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MAPPING THE LABYRINTH: THE UR-ANATHEMATA OF DAVID JONES.

DAVID Jones, the British poet and painter, once remarked that soldiers in The Great War were of two types: those who feared being buried alive in the trenches, and those who feared death on the open plains. Wounded at Mametz Woods in 1915, he counted himself among the latter, so much so that his post-war life was marked by an ever-increasing agoraphobia complicated by an intense need to surround himself with possessions redolent of significance.

It was not simply that he called the rooms in which he lived "dugouts" and filled them with his paintings, manuscripts and books;(1) creating enclosed havens extended to his art. Paul Hills notes that a common gesture in his paintings is the creation of space that offers "a sense of safe enclosure" and Jones (31), speaking of his preferred method of painting, wrote in 1935 that "I like looking out on the world from a reasonably sheltered position" (Hills 56).(2) While a concern with enclosures is visible in his paintings, his regard for the "sheltered position" is even more important in his poetry.(3)

Irrespective of the origins of his fears, Jones, like many modernists, divides experience into a system of radical opposition: past counters present, culture resists civilization, gratuity opposes utility. Concerned with cultural crisis, a crisis Jones labeled "The Break" (DG 41-49), many modernists conceptualize such oppositions in temporal terms--often by upholding a past culture, now lost, that in its wholeness opposes a fragmented modern world.

While Jones, too, constructed an idealized culture to counter a failed present, he differed from his contemporaries in how he depicted the tensions that he felt threatened the contemporary west. A visual artist first, he characteristically frames his oppositions in spatial terms. Whether in the geography of No-Man's Land, where "there was no help for them on that open plain" (SL 104), or in his rendering of Imperial Rome as a sprawling "megalopolis that wills death" (SL 13), exterior spaces most often exemplify the traits of civilization: empire, conformity, alienation. As embodied in Jones' representation of rural Wales and Celtic culture as the "hedges of illusion" (SL 63), interior spaces serve as refuges for the threatened values of local culture: community, tradition, the sacral.

In sketching the uneasy boundary between the interior and exterior, Jones' poetry continually employs images of demarcation: the trenches of The Great War, the city walls of Troy, the limes of the Roman Empire, the natural boundaries--the rivers and mountains--of Wales. Walls and boundaries, though, serve two opposed purposes in Jones' poetic universe: one is to protect an endangered culture, "that known enclosure" (SL 56), by serving as "hedges ... round some remnant of us" (SL 63); the other is to serve the interests of imperialism as "the walls that contain the world" (SL 10). Equally problematic is his depiction of the center. In presenting beleagured cultures, Jones evokes the "prepared high room" (A 53) of Holy Thursday, the burial mound, the cave, the earth as repositories for all that is in danger of being lost "in the December of our culture" (SL 64). Conversely, the center is the locus of imperial power, where "an inner cabinet plot the mappi mundi" (SL 40) and impersonally send out "the routine decrees" (SL 40) that govern the "Urbs, throughout orbis" (SL 50). The centripetal protective enclosure "gather[s] all things in" (SL 61) as "the holy mound / [the] fence within the fence" (SL 64). Imperialism's centrifugal center extends outward seeking to "liguidate the holy diversities" (SL 62) by levelling local cultures "to the world plain" (SL 55) and by dispersing that which culture would preserve.

While a concern with interior and exterior spaces is evident throughout his career, his poetry underwent a profound shift during the Second World War when Jones undertook a poetic project centered around the Roman Catholic Mass. Unable to finish the work, he later used parts in The Anathemata and from the rest he "hoped to make ... a continuation, or Part II of The Anathemata" (A 15). In spite of later repeated efforts to complete the project, only some middle-length "fragments" appeared, which he later collected in The Sleeping Lord and Other Fragments. After his death, Rene Hague and Harman Grisewood edited the unpublished poetry and presented The Roman Quarry and Other Sequences. While The Roman Quarry and Other Sequences never recovered the entire project, the edition made clear Jones' view that all of his work was part of "a wide-ranging poem which he was never able to complete" (RQ XlV).(4) Even The Anathemata, whose title until the corrected proof was "Part of The Anathemata," is only one section of the whole, hence its subtitle: "fragments of an attempted writing."

RECENTLY, I have recovered from the David Jones Archives two long, interwoven poems written by Jones between 1940 and 1946.(5) The first, a 77-page narrative composed between 1940 and 1943, contains "The Tutelar of the Place" and all of the Roman poems published in The Sleeping Lord in what is often close to their final forms. The second, a 143-page narrative/meditation written between 1943 and 1946, uneasily combines its narrative predecessor and early versions of the Celtic poems from The Sleeping Lord. The second half of this work is almost identical to "The Roman Quarry" sequence. The text written between 1943 and 1946 not only is the Ur-version of The Anathemata, but also forms the spine for his later "continuation, or Part II of The Anathemata."

The development of the first narrative into the second meditation initiated a shift in form that ultimately resulted in The Anathemata. The narrative that Jones wrote between between 1939 and 1943 is structurally identical to In Parenthesis. Like its predecessor, it is a long narrative poem marked by a spatial center. In early 1943, though, Jones introduced an extensive insertion into what was an already narratively finished work. This insertion was the first in a series of additions that Jones introduced into his work, a series in which each subsequent insertion was embedded within the previous one. With each new insertion, the work moved farther away from narrative and closer to the associational, allusive and geometric structure that marks The Anathemata. By the time Jones made his final addition, allusive density had replaced narrative continuity and the last insertion is an intricate web of allusions. In the process, the emerging poem became an interior space itself, a repository for all that Jones believed to be threatened by contemporary civilization:
 things which tend to be impoverished, or misconceived, or altogether lost
 or wilfully set aside in the preoccupations of our present intense
 technological phase. (DG 17)


Constructed out of and simultaneously preserving the deposits of the culture, the Ur-Anathemata and its successor, The Anathemata, are metasigns.

In the "Preface" to The Anathemata, Jones, citing Nennius, wrote "I have made a heap of all that I could find" (A 1). It seems that Jones was alluding to a rather specific heap, one that would not only embody his concerns with civilization and culture, exterior and interior but one that would also resist civilization: the protective labyrinth.(6) An evocative cultural allusion, the labyrinth dominated Jones' imagination between 1940 and 1946. Steeped in the labyrinth's complex of symbolic associations, he was acutely conscious of its dual uses as temenos, the sacred enclosure, and Daedalian labyrinth, the maze prison.

The labyrinth, though, came to be more than an evocative cultural symbol. Jones also saw the labyrinth as a geometric shape and a physical structure through which those symbolic associations were made manifest. While the narrative poetry before 1943 employs the trope of the labyrinth, the later poetry attempts to approach its structure.(7)

In 1934, David Jones, as part of the treatment for his first severe breakdown, visited Jerusalem where he saw British troops of occupation. Writing in 1971 to Saunders Lewis, he recalled that at first these soldiers reminded him of his own service. Suddenly, though, their riot shields and batons evoked "not the familiar things of less than two decades back" when he served, "but rather of two millenia close on." In those British soldiers of occupation in Palestine, he suddenly saw their Roman predecessors. From this experience,
 not only The Anathemata, but best part of all his various later
 pieces, such as "The Wall," "The Tribune's Visitation," "The
 Fatigue," and even in roundabout ways "The Dream of Private
 Clitus" and "The Tutelar of the Place," derived. (DGC 57)


His experience in Jerusalem was the beginning of the narrative poem.

