptive forces, both own allegiance to values i n any event i r r i t a n t , and easily becoming toxic to those values which of 51 necessity dominate the present world-orders." The artist i s therefore forced by our technological c i v i l i z a t i o n either to employ "guerilla tactics" 52 or go underground and lead "a very private and secret labyrinthine l i f e . " The description of the artist as a guerilla and fifth-columnist may be applied to David Jones himself. Although he led a very private l i f e (in later l i f e , he was, as we have seen, almost a hermit), i n his writings Jones was a fifth-columnist who conducted a subversive campaign against the tech-nocratic mentality. By conserving and preserving myths and other ancient traditions i n his poems and essays, Jones goes against the technocratic view which regards such myths and traditions as so much superstitious 'rubbish.'' By employing an elegaic language of deprival, he attempts to unsettle the technocrat's conscience by reminding him of the losses suffered i n the course of technological progress. To suppress our repeated attempts to look back-ward, our technocratic society tries to turn us into amnesiacs. To cure us of this unnatural amnesia, Jones invites us to perform the act of anamnesis. Refuting at every turn the progressive u t i l i t a r i a n ideology of our technoc-racy, Jones's writings proclaim opposition and assume a subversive character. The most subversive act an artist living i n a technocracy can perform i s to carry on with his sign-making activity and continue turning out works of art despite the d i f f i c u l t i e s . Thus, though beset by hard times, the art i s t must continue to search for poss i b i l i t i e s of a r t i s t i c activity. The main d i f f i c u l t y he w i l l have to face, according to Jones, i s the absence of a corporate culture. In a traditionless c i v i l i z a t i o n , the ar t i s t w i l l have to take on and solve the problems of art a l l by himself; with no common tradi-tion to rely on, the artist w i l l have to forge, as best he can, a tradition 6 9 for himself. Attempts to establish "a formal a r t i s t i c discipline derived  from the outside," according to Jones, w i l l f a i l ; "for no 'external d i s c i -pline' can be real, invigorating, and integrating unless i t comes to us with 53 the imperatives of a living tradition." Consequently, Jones i s compelled to c r i t i c i z e c r i t i c s and art historians like Berenson who continue to be-lieve that objective canons of taste can be derived from a 'Great Tradition.' But instead of adopting the static principles of classicism advocated by many a r t - c r i t i c s , historians, and theoreticians, modern artists continue to be eclectic, innovative, exploratory, experimental. Without a living tradi-tion to sustain him, the modern a r t i s t works i n isolation, trying out this or that criterion, exploring this or that idea, hoping that he w i l l somehow arrive at some valid principle of creation. Hence the general art situation i s 'Alexandrian' and eclectic. At the same time, however, the best works of modern art tend to be individual i n vision and subjective i n nature. As Jones puts i t : "...the best of what has been produced during these years has tended to have perfections of a rather personal s o r t — t h i s or that man pushing this or that notion as far as his sensitivities would allow him i n this or 54 that rather limited terrain." In the absence of a corporate culture, "there i s opportunity for the employment of native and individual vision....Instinct 55 rather than rule w i l l have to serve." In our epoch, therefore, individual vision and effort w i l l determine the possibilities available for art. A tra-ditionalist at heart, Jones disliked such a state of a f f a i r s . But he also knew that short of a radical change in "the actual c i v i l i z a t i o n a l situation," the artist w i l l have to continue to work in isolation, often in conflict with 56 his society. In his perceptive review of Epoch and Ar t i s t, Harold Rosenberg makes the interesting point that David Jones's aesthetic 'envisions an individual 57 equivalent of the kind of art that i s typical of traditional cultures." 70 In other words, Jones's aesthetic contains a paradox. While his poems (and his paintings for that matter) draw on materia from traditional sources (see Chapter III) and depend for their validity on a common understanding of the signs they show forth (see Chapter II), they are, i n their f i n a l form, i n -dividual to the point of idiosyncraSy. The d i f f i c u l t y we encounter i n read-ing a poem like The Anathemata i s to a great extent due to our i n a b i l i t y to categorize i t , to f i x i t s genre. Its aims appear to be those of an epic; i t attempts to embody and express the mythus and deposits of the cultural com-plex that i s Britain. And yet, f i n a l l y , The Anathemata i s not an epic; a true epic can only be written i n a corporate culture, and The Anathemata i s only an individual's attempt to recover and conserve certain aspects of his heritage. Thus, when John Holloway c r i t i c i z e s The Anathemata for being sub-jective, idiosyncratic, and private, and hence, "at odds with the status and 58 intention of epic," he i s correct i n a sense. But what Holloway overlooks in his criticism i s precisely the fact that what Jones's aesthetic envisions i s not an epic but an individual equivalent of epic. The Anathemata i s not Jones's recipe for epic; rather, i t outlines the possibility of an aesthetic (or poetics, to be more precise), a method of composition available to a poet like Jones, a traditionalist i n a traditionless c i v i l i z a t i o n . What i s this method of composition available to such an a r t i s t i n a time of crisis? The general method i s outlined i n the 'Preface' to The Anathemata. Jones writes: I regard my book more as a series of fragments, fragmented b i t s , chance scraps really, of records of things, vestiges of sorts and kinds of discipllnae [i.e., the proper way of making a thing'], that have come my way by this channel or that influence. Pieces of stuffs that happen to mean some-thing to me and which I see as perhaps making a kind of coat of many colours, such as belonged to 'that dreamer' i n the Hebrew myth. Things to which I would give a related form, just as one does in painting a picture. You use the things that are yours to use because they happen to be lying about the place or site or lying within the orbit of your 'tradition'("Preface," A, p. 3 4 ) . According to Harold Rosenberg, Jones's description of The Anathemata's method of composition " i s about as good a general model of twentieth-century 59 work as one can find." Rosenberg makes a similar statement in another essay, "The Concept of Action in Painting." In that essay, Rosenberg argues that the method of composition outlined by Jones i n his "Preface" to The Anathemata i s valid because of the collapse of traditional Western forms. Deprived of traditional forms, Rosenberg continues, the poet or painter i s forced " [to pick] his way among the bits and pieces of the cultural heritage 60 and... {put] together whatever seems capable of carrying a meaning." The modern poet or artist i s , therefore, essentially a bricoleur en-gaged i n an activity of bricolage. In French, a bricoleur means a Jack of a l l trades who puts things together out of scraps, bits and pieces, odds and ends. In The Savage Mind, Claude Levi-Strauss advances the proposition that mythical thought i s a kind of intellectual bricolage. Faced with a particu-lar task, Levi-Strauss writes, the bricoleur w i l l f i r s t of a l l interrogate "the heterogeneous objects of which his treasury is composed to discover what 61 each of them could 'signify' and so contribute to the definition of a set" (cf. Jones's "Pieces of stuffs....to which I would give a related form").. Each object in the bricoleur'8 treasury, however, is limited by i t s own par-ticular history and "by those of i t s features which are already determined by the use for which i t was originally intended or the modifications i t has undergone for other purposes." "The elements which the bricoleur collects and uses are 'pre-constrained,*" continues Levi-Strauss, "like the constitu-tive units of myth, the possible combinations of which are restricted by the fact that they are drawn from the language where they already possess a 62 sense which sets a limit on their freedom of manoeuvre." Thus, like the 72 bricoleur who has to make do with whatever i s at hand (cf. Jones's "the things...that happen to be lying about the place or site or lying within the orbit of your 'tradition'"), mythical thought i s dependent on the 'pre-con-strained' material provided by a language. It seems, then, that mythical bricolage i s dependent on the prior language or text of a heritage; i n the words of Boas: " . . . i t would seem that mythological worlds have been bu i l t up, only to be shattered again, and that new worlds were built from the frag-63 ments." Mythical thought builds structured sets out of the debris of prior structured sets. As Levi-Strauss puts i t ; "...the characteristic feature of mythical thought, as of bricolage on the practical plane, i s that i t builds up structured sets, not directly with other structured sets but by using the remains and debris of events: i n French des bribes et des morceaux, or odds and ends In English, fossilized evidence of the history of an individual or 64 a society." What Levi-Strauss has to say of the bricolage activity of myth-making applies equally to the modern artist's bricolage activity of putting together a new structure or form from the bits and pieces of past cultural forms and traditions shattered by the rise of technology. And, as we may have gathered, the method of composition outlined i n the "Preface" to The Anathemata i s a kind of bricolage. The concept of bricolage explains why a poem like The Anathemata i s objective, impersonal, and public, and at the same time, subjective, idiosyn-cratic, and private. The structured set created by the bricolage activity, Levi-Strauss observes, " w i l l ultimately d i f f e r from the instrumental set only 65 i n the internal disposition of i t s parts." A switch i n terminology reveals how appropriate Levi-Strauss*s observation i s to the kind of poetic composi-tion described by Jones i n the "Preface" to The Anathemata. A poem li k e The  Anathemata (the structured set) depends on the available mythus and deposits of a cultural complex (the instrumental set) for i t s materia. The poet's 73 choice of facts and data from among the possi b i l i t i e s offered by the cultur-a l deposits, and the way in which he arranges and shapes this chosen materia spell the difference between the structured set of the poem and the instru-mental set of the cultural deposits. This difference also defines the sub-jective, idiosyncratic quality of the poem. In the absence of an authorita-tive tradition, the poet w i l l have to choose and arrange and shape his materia according to a b i l i t y , preference, instinct; as Jones has observed, i n a traditionless c i v i l i z a t i o n , "Instinct rather than rule w i l l have to 66 serve." Thus, from his choice of materia, and from the way i n which he shapes i t , w i l l emerge an account of the poet's personality and l i f e . What Levi-Strauss says of the bricoleur--"he always puts something of himself i n -67 to i t fjhis creation]" —may be said of the poet as well. John Holloway's criticism of The Anathemata was levelled precisely at this subjective and idiosyncratic aspect of the bricolage activity. But i n his criticism Hollo-way overlooked the other aspect of the bricolage activity, namely, i t s de-pendence on a prior existent set of tools and materials, which, i n the case of a poem like The Anathemata, would be the objective and publicly available mythus and deposits of a cultural complex. From an objective and publicly available set of heterogeneous materials the bricoleur chooses certain things and puts them together to form a structure that t e s t i f i e s to his s k i l l and individual genius. Similarly, from the objective and publicly available mythus and deposits of the British cultural complex David Jones chooses cer-tain facts and data and then arranges, juxtaposes, and combines them into a poem like The Anathemata which bears a strong imprint of his personality, his cares and his loves. The paradox of a poem like The Anathemata—a poem both objective and subjective, public and private—can be explained, there-fore, by the bricolage activity of giving a subjective and idiosyncratic form to the objective data, however incoherent or fragmented, of an i n -74 herited cultural complex. From his analysis of the cultural c r i s i s to his view of the a r t i s t as a f i f t h columnist, from his use of a language of deprival which reminds us of our losses to his preference for the bricolage method of composition, i n a l l of Jones's discussions and writings on the subject of art, one important point crops up again and again: while the practice of art has never been easy, in our epoch the practice of art i s synonymous with the constant strug-gle to solve problems. It i s l i t t l e wonder then that David Jones's writings are suffused with anxiety; aesthetics, for Jones, means an aesthetics of c r i s i s founded on anxiety. Yet, ironically, anxiety in our epoch i s not a vice but a virtue. As Harold Rosenberg remarks: "The anxiety of art re-presents the w i l l that art shall exist, despite conditions that might make 68 i t s existence impossible." In art, therefore, anxiety represents the w i l l to try out new possibil-i t i e s of form. Consequently, an aesthetics founded on anxiety must neces-saril y be exploratory and experimental; or, i n Jones's words, i t must be 69 part of "a tradition of a feeling-toward." The poems of David Jones are written with such an exploratory aesthetic as model; they are "personal sorties into p o s s i b i l i t i e s of language and feeling rather than works fash-70 ioned for the satisfaction of a pre-existing taste." David Jones's aesthetics of c r i s i s i s characterized, therefore, by a dialectic of anxiety and exploration. The dialectic works in the following way: the problems posed by our technocracy cause the a r t i s t anxiety; this anxiety w i l l force him to search for new and valid forms of expression; the search for these new forms, a search made d i f f i c u l t by the c i v i l i z a t i o n a l situation, w i l l i n turn cause anxiety; and this new infusion of anxiety w i l l no doubt cause the a r t i s t to redouble his exploratory efforts. Faced with a problem, we become anxious; but our anxiety i n turn acts as a spur, to effort. 