Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Faber's promised new edition of Bunting goes missing, yet again.

It seems that yet again Faber have put off, or put back the publication date for Don Share's new edition of Bunting's Collected Poems. Given that two thirds of whatever they publish will be forgotten in twelve months it seems bizarre that they keep shunting the publication date of this one.
As the blurb on the amazon page says:
An important work of literary scholarship which highlights, for the first time, the achievement of a neglected modernist master
And for once it's not hyperbole. Anyone want to argue Bunting is not "A Master"? That his reputation may rest of one great long poem and a fistful of smaller ones, doesn't invalidate the claim. The Blood axe collected is nice, and does the job, but the new Faber one promises to have a scholarly apparatus. I don't need notes on the Northumbrian History in Briggflats, but I know zip about Persian literature and I would love to know what's going on in parts of The Spoils and in many of the Overdrafts.

It is revealing about the way the field works. Here we have a writer who is regarded (by some) as one of Britain's best poets in the twentieth century and twenty five years after his death there's still no thorough scholarly Collected. Or rather there may be one, but it looks as though Faber ain't publishing it any time soon.

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