The narrative poem that Jones wrote between 1940 and 1943 concerns Roman soldiers on the Walls of the Antonia in Jersualem on Holy Thursday. Moving through the middle night watch, it is concurrent with the Passion in Gethsemane. Opening in the Upper Room at the Last Supper, it soon shifts to the Walls where two soldiers are coming on guard: Crixus, a twenty-year veteran, and Oenomaus, a younger conscript. Looking out over Jerusalem, they reflect on their lot as soldiers of occupation, on the nature of empire and on their roles in the workings of the "world city." The first half of the poem ends with Crixus offering a prayer to the Great Mother that celebrates local cultures and asks her to protect them "in the days of the central economies" (SL 63), a prayer Jones published as "The Tutelar of the Place." Immediately after this, a bugle blows, the middle watch ends, and a centurion, Brasso Olenius, enters who details them to the next day's execution. Brasso, the "fact man," speaks for empire, closing the poem with a speech to his men in the guardhouse where he initiates them into the nature of empire, a speech later published as "The Tribune's Visitation."

From the opening, the labyrinth acts as one of the work's guiding motifs. In Crixus' opening monologue, later published as "The Wall," we hear a Roman soldier who is both an agent of imperialism and its victim. He is one of those who
 walk[s] in darkness, in the shadow of the onager, in the shadow of the
 labyrinth of the wall, of the world ... trapesing the macrocosmic night..,
 walking the inner labyrinth where also the night is.... (SL 13-14)


Like his comrades, he is "a stone in the living wall" (MS. 13)(8) that comprises Rome's "robber walls of the world city" (SL 14). A part of the very labyrinth that entraps him, he "walks the endless meander [that] leads to the blocked traverse" (MS. 20) on "the walls that maintain the world" (SL 10). After "walking for twenty years" (SL 10), he still does not "know the ins and outs / how should we? how could we ... / cogitate high policy ... or guess the inscrutable economy of the pontifex" (SL 10). That "high policy" and the "inscrutable economy" that dictate events are examined in the second half of the work after Crixus and Oenomaus have been assigned to Christ's execution detail. This section, later published as "The Fatigue," traces the flow of imperialist power outward from its vacuous center in Rome. From the "wide-bevelled marble table" within "the most interior-room," out past "check-point Minotaur" and down through "the departmental meander" (SL 39), "the ball slowly rolls" with "your name and number on it" until it reaches the individual soldier who "will furnish / that Fatigue" (SL 41).(9) The theme of imperialism's labyrinth reaches its fullest expression in Brasso's speech in the guardhouse at the poem's conclusion where he enacts a dark inversion of the Last Supper which opens the poem:
 See! I break this barracks bread, I drink with you this issue cup, I salute
 with you these mutilated signa, I with you have cried with all of us the
 ratifying formula: Idem in me. (SL 58)


The poem's systematic development of the Daedalian labyrinth is mirrored by the inward geographic movement of the narrative. Over the four-hour watch, we move from the outer wall and Crixus's awareness of his position as a "living stone," to the analysis of the detached movement of power as he and Oenomaus move into the guardhouse, to the interior of the guardhouse where the centurion addresses his men just before dawn.

The Daedalian maze, though, is only one of two labyrinths that inform the poem, just as the temporal is one of two structures. While the work's narrative and temporal climax is Brasso's speech, the poem has a spatial center ideologically countering the narrative's conclusion. The spatial center, Crixus' hymn to the Great Mother, forms Jones' temenos.(10)

Jones began his narrative at the beginning of the Second World War while re-reading Spengler's Decline of the West which outlines how a living culture reifies into a sterile civilization. Civilization's mark is the economic and military imperialism that dominates and then assimilates local cultures to the megalopolis, a term Jones borrowed from Spengler. Pitting the megalopolis against local culture, Spengler's system provided Jones with a poetically useful geography for his own oppositions. Identifying Imperial Rome with the twentieth-century west, it also offered Jones historic analogues for the modern world.

Spengler's theories had a marked influence on Jones; however, he disagreed with Spengler's assertion that cultural death was inevitable and that one should stoically accept it. Claiming that the task of an artist was "to carry forward into the present the traditions of the past and so make them available for the future" (PGC/I).(11) Jones wrote to Harman Grisewood in February of 1942 that,
 I've been immersed in Spengler, I'm battling with him.... He's so right,
 and, as I think, also so wrong.... I believe it resides in the Jackson
 Knight thing--he has liguidated Juno. It is a male thought world entirely.
 (DGC 391)


In Crixus' hymn to the Great Mother, published as "The Tutelar of the Place," Jones presents an alternative to imperialism and Spengler's "male thought world," drawing largely from "the Jackson Knight thing:" Knight's study of labyrinths, The Cumaean Gates.

Even more than Spengler, W. F. Jackson Knight had, as Jones later wrote, "a profound impact on me" (DGC 213).(12) Knight's position is, in many ways, the antithesis of Spengler's, and in contrast to Spengler's pessimism, Knight was concerned with continuity:
 The strange participation of present in past or past in present has lately
 been winning a new notice and importance.... On the one hand it can now be
 maintained that all history is contemporary history; and, on the other ...
 that events, belonging in the ordinary sense to different times, can exist
 together within one consciousness. (142)


While Spengler's civilizational prognosis is embodied in the Daedalian prison maze, Jackson Knight's position finds form in the temenos.

Written while Jones was reading Spengler and Knight, Crixus' supplication to the Great Mother as "administratrix of the demarcations" (SL 62) is a prayer to the Great Mother to "save us" from "the men who plan" (SL 62) and who would "square the world floor" and "take away the diversities by which we are" (SL 63). More than simply a petition, though, the prayer takes the form of a ritualistic maze dance, and dance imagery dominates the section:
 Sweet Mair devise a mazy-guard
 in and out and round about
 double dance defenses
 countermuse and echelon meanders round the
 holy mound
 fence within the fence the wood within the wood
 pile the dun ash for the bright seed (SL 64)


In contrast to the "robber walls of the world city" that form the Daedalian maze, the great Mother is called upon to "twine the wattles of mist, white-web a Gwydion hedge" (SL 63) in order to confound "the commissioners and assessors bearing the writs of the Ram." In his study of the labyrinth, Knight describes maze dances as "belonging to the larger class of protective rituals, performed to exclude evil influences" (199), and, he writes,
 the movements of the performers are intended to weave a magical
 entanglement and spread a field of magical force to exclude all that is not
 wanted to enter the guarded place. (202)


Here Crixus' prayer, acting like a maze dance, verbally evokes the sacred enclosure of the temenos as "ventricle and refuge both, asylum from the world storm" (SL 64).

Flanked by Crixus on one side and by Brasso on the other, the hymn is the spatial center of the original narrative, much like Dai's Boast is the center of In Parenthesis. Crixus is a rememberer, and his invocation returns to cultural origins in hopes of preserving them. Brasso denies the past, and his sacrament, an anti-sacrament that would blot out memory, is firmly fixed in "now." The hymn, though, is not simply the center of the poem but is itself divided in the center. The first half is spoken to children by a member of a still-living culture who prays that the Great Mother will protect them "from Dux of far-folk" (SL 62). Suddenly at the lines,
 Now sleep now little children, sleep on now, while
 I tell out the greater suffrages not yet for young
 heads to understand, (SL 62)


the work shifts, and the hymn moves into a prayer for solace and protection spoken by a member of civilization who seeks to preserve cultural traditions "In all times of Gleichschaltung, / In the days of the central economies" (SL 63).(13)

The poem's two structures--the temporal culminating in Brasso's speech, and the spatial fixed in Crixus' prayer--correspond to the two labyrinths that Jones evokes. Viewing the poem temporally and the labyrinth as a journey, we pass, as Brasso says, from "darkness to / a greater dark." At its core are "ministers of death" who "supervise the world-death" (SL 56). Apprehending the poem spatially and the labyrinth as a protective enclosure, we find an imperialist civilization threatening from without, but at the center of the poem is "hearth, kin, enclosure" (SL 59), and the promise of "the secret seed," in "hendref [winterquarters] for the world-winter" (SL 64) protected by the "margravaine of the troia / empress of the labyrinth" (SL 63).

