A Glastonbury Romance by John Cowper Powys

By John Cowper Powys

"A Glastonbury Romance, first released in 1932, is Powys masterwork, an epic novel of awesome cumulative strength and lyrical depth. In it he probes the magical and religious ethos of the small English village of Glastonbury, and the influence upon its population of a legendary culture from the remotest prior of human heritage - the legend of the Grail. Powys's wealthy iconography interweaves the traditional with the fashionable, the old with the mythical, and the creative inside of guy with the flora and fauna outdoors him to create a publication of stunning scope and beauty."

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A Glastonbury Romance

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New York: Harbinger-Harcourt, 1969), p. 3. 28 Tradition and Talent in "Prufrock" 29 and the American Language" (1953), the man looks back on both milieu and moment: From time to time there occurs some revolution, or sudden mutation of form and content in literature. Then, some way of writing . . is found by a few people . . no longer to respond to contemporary modes of thought, feeling and speech. A new kind of writing appears . . ; we hear that the tradition has been flouted, and that chaos has come.

It is generally accepted that his mere return to Cambridge that spring for the pro forma defense of his thesis on F. H. Bradley would have initiated a career as "teacher in the philosophy department" (Gordon, p. 65) at the prestigious university with which his family was associated; although he did not intend his marital unhappiness, he declined material security and social standing in favor of drudgery and uncertainty. But Amcrica/family/Harvard are not precursor poets. And if it can be objected that praising the fiction of Fitzgerald, Dos Passes, and Hemingway in his review of the Whitman biography, and sending a fan letter to the stranger who wrote The Great Gatsby, involved no threat to Eliot's identity as a poet, his doing these things also indicates an active interest in American literature.

Yet the act of the young Eliot's individual talent occurred, as Taine put it, in a particular milieu, and at a "moment" when English poetry was ready for something new. In an address and essay of his late years, "American Literature 1. Hugh Kenner, The Invisible Poet: T. S. Eliot (1959; rpt. New York: Harbinger-Harcourt, 1969), p. 3. 28 Tradition and Talent in "Prufrock" 29 and the American Language" (1953), the man looks back on both milieu and moment: From time to time there occurs some revolution, or sudden mutation of form and content in literature.

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