Originally published in 1963 and edited by an authority on Wyndham Lewis (whom he also knew personally) this volume made available for the first time over 500 letters of Wyndham Lewis, who for half a century was a dynamic force among English artists and intellectuals. Culturally, Lewis played the dual role of innovator and iconoclast. Lewis’s letters show the wide range of his interests as well as his great verbal energy and unrelenting intellect. Lewis knew most of the significant artists and writers of his time and some of them – Augustus John, Pound, Eliot and Joyce were his lifelong friends and chief correspondents. Regardless of to whom he was writing, he displayed his intense awareness of the personalities and currents around him.
Table of Contents
Part 1: 1890-1910 Youth and the World of Tarr. Correspondents include: Wyndham Lewis’ mother, grandmother and T. Sturge Moore Part 2: 1910-1920 Blasting and Bombadiering . Correspondents include: J. B. Pinker, Augustus John, Ezra Pound, Herbert Read. Part 3: 1921-1939 ‘The Enemy’. Correspondents include: James Joyce, Osbert Sitwell, T. S. Eliot, Robert McAlmon, H. G. Wells, Y. B. Yeats Part 4: 1939-1945 Self-Condemned. Correspondents include: T. J. Honeyman, Geoffrey Stone, J. M. Dent & Son Ltd, David Kahma, Charles Nagel, Felix Giovanelli, Allen Tate. Part 5: 1945-1956 The Writer and the Absolute. Correspondents include: Nicholas Waterhouse, W. K. Rose, Charles Handley-Read, Theodore Weiss, Roy Campbell, I. A. Richards.
W. K. Rose was for many years a student of Wyndham Lewis, whom he knew personally. He was on the Faculty of Vassar College, USA.
‘It is, I believe, the best book of its kind… in this book Mr. Rose has shown that the editing of letters can be regarded as one of the fine arts: His running commentary and annotations have the authority of a freshly documented biography.’ Horace Gregory, The New York Times.
'The Letters... nail Lewis down as a brilliant, touchy Welshman with a splendid power of invective and insulting laughter…and give us a blurred view of his originality as an artist and of his glamour as a conspiratorial figure in literary and painting circles. ' V.S. Pritchett, New York Review of Books.