In spite of its narrative and artistic wholeness, Jones never published this work, instead presenting the "fragments" collected in The Sleeping Lord and Other Fragments, where his notes obscured the unity of the original. His reasons for not publishing the work are complex;(14) however, part of the answer lies in the Roman narrative's coupled structures and dual labyrinths. The tension between the poem's temporal and spatial structures and their respective uses of the labyrinth--to imprison (but keep from the center) and to protect by excluding (but also to gather in)--corresponds to his version of the Spenglerian conflict between civilization and culture. In spite of its imagistic and structural complexity, though, the center of the original only mimics a protective labyrinth. Crixus' prayer to the Great Mother expresses what appears to be his nostalgic desire that she will provide such an enclosure. As Jones continually asserted, for any artist "the sign must be the thing signified under the forms of his particular art" (E&A 136).

IN 1943, as he became increasingly concerned with the future of western culture, Jones started to include narratively unrelated material within the Roman poem. In the process, the text became more allusive, associational and linguistically dense, as Jones started to construct a poem that would literally enclose within it the endangered signa of the west, that would "be the thing signified": a protective labyrinth.

On May 6th, 1943, Jones wrote to his friend Tom Burns:
 I've been reading some elementary geology books lately.... in the course of
 the thing I'm trying to write I had occasion to speak of a Roman road in
 Wales & a river which cuts it ... I could not proceed without knowing what
 precisely the strata of those parts were made of. I mean if one were
 painting a picture which included the hotel carpet it must be necessary to
 know what the floor underneath was like and what the ground was like
 underneath the floor and what the sub-soil was like underneath again and so
 on. (PGB/I/16)


This is the first reference to the material eventually published as "The Roman Quarry."

In the narrative, a Celtic recruit sounds the bugle announcing the change of watch, in turn leading Crixus to ruminate on how Britain will soon fall to Rome. Over Ms. 65, 66 and 67 of the original, Crixus envisions ships off the Welsh coast, pictures troops disembarking, recalls some Celtic deities, and then imagines the ships again. In the three-sheet original, Crixus ends his meditation by saying
 So mate, their very signa we bring
 to them--let history weave but
 long enough.
 When Calibans of Logia Sinus swear by
 Bran that tree tops walk the spume
 because the green troughs hide all but
 the top trees of our cruising biremes (RQ 11, 39; Ms. 66)'5


It was at this point that Jones inserted forty-five manuscript pages of Celtic matter between the lines "let history weave but long enough" and "When Calibans of Logia Sinus swear by / Bran that tree tops walk the spume." The Celtic material was embedded into the narrative of Roman soldiers, though, in three separate stages. With each stage, the work moved further from the narrative surface, delved more deeply into the Celtic deposits, and became more allusive and meditative. With each insertion, he came closer to the form of The Anathemata.

The first insertion, fifteen pages long and marked 66A through 660, predicts the Roman invasion of Britain. Opening with the Roman ships off the Welsh coast, it describes soldiers disembarking and follows their movement inland. Roman civilization, embodied in the road and the bridge, confronts Celtic culture, as seen in earth and water. When Roman roads cut into the land, Jones introduces the Celtic deposits.

The shift into the Celtic deposits occurs when the unnamed narrator asks "is the Afon Cych / the Cocytus? / Is Cothi of the quick-set hedge sad / Acheron" (RQ 14; Ms. 66E). The references to Cocytus and Acheron are the last to the classical world. Leaving behind Roman "fact" we enter a world where "hills like insubstantial vapours float" (RQ 14; Ms. 66F) and descend into the geological and cultural deposits of Wales. Here "race sleeps on dreaming race & / under myth and overmyth / like leaf-layered forest are the uncertain crust" (RQ 18; Ms. 66G). Leaving narrative, the text proceeds by interrogation and meditation. Finally the work evokes the megaliths and cairns that cover the land "where the silence is/ ... where the narrow-skulled prospector lies" (RQ 19; Ms. 66H). This is the center of the first insertion. After this, the text retraces itself, moving back through the same geological deposits, along the roads, back to the coast where the ships wait. Just as we enter this Celtic world with allusions to the classical underworld, we leave it when we "change our picquets at / the Ivory Gate & trim the fast / liburnae for service on the West Styx" (RQ 39; Ms. 661). At this point Crixus says "When Calibans of Logia Sinus swear by / Bran that tree tops walk the spume" (RQ 39; Ms. 66J). Back on the narrative surface, Crixus and Oenomaus are about to be assigned to the next day's Crucifixion fatigue.

The first insertion into the narrative forms a gyre that, reminiscent of a unicursal maze, spirals into a center and then returns out again along the same path. The surface level--the watch on the wall--stops on Ms. 66 when Crixus comments on the recruit's horn playing and later re-starts on Ms. 67 when he mentions it again. Just inside these two exterior points fifteen pages apart are the opening and then closing references to the invasion of Britain. Inside of these, in turn, are the opening and closing images of the ships off the coast. Bracketing the Celtic material are dual references to the road builders. When the poem moves into the Celtic landscape, it leaves the classical world with allusions to the underworld rivers of the Cocytus and Acheron. Leaving the Celtic and returning to the Roman, it alludes to the Styx and to the Ivory Gate. At the center are stone megaliths. For the first half of the insertion, the movement is inward and downward. On reaching the stone chamber, the direction turns outward and upward. Just as in travelling through a unicursal maze, we pass the same markers on our way out from the center that we encountered on our way in.

Completed in the fall of 1943, the first insertion set the pattern for the next two. Not only were both inserted between Ms. 66 and Ms. 67 of the surface narrative, but the second was inserted into the first and the third into the second. A passage from an early draft outlines his method and the labyrinth's direction:
 You must be lost
 before you find the cornucopia
 at the core ...
 at the navel
 of the spiral at Newgrange
 ... It's always from
 chamber to chamber--in
 and out the creepway (RQ 182; Ms. 96-97)


All of Jones' works, even his insertions, are marked by spatial centers. At the center of the first insertion is the stone cairn where the speaker asks who is memorialized by the stones just before the text returns to the surface. The second insertion, a fourteen-page section of Celtic material labelled 66H1 through 66H14, explores this. Out of this material came "The Hunt" and the original version of "The Sleeping Lord," his hymn to the guardian of the land who is metamorphosed into the land in which he is buried. This second addition continued the geological and cultural striation begun in the first insertion as Jones delved more deeply into the Celtic deposits.

The principal purpose of a temenos is to protect the sacred object by enclosing it. The second insertion is, as mentioned, introduced at the burial chamber, the spatial midpoint of the first insertion. In adding his Celtic material between the two lines on the megalithic cairn, Jones, in effect, embedded his Celtic material in the stone cairn, itself a structure that encloses and protects.

