Review Kenneth Mackenzie by Evan Jones
The comparison between Kenneth Mackenzie and Dylan Thomas in the introductory paragraphs of this study points to the view expressed on page 6 that it is Mackenzie's poetry rather than his prose 'which constitutes his claim to be a figure of major significance'. This reverses the emphasis critics have usually placed on Mackenzie's writings. One result may be a more careful reassessment of the whole body of the poetry when it becomes available. In his process of evaluation Mr Evan Jones is inclined to underrate the fiction with this kind of backhand compliment (immediately following the above quotation): 'Nevertheless his novels are important enough, and good enough, not altogether to be waved aside in considering his work.' Jones's interest in Mackenzie's poetry and his extremely high regard for the best of it (and let it be said immediately that he praises the best) leads to curious disproportions in what is a perceptive and sensitive essay.
Please sign in to access this article and the rest of our archive.