75 It i s this positive action that emerges from our struggling with a problem that Harold Rosenberg praises when he writes: "It i s finding the obstacle to going ahead that counts--that i s the discovery and the starting point of metamorphosis. Uniqueness i s an effect of duration i n action, a prolonged hacking and gnawing....Apart from that every kind of excellence can be 71 copied." ' Or as W.C. Williams puts i t : "Blocked. / (Make a song out of 72 that: concretely)." For an aesthetic to be valid i n our epoch, i t must face up to the c i v i l i z a t i o n a l problems and see i n these problems p o s s i b i l i -ties of 'song.' As we shall see, much of the vigour of The Anathemata con-sists of i t s turning the problems that confront i t s making into poss i b i l i t i e s of poetic composition. A 'formal embodiment of c r i s i s , ' The Anathemata owes 73 much of i t s interest to i t s metamorphosing anxiety into song. 76 Footnotes 1 David Jones, "Preface" to In Parenthesis, p. xiv. 2 "Looking Back at the Thirties." London Magazine. 5, No. 1 (1965), 53. 3 Picasso's remark on Cezanne (which appears as epigraph to this chapter) i s quoted i n Harold Rosenberg's The Anxious Object (New York: Horizon Press, 1966) , p. 232. 4 See F.T. Marinetti's "The Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism," i n Theories  of Modern Art: A Source Book by Artists and C r i t i c s , ed. Herschel B. Chipp (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1970), pp. 284-86. 5 Quoted by Jones in "Preface by the Author," EA, p. 14. 6 Kathleen Raine, Defending Ancient Springs (London: Oxford University Press, 1967) , p. 113. 7 "Looking Back at the Thirties," p. 50. 8 "David Jones," The Poet Speaks, ed. Peter Orr (London: Routledge, 1966), p. 10. 9 "Signs i n Rotation," i n The Bow and the Lyre, trans. Ruth L.C. Simms (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1973), p. 241. 10 Ibid. 11 The Technological Society, trans. John Wilkinson (New York: Vintage Books, 1964), p. 411. 12 "Signs i n Rotation," p. 241. 13 "Use and Sign," The Listener. 24 May 1962, p. 901. 14 "The Utile," EA, p. 180. 77 15 "The Utile," EA, p. 181. 16 Ibid. 17 Ibid. 18 Ibid. 19 Ibid. 20 "Use and Sign," p. 900. 21 Ibid. 22 The Technological Society, pp. 72-73. 23 "Use and Sign," p. 900. 24 Ibid. 25 The Technological Society, p. 73. 26 "Signs i n Rotation," p. 242. 27 "Art and Democracy," EA, p. 95, n. 1. 28 See Selected Prose of Raskin, ed. Matthew Hodgart (New York: Signet, 1972), pp. 113-14. 29 For a discussion of a r t i s t i c anonymity i n the Middle Ages, see Rayner Heppenstall's "The Question of Anonymity" which i s appended to Eric G i l l ' s Art and a Changing Civilization (London: John Lane, 1934), pp. 141-45. 30 William Morris: Medievalist and Revolutionary (New York: King's Crown Press, 1945), p. 144. 31 Quoted i n Grennan, i b i d . 78 32 Art and a Changing Civ i l i z a t i o n , p. 39. 33 "Eric G i l l as Sculptor," EA, pp. 288-89. 34 Ibid., p. 291. 35 "Religion and the Muses," EA, p. 105. 36 David Jones, "Looking Back at the Thirties," p. 52. 37 "Eric G i l l : An Appreciation," EA, p. 300. 38 "Aesthetics of Cr i s i s , " The New Yorker. 22 August 1964, p. 114. 39 Ibid. 40 Ibid. 41 Ibid. 42 "On David Jones," Puzzles and Epiphanies (London: Routledge, 1962), p. 30. 43 "The Arthurian Legend," EA, p. 209. 44 Ibid., p. 210. 45 "A Platitude," i n Technology and Empire: Perspectives on North America (Toronto: House of Anansi, 1969), p. 137. 46 Ibid., p. 139. 47 Ibid., p. 141. 48 The phrases "the holy diversities" and "the rootless uniformities" come from David Jones's poem "The Tutelar of the Place" collected i n The Sleeping  Lord and Other Fragments (London: Faber, 1974). A companion poem to "The Tutelar of the Place," "The Tribune's Visitation," also speaks i n the idiom of deprival. 49 "On David Jones," i n Puzzles and Epiphanies, p. 34. 50 "A Note on Mr. Berenson's Views," EA, p. 274. 51 "Religion and the Muses," EA, p. 100. 52 Ibid., p. 106. 53 "If and Perhaps and But," EA, p. 278. 54 "A Note on Mr. Berenson's Views," EA, p. 273. 55 "Religion and the Muses," EA, p. 105. 56 "If and Perhaps and But," EA, p. 278. 57 "Aesthetics of C r i s i s , " p. 118. 58 "A Perpetual Showing," The Hudson Review, 16, No. 1 (1963), 127. 59 "Aesthetics of C r i s i s , " p. 121. 60 "The Concept of Action i n Painting," Artworks and Packages (New York Horizon Press, 1969), p. 216. 61 The Savage Mind (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1966), p. 18. 62 Ibid., p. 19. 63 Ibid., p. 21. 64 Ibid., pp. 21-22. 65 Ibid., p. 18. 66 "Religion and the Muses," EA, p. 105. 80 67 The Savage Mind, p. 21. 68 The Anxious Object, p. 18. 69 "Religion and the Muses," EA, p. 98. 70 Rosenberg, "Aesthetics of C r i s i s , " p. 121. 71 The Anxious Object, p. 20. 72 Paterson, Book 2, i i , p. 78. 73 The phrase 'formal embodiment of c r i s i s ' i s Harold Rosenberg's. See his "Aesthetics of C r i s i s , " p. 121. Chapter V The Flexible Unity of The Anathemata The speed of light, they say, i s very rapid-—but i t i s nothing to the a g i l i t y of thought and i t s ab i l i t y to twist and double on i t s tracks, penetrate recesses and generally nose about. -David Jones Gathering a l l things i n , twining each bruised stem to the swaying t r e l l i s of the dance, the dance about the sawn lode-stake on the h i l l where the hidden stillness i s at the core of struggle,... where the king s i t s , counting out his man-geld, rhyming the audits of a l l the world-holdings. -David Jones, "The Tutelar of the Place" If works of art are signs, then what i s The Anathemata a sign of? The answer i s not at a l l simple. For a sign, as I have argued, tends to be centrifugal i n i t s attempt to 're-call' and 're-present' a 'reality' that i s often complex. And The Anathemata happens to be centrifugal with a.vengeance. Generally speaking, however, one can say that The Anathemata i s an attempt to 're-call' and 're-present' a complex 'reality,' that complex 'reality' being nothing less than the cultural history of the Christian West as seen by an Anglo-Welsh Londoner of Catholic subscription (the complicated, dappled na-ture of this inherited 'reality' has already been examined i n Chapter III). A more specific answer to the foregoing question i s given i n David Jones's radio talk: More recently, i n making The Anathemata I was ex p l i c i t l y concerned with a re-calling of certain things which I myself had received, things which are part of the com-plex deposits of this Island, so of course involving the central Christian r i t e and mythological, h i s t o r i c a l , etc., 81 8 2 data of a l l sorts. These were, so to say, my 'subject matter.' Here the commemorative intention was as plain as a pikestaff, however unplain the result may have seemed to the reader. 1 Plain though the poet's intention may be, i n order to understand more clearly what The Anathemata i s about, two further questions have to be asked. The simpler question concerns the reason for 're-calling' one's cultural i n -heritance. Of the many subjects available to the poet why does he choose to 're-call' the things he has received from his culture? The other question i s harder to answer. It i s concerned with the problems of composition: How does the poet give a structure or form to what i s such a large and compli-cated subject, and what kind of problems does he have to tackle i n the pro-cess of composition? The answer to this question w i l l form the major part of this chapter. To David Jones the poet i s "something of a vicar whose job i s lega-t i n e — a kind of Servus Servorum to deliver what has been delivered to him" ("Preface," A, p. 35). In another essay Jones declares that "the poet i s a 'rememberer' and that i t i s a part of his business to keep open the lines of communication. One obvious way of doing this i s by handing on such frag-2 mented bits of our own inheritance as we have ourselves received." The last sentence i s an apt description of The Anathemata's contents: "...a series of fragments, fragmented b i t s , chance scraps really, of records of things, ves-tiges of sorts and kinds of disciplinae... JjthatJ happen to be lying about the place or site or lying within the orbit of your 'tradition'"("Preface," A, p. 34). By gathering together and incorporating into his book the frag-ments scattered within the orbit of his 'tradition,' David Jones f u l f i l s the poet's legatine role of conserving and delivering to the future what has been delivered to him from the past. Such a conservative, legatine task i s especially necessary i n our epoch, for the technocracy i n which we live 8 3 has been destructive of a l l kinds of traditions and cultures (as we saw i n the previous chapter). The fragments that have survived the destruction of time and technology are, therefore, to be valued, for by their presence they testify to a continuity, however tenuous and fragile, between our u t i l e age and the extra-utile cultures of the past. By 're-presenting' and ' r e - c a l l -ing' i n his poem these fragments from the past, Jones i s able to argue that the lines of communication between the present and the past are s t i l l open, and that, consequently, a 'tradition' of sorts can s t i l l be maintained by an individual i n a traditionless c i v i l i z a t i o n . Here, i n the poet's attempt to maintain a 'tradition,' we have the answer to our f i r s t question. David Jones's commemorative intention i n The Anathemata i s part of his 'rear-guard' defence of 'tradition' against the tradition-destroying, culture-smashing forces of technology. Though he persisted i n the belief that a 'tradition' of sorts could be maintained in our age, David Jones was also agonizingly aware of the enor-mous d i f f i c u l t i e s such a conservative and legatine task would have to face. These d i f f i c u l t i e s , for a poet like David Jones, are ultimately problems of composition. Two problems especially worried Jones. The modern reader's unfamiliarity with the connotative language of signs presented Jones with the problem of communication. Since his whole poetic practice i s based on the concept of words as signs, the modern reader's ina b i l i t y to understand the symbolic power of words naturally worried him. Jones also worried a great deal over the structural unity of The Anathemata. Attempting to com-pose an inclusive, encyclopaedic poem, Jones found himself faced with the bricoleur's typical problem: how to give a related form to the diverse and scattered data, the fragmented bits and pieces of his cultural inheritance. This structural problem i s further compounded by Jones's tendency to be centrifugal i n his handling of the poetic material. It w i l l be argued that 84 in The Anathemata these two problems—the problem of communication and the problem of structural unity—are incorporated into the fabric of the poem; or to put i t another way. the poem reveals i n i t s form the problematics of poiesis, of making. Thumbing through The Anathemata we are Immediately struck by the notes that accompany almost every page. Our attention i s also drawn to the long thirty-four page "Preface." To many readers, c r i t i c s , and poets, such pre-faces and footnotes are anathema. Prefaces and footnotes, so the objection runs, either display unnecessary pedantry or indicate an in a b i l i t y to shape a poem into a self-contained whole. David Jones i s not guilty of either pedantry or incompetence. In annotating his text, David Jones was aware that the charge of ped-antry would be levelled at him. Anticipating just such an accusation, he has written: It i s sometimes objected that annotation i s pedantic; a l l things considered i n the present instance, the reverse would, I think, be the more true. There have been culture-phases when the maker and the society i n which he lived shared an enclosed and common background, where the terms of reference were common to a l l . It would be an affectation to pretend that such was our situation today. Certainly i t would be an absurd affectation i n me to suppose that many of the themes I have employed are familiar to a l l readers, even though they are, without exception, themes derived from our own de-posits....! have, therefore, glossed the text i n order to open up 'unshared backgrounds'...if such they are("Preface," A, p. 14). Annotation i s , therefore, an act of generosity. Instead of displaying ped-antry, footnotes help the reader to understand certain references or a l l u -sions that may otherwise escape his comprehension. Footnotes help to open up 'unshared backgrounds.' For Jones, therefore, footnotes are not obstac-les but guides that help f a c i l i t a t e our reading of the poem. Though the footnotes help to open up 'unshared backgrounds,' their very necessity indicates the existence of a cultural c r i s i s . Not only do poets 8 5 and the society i n which they li v e no longer share common terms of reference, but, as the previous chapter has shown, most of the inhabitants of our mod-ern technological society have also lost the abi l i t y to understand the allegorical and symbolic language of poets and suffer from a kind of hi s t o r i c a l and cultural amnesia. Trained to take particulars for no more than they are, the inhabitants of our technocracy must be 're-educated' i f they are to understand the language of signs i n which the word 'wood' may re-fer not only to the bark of trees but also to the Wood of the Cross. Anyone who has taught a freshman English class and has been introduced to the stu-dents' lack of hi s t o r i c a l knowledge w i l l not be surprised by Jones's remark 3 that "the word 'Aphrodite* might not be understood now by lots of chaps." There i s , therefore, a communication gap between a 'traditionalist' poet like David Jones and a modern audience without memory or tradition. Jones's "Preface" and footnotes attempt to meet these problems of com-munication; i n their own fashion, they seek to 're-educate' those who are willing to learn. But in our 'post-literacy' (the phrase i s George Stei-ner's) such a pedagogic task becomes more and more d i f f i c u l t . Irritated though we may be by his Wagnerian, apocalyptic tone, we are, nonetheless, forced to recognize the truth of George Steiner's gloomy prediction that i n -4 creasingly a l l our 'classics' w i l l require annotation. Even our understand-ing of the 'classics' of our own language w i l l increasingly depend on the mediation of footnotes, on translation. And the more we require footnotes to help us understand a poem, the more we can be certain that the gap be-tween the poet and his society has widened. Thus, although David Jones's "Preface" and footnotes attempt to bridge the communication gap, their very necessity t e s t i f i e s to the existence of such a gap. One can argue, there-fore, that i f The Anathemata i s , in Harold Rosenberg's phrase, a "formal 5 embodiment of c r i s i s " i t owes this designation i n part to the c r i s i s of 8 6 communication which i n the form of the "Preface" and the footnotes i s em-bedded into the very texture and fabric of the book. In other words, by i n -serting a "Preface" and notes into The Anathemata, Jones has incorporated the problems of communication into the total form of his poem. Footnotes not only indicate the existence of communication problems they also question a text's internal unity. It i s i n the nature of footnotes to refer outwards away from the text and towards some external source or sources. Hence they tend to subvert and disrupt the internal unity of the text by subordinating i t to external contingencies. It i s l i t t l e wonder, then, that footnotes attached to poems are regarded with so much distaste. For the addition of footnotes violates the cherished notion that a poem should be 'self-contained.' A poem, one such ars poetica advises, "should be palpable and mute / as a globed f r u i t . " From such a point of view, the notes of The Anathemata, to extend the simile, w i l l appear as so many extra-neous and superflous twigs and leaves that need lopping off. The impulse to prune away the 'superfluous' also informs the prescrip-tive reading techniques of the 'New Criticism.' From the 'intentional f a l -lacy' of Wimsatt and Beardsley to the 'referential fallacy' of Riffaterre, the 'New Criticism' has shown i t s e l f to be.reductionist i n i t s methodology. The 'new c r i t i c ' isolates a poem from i t s environment and erects barriers around i t to prevent 'intention' from slipping i n or 'reference' from slipp-ing out. Though the methods of the 'New Criticism' have yielded many i n -teresting insights into the art of poetry, i t i s also apparent that they are somewhat limited i n scope. While the methods of the 'New Criticism' applied to short tightly-knit poems have led to a greater awareness of the poet's intricate verbal craft, one shudders to think of some energetic 'new c r i t i c ' eagerly murdering to dissect such 'loose, baggy monsters' as Pound's Cantos, Williams's Paterson, or Jones's The Anathemata. 