In the first insertion the speaker asks
 --and does the stone mastaba cairn the
 negotiator?
 does the false sentry guard the mercator?
 does the holed-slab within the darkened
 passage keep the dark Promotor? (RQ 20; Ms. 66H)


after which the text moves back to the surface. In the second insertion the voice continues to interrogate the stones at this point:
 or does it kennel the bitch-hounds?
 Are these the name-bearing stones of the
 name-hounds of the Arya of Britain,
 are they the night-yards of the dogs of the
 Island--the rest kennels of the hog-quest?
 (RQ 20; Ms. 66H2)


Using the Medieval Welsh tale of "The Hunting of the Boar" from Culhwch ac Olwen as a frame, Jones examines Britain's cultural layers, bringing together the megalithic deposits and the waves of invaders. Continuing the interrogative mode introduced in the first addition, the second continues:
 Is the Sumer director within the hewn circle
 or is the dark pent for the mottled
 hill-pack with the wall-eyed leader?
 What is it that glints from the holed-stone
 Is it the collar of honour with the jewelled
 thong that leashes the glistening hound of
 the hunter-lord
 or is it the dark signet of the
 lord of barter--was world-gain the quarry
 or the world-hog? (RQ 21; Ms. 66H3).


The next seven pages follow the hunt, asking "was world-gain the quarry / or the world-hog."

The original of "The Hunt" and the version published in The Sleeping Lord are quite close. Those seeking the Boar form an assembly of "the men of Britain, when they hunted / the hog life for life" (SL 69; RQ 27). It is not only Celtic "torgue-wearing high-men on the / named steeds," who hunt the Boar, but also those they conquered: the "small elusive / men from the bond-trevs / who, before the Arya was / knew the beast way & the elusive tracts" and "the secret ways of the / island" (RQ 21-22; Ms. 66H3). Also present are "the wand-bearing lords that are kin to Fferyllt" (SL 66; RQ 23; Ms. 66H5), the Roman Arya who conquered the Celtic conquerors.

While the Boar is symbolic of foreign invasion, the party who hunts the hog is drawn from the successive waves of invaders. As such, hunter was once hunted. The implicit process of cultural layering and assimilation recalls the earlier image of the land as a place
 where race sleeps on dreaming race &
 under-myth & over-myth, like the
 leaf-layered forest-floor are the uncertain
 crust (RQ 18; Ms. 66G).


The hunt begins after the speaker asks the identity of the individual in the stone chamber. After the hunt, the speaker inquires as to the burial place of the leader of that hunt, the protector of the land.

Now the insertion moves to "the / diademed leader who directs the toil / whose face is furrowed with the weight / of the enterprise" (RQ 24; Ms. 66H7) evoking the archetypal Arthur. Moving beneath the geological and cultural strata, it descends through the mythic strata. The Arthur of Culhwch ac Olwen, he is also all those from whom that figure evolved.

Over the course of the next few pages, the protector of the land is transformed into the land itself, as the work moves into the earliest version of "The Sleeping Lord":
 If his forehead is radiant like the smooth
 hill in the lateral light, it is corrugated
 like the defences of the hill, because of his
 care for the land and the men of the land.
 (RQ 24; Ms. 66H7)


As the guardian of the land is metamorphosed into the land wherein he is buried, the text moves even more deeply beneath the surface:
 Is the tump by Honddu his tilted pillow
 does the gritstone outcrop incommode him?
 Does the deep syncline sag beneath him, or
 does his strata'd mattress & his rug of shaly grey
 ease for his royal dorsals the caving under floor?
 (RQ 28; Ms. 66H11)


Through the image of the Sleeping Lord who "weeps for the land / who dreams his bitter / dream for the folk of the land," Jones condemns those who destroy the land in the name of economic interests:
 Are his wounded ankles lapped by the ferric
 waters that all through the night bear the
 song from the night-pits of Ystalefera
 where the narrow-skulled kaethion of the lowest
 price, with the kaethion of mixed breed, labour in
 the dark workings for the lords of repulsive lips.
 (RQ 28; Ms. 66H11)


The second insertion's climax comes in the question "Does the land wait the sleeping lord / or is the wasted land that very / lord who sleeps" (SL 96; RQ 37; Ms. 66H12), lines that conclude the published version of "The Sleeping Lord."

After the speaker asks this, the text returns from this level of the maze. Moving to the Roman surface, classical allusions replace Celtic:
 What was he called? Was his
 womb-name Cronus or had he another--
 Was he always the stem Maristuran.
 How did they ask for the wheat-yield?
 Was the nomen's ending he or she? (RQ 37; Ms. 66H12)


Moving from Celtic deposits to Roman invaders, the speaker recalls Plutarch's belief that Cronus' burial place is in Thule and evokes the stones that prompted the original meditation:
 Is this the land where the sleeper sleeps,
 The sleeper who shall wake, is he in
 his island cave--does Briareus guard
 him yet, are the single standing stones
 divinities about him? (RQ 38; Ms. 66H13)


Again at the surface of the Welsh landscape "where the known & the unknown / traffic together, at the ultimate tilt of Thule ... at the brink of the lithosphere" (RQ 38; Ms. 66H14), the text returns to the stone mastaba it left fourteen pages earlier.

As the second insertion deepens the first's spiral, the text-as-protective-labyrinth becomes even more pronounced. In the second insertion, Jones returns to the center of the first, the stones, setting the material of the Hunt and the Sleeping Lord within that frame. Again the initial direction is downward: mythically into earlier deposits, culturally including even earlier inhabitants, geologically into the land itself. As in the previous insertion, we find verbal markers as we enter and as we leave.

The second insertion radically altered the shape of the original text. The original seventy-seven page narrative of Roman soldiers was centered in the hymn to the Great Mother. In the second insertion, Jones introduced a male principle who parallels the Great Mother, in effect creating two interrelated "centers." The Sleeping Lord, who is the land he protects, complements the Great Mother, the Tutelar of the Place, and together they form the male and female principles of culture that counter imperialism's perversion of those principles. The entire work's slowly developing double-spiralled structure, one centered in the female and the other in the male, is analogous to designs found at some megaliths and to the shape of such sites as Avebury.

Jones' deepening concern with the Celtic deposits is evident from a separate but closely related project from the same time. In the Tate Gallery in London is a work entitled "Map of the Themes in the Artist's Mind." In it, Jones diagrams the multi-layered interrelationships among the mythic, historic and literary deposits that comprise the Matter of Britain, from the oldest Celtic material through Tennyson. The work's genesis is interesting. In the David Jones Archive at the National Library of Wales are manila envelopes filled with loose notes. One contains four folio-sized sketches of charts, diagrams and notes on Celtic material. Each is more complex and inclusive than the last, as though the more Jones knew the more clouded the issue became. The fourth sketch is almost identical to the version at the Tare and it is obvious that these drawings were that "map's" precursors.

Done in 1943, the drafts to "Map of the Themes in the Artist's Mind" reflect Jones' struggle to organize his constantly expanding hoard of Celtic material into a shape and to explore the questions that the insertions raise. While I cannot determine whether the map began as a way of organizing information for the poem, the painting and the second and third insertions were done around the same time and developed in tandem.(16)

With the third insertion Jones delved even more deeply into the cultural layers comprising Britain. In "The Myth of Arthur," an essay Jones wrote c. 1942-1943, he claimed that the purpose of "genuine myth," is
 to conserve, to develop, 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 has given me I have lost none.' (E&A 243)


The third insertion evokes the pre-Christian, pre-Roman Celtic deposits that underlie the myth of Arthur and attempts to recover the lost Welsh heritage by establishing its connection with the earlier but continuous Irish strain. Not only does the third insertion take us to the center of Jones' temenos, but the work displays the linguistic characteristics and transhistorical cultural density we find in The Anathemata as he includes the Latin, Norse and Germanic influences on the region in his attempt to recover the past.

