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Elbert Faas

Ted Hughes: The Unaccommodated Universe ***

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“Ekbert Faas published an interview with Ted Hughes in the London Magazine (January 1971) which has since become a fruitful point of entry for those wishing to be initiated into Hughes’s later poetry … The book which Dr Faas has now put together develops out of this: it contains the texts of two interviews (1970-1977) and a number of valuable excerpts from Hughes’s critical writings, as well as Dr Faas’s own account of the poet’s life and work. Dr Faas is well aware of the dangers of the intentional fallacy, but he has nevertheless chosen to steer very close to Hughes’s own life and ideas, alluding not only to his reading and the development of his thought but also to the circumstances of his life and the effect of private events on his poetry. In this Dr Faas is justified, and is consistently successful: his description of Hughes’s reading, and his charting of Hughes’s development, is illuminating and helpful … intelligent and helpful.