87 To read The Anathemata along reductionist lines would be to perform Procrustean violence on i t s network of references and allusions to ancient Welsh tales, folk songs, nursery rhymes, archaeological findings, Roman his-tory, geological texts, "The Dream of the Rood," Langland's "Piers Plowman," Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," Malory's Morte Darthur, several Shakespearean plays. Donne's Holy Sonnets, Milton's "Nativity Ode," Vergil's Aeneld, several poems by 6.M. Hopkins, Eliot's "The Wasteland," the Christian liturgy, the author's memories of the Great War and a t r i p to Palestine, and so on. "The arts," David Jones firmly declares, "abhor any loppings off of meanings or emptyings out, any lessening of the totality of connotation, any loss of recession and thickness through"("Preface," A, p. 24). And Jones's footnotes make even thicker and more connotative the already thick, connot-ative, and branching language of The Anathemata. The notes impart a centri-fugal movement to the poem, drawing i t out of i t s covers and inserting i t i n a complex network of other poems, books, texts, works of art; i n short, the notes deny the autonomous existence of the poem by placing i t i n a wide cul-tural context. This dependence on a cultural context i s further confirmed by the long l i s t of acknowledgements with which Jones concludes the "Preface" to his poem. Michel Foucault's description of a book as a node within a network of discourse i s especially relevant to my discussion of the efferent quality imparted to The Anathemata by i t s notes: The frontiers of a book fjoucault writes] are never clear-cut: beyond the t i t l e , the f i r s t lines, and the last f u l l stop, beyond i t s internal configuration and i t s autonomous form, i t i s caught up i n a system of references to other books, other texts, other sentences: i t i s a node within a network....The book i s not simply the object that one holds i n one's hands; and i t cannot remain within the l i t t l e parallelepiped that contains i t ; i t s unity i s variable and relative. As soon as one questions that unity, i t loses i t s self-evidence; i t i n d i -cates i t s e l f , constructs i t s e l f , only on the basis of a com-plex f i e l d of discourse. 6 88 By extending the frontiers of the poem, the centrifugal notes of The Ana- themata raise the problem of the poem's unity* A similar centrifugal tendency i s evident i n Jones's handling of his poetic material. Instead of taking any intellectual or formal 'short-cuts' to consolidate the poem's unity, Jones adopts an exploratory mode of composi-tion. Acknowledging the complexity of the cultural deposits from which he draws his poetic material, he shuns the easy short-cut and instead patiently follows the meandering and labyrinthine contours of the deposits. In his essay, "The Myth of Arthur";, Jones warns us that " i n considering the tradi-tion of a folk and a locality we must be prepared for a tortuous journey. The zone we search i s traversed and troia'd, we stumble from sections of well-revetted entrenchment, upon old workings falien-in and shapeless, bombarded 7 by the creeping-barrage of successive traditions." Any poet wishing to use material drawn from the ancient cultural deposits i s therefore required to embark on a journey of exploration in which a short-cut w i l l more often than not trip him up and the long tortuous route gain him poetic treasure. Jones's criticism of Tennyson for not taking the long, tortuous route through the Arthurian material i s instructive. By concentrating only on certain parts of the Arthurian tradition, Jones argues, Tennyson lost contact with the complex of the ancient deposits. In his use of the Arthurian myth Tennyson should have gone further back to the roots, to the folk-lore deposits, to Nennius* Historia Brittonum and the early Welsh tales such as Culhwch and Olwen. As i t i s , Jones observes, we can attribute Tennyson's fault to "what he l e f t 8 out." Jones therefore advises us, i n following any myth, to feel "the whole 9 weight of what l i e s hidden—the many strata of i t . " David Jones's advice comes but of his own exploratory method of composi-tion, a method I called 'archaeological' i n a previous chapter. Like Hein-rich Schliemann "who digged nine sites down in Helen's laughless rock"("Pre— 89 face,"(A, p. 39), David Jones was aware that the cultural deposits from which he drew his material were many-layered. To uncover a layer i s to know that there are many layers s t i l l l e f t beneath i t . It i s , as Jones warns us, " a l -io ways a case of before and before again." In the "Rite and Fore-time" section of The Anathemata, we have a series of sentences, each beginning with the word 'before' and each taking us far-ther and farther back to those times before man f i r s t appeared, to the fore-time of glacial-drifts and the "proto-historic transmogrification of the land-face," to "before a l l time"(see A, pp. 64-73). Like the New Light of Christ which, according to Jones's conceit, shines through a l l the various geological strata, his writing also uncovers layer after layer and penetrates deeper and deeper through the many strata. Piercing the eskered s i l t , discovering every s t r i a , each score and macula, lighting a l l the fragile laminae of the shales. However Calypso has shuffled the marked pack, veiling with early the late. Through a l l unconformities and the s i l l s without sequence, glorying a l l the under-dapple. Lighting the Cretaceous and the Trias, for Tyrannosaurus must somehow l i e down with herbivores, or, the poet l i e d , which i s not allowed. However violent the contortion or whatever the inversion of the folding. Oblique through the fire-wrought cold rock dyked from convulsions under. Through the slow sedimentations laid by his patient crea-ture of water. Which ever the direction of the strike, whether the hade i s to the up-throw or the fault normal. Through a l l metamorphs or whatever the pseudomorphoses (A, p. 74). The sentences are typographically arranged to suggest st r a t i f i c a t i o n , and the harsh consonantal orchestration conveys an impression of the resistance encountered while attempting to penetrate hardened sediment and rock. The di f f i c u l t y of geological exploration i s also suggested by the rather whim-si c a l description of Calypso (in Greek, 'she who covers') shuffling and mixing up the geological layers so that the explorer w i l l be baffled by the 90 "unconformities and the s i l l s without sequence." To pursue the geological analogy, one can say that the poetic explora-tion of ancient cultural deposits w i l l have to contend with the same 'under-dapple,' contortions, inversions, foldings, and complications that are to be found i n the earth's strata. Fittingly, the "Rite and Fore-time" section i s f u l l of questions that tentatively probe for the earliest signs made by man. For instance, the poet asks of the artist who sculpted the 'Venus of Willen-d o r f (circa 25,000 B.C.): Who were his gens-men or had he no Hausname yet no nomen for his fecit-mark the Master of the Venus? whose man-hands god-handled the Willendorf stone before they unbound the last glaciation(A, p. 59) and of Neanderthal burial sites (circa 40-60,000 B.C.): What, from this one's cranial data, i s like to have been his kindred's psyche; i n that they, along with the journey-food, donated the votive horn? and with what pietas did they donate these among the dead—the l i f e -givers—and by what rubric?(A, p. 61).. These are the kinds of questions archaeologists keep asking over and over again for no complete answers are available. The fragments uncovered by ar-chaeologists yield only fragmentary answers, answers that are provisional and incomplete. Thus, like the archaeologist,ithe poet who uses material from the ancient deposits has to contend with fragments; his task i s to i n -terpret the significance of these fragments and f i t them together as best he can into some kind of structure however incomplete or e l l i p t i c a l i t may ap-pear to the reader. The 'archaeological' method of composition (in which the poet must at-tentively record every fragment he comes across) inevitably results i n a loose structure i n which tentative arrangements of insights or associative juxtapositions of fragments are favoured over any pattern that coerces the fragmentary and scattered data into a r i g i d unity. In his review of a col-lection of essays on the early history of Britain, Jones puts forward the view that a too consistent pattern may lead to the simplification of a com-plex matter: The less sweeping and the more tentative the claims the more we are inclined to cock our ears. The conveniently worked-out, the completed cross-word, no loose ends, a too consis-tent pattern...at such we shy i n a l l matters which s t i l l de-mand more and more exactitude and slow piecing together of bits of fragmented and far-scattered evidence. 1 Jones's refusal to simplify the complex nature of his cultural inherit-ance results i n The Anathemata having an uneven, unfinished appearance. Like the long, rambling, and digressive monologue of the lavendar-seller, Jones's poem i s "pieced i n parts with and descanted upon of certain matters"(A, p. 155). The Anathemata's subtitle, "fragments of an attempted writing," i s therefore appropriate for a book which i s l i t e r a l l y made up of fragments that have been pieced together. These fragments, in turn, are quite multifarious and varied; their variety i s of course i n keeping with the dappled, pied con-dition of the British deposits. As Jones has observed: "Who would re-pre-sent this Island must be clothed i n a mantle of variety. For the whole tradition of Britain i s 'of couple-colour as a brinded cow' as G.M. Hopkins 12 wrote i n 1877 of the skies of Gwynedd." Thus, reading The Anathemata we immediately notice that i t i s mult1-faceted, many-hued. Instead of an homo-geneous, smooth surface we encounter an heterogeneous, uneven texture made up of bits of fragments, each quite different from i t s neighbours. Such an uneven, jagged texture i s clearly evident i n the different languages that jostle one another throughout the poem. By different languages I do not mean just the use of Welsh, Latin, and German words i n the poem. The Ana- themata also mixes together 'languages' from different spheres of discourse. Thus, i n the poem, we have a verbal collage of geological terms ('cretaceous,' 'pliocene'—A, p. 74), l i t u r g i c a l formulae ("dona e i requiem sempiternam." 92 "non perdidt ex els quemguam'1 —A, p. 66), nursery rhymes ("such was his counting-house / whose queen was i n her silent parlour"—A, p. 157; "Her Thursday's child / come far to drink his Thor's Day cup"—A, p. 224), the technical jargon of shipwrights ('raked,' 'bluffed,' 'hawse-holed'—A, p. 174), the earthy Cockney intonations of the lavendar-seller ("There's a poor c u r l y — f a i r i s h for a Wog—not a' afreet but a' e l f i n . / Plucked with his jack bucket from the Punic foreshorerb' a bollocky great Bocco procurer"—A, p. 167), the hyperbolic Gorhoffed or boast of old Welsh poetry ("Atheling to the heaven-king. / Shepherd of Greekland. / Harrower of Annwn. / Freer of the Waters."—A, p. 207), and so on. By shying away from "a too consistent pattern" and "the conveniently worked out," and by adopting a collage technique which results i n an uneven, jagged texture rather than a smooth, unified surface, Jones has opted for a method of composition which ca l l s attention to the problems of making, the problems of conferring form on widely scattered and fragmentary data. In-stead of a smoothly flowing narrative we have, i n The Anathemata, juxtapos-ings of fragments. Consequently, by exposing the joints and rough edges of i t s juxtaposed fragments, the poem makes visible as well the process of i t s making and shaping. Discussing David Jones's paintings, Paul H i l l s makes the following acute observation: David Jones never covers his tracks, the very f i r s t touches of pencil w i l l t e l l i n the finished water-colour, the boshed line i s l e f t , the ghost of an envelope hovers on the table or a bottle wobbles between two outlines. Thus the picture reveals the artist's hand at work; i t i s never static or quite complete, i t gathers and re-presents, elusively perhaps, the time passed i n i t s making. 