In that same essay, Jones wrote that "the folk-tradition of the insular Celts seems to present to the mind a half-aquatic world" (E&A 238) and the third insertion seeks out that world. Just as the megaliths of the first insertion prompt the second insertion, the tears of the Sleeping Lord flowing into the rivers of Wales generate the third. As we saw earlier, in the second insertion are the lines
 Is the tump by Honddu his tilted pillow does the gritstone outcrop
 incommode him? does the deep syncline sag beneath him, or does his strat'd
 mattress & his rug of shaly grey ease for his royal dorsals the caving
 under-floor If his strong-spine rests on the bald heights Where would you
 say his foot chafer leans? Are his wounded ankles lapped by the ferric
 waters that all through the night bear the song from the night pits of
 Ystalyfera where the narrow-skulled kaethion of the lowest price, with the
 kaethion of mixed breed, labour in the dark workings for the lord of
 repulsive lips. Is the Usk a drain for his gleaming tears when he Weeps for
 the land--who dreams his bitter dreams For the folk of the land--does Tawe
 clog in his grief?

 Do the troughing streams fill with his chrism'd sweat (RQ 28, 36; Ms.
 66H11)


As even a cursory reading shows, the original is very similar to its counterpart in "The Sleeping Lord." There is, though, one essential difference. In "The Sleeping Lord" we find:
 If his strong spine rest
 on the bald heights
 where, would you say, does his Foot Holder kneel?
 (71-2)


The next lines beginning "are his wounded ankles" appear in "The Sleeping Lord" eighteen pages later:
 Are his wounded ankles
 lapped with ferric waters
 that all through the night
 hear the song
 from the night-dark seams
 where the narrow-skulled caethion
 labour the changing shifts
 for the cosmocrats of alien lips
 in all fair lands (90)


In creating "The Sleeping Lord" Jones split the space between the lines "where would you say his foot chafer leans" and "are his ankles lapped by the ferric waters" and introduced a long passage which Tom Dilworth describes as
 a series of additional questions, about Arthur's foot-holder and
 candle-bearer, which is divided in its turn to accommodate the silent
 prayer of Arthur's hall-priest. (332)


The hall-priest's prayer, in turn, recalls "men more prosaic but more credible: Paternus of the Red Pexa, Cunedda Wledig, the Conditor and, far more recent so more green in memory, the Count Ambrosius Aurelianus that men call Emrys Wledig" (SL 84). This litany resembles the second part of the list in "The Myth of Arthur" that traces the Celtic heritage of the Island where
 cult figures of an ancient theology got mixed with quasi-legendary figures
 and with straight historical persons: Beli, Llyr, Lludd, Bendigeidfran,
 Coel Hen, Paternus of the Red Tunic, Macsen Wledig, Cunedda Wledig,
 Ambrosius, Arthur, Cadwallon of the Long Hand, Cadwaladr the Blessed. (E&A
 216)


In "The Myth of Arthur," though, Jones also recalls the mythic figures standing behind the quasi-historical figure who evolved into the figure of Romance whose "tradition echoes a still earlier one" (E&A 218). If The Sleeping Lord of the later "fragment," writes Tony Stoneburner, is "the starting-matter of the Matter of Britain and the Myth of Arthur [who] will undergo metamorphosis, and magnetically attract other legends and lores to his associates and himself" (363), the third insertion explores this "still earlier" tradition.

The two separate insertions into the material of "The Sleeping Lord" clearly complement one another. Additionally, both stem from the same two pages of the second insertion. The passage leading to the center of the "The Sleeping Lord" occurs between the lines "If his strong-spine rests on the bald heights / Where would you say his foot chafer leans?" and "Are his wounded ankles lapped by the ferric / waters." The original third insertion takes place between "Is the Usk a drain for his gleaming tears/. ..Does the Tawe clog in his grief?." and "Do the troughing streams fill with his / Chrism'd sweat" as the work recalls the rivers that flow through the southern coalfields of Wales. Here the tears and blood of the maimed Lord mix with "scored valleys' tilted refuse" (SL 91; RQ 28; Ms. 66H11) as the rivers run down to the Severn and to the "widening Hafren."

The third insertion, labelled 66H12a through 66H12n, is framed as a quest for "Mannanan, deep of counsel," a Celtic Sea god Jones equates with Manwyddan, the magician husband of Rhiannon. Through its questions, the poem sets up a geographical structure that literally moves the work to the center of the labyrinth, the circling movement of the text approximating the inward spiral of the unicursal labyrinth. Following the waters, the insertion reaches the ocean and then moves clockwise around the Irish Sea, charting the Welsh and Irish coastline, geographically and culturally.

On reaching the ocean, the work inquires "Where's that tribious conjuror," evoking Manwyddan in his role as magician. Moving over to the coast of Ireland, it asks "if he is to West" in Leinster or north "leagued with the Gynt," the northern peoples, before proceeding up to "where Dalriada whites to Kintyre" and "off Larne" (RQ 30; Ms. 66H12c). The insertion next moves to the Isle of Man, Mannanan's center of activities. Finally, it returns down the Welsh coast, beginning at Wirral, moving across to Clwydd and Holywell, around Anglesey toward the Llyn peninsula, and back to its beginning at the Severn (RQ 30; Ms. 66H12g).

Mirroring the unicursal labyrinth, the section is literally a whirlpool where time, cultures, and beliefs meld. This final insertion brings to bear on the text the full range of cultures that have left their mark on the region: Celtic, Germanic, Latin, Christian and pre-Christian alike.

IN the preface to The Anathemata, Jones writes that poetry depends on language "at an especially heightened tension." It is "a veritable torcular, squeezing every drain of evocativeness from word-forms" (E&A 117). One passage, anticipating The Anathemata, illustrates that linguistic, cultural and transhistoric density:
 is he sud of the mull
 & thudding his Bradda, or
 lolled asleep
 not winking a limpid tipple
 from Bride to Maughold, to bluff
 the porphery silts on his nomen-isle

 or, with a long snook for Halycon
 quit by his south-port, showing his back
 to his Maug-holm
 his paddy up
 his grey coat on
 him phantom-dappled
 brume-white
 under the hurrying scud
 on Solstice-night
 Straight for the Wirral

 Wave is rough and
 Cold is wind
 but
 bright is candela
 God! he'll not douce with
 Deva-water their Plugin lights!
 Nor brackish her well for
 'Frida Hygiea (RQ 30-1; Ms. 66H12C)


Geographically, the passage moves from Larne on the Ulster coast to the Isle of Man and to the northern Welsh coast. Within that short movement, though, Jones compresses pre-Christian Celtic, Latin and Christian. The opening line's "mull" is Gaelic for a promontory while "sud" is both singular for "suds" and an obsolete form for flood waters, meaning to foam. The Latin is felt in the word "nomen." "Thudding" describes Mannanan's movement across the waters. A blast of wind, or a squall, it is also a clap of thunder, preparing for Mannanan's identification with Wotan and Zeus as "Father Thunderer / gone for a sailor" (RQ35; Ms. 66H12h).

