Books: The Well-Wrought Churn

TWO BROTHERS by Philip Toynbee. 158 pages. Harper & Row. $6.

Oh, enigmatic, labored Toynbee, twisting time in the prism of

memory into strange, unnatürlich, artificial

frames of furry verse! Quelle raison for this Audenesque

acrostic?

To justify a common tale of self.

Of such is the verse form Author Toynbee has invented "after many experiments" to carry the narrative of his eighth novel, ostensibly the reminiscences of an old Anglo-Norwegian attempting in the year 1999 to recapture and finally comprehend the essence of a brother who died in 1936. Lest the reader fail to appreciate Toynbee's poetic virtuosity, Toynbee provides a pretentious introductory gloss that is...

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