1 3 H i l l ' s description of David Jones's water-colours applies equally to The 14 Anathemata. The poem lacks formal finish. It does not cover i t s tracks; instead, through i t s footnotes and sharply defined fragments, i t reveals to the reader the sources of i t s material and the way i n which the material i s 9 3 shaped and conjoined. By not concealing i t s tracks, and by showing us the process of i t s making, The Anathemata acknowledges i t s dependence on and i t s reverence for the cultural deposits of Britain. Unlike the 'self-contained' and 'finished' poem which may often be Procrustean i n i t s imposition of a unified form, The Anathemata tends to be inclusive, allowing i t s e l f to con-tain a l l kinds of fragmentary data. It declares the importance of tradition, the transmission and reception of fragments from the past. The Anathemata's lack of formal finish i s therefore due to i t s inclusiveness, i t s openness to any and a l l kinds of data from the cultural deposits of Britain. As David Jones has remarked: "He [the artist] must deny nothing, he must inte-15 grate everything." Openness i s destructive of structure. It implies expansion, centri-fugality, diffusion. As I have demonstrated, the inclusiveness of The Ana- themata i s also an openness to a l l kinds of data, a willingness to take the long route through the complex of the cultural deposits, a centrifugal move-ment away from the conveniently worked-out, completed pattern. The impres-sion that The Anathemata has an 'open'form' i s further strengthened, as I shall presently argue, by the evocative power of fragments. In his b r i l l i a n t study of modernist literature, The Pound Era, Hugh Kenner notes the importance poets like Pound, H.D., and Richard Aldington placed on the Sapphic fragments that were "salvaged from among masses of 16 i l l e g i b l e papyrus scraps that came to Berlin from Egypt i n 1896." These modern poets, Kenner argues, found "virtue i n scraps, mysterium i n fragments, magical power in the tatter of a poem, sacred words biting on congruent 17 actualities of sight and feeling and breath." And for a poet like Pound 18 "fragments of a fragment grow into radiant gists." Or as Pound succinctly 19 put i t : "Points define a periphery." Pound's "Papyrus," which may have been written with tongue i n cheek, nonetheless illustrates how a Sapphic 9 4 fragment may define a periphery as i t radiates out into po s s i b i l i t i e s of meaning. Spring..... Too long Gongula..... Similarly, for David Jones, fragments are evocative. Their very incom-pleteness radiates po s s i b i l i t i e s of meaning. In "The Sleeping Lord," for example, the ruins and fragments of a Roman port (on the Western sea-board of the Island of Britain?) become suddenly radiant with meaning as they remind us of the Romano-British past. ...by the narrowing and s i l t e d estuary where the great heaped ruins are, that t e l l of vanished wharves and emporia and ce-ment bonded brick and dressed-stone store-cellae for bonded goods and where walk the ghosts of customs o f f i c i a l s and where mildewed scraps of sight drafts, shards of tessera-tallies and fragile as tinder fragmented papyri, that are wraiths of f i l e d b i l l s of lading, l i t t e r here and there the great sandstone blocks of fallen vaulting...where also, i f you chance to be as lettered as the Irish eremite upstream, you can read, freely & lightly scratched i n the plaster of a shattered pilaster, i n mercatores' Greek, what seems to mean: Kallistratos loves J u l i a and so does Henben and so do I and a b i t more that you can't decipher... 2 0 There may be a b i t more that you can't decipher, but what fragments you have are enough to allow you a glimpse of the long vanished past of a Roman trad-ing port i n Britain. The remnants of Roman architecture, the scraps of papyri that were once b i l l s of lading, the g r a f f i t i of some love-lorn Greek trader—these fragments define what was once a colony of the Roman Empire; their survival recalls for us the Mediterandean res that came to Britain through military invasion and trade. The evocative power of fragments, their expanding suggestiveness, i s clearly evident i n the note that Jones appends to the following lines from The Anathemata: 9 5 and four caliga'd other ranks torque-wearers off parade started a fox on Nile bank. By their Hausnamen no longer called, their nomina already Anatolian: not now of Wald or l l a n but, of the polls(A, p. 185). Jones's annotation of these lines reads: Celts were serving as mercenaries in Ptolemaic Egypt and four such at Abydos i n 185 BC l e f t a scratched memorial of themselves on the walls of a chapel of Horus: 'Of the Galatians, we Thoas, Callistratos, Acannon and Apollonios came here and caught a fox.' That four privates off duty i n a strange land should chase a jackal and c a l l i t a fox and record the event f i t s perfectly with a l l we know of serving soldiers of today. Cf. H. Hubert, The Celts. The inscription i s i n Greek and the names are Greek, but we know from St. Jerome that even five centuries later the Galatians of Asia Minor, the descendants of the various groups of mercenaries, s t i l l retained their Celtic dialects, though long since Greek i n culture. I use the Welsh word lla n because i t comes direct from Old Celtic landa which in turn i s cognate with the German key-word Land and so equally with our own integral English word 'land' and our delectable English word 'lawn'(A, p. 184, n. 4). An ancient version of the 'Kilroy was here' g r a f f i t i , a Galatian mercenary's scratched memorial becomes for the poet the f i r s t link in an associative lan-guage-chain that stretches forward to the poet's native English and back to Old Celtic. But the language-chain i s also an analogue for the history of the Celts and their many cultural metamorphoses. A r a c i a l continuity i s established between the Galatian mercenaries and the Welsh of today by a poet of Anglo-Welsh descent. An inscription may, therefore, evoke the history of a people in the same way that points may define a periphery. For a poet like David Jones, whose Celtic imagination i s far-reaching and rapid as light, the evocative power of fragments i s greatly increased. Steeped in "a half-aquatic world...of transparency and interpenetration of 21 one element with another, of transposition and metamorphosis," i t i s only 96 natural that the Celtic mind should invest things with the a b i l i t y to signify widely. In this context, Jones's comment on an English song i s illuminating: Interestingly enough, the English song commencing "There were three j o v i a l Welshmen" seems to pay tribute to this £the sense always of something other i n each thing]. In any typical Eng-l i s h hunting song, the huntsmen meet to hunt a fox, they hunt a fox and they k i l l a fox. But the three j o v i a l Welshmen went to hunt a mortal creature, but at the "view" the thing hunted turns out to be a "ship a-sailing," which turns out to be the moon, which turns out to be made of cheese—I forget the se-quence and the detail, but i t i s interesting as marking a quite definite difference of outlook. 2 2 The abi l i t y to see i n a thing something other i s of course a faculty pos-sessed by a r t i s t s , those quintessential makers of signs. And David Jones, an artist of Welsh descent whose whole practice revolves around the making of signs, goes woolgathering i n The Anathemata with as much vigour as those three j o v i a l Welshmen of the English song. The centrifugal, woolgathering tendency of Jones's method of composition i s clearly stated toward the end of the "Preface" to The Anathemata: In a sense the fragments that compose this book are about, or around and about, matters of a l l sorts which, by a kind of quasi-free association, are apt to s t i r i n my mind at any time and as often as not 'in the time of the Mass.' The men-t a l associations, liaisons, meanderings to and fro, 'ambiva-lences,' asides, sprawl of the pattern, i f pattern there i s — these thought-trains (or, some might reasonably say, trains of distraction and inadvertance) have been as often as not i n i -t i a l l y set i n motion, shunted or buffered into near sidings or off to far destinations, by some action or word, something seen or heard, during the liturgy. The speed of light, they say, i s very rapid—but i t i s nothing to the agi l i t y of thought and i t s ab i l i t y to twist and double on i t s tracks, penetrate recesses and generally nose about. You can go around the world and back again, i n and out the meanders, down the history-paths, survey r e l i g i o and superstitio, c a l l back many yester-days, but yesterday week ago, or long, long ago, note Miss Weston's last year's Lutetian trimmings and the Roman la t -iclave on the deacon's Dalmatian tunic, and a lot besides, during those few seconds taken by the presbyter to move from the Epistle to the Gospel side...("Preface," A, pp. 31-32). The mental associations, digressions, meanderings and asides are clearly i l -lustrated i n the sprawling pattern (for, as i t w i l l be argued, there i s a 97 pattern) of The Anathemata, In fact, as the "Preface" hints, the whole poem i s one long digression initiated by the events celebrated at Mass. Thus, the l i f t i n g up of the efficacious sign at the Consecration sets i n motion a train of associations that goes far back to the earliest signs made by man--such signs as the 'Venus of Willendorf' and the r i t u a l markings on stones (see the "Rite and Fore-time" section of The Anathemata). A summary of any of the sections of The Anathemata w i l l reveal David Jones's digressive and meandering method of composition. "Mabinog's Litur-gy," for example, i s a long meandering digression set off by the celebration of the Nativity Mass. The section opens with a brief synoptic history of the Celts and their migration to the British Isles(A, p. 185). Without any tran-s i t i o n we are then presented with a brief sketch of Roman history and p o l i t -i c a l intrigue(A, pp. 185-87). Both Celtic and Roman history are dated i n relation to the Nativity. Then follows a conflation of the Annunciation and the Passion(A, pp. 187-94). We are reminded that the Annunciation and Nativ-i t y foreshadow the Passion: "Already they have put wood into his bread"(A, p. 188). The Virgin at the Nativity then sets off a digression i n which she i s compared and found to be more beautiful and powerful than Helen, Aphro-dite, Emma Hamilton ("the British Venus"), Vanabride or Freyja ("a kind of Teutonic Venus"), Diana ("she has your hunter's moon as well"), Athena ("Day-star o' the Harbour"), and Gwenhwyfar(A, pp. 194-95). The name 'Gwenhwyfar,* in turn, initiates a long description of the consort of Arthur at a mid-night Christmas Mass(A, pp. 195-205). The detailed description of her clothing sets off several digressions as well; the most notable of these digressions con-cerns the charming fantasy of how her "thong-tags and other furnishings of polar ivory" were obtained by Manawydan, a sea-god possessed of magical pow-ers (A, pp. 199-201). Without a transition we move to a passage which records the supernatural events surrounding Christ's Nativity(A, pp. 205-207). Then 9 8 follows a r e c i t a l of the divine qualities and powers of Christ(A, pp. 207-209). And then, as i f emerging mysteriously out of the mist, three British sibyls (they are named Marged, Fay, and Mabli), versed i n ancient lore and well-read i n the classics ("you i n y'r stockings of blue"), debate the sig -nificance of the Nativity(A, pp. 209-215). Consulting the classics, one of them reads the Fourth Eclogue i n which Vergil uncannily prophesies a mirac-ulous Birth which w i l l usher i n a new Golden Age(A, p. 213). (In a sly dig at his own method of composition, David Jones has one of the witches give her reason for preferring Vergil to Ovid: "No, no, not Ofydd, not the A r s — how your mind runs—and we've metamorphoses enough!"—A, p. 213.) Their at-tention then shifts to Mary, Theotokos and f i r s t among women. One of the sibyls argues that there i s no need to be jealous of Mary, for by choosing her to be mother of the incarnated God-child, God acknowledges the importance of a l l women; God can do without man but He cannot do without woman ("If her f i a t was the Great Fiat, nevertheless, seeing the solidarity, we participate in the f i a t — o r can indeed, by our f i a t s — i t stands to reason."—A, p. 214). Acknowledging, therefore, the power of Mother and Son, the three sibyls kneel i n reverent adoration(A, p. 215). Then follows an eye-witness account of a Christmas truce during the First War (the eye-witness, the " I , " i s David Jones himself). Gifts were exchanged by the belligerents "BECAUSE OF THE CHILD"; thus, the truce t e s t i f i e s , in the realm of reality (as opposed to the fantasy of the witches), to the power of the Child(A, p. 216). "Mabinog's Liturgy" ends with a description of the t r i p l e Nativity Mass celebrated in Rome. The same meandering, digressive development also characterizes the other sections. The brief summary of "Mabinog's Liturgy" has clearly shown the lack of narrative progression. There are few transitions, and temporal or causal connections are absent. The development of the whole section i s based on 99 the principle of association. Ideas, themes, and images are placed side by side, paratactically. The dictionaries define 'parataxis' as the arrange-ment of clauses or propositions without connectives. To avoid any misunder-standing, i t should be made clear from the outset that I use the term 'para-taxis' more in the structural sense of the juxtaposition of ideas, images, themes, or propositions, than i n the syntactical sense of the co-ordination of clauses. In his perceptive study of parataxis i n Homer, James A. Notopoulos warns us of the error of applying the Aristotelian notion of organic unity to the 23 inorganic, paratactic structure of the Homeric epics. Organic unity i n literature i s admirably expressed by Aristotle's formula that a story should be based on a single action with a clear beginning, middle, and end, that is to say, an action that i s a complete whole in i t s e l f . Such a notion, con-cerned as i t is with organic unity, would unhesitatingly adopt Michelangelo's 24 definition of art as "the purgation of the superfluous." The paratactic structure of the Homeric epics, on the other hand, cultivates the superflu-ous. In the Homeric epic "digressions...are actually the substance of the 25 narrative, strung paratactically like beads on a string." Such a para-tactic structure, Notopoulos observes, is evident in The Ili a d where the wrath of Achilles "tacks, as i t were, through such digressions as the dream of Agamemnon, the Catalogue, the aristeia of Diomedes, the Doloneia, un t i l 26 i t reaches i t s fulfilment i n the nineteenth book." Notopoulos attributes parataxis i n the Homeric epics to their oral mode of composition. Neverthe-less, his discussion of paratactic composition i s germane to a discussion of structure i n The Anathemata. His argument against applying the Aristotelian theory of organic unity to the study of paratactic structures i s a clear warning to us not to approach The Anathemata looking for an orderly nar-rative progression with a beginning, middle, and end. Certain other simi-100 l a r i t i e s suggest themselves as well. Like the Homeric epics, The Anathemata favours a paratactic structure i n which digressions are strung lik e beads on a string (as the summary of "Mabinog's Liturgy" has shown). Parataxis i s evident not only i n the overall structure of a section li k e "Mabinog's Liturgy;" i t i s also to be found in the various individual pas-sages that make up a section. In "Mabinog's Liturgy", for example, parataxis characterizes the structure of the passage