When the work moves "Straight for the Wirral," the location changes to Holywell where Christian and Roman are joined in the name "'Frida Hygiea." Holywell was the site of a well sacred to St. Winifred who was miraculously restored to life while Hygiea, identified with Pallas Athena, was a goddess of health and daughter of Aesculapius. The same melding of traditions occurs in the line "bright is candela" which alludes to local rites to St. Bridget who as pre-Christian Brigit was a leading Celtic deity. Just as Mannanan shares affinities with Wotan and Zeus, Brigit is analogous to Minerva and, through her, to Athena. Even the lines "God! he'll not douce with / Deva-water their Plugin lights!" condense Christian and pre-Christian. Deva was the name of the local Roman garrison, while "Plugin lights," a note tells us, were part of local matins service. Elsewhere Germanic influences are recalled:
 is that what he learns from his black
 Schleswig gentes when he takes his three
 legs aboard, easting to Gokstad-- (RQ 31; Ms. 66H12d)


At the center of the insertion, through its questions, all the varied deities are conflated:
 Where's the Roarer, or was he
 the Strider, or what, by his
 shape-shifting name, is he properly
 called?

 they're all shape-shifters--all a
 changling bunch of amphibious hierarchs
 refracted in a misted prism (RQ 34; Ms. 66H12g)


The effort to recover and reconcile the heritage, to discover what he is "properly called," is the center of the labyrinth where Celtic, Teutonic and Latin merge:
 Nuada he is
 of west waters
 a Wotan of deeps,
 a wolf-meeter, a hand-loser....
 denominate him once for all
 hand him a fish-spear, treble-barbed
 and call him Poseidon, but,
 remember
 he's half a Mars, if not Father Thunderer
 gone for a sailor (RQ 35; Ms. 66H12h)


At the conclusion of these evocations, we hear "Not that he will heed a land-king's / grief flow" (RQ 35; Ms. 66H12h), recalling the tears of the Sleeping Lord that prompted the passage, and we begin to move out of the center and back toward the Sleeping Lord with the line "But yet he sleeps."

Nowhere is the text-as-labyrinth more stylistically evident than in its use of the interrogative form, a rhetorical technique Jones shares with the Joyce of Finnegans Wake. The interrogative in Jones, as in Joyce, is the first voice in an implied dialogue. The question asked is a gesture, a means of generating possibilities. The existence of multiple possiblities, in turn, generates the text that recovers them. Even as the speaker asks "what, by his shape-shifting name, is he properly called," the text recounts those shapes and names. Jones claimed that it was the role of the artist to "ask the question." In the second and third insertions, and later throughout The Anathemata, asking the question creates the text that ultimately contains the question.

Standing on its own, the third insertion is a remarkable piece of writing. Here the text geographically becomes a swirling cycle, the quest moving around the coasts of Mannanan's sea. Travelling out from the Severn of the Sleeping Lord, it returns to the Severn of Nodens. The labyrinth's center, in its rhetoric, defies closure, finally recognizing only the process of shape-shifting which "makes ceasless metamorphosis / the only constant." This movement gathers into it all of the cultures--Celtic, Latin and Germanic--out of which the Island has risen. Celtic gods and goddesses, Roman and Germanic deities and Christian saints are all conflated, "shape-shifters ... refracted in a misted prism" (RQ 34; Ms. 66H12g) that form the deposits. Even linguistically, we find a remarkable density as the text draws from among Welsh, English and Latin as it creates the "veritable torcular" necessary to evoke the presence of the past.

The third insertion completed the series transforming the original 77-page narrative into a 143-page meditation, each insertion delving more deeply into the deposits of Britain.

Despite the poetic power of the individual sections and the virtuosity of the conception, Jones' labyrinthine work poses considerable problems, particularly as to the status of its published version, "The Roman Quarry." While far from John Peck's "unworkable whole, whose disaster Jones' editors do not address" (386), the current version of "The Roman Quarry," in spite of Hague and Grisewood's remarkable effort, is flawed and a new edition is needed. Hague and Grisewood were clear about the problems with their edition, and the chief problem they faced was that one of Jones' three manuscripts seemed to be missing.(17)

In his notes to The Roman Quarry and Other Sequences, Hague mentions a stray sheet found among Jones' papers:
 Commence on p.3 of Manuscript B
 `we already' etc. to `doubts if they be sufficient'
 on P.7 of MS. B
 Insertion from p.p. 3 & 4 & 5(?) & 16 & 17
 of Manuscript A
 "You can hear a penny dropt" "this one fetches more
 light" to bottom of p.6 MS. A
 Continue with p.7 MS. B
 "On night gust etc" to
 p. 57 MS.B
 pp. 58-143 MS. C intact
 From p.7 MS. A "Soon will be the fracture of Branch"
 to end of MS.A (RQ 283)


From this, Hague organized the three principal works in The Roman Quarry and Other Sequences: "The Roman Quarry," "The Old Quarry, I & II" and "The Agent." What he had found, though, was the blueprint for the Ur-Anathemata.

As Jones' vision changed, his experiment went through four distinct stages. Although he grounded each revision on the previous version, each stage existed independently of the others. A first draft called the "Absolom Mass" and later labeled "Manuscript A," is now published as "The Old Quarry." Keeping this first draft as a source,(18) he moved into the second work: the Roman narrative. The third stage resulted in the work developed between 1943-46 that melded the Roman narrative and the three Celtic insertions. Continuing to make insertions into this larger work, he finally broke it into two manuscripts, Ms. B--the Roman narrative up to sheet 58--and Ms. C--a version close to what is now "The Roman Quarry." He considered these two manuscripts one work and this became the Ur-Anathemata. Just as he kept Ms. A as a storehouse for his later work, this version provided material for The Anathemata.

After publishing The Anathemata, he returned to his manuscripts. Again, he used them as a site from which to extract the "fragments" that comprise the poems collected in The Sleeping Lord and Other Fragments; however, he also continued his vast project, now titled The Kensington Mass, first between 1958 and 1962 and then from 1972 until his death. In a letter to Rene Hague written on October 25, 1974, three days before his died, David Jones wrote
 My trouble is that it, the Ken[sington] Mass, is very differently
 gesceapenne from the thing I made in the '40s and indeed from what I
 thought it would be in this '74 attempt--indeed I'm beginning to wonder if
 I can manage what I wanted but I must make the attempt somehow. (DGC 228)


Given its scope, to preserve the cultural tradition of the west, and Jones' continually evolving vision, it is unlikely he would ever have finished this project to his satisfaction. Still, while never finished, it is considerably more unified than David Jones said and more complete than The Roman Quarry and Other Sequences suggests. It is also far more than the "Rosetta stone for the poet's later writings" (393), as Vincent Sherry has described "The Roman Quarry."

The project's Place within the body of Jones' work is complex. In essence, we are looking not at one work but at three: the Roman narrative, the Ur-Anathemata, and The Kensington Mass. That they are textually interwoven, are often almost identical to central works in The Roman Quarry and Other Sequences, served as the source manuscripts for The Sleeping Lord and Other Fragments, and are related to The Anathemata obviously complicates the issue. However, though intertwined, the Roman narrative, the Ur-Anathemata, and the post-Anathemata's Kensington Mass are independent works, and at least two of the three are structurally complete.(19)

Neither the Roman narrative nor The Kensington Mass present difficulties for a reader. The Roman poem is a linear narrative, while The Kensington Mass evolved into a fourteen-part sequence. Jones' temenos, the second half of his Ur-Anathemata, though, is not only the most formally innovative but also a disorienting experience to read. Composed of bits and pieces of the Roman poems, chunks of Celtic material, and sections that evoke "Middle Sea and Lear Sea" from The Anathemata, the work moves back and forth between narration and meditation, from particular speaker to disembodied consciousness, as it moves from Jerusalem to Wales and back again, apparently ordered only by Jones' associations. Viewed from one angle, it is almost incomprehensible; seen from another, it is technically and artistically brilliant, and the second and third insertions, whether separately or together, are arguably among the most powerful works he wrote.

