Page 140 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 49

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sight and the rou tine reality o f the dull-eyed public. In this
parallelism between Jewish history and artistic vocation, Layton
has found a way o f re tu rn ing to an attachm en t he had been
ind ifferen t to in his youth. His selective reconstruction o f a us­
able Jewish past — judg ing from the post-1960s poems — has
been a po ten t source o f energy from which the inven tor o f many
selves finally takes on the guise he had revoked at the beginning
o f his illustrious career: the self-proclaiming, identifiable Jew,
eternally troub led and troubling.
Selected works by Irving Layton:
The Collected Poems o f Irv ing Layton
For My Brother Jesus
The Covenant
Europe and Other Bad News
Waiting fo r the Messiah
(Memoir, 1985).
Fortunate Exile