i n which the Virgin (Tota pulchra es Maria) is compared to other beautiful women and goddesses. Brow of Helen! hide your spot that draws the West. No! nor cast eyes here of green or devastating grey are any good at a l l . Had she been on Ida mountains to whose lap would have fallen y'r golden b a l l , i f not to hers that laps the unicorn? And you! She has your hunter's moon as well. Vanabride! y'r cats come to her c a l l . Whose but hers, the Lady of Heaven's hen? and, as Diirer knew, the butterfly i s proper to her himation. Look to y'r t i t l e , Day-star o' the Harbour! ...in a l l her parts tota pulchra more lovely than our own Gwenhwyfar when to the men of this Island she looked at her best; (A, pp. 194-95). Not only i s the syntax paratactical (the passage is largely made up of a series of independent simple sentences), but the very meaning of the passage emerges out of a paratactic arrangement of images and ideas. In the f i r s t four lines, for example, Helen's beauty i s juxtaposed to Aphrodite's and Emma Hamilton's. These three beautiful women, however, are not connected to one another by an orderly narrative presentation; rather, they are connected associatively through their blemishes which apparently enhanced the beauty of a l l three of them(A, p. 194, n. 2). There i s also an implied comparison between their blemishes and the immaculateness of the Virgin. The Virgin who is immaculata (that i s , without blemish) must therefore be considered more 101 beautiful than Helen, Aphrodite and Emma Hamilton. The rest of the passage develops the theme of feminine beauty and excellence through a series of a l -lusions to the golden apple awarded by Paris to the beautiful Aphrodite who promised him the beautiful Helen, to Vanabride who i s "the most beautiful of the Vanir"(A, p. 59, n. 2), to DCirer's painting "Virgin with the Irises," to that Virgo Potens—Athena (whose t i t l e "Day-star o* the Harbour" links her to the Virgin who i s described in one of the anthems addressed to Her as Stella  maris), and to Gwenhwyfar who "appeared loveliest at the Offering, on the day of the Nativity"(A, p. 195, n. 3). Judging from the associations yielded by the various juxtaposed images (the footnotes prove indispensable i n helping the reader see these .associa-tions) , the passage under discussion appears to be a eulogy to the beauty and excellence of the Virgin who i s found not only to be lovelier than Helen, Aphrodite, Emma Hamilton, Vanabride, and Gwenhwyfar, but also to be more powerful than Aphrodite (Paris, the passage implies, would have awarded the golden apple to the Virgin), Vanabride (the white cats that draw Vanabride's chariot across the sky would have come at the Virgin's c a l l ) , Diana ("She has your hunter's moon as well"), and Athena (who i s warned to "look to y'r t i t l e " ) . The eulogy, however, i s not developed i n a straightforward, 'linear' fashion. Instead of a logical, progressive argument which would have taken the form of a sentence like "Mary i s more beautiful than Helen or Aphrodite, and more powerful than Vanabride or Athena," we are presented with a para-tactic arrangement of images linked associatively and not integrated into a narrative sequence. Such a paratactic arrangement i s i n some ways similar to the rapid suc-cession of images that characterizes the cinematic film. Like the film's audience, the reader of The Anathemata must f i l l i n the gaps, as i t were, and make the necessary associations between the succession of images. In a pre-102 face to his translation of St.-John Perse's Anabasis, T.S. Eliot has this to say of the poem's 'obscurity': ...any obscurity of the poem, on f i r s t readings, i s due to the suppression of "links i n the chain," of explanatory and con-necting matter, and not to incoherence, or to the love of cryp-togram. The jus t i f i c a t i o n of such abbreviation of method i s that the sequence of images coincides and concentrates into one intense impression....The reader has to allow the images to ' f a l l into his memory successively without questioning the rea-sonableness of each at the moment; so that, at the end, a total effect i s produced. Such selection of a sequence of images and ideas has noth-ing chaotic about i t . There i s a logic of the imagination as well as a logic of concepts....And i f , as I suggest, such an arrangement of imagery requires just as much "fundamental brain-work" as the arrangement of an argument, i t i s to be expected that the reader of a poem should take at least as much trouble as a barrister reading an important decision on a complicated case. 27 One could not ask for better advice on how to read The Anathemata than that given by Eliot i n this quotation. As the summary of "Mabinog's Liturgy" has shown, the section as a whole, as well as the various individual passages that constitute the section, are structured paratactically with a l l temporal or causal connections suppressed. There i s , however, a logic of association, and to understand such an abbreviated form of logic requires us to do a cer-tain amount of brainwork. And what i s true of "Mabinog's Liturgy" i s also true of the other seven sections of The Anathemata. In reading The Ana- themata, therefore, we would do well to heed Eliot's advice to "take at least as much trouble as a barrister reading an important decision on a complicated case." Paratactic structure characterizes not only the associative or digres-sive method of composition, i t i s also the structure of the l i s t or catalogue. After a l l , i f we mean by parataxis the juxtaposing of things next to each other i n a co-ordinated series, then nothing i s more paratactic than a l i s t or a catalogue. David Jones's conservative instinct naturally led him to compose l i s t s which allow him to gather together as much of the surviving 103 fragments of the past as he can. In fact, one can regard The Anathemata as a long l i s t composed of the mixed data gathered by David Jones from the cul-tural deposits of Britain. To paraphrase Nennius, one can claim The Ana- themata to be a l i s t of a l l that David Jones could find. At any rate, The Anathemata i t s e l f i s f u l l of l i s t s . The passage from "Mabinog's Liturgy" that was examined earlier can be seen as a l i s t of beau-t i f u l and powerful women. Christ's boast can be seen as a catalogue of His mighty titles(A, pp. 207-208). In the section called "Keel, Ram, Stauros," we have a l i s t of the 'pet names' of siege-engines(A, p. 177) and a catalogue of the various parts of a ship(A, pp. 173-75). In "The Lady of the Pool" section we encounter several l i s t s . Of note among these are a l i s t of most of the parish churches of London(A, pp. 127-28) and the Milford boatswain's r e c i t a l of those cherished native things or persons a Welshman could swear by(A, pp. 151-53). One may also refer to the record of man's making which i s scattered throughout the poem (the "Redriff" section, for example, with i t s emphasis on the craftsmanship of Eb Bradshaw). The record of man's mak-ing i s especially evident i n the "Rite and Fore-time" section of the poem. This section records the earliest examples of artefacts made by man—those various anathemata, from the marks etched on stone to the more sophisticated 'Venus of Willendorf,' that our earliest ancestors offered up to their gods. In the same section, through the conceit of Christ as a Welsh shepherd count-ing his flock, we are given the raison d'etre of l i s t s : When on a leafy morning late i n June against the white wattles he numbers his own. As do they taught of the herdsman's Ordinale and following the immemorial numeri who say: Yan, tyan, tethera, methera, pimp sethera, lethera, hovera, dovera, dick. 104 For whom he has notched his crutched tal l y - s t i c k not at: less one five twenties but at centum that follow the Lamb from the Quaternary dawn. Numbered among his flock that no man may number but whose works follow them (A, pp. 77-78). Through the conceit of a sheep-count we are shown Christ as the supreme con-server who "would lose, not any one / from among them. Of a l l those given him / he would lose none"(A, p. 65). In an analogous way, Jones attempts to follow Christ's example and conserve as best he can in his inclusive l i s t s the many things he has inherited from his culture. The paratactic structure of the l i s t and the paratactic structure of the digressions both reveal a similar tendency towards centrifugality and ex-pansion. Both forms of parataxis tend to emphasize the many; both the mean-dering digression and the l i s t p i l e data on data, image on image, idea on idea. Paratactic composition, therefore, poses the serious problem of structural unity. In his study of parataxis i n Homer, James Notopoulos ar-gues that paratactic composition i s preoccupied more with particulars than with any concept of the whole. In paratactic composition the one has to give way to the many. Reviewing a book on paratactic composition, J . Tate, with an eye on parataxis i n Homer, noted: "Homer's aim i s the perfection of the parts rather than the integrity of the whole; he thinks more of variety and abundance than of qualitative selection and the orderly disposition of the 28 parts." In The Anathemata the variety and abundance of particulars (Jones's insistence on particulars goes as far as the retention of Welsh and Latin words unfamiliar to many) threatens the poem with incoherence and chaos» 105 As the following remark he made to Peter Orr shows, David Jones was fully aware that his expansive, centrifugal method of composition posed a serious threat to the coherence and unity of The Anathemata: I found in writing The Anathemata that I went out so far on limbs, as i t were, that I couldn't get back again to the main trend with any sort of i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y , and that ne-cessitated a good deal of pruning. You see an enormous number of facets of the thing, and one thing suggests an-other, but i f you aren't very careful i t takes you too far from the concept and you can't get back to i t again except at very great length, and that might be a r t i s t i c a l l y bad. 2^ -Some readers of The Anathemata may even wish David Jones had used his 'prun-ing-shears' more vigorously and conscientiously than he has done. Neverthe-less, the very fact that Jones was concerned with shaping the abundant data at his disposal into some sort of coherent unity should warn us that there are countervailing forces of unity working against the centrifugal tendency of the poem. Despite i t s modest subtitle, "fragments of an attempted writ-ing," we would do well not to regard The Anathemata as simply a heap of frag-ments. Rather, as David Blamires has suggested, "the heap i s in fact a p i l e , 30 as the Victorians would have put i t , an edifice." There are two ordering principles that enable the fragments of The Ana- themata to cohere into an 'edifice.' We may c a l l the f i r s t principle of unity formal or rhetorical, and the second, thematic* However, i t must be remembered that this division, though convenient, i s i n a sense arbitrary as both principles are closely related and equally contribute to the unity of the poem. David Jones employs several rhetorical devices to knit together the 31 various parts of the poem. In the "Preface" to The Anathemata, he writes: "If i t jJThe Anathemata^ has a unity i t i s that what goes before conditions what comes after and vice versa"("Preface," A, p. 33). By 'conditions' Jones obviously does not mean a causal relationship among the parts of the 106 poem. As I have shown, causal links are suppressed i n the poem. So that i n ascribing the unity of his poem to the fact that "what goes before conditions what comes after and vice versa," Jones appears to mean that the relationship between what goes before and what comes after and vice versa depends on an imaginative association of sorts. In other words, an association of ideas or images i s the indispensable condition for the knitting together of the various parts of the poem. Associative repetition i s therefore employed heavily i n the poem. Asso-ciative repetition takes various forms. Sometimes a single word i s repeated in another part of the poem thereby creating an associative link. Thus the word 'chryselephantine* which appears on page 94 of the poem i s repeated again on page 203. The word i s f i r s t used to describe a Greek kore or stat-ue of a maiden: One hundred and seventeen olympiads since he contrived her: chryselephantine of good counsel within her Maiden's chamber tower of ivory in gilded c e l i a herself a house of gold (A, p. 94). The description of the kore not only points to a resemblance between the Greek statue and the carved queens i n their niches at Chartres (a resemblance already established earlier i n the poem; see A, p. 92, n. 2) but also evokes the epithets traditionally used to describe the Virgin. Such phrases as "of good counsel," "tower of ivory," and "house of gold" re c a l l the t i t l e s given the Blessed Virgin i n the Litany. (It i s interesting to note that the word 'chryselephantine' which i s used for things made of gold and ivory aptly conjoins and conflates "tower of ivory" and "house of gold.") The word 'chryselephantine' appears next i n a description of Gwenhwyfar at worship: 107 It*8 cold In West-chancels. So, wholly super-pelllssed of British wild-woods, the chryselephantine column (native the warm blood in the blue veins that vein the hidden marbles, the l i f t e d abacus of native gold) leaned, and toward the Stone (A, p. 203). 