Jones recognized that there were structural problems with this particular text. Whereas The Anathemata's "end returned to its beginnings," he felt he "never managed to forge the necessary connecting links," with his earlier experiment. At the same time, he saw that it was "a thing in itself and moreover a continuous thing, in spite of its very disparate elements" ("Two Letters" 19).

Part of the problem stems from Jones' insertional method, the same method he used to create The Anathemata, another layered text where his technique resulted in sudden and often unexpected shifts. In a letter responding to William Hayward's questions on the voyage in The Anathemata, Jones pointed out that
 the voyage from the eastern Aegean to the port of Piraeus, the harbour of
 Athens, gets merged in the voyage from the Middle Sea out into the ocean
 from the West, and so to Britain, which occupies the rest of this section.
 It is a weakness of my technique that the changes are insufficiently
 marked. But the trouble* is that it's rather like a dream--one finds
 oneself in a new situation before one knows one has left the earlier one.
 (PGB/III/6)


In the left-hand margin, he added this revealing note:
 *I mean it is a difficulty almost inseparable from the way I go about it.
 The `layers,' so to say, overlap or turn up again much later on--rather
 like a geological set-up. (PGB/III/6)(20)


That even the eight movements of The Anathemata are titled appears to be an afterthought, as a note Jones wrote on the typed copy sent to the printer attests:
 I call them "sections" as "parts" implies too positive a division, and
 "cantos" is ruled out as implying something properly metrical. The titles,
 in fact, are not meant to indicate real divisions but only to indicate the
 direction of the flow or turn of the subject matter. No more than that.
 (Ms. T2I).


In the earlier 1943-46 text, most textual shifts are not even "insufficiently marked," and in the case of "The Roman Quarry," where marks on one draft version are not on another, such marks are sometimes overlooked.

His insertional method, though, is inseparable from the force that engendered it: his desire to preserve the signa of the culture within a verbal temenos. A labyrinth can be three things, and David Jones attempted to create all three in his work. A two-dimensional pattern, the unicursal design is found carved on rocks across Europe. It is also a path along which one moves, as seen in the unicursal labyrinth exemplified in English turf mazes and stone Troy Towns. The first implies the visualized abstract design that Tom Dilworth notes is present in all of Jones' writing; the second suggests the linearity one finds in most long works. While both devices as separate techniques have been used by other artists, Jones blended the two. His experiments in the third insertion with the interrogative and with his use of geography as a means of generating textual movement allowed him simultaneously to create the unicursal design and to move the reader along the path the text itself created. In and of itself, it is a startling achievement.

Still, neither design nor textual path are the same as temenos as an architectural structure implying depth. Max Nanny has outlined the limitations of print in its attempts to approximate a labyrinth structure: "written or printed language on paper can be subjected only to two kinds of ordering, namely linear succession and two-dimensional juxtaposition" (208). We find both in Jones' insertion method. Each insertion at the time of its composition was linear in nature. In subsequently dividing an insertion and placing another within it and then another within the second and so on, Jones juxtaposed multiple sections against each other. The effect that he was trying to create, though, was layered and not simply two-dimensional. What Jones attempted was the verbal equivalent of the illusion of depth that perspective allows in painting.

In his notes to The Roman Quarry and Other Sequences, Rene Hague commented that,
 David was, to my mind, odd and mistaken in the importance he attached to
 typographic arrangement on the page. He took a good deal of pains over this
 and I believe it was wasted on the reader, because printing has not the
 flexibility he needed. (RQ 215)


It still remains to be seen whether printing has "the flexibility he needed." In spite of his inability "to forge the necessary connecting links," Jones wanted his project published, as a letter he wrote to Harman Grisewood in 1962 makes clear:
 I think, perhaps, I may as well make public all the stuff behind The
 Anathemata that I had suppressed. They can be fragmentary only, but that's
 what I'm engaged upon. In a way they seem more `contemporary' than when I
 wrote them. (DGC 192).(21)


Jones' notational system offers a history of his compositional process. More than that, though, his system provides a blueprint to the way the temenos was constructed and a map for the reader to the labyrinth.

In "Literature and Post-History," George Steiner speaks of
 a small group of experimental works from which the poetics of tomorrow may
 emerge. These are the most exciting, the least understood of modern books:
 in them, the classic divisions between poetry, drama, prose fiction, and
 philosophic argument are deliberately broken down. These works admit of no
 single definition; they declare their own form of being. (389)


Among these "prolegomena to future forms," he includes "the work of David Jones" (390).

The extent to which Jones' experiment succeeds still remains to be seen. The experiment that resulted in The Ur-Anathemata, though, is one unique among modernists. David Jones transforms our conception of literary space in the same way that James Joyce altered our conception of literary time. Jones took what for most writers would be a metaphor, the labyrinth, and turned it into a structural principle. In his Ur-Anathemata, he created a work that approximates the protective ring maze as a reader travels through the text, first moving through successive layers to the text's center and then returning. What he constructed between 1943 and 1946 was a multi-levelled labyrinth in which, quite literally, "what's under works up," (DG 57). Above all else, his experiment was an attempt to actually "make a shape in words," to create a protective labyrinth that would preserve the cultural deposits "in the December of our culture" (SL 64).

Notes

(1) Derek Shiels and Jonathan Miles in David Jones: The Maker Unmade cite a letter from David Jones to Charles Burns dated 17 April 1964 in which he expressed a desire to "Build a barrier of sandbags halfway up" his French windows (270).

(2) Jones' remarks cited by Paul Hill were taken from notes Jones made for The Tate Gallery in 1935.

(3) This concern also extends to his prose. Probably the most prominent is a letter to Rene Hague (July 9-15, 1973) recalling the Catholic Mass he witnessed while a soldier (DGC 249-50).

(4) Given the constraints under which they worked, Hague and Grisewood did a remarkable job of editing. Where they made controversial choices, they made clear their reasons. Only by having access to the manuscripts Hague and Grisewood had and to The Anathemata manuscripts, which they did not, have I been able to recover the missing manuscript to which they allude in their edition. My debt to their scholarship is enormous.

(5) Tom Goldpaugh. "On the Traverse of the Wall: The Lost, Long Poem of David Jones." Journal of Modern Literature. XIX.1 (Summer 1994): 31-53.

(6) Critics have long recognized that the labyrinth is an important image in his poetry. Jeremy Hooker in "In the Labyrinth: An Exploration of The Anathemata" writes that the labyrinth is a cardinal image in The Anathemata, which he claims "has the form of a labyrinth or circular maze" (283). He offers this idea "tentatively," though, finally concluding that "these descriptions have imaginative appeal, yet, when applied to The Anathemata, do little more than suggest metaphors for its method and form" (283).

(7) Thomas Dilworth, in The Shape of Meaning in the Work of David Jones has shown that, while for most poets the organization of the long poem is temporal, Jones' primary poetric structure is spatial. Jones' poetry, he argues, forms "an abstract, visualized shape" which, like his paintings, is "almost always centered" (13).

(8) David Jones' manuscripts were acquired by the National Library of Wales in stages. In citing the unpublished and uncatalogued manuscript pages to the narrative poem, I have cited Jones' numbering. I would like to thank the National Library of Wales and the Trustees of the Estate of David Jones for their kind permission to cite from the unpublished manuscripts.