'Chryselephantine' i s not a commonly-used word. Consequently, when i t i s repeated a second time, the attentive mind registers the repetition. The repetition of the word establishes an associative link between the descrip-tion of Gwenhwyfar as a kind of statuesque "chryselephantine column" and the chryselephantine kore with a l l i t s allusions to the Virgin and the statues at Chartres. Through the associative link provided by the word 'chrysele-phantine' the motif of the art-work as anathema (the singular of anathemata, and hence, used i n the sense of an offering) i s related to the motif of the person as anathema (the act of worship, Gwenhwyfar's or our$s, involves the celebrant offering himself or herself to God). Moreover, an association i s forged between the Virgin and Gwenhwyfar, thereby adding another link to the long chain of women and pagan goddesses who partake of certain qualities of the Virgin who i s f i r s t among women. The associative repetition of the word 'chryselephantine' knits together, therefore, several of the motifs that are scattered throughout the poem. Associative repetition also takes the form of a repetition of phrases. Thus, the repetition of the l i t u r g i c a l phrase dona eis requiem on pages 65 to 66 and again on pages 158 to 159, links together not only those two pas-sages but also establishes a connection and a continuity between the dead of prehistoric times (".the last of the father-figures / to take the diriment stroke / of the last gigantic leader of / thick-felled cave-fauna? / Whoever he was / Dona e i requiem sempiternam"—A, p. 66) and those yet to be born ("And of these such, yet to come, a tidy many from the many hithes of this river,.../ dona eis requiem / sempiternam"—A, p. 159), between the arte-108 facts of the past ("By the uteral marks / that make the covering stone an artefact. / By the penile ivory / and by the v i a t i c meats. / Dona ei re-quiem"—A, p. 65) and the inventions of the future ("by what new gear and a deal of dials, gins of propulsion and a l l manner of contraptions"—A, p. 158). Two other notable examples of the use of associative repetition to link motifs and themes together are: the megaron/margaron pun (megaron meaning the large h a l l of a Greek palace and margaron meaning pearl) which i s applied to Helen the pearl-to-be-sought within the walls of Troy(A, p. 56) as well as to Christ in his tomb(A, p. 243); and the long catalogue of h i l l s which ap-pears on pages 55 to 57 and i s echoed on page 233 (these two passages knit together the various motifs of the geological transformation of the land-scape; the sack of Troy or H i s s a r l i k — " h i l l of cries" and " f i r s t revetted of anguish-heights;" and the Passion on Golgotha by which everything i s indeed transformed). One can go on citing examples, but the point is clearly estab-lished: the use of associative repetition effectively contributes to the structural unity of the poem. Structuring by another type of repetition i s also evident in the poem. Anaphora, the rhetorical device of beginning successive sentences or lines with the same word or phrase, i s prominently employed in the middle sections of The Anathemata. The second half of "Middle-Sea and Lear-Sea" describes a voyage from the Mediterranean to the stormy and treacherous S c i l l y Isles off the coast of Cornwall. Though the voyage appears on the surface to be a commercial venture i n search of t i n , there are several references and a l l u -sions to l i t u r g i c a l imagery which make i t clear that i t i s also an allegory of Christ's coming to the British Isles. The section ends with a question: "Did he berth her? / and to schedule? / by the hoar rock in the drowned wood?"(A, p. 108). The interrogative opening "Did he?" (which seems to echo 109 Blake's "And did those feet i n ancient times...") i s taken up immediately i n the next section, "Angle-Land," which begins with these lines: "Did he strike soundings off Vecta Insula? / or was i t already the gavelkind igland? / Did he l i e by / i n the East Road?"(A, p. 110). The next three sections, "Red-r i f f , " "The Lady of the Pool," and "Keel, Ram, Stauros" also begin with ques-tions that have the "Did he?" construction. Thus, through anaphora, sections 2 to 6 are linked together. Through the repeated question "Did he (i.e., Christ) do such and such or meet so and so?", the five sections become one long speculative enquiry into the imagined journey of Christ through the various parishes of London and the various parts of Britain. The impression of unity i n these five sections i s also reinforced by the f i n a l two lines of "Keel, Ram, Stauros": "He would berth us / to schedule"(A, p. 182). In these two-lines we have the answer to the original question ("Did he berth her? / and to schedule?") which started the long anaphoric sequence of ques-tions. In the language of soteriology, Christ has arrived on schedule. The question and answer which frames sections 3 to 6 illustrates a type of anaphoric device called 'ringcomposition.'. "*Ringcomposition,'" Noto-poulos t e l l s us, "usually takes the form of repetitions which frame the be-ginning and the end of a digression; i t often repeats the same or similar 32 verb; repetitions extend from words to ideas." Such a device, as one may quickly sense, would provide an invaluable means of conferring unity to such a meandering and digressive work as The Anathemata. Barbara Herrnstein Smith has pointed out, for example, that the problem of poetic closure posed by the expansive, centrifugal nature of paratactic structures i s solved by enclosing the paratactic structure within a 'frame' provided by a fixed opening and closing (as in the fixed opening and closing verses of a folk 33 song). 110 That David Jones was aware of such a framing device as 'ringcomposition' i s evident i n his description of The Anathemata1s shape: "If i t has a shape i t i s chiefly that i t returns to i t s beginning"("Preface," A, p. 33). The passage of prose that immediately precedes the t i t l e page of the f i r s t sec-tion of The Anathemata provides us with another clue to the 'ring-shape' of the poem. The passage, i n i t s entirety, reads: "It was a dark and stormy night, we sat by the calcined wall; i t was said to the t a l e - t e l l e r , t e l l us a tale, and the tale ran thus: It was a dark and stormy night..." By c i r -cling back to i t s beginning the passage describes a ring. Similarly the end-ing of The Anathemata circles back to i t s beginning. The Anathemata opens with a description of a priest celebrating the Catholic Mass(A, pp. 49-50). He i s described as conducting a rear-guard action against the surrounding utile i n f i l t r a t i o n ; his position i s precarious, 'a cult-man' alone i n Pellam's land (that i s , the wasteland belonging to the maimed King Pellam of Malory's Morte Darthur). The Anathemata ends also with the celebration of Mass by the 'cult-man.' Towards the end of "Sherthursdaye and Venus Day," the f i n a l sec-tion of the poem, the wasteland motif i s repeated: In the wasted land at jackal-meet at the division of the spoils with his hands stretched out he continues(A, p. 231). And on the second to last page of the poem, the act of Consecration described in i t s opening lines i s repeated: Here, in this high place into both hands he takes the stemmed dish as i n many places by this poured and that held up wherever their directing glosses read: Here he takes the victim(A, p. 242). Ending by returning to i t s beginning the poem frames, encloses, and unites in the celebration of Mass a l l the various digressions and mixed data which I l l form Its substance. The metonymic linking of images i s another unifying device used by Jones i n the poem. Three metonymic image-chains run through The Anathemata thereby lending i t a degree of structural integrity. Extending throughout the length of the poem these three metonymic chains bind together the various images scattered through the different sections of the work. The three basic terms which are stretched metonymically through the poem are stone, water, and wood* These three terms are given early i n the poem: "the stone / the fonted water / the fronded wood"(A, p. 56). The lines are adapted from Ver-gi l ' s description of Priam's palace. In his note to these lines Jones writes: "By whatever means of fusion he jvergilj hands down three of the permanent symbols for us to make use of"(A, p. 56, n. 2). These three permanent symbols have a special potency for the Christian writer. In the symbolic language of a Christian writer like David Jones stone means Golgotha (or perhaps Christ's Tomb-stone—see A, p. 243), water means the Sacrament of Baptism, and wood means the Cross. By 're-presenting' Gol-gotha under the species of stone (that i s , by making Golgotha 'present' i n stone i n the sense discussed i n Chapter II), Jones i s able to create a chain of metonymic substitutes for the H i l l of the Passion. Thus a l l the stone im-ages—altars, h i l l s and mountains, walled c i t i e s like Troy—are transformed into metonyms of Golgotha. Similarly, water images—streams, rivers, seas, oceans, fountains, pools—become metonyms of the Sacrament of Baptism. For instance, annotating a passage abundant in water imagery, Jones t e l l s us that his references are: to the term 'valid matter' used by theologians of the material water in the Sacrament of Water; to the material water essen-t i a l to the Sacrament of Bread and Wine; to the water-metaphor used of a l l the seven signs; to the entire sign-world to which the metaphor of water flowing from a common source could apply; to the actual streams, our rivers, which are themselves signs of conveyance and themselves physically convey, which not only 112 provide the metaphors but the material stuff without which the sacraments could not be(A, p. 236, n. 1). (Although Jones uses the term •metaphor' instead of 'metonym,' i t may be re-membered that a metonym i s an 'implicit metaphor' i n the definition provided by M.H. Abrams; that i s to say, like a metaphor i n which the 'tenor' i s not stated but implied, a metonym substitutes one term for another without ex-34 p l i c i t l y spelling out the relationship between the two terms. ) Finally, images of wood—trees, May-poles, tables, crutched tally-sticks, various parts of a ship, especially the transomed mast and the keel—are linked to-gether as metonyms of the Cross. The three image-chains are brought together and inter-linked i n the fin a l section of The Anathemata. H i l l of Passion, the restorative Sacrament of Water, Cross of salvation, and their various metonyms, appear frequently in "Sherthursdaye and Venus Day." Moreover, they are a l l interrelated and brought together i n the context of an impressionistic account of the cruci-fixion of Christ. The following poignant description of the suffering Christ i s a representative example of the kind of inter-linking of the three potent signs by Good Friday's event: Of a l l the clamant waters firthing forth from the Four Avons himself the afon-head. His cry from the axile stipe at the dry node-height when the dark cloud brights the trembling lime-rock (A, pp. 236-37). In "Sherthursdaye and Venus Day," therefore, the various metonymic images are gathered and united by the sacrifice of Christ. In his critique of structure, the French philosopher Jacques Derrida makes an important point about the nature of structures. Where there i s structure, Derrida argues, there i s a centre. And the function of this centre is 113 not only to orient, balance, and organize the structure— one cannot i n fact conceive of an unorganized structure-but above a l l to make sure that the organizing principle of the structure would limit what we might c a l l the free- play of the structure. No doubt that by orienting and organizing the coherence of the system, the centre of a structure permits the freeplay of i t s elements inside the total form. And even today the notion of a structure lacking any centre presents the unthinkable itself.35 In short, the centre of a structure not only organizes the elements of the structure into a coherent whole, i t also limits their chaotic proliferation and expansion. Following Derrida's argument, one can say that a thematic centre, by unifying a l l the various motifs and themes of a poem, reveals i t -self to be a structuring'principle. At the same time, by ordering a l l the disparate themes into some sort of pattern, the thematic centre of a poem controls the 'freeplay' of thematic expansion. If The Anathemata reveals, ultimately, a unity and coherence, i t i s be-cause i t possesses a thematic centre. The central theme of The Anathemata i s clearly the celebration of Mass. Attempting to explain the unity of his poem, Jones once remarked to a friend: When I say somewhere i n Preface [sic] that one can think of a lot of things i n the brief moment i t takes the celebrant of the Mass to move the missal from the Epistle to the Gospel side of the mensa domini ["Preface," A, p. 32] , I l i t e r a l l y meant that. The action of the Mass was meant to be the cen-t r a l theme of the work for as you once said to me "The Mass makes sense of everything."36 The Mass makes sense of The Anathemata's abundant and confusing variety. At this point, a brief excursus into the nature and meaning of the Mass w i l l help us see more clearly i t s central importance for the unity of The  Anathemata. By Mass is meant the celebration of the eucharist, the central act of Christian worship. Without becoming too entangled i n theological de-t a i l s , one may describe the eucharist as "an action—'do this'—with a par-ticular meaning given to i t by our Lord Himself—'for the anamnesis of 37 Me.'" Specifically, the eucharist i s an anamnesis (in the sense defined i n 114 Chapter II) of the Institution of the Sacrament of Bread and Wine at the Last Supper and the ra t i f i c a t i o n of the same Sacrament by Christ's sacrifice on Calvary. Since i t i s a 're-calling' of the sacrifice of Christ who offered Him-self to God for a l l men, the eucharist may be extended to include a 're-calling' of the dead. Such a conception of the eucharist as an anamnesis of 3 8 the dead was advanced by Serapion, an Egyptian bishop of the fourth century. Annotating a passage describing the excavated remains of an Upper Palaeolithic man, Jones mentions Serapion's intercessory prayer: ...in the r i t e of the fourth-century Egyptian bishop, Serapion, the eucharist i s regarded as a recalling of a l l the dead: 'We entreat also on behalf of a l l who have fallen asleep, of which this (i.e. this action) i s the recalling.' Here ' a l l who have fallen asleep' refers to the departed members of the Christian community i n Egypt and throughout the world, because no i n s t i -tution can, i n i t s public formulas, presume the membership of any except those who have professed such membership. But over and above these few there are those many, of a l l times and -places, whose lives and deaths have been made acceptable by the  same Death on the H i l l of which every Christian breaking of  bread i s an epiphany and a recalling. With regard to the Upper Palaeolithic South Welshman bur-ied i n Paviland, i t would seem that Theology allows us to re-gard him among the blessed by forbidding us to assert the con-t r a r y ^ , p. 76, n. 2; emphasis mine). By 're-calling' the lives and deaths of "those many, of a l l times and places," the eucharist f u l f i l s the promise of Good Friday's victim: "I have not lost of them any single one"(see A, p. 66, n. 1). Such a catholic ( i . e . wide-ranging and universal) and generous conception of eucharistic anamnesis agrees with Jones's definition of the poet as a conserver and rememberer of his past and concurs with his stated commemorative intention i n writing The  Anathemata. Eucharistic anamnesis involves artefacture. That i s to say, we 're-call' the sacrifice on Calvary by continuing the sign-making instituted by Christ at the Last Supper. As Jones puts i t : "...according to the belief of the 115 Catholic Church the sign-making Instituted In the Upper Room Is to be closely associated with what was done on the H i l l that the benefits of those doings are said to be chiefly (but far from exclusively) mediated through a continu-39 ation of that sign-making." Without the signs of bread and wine there can be no anamnesis of Christ's sacrifice. Jones states the point bluntly: "Something has to be made by us before i t can become for us his sign who made us. This point he settled i n the upper room. No artefacture no Christian religion"("Preface," A, p. 31). Through the eucharist Christianity commits man to the notion of sign and artefacture. Stressing this commitment to arte-facture, Jones writes: "...the records describe how the redeemer 'on the day before he suffered' involved the redeemed in an act of Ars. As i t was the whole world that he was redeeming he involved a l l mankind, from before Swan-scombe Man to after Atomic Man, i n that act. If the very mean or channel of redemption is intricated i n Ars we conclude that Ars and Man are insep-40 arable." Thus, by identifying the anamnesis of His sacrifice with an act of poiesis, of sign-making, Christ not only validated the view of man as a 'maker,' an a r t i s t , but also redeemed man's artefacts by transforming them into analogues of His own oblation. For Jones, therefore, the eucharist i s all-inclusive; for by 're-calling' through the Sacrament of Bread and Wine the universally redemptive sacrifice of Christ, the eucharist also redeems, blesses, and makes acceptable the dead of a l l times and places, as well as a l l man-made artefacts, from the earliest microliths to the latest abstract paintings. By offering His l i f e for a l l mankind, Christ r a t i f i e s and consecrates a l l those offerings of both persons and things from time immemorial. These consecrated offerings of persons and things Jones calls anathemata. Tracing the etymology of the word 'anathema' to i t s Greek origin, Jones re-covers i t s original, beneficent meaning; for " i n antiquity the Greek word 116 anathema (spelt with an epsilon) meant ( f i r s t l y ) something holy"("Preface," A, p. 27). In English this ancient and beneficent meaning i s preserved i n the plural 'anathemata* which means devoted things. At the same time, the English word 'anathema' commonly means something accursed, a profane thing. Thus, in calling his poem The Anathemata, Jones util i z e s a pun. The pun serves to emphasize the redemptive nature of Christ's sacrifice. By making Himself anathema (in the sense of an offering to God, and hence, the singular of anathemata), Christ redeems anathemas (in the sense of profane things) and changes them to anathemata (that i s , things consecrated to divine use). Con-sequently, the t i t l e of Jones's poem, in the s p i r i t of the eucharist, i s a l l -inclusive. However obliquely, Jones's t i t l e i s made to mean, or evoke, or suggest: the blessed things that have taken on what i s cursed and the profane things that somehow are redeemed: the delights and also the 'ornaments,' both i n the primary sense of gear and paraphernalia and i n the sense of what simply adorns; the donated and votive things, the things dedicated after what-ever fashion, the things i n some sense made separate, being 'laid up from other things'; things, or some aspect of them, that partake of the extra-utile and of the gratuitous; things that are the signs of something other, together with those signs that not only have the nature of a sign, but are them-selves, under some mode, what they signify. Things set up, l i f t e d up, or i n whatever manner made over to the gods("Pre-face," A, pp. 28-29). Similarly, persons who offer and dedicate themselves to God are also ana-themata("Preface," A, p. 30). To trace the etymology of a word i s , there-fore, not only to link i t to i t s past but also to "seek hidden grammar to 41 give back anathemata i t s f i r s t benignity." The anamnesis performed at Mass i s , therefore, an anamnesis not only of the Anathema of Christ but also of a l l anathemata, both of persons and things. As Charles Stoneburner puts I t : "The Mass is the offering of Christ to God, and, i n Him, of a l l things. It i s [therefore] appropriate to think about anything i n worship. There i s nothing that i s not being l i f t e d up and pre-117 42 sented to God." Hence, with the action of the Mass as the thematic centre of his poem, Jones "need not feel sheepish about his woolgathering ( i t ob-43 tains the golden fleece)." With the Mass as centre, Jones's woolgathering does not lead him astray: "[/orj the whole poem chants that everything i s preparation for the Mass, and that everything i s like i t . . . . A l l things lead 44 him to the Mass, a l l things remind him of the Mass." Thus, the artefacts made by prehistoric men are seen to be analogous to the artefacts employed at the eucharist. Did the fathers of those who forefathered them ( i f by genital or ideate begetting) set apart, make other, oblate? By what rote, i f at a l l had they the suffrage: Ascribe to, ra t i f y , approve i n the humid paradises of the Third Age? (A, pp. 64-65). The questions asked i n the foregoing passage are clearly answered: "If there is any evidence of...artefacture then the artefacturer or artifex should be regarded as participating directly i n the benefits of the Passion, because the extra-utile i s the mark of man"(A, p. 65, n. 2). The poiesis of Christ which i s 're-called' at Mass r a t i f i e s and makes acceptable a l l other forms of poiesis from the crudest piece of pottery to the most sophisticated of stat-uary. The l i f e and death of ancient heroes and pagan gods are seen as fore-shadowing the l i f e and death of Christ which we 're-call' at each Mass. Thus the "I AM BARLEY" inscribed on the coffin of an Egyptian king(A, p. 205) echoes the "I am your Bread" of Christ(A, p. 82). The death of Hector pre-figures that of Christ(A, p. 84); similarly, Adonis, for whom Ishtar weeps, sheds his blood as Christ shed His on Calvary(A, p. 233). God's command to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac prefigures Christ's offering of His l i f e 118 to the Father(A, p. 232). The self-sacrifice of Odin ("Myself to Myself"), pierced by a spear and hung on a "windy tree," echoes the events of Good F r i -day^, p. 225). In addition, the pattern of Christ's l i f e and death provides a fore-type for those heroes who come after Him. Hence Peredur (or Percival) who restores the Wasteland i s seen as a Christ-like figure(A, pp. 225-26). If the male figures i n the poem are seen as types of Christ, the female figures are a l l related to the Virgin. In * re-calling' the l i f e and death of Christ at Mass, we also 're-call' the Virgin through whose flat mi hi Christ took on human flesh. Thus, the various digressions on Gwenhwyfar or Helen or Aphrodite are a l l generated by the poet/celebrant's 're-calling' of the beauty and excellence of the Virgin i n the course of the celebration of Mass. Similarly, even the vulgar and profane seller of lavendar becomes a Mary-figure; by her association with the Virgin, her earthy slang i s transformed into the soteriological language of Mass: "an' ransom him with m' own wo-man's body"(A, p. 167). In the celebration of Mass, therefore, a l l mankind and a l l forms of arte-facture are 're-called' and 're-presented.' Accordingly, the Mass can be re-garded as a kind of all-inclusive sign which 're-calls' and 're-presents' everything. Everywhere becomes the here of the Mass; a l l time is present in 45 i t s celebration. Everything is brought together and conflated by the Mass; as a result, perspective is annihilated in i t s celebration. As Saunders Lewis puts i t : "The Mass concertinas a l l history and gives l i f e i t s e l f , the whole 46 lot of i t , the right look." By making the action of the Mass the central theme of The Anathemata Jones has built into his poem a powerful unifying principle which can make sense of everything. Thus, with the Mass as i t s centre, the poem can gather "to i t s e l f Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, geological and organic evolution, the cultivation of grain and the production of pottery (for sacramental dish 119 and cup) by prehistoric man, the sacrifices and precious deaths of paganism 47 and the stories about them." There i s nothing too lowly or insignificant that may not be assimilated by the poem's thematic centre. A powerful centri-petal movement informs the poem as everything i s rounded-up and safely gath-ered-in. If the poem expands centrifugally outwards i t does so only i n order that i t may collect the abundant variety of the deposits available to the poet and integrate them into i t s thematic centre—"the secret garth and i n -most bailey...where such unlike conjoinings are"(A, p. 144). The poem may be 'open' but i t has form as well; i t opens out into order. There i s 'freeplay' but i t i s 'freeplay' without anarchy or chaos. The Anathemata may lack the formal finish of a sonnet or a 'Metaphysical' poem, but i t has a unity a l l the same. Although the poem contains an almost bewildering variety of a l -lusions and a dazzling multiplicity of themes, everything in i t 'rhymes,' as i t were, with the thematic centre, the Mass. Put poetically, the same con-clusion reads: Gathering a l l things i n , twining each bruised stem to the swaying t r e l l i s of the dance, the dance about the sawn lode-stake on the h i l l where the hidden stillness i s at the core of struggle, the dance around the green lode-tree on far fair-height where the secret guerdons hang and the bright prizes nod, where s i t s the queen im Rosen- hage eating the honey-cake, where the king s i t s , counting-out his man-geld, rhyming the audits of a l l the world-holdings. 4 8 The flexible structure of the poem, i t s a b i l i t y to expand and move out-ward without losing i t s unifying centre, provides David Jones with the ne-cessary poetic form for an age of c r i s i s . Like the priest of The Anathemata's opening lines, the modern poet i s surrounded at every turn by the u t i l e . In such unpropitious times, his task w i l l have to be a 'rear-guard' action of conservation. Such an act of conservation requires his gathering-in a l l those things given to him by his culture, things threatened with destruction by an uncharitable technocracy. This gathering-in of the many things he has i n -120 herited requires a certain f l e x i b i l i t y in the structure of his poem. The additive mode of paratactic composition meets the requirement of f l e x i b i l i t y but not that of structural unity. However, f l e x i b i l i t y need not be sacri-ficed for the sake of unity i f certain rhetorical devices are used and i f an accommodating and inclusive thematic centre can be found. As this chapter has shown, i n The Anathemata David Jones successfully achieves such a con-joining of f l e x i b i l i t y and unity. Finally, The Anathemata i s not only about anathemata, i t i s i t s e l f an anathema, an offering. The Anathemata not only 're-calls' and 're-presents' the offerings both of persons and things, i t i s i t s e l f a thing fashioned out of David Jones's loves and dedicated and offered up to God on behalf of Jones himself, his parents and forebears, the people of Britain, and, ultimately, a l l mankind. 121 Footnotes 1 "Autobiographical Talk," EA, pp. 30-31. 2 "Past and Present," EA, p. 141. 3 The Poet Speaks, ed. Peter Orr (London: Routledge, 1966), p. 100. 4 See George Steiner's In Bluebeard's Castle (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1971), pp. 98-111. 5 "Aesthetics of Cr i s i s , " The New Yorker, 22 August 1964, p. 121. 6 The Archaeology of Knowledge, trans. A.M. Sheridan Smith (New York: Pantheon Books, 1972), p. 23. 7 "The Myth of Arthur," EA, p. 232. 8 Ibid., p. 234. 9 Ibid. 10 Ibid., p. 231. 11 "The Heritage of Early Britain," EA, p. 196. 12 "Wales and the Crown," EA, p. 47. 13 "The Radiant Art of David Jones," Agenda. 10, No. 4-11, No. 1 (1972/73), 128. 14 Cf. Hugh Kenner's The Pound Era (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1971), p. 445. 15 Quoted in H.S. Ede, "David Jones." Horizon, 8 (1943), 135-36. Kenner, p. 54. 122 17 Kenner, p. 51. 18 Ibid., p. 66. 19 Quoted In Kenner, p. 67. 20 David Jones, "The Sleeping Lord," i n The Sleeping Lord and Other Fragments (London: Faber, 1974), p. 81. 21 David Jones, "The Myth of Arthur," EA, pp. 238-39. 22 Quoted i n Ede, p. 132. 23 "Parataxis in Homer: A New Approach to Homeric Literary Criticism," TAPhA, 80 (1949), 1-23. 24 Quoted i n Notopoulos, "Parataxis i n Homer," p. 2. 25 Ibid., p. 6. 26 Ibid., p. 8. 27 "Preface" to St.-John Perse's Anabasis, rev. ed. (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1949), p. 10. 28 Quoted i n Notopoulos, "Parataxis i n Homer," p. 13. 29 The Poet Speaks, p. 99. 30 David Jones: Artist and Writer (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1971), p. 118. 31 My discussion of the various rhetorical devices employed by David Jones to confer unity on The Anathemata owes a debt to James A. Notopoulos's discus-sion of the connective devices used i n Homeric epics. See his "Continuity and Interconnexion i n Homeric Oral Composition," TAPhA, 82 (1951), 81-101. 32 Ibid., p. 98. 'Ringcomposition' is Notopoulos's adaptation of the Dutch philologist Van Otterlo's term 'Ringkomposition.' 123 33 Poetic Closure (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1968), pp. 100-101. 34 See M.H. Abrams's A Glossary of Literary Terms, 3rd ed. (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971), pp. 61-62. 35 Jacques Derrida, "Structure, Sign, and Play i n the Discourse of the Human Sciences," i n The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man, eds. Richard Macksey and Eugenio Donato (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1970), pp. 147-48. 36 Letter from David Jones to Saunders Lewis, i n Agenda, 11, No. 4 - 12, No. 1 (1973/74), 20. 37 Dom Gregory Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy (Westminster: Dacre Press, 1945), p. 238. 38 Ibid., pp. 162-72. 39 "Art and Sacrament," EA, p. 168. 40 Ibid., pp. 168-69. 41 David Jones, "The Tutelar of the Place," i n The Sleeping Lord, p. 61. 42 Charles Joseph Stoneburner, "The Regimen of the Ship-Star: A Handbook for The Anathemata of David Jones," Diss. University of Michigan, 1966, pp. 172-73. 43 Ibid., p. 172. 44 Ibid. 45 For a discussion of the treatment of time in The Anathemata see Angela G. Dorenkamp's "Time and Sacrament in The Anathemata," Renascene, 23 (1971), 183-91. 46 "Epoch and Art i s t , " Agenda. 5, Nos. 1-3 (1967), 115. 