(9) "Meander" recurs often in Jones' poetry. In the "Preface" to The Anathemata, he spoke of "the meanderings that comprise this book" (A 33), hinting at the structure that he was trying to construct. The term, which he uses on two other occasions in the "Preface," refers to "the crooked or winding paths (of a maze); labyrinthine passages." With the kind of evocative density of which Jones was fond, "meander" also describes "a circuitous journey or movement" and "an ornamental pattern composed chiefly of lines winding in and out with rectangular turnings or crossing one another at right angles" (OED 274).

(10) According to Volume 18 of The Encyclopedia of Religion edited by Mircea Eliade, "entry into the labyrinth recalls ... a retreat into the bosom of the Mother Earth" (412) and the temenos in magical terms and in actual fact ... represent[s] the protective ramparts of the most precious spiritual treasures of the clan" (413).

(11) From a draft copy of a letter among the papers of Purchase Group C, Box I at the National Library of Wales, David Jones Archives. All subsequent citations are cited in parentheses as PGA, PGB, or PGC.

(12) Jeremy Hooker has already commented on Knight's impact: "it was for confirming and clarifying what he already half-knew, and deeply felt, even more than for exciting scholarly information" (280).

(13) In many ways, the shape of the entire narrative recalls Jones' painting of the same period, "Aphrodite in Aulis." Just as Crixus and Brasso flank the hymn, the female in the center of "Aphrodite in Aulis" is flanked by the British soldier on one side and the German soldier on the other.

(14) In spite of its obvious artistic unity, he saw this segment as part of his vast project on the Roman Catholic Mass. In addition, Jones, who was notoriously disorganized, lost sheets and could not remember what part wen where when he returned to the project years later.

(15) "The Roman Quarry" underwent constant expansion. Each time, Jones renumbered his sequence. In citing the manuscript pages, I have used Jones' earliest manuscript number. Discrepancies between citations and published versions reflect my choice to cite the earliest draft.

(16) This work is reproduced in The Roman Quarry and Other Sequences.

(17) When Hague and Grisewood undertook the editing that resulted in The Roman Quarry and Other Sequences, the manuscripts were in utter disarray not only because of the constant revisions, extractions, and expansions but also because Jones misplaced many of the sheets. In constructing their edition, particularly with "The Roman Quarry" and "The Agent," they were forced to use drafts from very different compositional stages in the interests of continuity.

Among other problems, this creates concerns regarding typographical arrangement. Jones was extremely careful about the physical arrangement of the line on the page. However, only in the last stage of composition would he determine many line lengths. For example, on the typed copy of "The Wall" and "The Tutelar of the Place" that he used for a BBC radio broadcast on November 9th, 1956, he has the handwritten note that this typed copy is not to be used by a printer because it was "not corrected as to lay out of lines on page, which is here quite arbitrary." This copy is in every other way identical to the published versions of those poems. That his works move between prose and poetry complicates the matter even further.

(18) In a letter to Harman Grisewood, he wrote that most of the earlier parts will have to be scrapped--they make no continuity & are now rather pointless. & boring as well. I'm very depressed about this. I thought they were better than they actually are. --it is only tiny bits here and there that have come off.... all the stuff in the past year is not so bad. Extraordinary `pre-war' ring about the earlier stuff--jokes that are no longer jokes & obscurities that even I have forgotten the meaning of. (13 February 1942. Beinecke Library of Yale University)

That early draft, though, introduced four elements present throughout all of his subsequent versions: the frame of the Mass in the present; the events surrounding Holy Thursday and the Crucifixion; the Arthurian material in the figure of Launcelot; and the labyrinth motif.

(19) Approximately six original sheets of the Roman narrative are still missing. Some sections of The Kensigton Mass are still in the rough state that they were in when pan of Manuscript A and some original sheets have been so scattered that complete reconstruction is unlikely. The most complete text is Manuscript C, numbered 58-143.

However, the structure is complete, even where some sheets are missing. The work, in all of its stages, opened at the Mass in the present, returned to Holy Thursday, proceeded to the Crucifixion, and returned to the Mass in the present. The every end of "The Old Quarry, II" presents that return to the Mass in the present.

(20) Cited from a photocopy of a letter dated February 6, 1958 (PGB/III/6). What Jones does not reveal is that the ship's voyage that forms one of the recurring "themes" was written as one long insertion that itself was later divided and subdivided.

(21) The unpublished portion of the letter goes on to say that one reason the work was fragmentary was because a number of sheets had been misplaced.

Works Cited

Dilworth, Thomas. The Shape of Meaning in the Work of David Jones. Toronto: U Toronto P, 1988.

Hills, Paul. David Jones. London: Tate Gallery, 1981.

Hooker, Jeremy. "In the Labyrinth: An Exploration of The Anathemata." David Jones: Man and Poet. Ed. John Mathias. Orono, ME: National Poetry Foundation, 1988.

Goldpaugh, Tom. "On the Traverse of the Wall: The Lost, Long Poem of David Jones." Journal of Modern Literature. XIX. 1 (Summer 1994): 31-53.

Jones, David. The Anathemata: Fragments of an Attempted Writing. London: Faber and Faber, 1972. Cited in the text as A.

--. "Art and Sacrament." Epoch and Artist. London: Faber and Faber, 1959. Cited in the text as E&A.

--. Dai Greatcoat: A Self-Portrait of David Jones in His Letters. London: Faber and Faber, 1980. Cited in the text as DGC.

--. "Notes on the 1930s." The Dying Gaul and Other Writings. London: Faber and Faber, 1978.41-49. Cited in the text as DG.

--. Purchase Groups A, B, and C; David Jones Archives. National Library of Wales. Cited in the text as PGA, PGB, and PGC.

--. The Roman Quarry and Other Sequences. Ed. Rene Hague and Harman Grisewood. Riverdale-on-Hudson, NY: Sheep Meadow Press, 1980. Cited in the text as RQ.

--. The Sleeping Lord and Other Fragments. London: Faber and Faber, 1974. Cited in the text as SL.

--. "Two Letters to Saunders Lewis." Agenda: David Jones Special Issue 11.4-12.1 (1973-74).

Knight, W. F. Jackson. Vergil: Epic and Anthropology. Ed. John Christie. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1967.

"Meander." Oxford English Dictionary. 1933 ed.

Nanny, Max. "Iconicity in Literature." Word and Image. II.3 (July-September 1986): 208.

Peck, John. "Poems for Britain, Poems for Sons." David Jones: Man and Poet. Ed. John Matthias. Orono, ME: National Poetry Foundation, 1988.

Sherry, Vincent. "The Roman Quarry of David Jones: Extraordinary Perspectives." David Jones: Man and Poet. Ed. John Matthias. Orono, ME: National Poetry Foundation, 1988.

Shiels, Derek and Jonathan Miles. David Jones: The Maker Unmade. Bridgend, Wales: Seren, 1995.

Steiner, George. "Literature and Post History." Language and Silence. New York: Atheneum, 1986.

Stonebrunner, Tony. "Notes Toward Performing `The Sleeping Lord.'" David Jones: Man and Poet. Ed. John Matthias. Orono, ME: National Poetry Foundation, 1988.

"Temenos." Encyclopedia of Religion. New York: MacMillan, 1987.

Tom Goldpaugh is an Assistant Professor in English at Marist College (Poughkeepsie, NY) where he specializes in modern British and Irish literature. He received his Ph.D. from New York University and has published articles on David Jones in the Journal of Modern Literature and the David Jones Journal. He has recently finished a study of the David Jones manuscripts archived in the National Library of Wales and is currently preparing an edition of the Ur-Anathemata.3
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Author:Goldpaugh, Tom
Publication:Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature
Date:Jun 22, 1999
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