47 Stoneburner, p. 172. David Jones, "The Tutelar of the Place," i n The Sleeping Lord, p. 61. Conclusion The adaptations, the fusions the transmogrifications but always the inward continuities... -David Jones, The Anathemata To understand the art of David Jones i s to understand his belief i n the interrelatedness of a l l things. His concept of art as poiesis, for example, allows him to see the unity of a l l made things. His argument that a work of art i s a sign relates the art-work to the ideas or things i t signifies. In declaring that a poet can only make a shape out of the very things of which he himself i s made, Jones ties him to his culture and traditions. David Jones's belief i n the interrelatedness of things has profound im-plications for his writings on aesthetics. For example, the anxiety exhibited by some of these writings can be attributed to his conviction that should the ci v i l i z a t i o n i n which the ar t i s t finds himself be hostile or insensitive to the practice of art, then the artist's work w i l l invariably suffer. David Jones would have understood the following statement made by Ezra Pound: "But the one thing you shd. not do i s to suppose that when something i s wrong with the arts, i t i s wrong with the arts ONLY. When a given hormone defects, i t 1 w i l l defect through-out the whole system." The fate of art i s inextricably linked to the state of the nation. In a technological epoch which scorns the backward glance, traditions are either destroyed or le f t to die of their own exhaustion. Here again Jones's belief i n the interrelatedness of things influences his aesthetic pro-gramme of conservation. He has written that the practice of the arts depends "upon some apperception of that continuous sign-making which i s an entailed 2 inheritance, coming to us from our remote forebears." Thus, as I have shown 125 126 in the f i f t h chapter, The Anathemata records and shows forth that West Euro-pean cultural res inherited by the poet. The poem demonstrates well T.S. Eliot's famous declaration about the continuity of tradition: "[The poet^f must be aware that the mind of Europe—the mind of his own country—a mind which he learns i n time to be much more important than his own private mind-is a mind which changes, and that this change i s a development which abandons nothing en route, which does not superannuate either Shakespeare, or Homer, 3 or the rock drawing of the Magdalenian draughtsmen." In The Anathemata nothing i s abandoned and everything is brought together. Like those cave-drawings in which animal forms were superimposed palimpsestically one on top of another by generations of cave-dwellers, The Anathemata conflates and joins together the widely varied data from the cultural deposits. Siegfried Gied-ion's description of prehistoric cave-drawings also characterizes aptly the simultaneous order of things i n The Anathemata: "Gigantic bulls of the Mag-dalenian era could stand alongside tiny deer from Aurignacian times, as around the dome of Lascaux. Violent juxtaposition i n size as well as i n time were accepted as a matter of course. A l l was displayed within an eternal present, 4 the perpetual interflow of today, yesterday, and tomorrow." For a Catholic like David Jones to celebrate Mass i s to participate in an eternal present i n which today, yesterday, and tomorrow are a l l present. The Mass 're-presents' (I.e. makes present) a l l history and a l l manner of per-sons and things. Good Friday's victim, by His sacrifice, redeems and makes sense of everything. As The Anathemata puts i t : He does what i s done in many places what he does other he does after the mode of what has always been done (A, p. 243). By making the Mass the thematic centre of The Anathemata, Jones not only rescues and preserves the past, but also makes i t present. It i s because the 127 Mass i s at the centre of the poem that Harman Grisewood could confidently say: "It i s not a sense of living in the past which Mr. Jones brings us; but 5 a sense of the past living i n us." The Mass makes real the inward continu-i t i e s between past and present. Comparing the art of David Jones to the present c i v i l i z a t i o n a l situation Nancy Sandars writes: ...in spite of a superficially increasing uniformity, the movements today are a l l towards fragmentation: in the spe-cialization of the scholar, the scientist or technician, It i s the same. Everything i s flying apart like our uni-verse i t s e l f according to one interpretation, because 'the centre cannot hold.' In general, the well-made objects, the right actions, are presented to us as scattered, too soon dissipated, too small, tiny gestures quickly lost. Against this David Jones shows us a world that is whole, concentrated and converging, a logical palimpsest where ages and persons juggle their differences and are found to be one age and one person. 6 Against the fragmentation of our times David Jones proposes an integrative and unifying aesthetic. Against the deracination of modern man he offers the comforting continuities of a rooted tradition. We learn from a poem like The Anathemata that a l l times are contemporaneous and that a l l men are united by the anathemata they offer. The Chinese painter of landscapes, the African sculptor i n wood, the Eskimo stone-carver, and the Action painter i n New York are, for a l l their differences, colleagues united by their acts of poiesis. The cave-drawings of Lascaux and Duchamp's Large Glass share a common bond in as much as they are made not with merely u t i l e , but with significant, intent. Reading the works of David Jones one gets a powerful sense of the unity of l i f e and art. Even while we may disagree with some of Jones's conclusions, there i s a cogency to -his claim that through art we may achieve a communion with men of a l l times and places. Through a l l the transmogrifications and metamorphoses of human cultures, art reveals the inward continuities that bind a l l mankind. If such a conviction appears too optimistic, we have, at 128 least, T.S. Eliot's judicious assessment to f a l l back on: "It seems to me that i f we approach {authors like David JonesJ in the right way we shall find that in coming to understand the different worlds i n which each of them lives, we shall, each of us, come to know about his own. And this i s , at least, a 7 surcease to solitude." 129 Footnotes 1 Guide to Kulchur (New York: New Directions, 1938), p. 60. 2 "Use and Sign," The Listener, 24 May 1962, p. 901. 3 "Tradition and the Individual Talent," in The Sacred Wood (London: Methuen, 1920), p. 51. 4 The Eternal Present (New York: Pantheon Books, 1962), p. 538. 5 David Jones: Writer and Artist, Annual Lecture for 1965 of the B.B.C. in Wales (London: B.B.C. Publications, 1965), p. 12. 6 "The Inward Continuities," Agenda, 5, Nos. 1-3 (1967), 93. 7 Quoted i n Stoneburner, "The Regimen of the Ship-Star," Diss. University of Michigan, 1966, p. 103. 130 Selected Bibliography Abrams, M.H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. 3rd ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971. Aristotle. The Ethics of Aristotle. Trans. J.A.K. Thomson. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1955. Auden, W.H. "Adam as a Welshman." The New York Review of Books, 1, No. 1, 12. . "A Contemporary Epic." Encounter, 2, No. 2 (1954), 67-71. B e l l , H. Idris. The Nature of Poetry as Conceived by the Welsh Bards. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1955. Blamires, David. David Jones: Artist and Writer. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1971. Blissett, William. "David Jones: Himself at the Cave-Mouth." University  of Toronto Quarterly. 36 (1966-67), 259-73. David Jones Special Issue. Agenda, 5, Nos. 1-3 (1967). David Jones Special Issue 2. Agenda, 11, No. 4-12, No. 1 (1973-74). Derrida, Jacques. "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences." The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man: The  Structuralist Controversy. Eds. Richard Macksey and Eugenio Donato. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1970. Pages 247-65. Dix, Gregory. The Shape of the Liturgy. Westminster: Dacre Press, 1945. Dorenkamp, Angela G. "Time and Sacrament i n The Anathemata." Renascene, 23 (1971), 183-91. Ede, H.S. "David Jones." Horizon, 8 (1943), 125-36. E l i o t , T.S. "Preface," Anabasis by St.-John Perse (trans. T.S. E l i o t ) . Rev. ed. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1949. Pages 9-12. . "Tradition and the Individual Talent." The Sacred Wood: Essays  on Poetry and Criticism. London: Methuen, 1920. Pages 47-59. E l l u l , Jacques. The Technological Society. Trans. John Wilkinson. New York: Vintage Books, 1964. Foucault, Michel. The Archaeology of Knowledge. Trans. A.M. Sheridan Smith. New York: Pantheon Books, 1972. Giedion, S. The Eternal Present: The Beginnings of Art. New York: Pantheon Books, 1962. 131 GUI, Eric. Art and a Changing Civ i l i z a t i o n . London: John Lane, 1934. Grant, George. Technology and Empire: Perspectives on North America. Toronto: House of Anansi, 1969. Gray, Edmund. "The Representational Painting of David Jones and Ben Nicholson." Agenda, 12, No. 4 - 13, No. 1 (1975), 126-34. Grennan, Margaret R. William Morris: Medievalist and Revolutionary. New York: King's Crown Press, 1945. Grisewood, Harman. David Jones: Writer and Art i s t . Annual Lecture for 1965 of the BBC i n Wales. London: BBC Publications, 1965. Hague, Rene. "The Clarity of David Jones." Agenda, 12, No. 4 - 13, No. 1 (1975), 109-25. . "David Jones: A Reconnaissance." Agenda. 5, Nos. 1-3 (1967), 57-75. Hanke, John W. Maritain's Ontology of the Work of Art. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973. Havelock, Eric A. Preface to Plato. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1963. H i l l s , Paul. "The Radiant Art of David Jones." Agenda, 10, No. 4 - 11, No. 1 (1972-73), 125-37. Holloway, John. "A Perpetual Showing." The Hudson Review, 16 (1963), 122-30. Hooker, Jeremy. "History as Imagination: Some Aspects of the Poetry of David Jones." Triskel One. Eds. Sam Adams and Gwilym Rees Hughes. Wales: Christopher Davies, 1971. Pages 27-42. Ironside, Robin. David Jones. Hardmonsworth: Penguin Books, 1949. Johnston, John H. English Poetry of the First World War: A Study i n the Evolution of the Lyric and Narrative Form. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1964. Jones, David Michael. The Anathemata: Fragments of an Attempted Writing. London: Faber, 1952. . "The Dying Gaul." The Listener. 7 May 1959, pp. 791-793. . Epoch and Artist: Selected Writings. Ed. Harman Grisewood. London: Faber, 1959. . "Foreword," Arthur of Albion by R.W. Barber. London: Barrie and Rockliff, 1961. Pages v i i - i x . . "Foreword," The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by S.T. Coleridge. New York: Chilmark Press, 1964. Unpaginated. 132 Jones, David Michael. "Fragments of an Attempted Autobiographical Writing." Agenda, 12, No. 4 - 13, No. 1 (1975), 96-108. In Parenthesis. London: Faber, 1937. "Introduction," Presenting Saunders Lewis by Saunders Lewis. Eds. Alun R. Jones and Gwyn Thomas. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1973. Pages xvii-xix. "Looking Back at the Thirties." The London Magazine, 5, No. 1 (1965), 47-54. . The Sleeping Lord and Other Fragments. London: Faber, 1974. Two letters from David Jones to Saunders Lewis. Agenda, 11, No. 4 - 12, No. 1 (1973-74), 18-29. . "Use and Sign." The Listener, 24 May 1962, pp. 900-901. Kenner, Hugh. The Pound Era. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1971. Kermode, Frank. "On David Jones." Puzzles and Epiphanies: Essays and  Reviews 1958-1961. London: Routledge, 1962. Pages 29-34. Levi-Strauss, Claude. The Savage Mind. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1966. Lewis, Saunders. "Epoch and Art i s t . " Agenda. 5, Nos. 1-3 (1967), 112-15. The Mabinogion. Trans. Gwyn Jones and Thomas Jones. London: Dent, 1949. Manglaviti, Leo M.J. "The Anathemata of David Jones: Notes on Theme and Structure." Twentieth Century Literature. 15 (1969), 105-113. Marinetti, F.T. "The Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism." Theories of  Modern Art: A Source Book by Artists and C r i t i c s . Ed. Herschel B. Chipp. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1970. Pages 284-89. Maritain, Jacques. Art and Scholasticism. Trans. J.F. Scanlan. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1930. Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry. The A.W. Mellon Lectures i n the Fine Arts. New York: Meridian Books, 1955. "Sign and Symbol." Ransoming the Time. Trans. Harry Lorin Binsse. New York: Scribner, 1941. Pages 217-54. Noon, William T., S.J. Poetry and Prayer. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1967. 133 Notopoulos, James A, "Continuity and Interconnexion i n Homeric Oral Com-position." TAPhA, 82 (1951), 81-101. "Parataxis in Homer: A New Approach to Homeric Literary Criticism." TAPhA, 80 (1949), 1-23. Orr, Peter, ed. The Poet Speaks (transcript of an interview with David Jones). London: Routledge, 1966. Pages 97-104. Paz, Octavio. "Signs in Rotation." The Bow and the Lyre. Trans. Ruth L.C. Simms. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1973. Pages 233-62. Piggott, Stuart. "David Jones and the Past of Man." Agenda, 5, Nos. 1-3 (1967), 76-79. Pound, Ezra. Guide to Kulchur. New York: New Directions, 1938. . Selected Poems. Ed. T.S. E l i o t . London: Faber, 1949. Raine, Kathleen. Defending Ancient Springs. London: Oxford University Press, 1967. "The Sacred and Profane." The New Republic, 12 January 1953, p. 19. Rosenberg, Harold. "Aesthetics of Cr i s i s . " The New Yorker, 22 August 1964, pp. 114-22. . The Anxious Object. New York: Horizon Press, 1966. . "The Concept of Action i n Painting." Artworks and  Packages. New York: Horizon Press, 1969. Pages 213-228. Rothenstein, John. "David Jones." Modern English Painters: Lewis to Moore. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1956. Pages 289-309. Ruskin, John. Selected Prose of Ruskin. Ed. Matthew Hodgart. New York: Signet Books, 1972. Sandars, N.K. "The Inward Continuities." Agenda, 5, Nos. 1-3 (1967), 92-96. The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (De Sacra Liturgia). Trans. Dom Gregory Bainbridge. London: Catholic Truth Society, 1967. Smith, Barbara Herrnstein. Poetic Closure: A Study of How Poems End. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968. Speaight, Robert. "The Anathemata." TLS, 6 August 1954, pp. x x x i i - x x x i i i . Spears, Monroe K. "Shapes and Surfaces: David Jones, with a glance at Charles Tomlinson." Contemporary Literature, 12 (1971), 402-419. 134 Steele, Peter. "David Jones: Precision as Presence," Twentieth Century (Australia), 18 (1964), 335-45. Stein, Gertrude. "What is English Literature." Gertrude Stein: Writings and Lectures 1909-1945. Ed, Patricia Meyerowitz. Baltimore, Maryland: Penguin Books, 1971. Pages 31-58. Steiner George. In Bluebeard's Castle: Some Notes Towards the Redefinition  of Culture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971. Stoneburner, Charles Joseph. The Regimen of the Ship-Star: A Handbook for 'The Anathemata' of David Jones. Diss. University of Michigan, 1966. Wald, Richard C. "'I Don't Think I'm Modern.'" New York Herald Tribune  Books, 8 July 1962, p. 5 and p. 11. Watts, Janet. "David Jones." Guardian, 9 June 1975, p. 8. Williams, Gwyn, ed, and trans. The Burning Tree: Poems from the First  Thousand Years of Welsh Verse. London: Faber, 1956. Williams, William Carlos. Paterson. New York: Net* Directions, 1963. 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            data-media="{[{embed.selectedMedia}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
https://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0093478/manifest

Comment

Related Items